Forgiveness: A Powerful Weapon
by David J. StewartA man and woman had been living in adultery. Paul had wrote the Church of Corinth to scold them for allowing this sin to continue without rebuke from the pulpit. The Church reacted with "punishment, which was inflicted by many", II Corinthians 2:6. Isn't it typical of us humans to go from one extreme to the other?
The man evidently repented and felt much guilt. Paul was concerned that the man might be overwhelmed with guilt, perhaps suicide! Paul asks the Church to forgive and comfort the man to prevent this from going any further. After all, the man had repented. It is interesting that the woman is not mentioned. Could it be that she didn't repent?
Paul realized that there was much more at stake here than just one man. If nothing were said, this type of loose living would have spread through the church. It is the preachers duty to preach against sin--all sin! However, we are NEVER to preach against people, for they needs Christ's love. Paul knew that the devil uses certain powers to destroy families and Churches. He admonishes the Church to forgive this man, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices," (2nd Corinthians 2:11). Paul knew that unforgiveness was a device which Satan could use to kill, steal and destroy! It is one of his greatest tools.
If unforgiveness gives Satan the advantage over us, than it is also true that forgiveness gives us the advantage over Satan. Forgiveness is a powerful weapon that we can use against the devil. We can do much to defeat the devil; by living a Godly life in Jesus Christ and by being forgiving of the mistakes and faults of others. If you want to ruin the devil's day, make things right with someone, Encourage them in the Lord.
We are commanded in Matthew 18:22 to forgive an infinite number of times if necessary. How sad that often we cannot forgive even once. Don't give Satan the advantage!