Never Justify Sin
Instead, admit it and diligently work on “repentance” immediately.
Don’t waste your time being depressed about it due to other people’s repeated condemnations or unforgiveness toward you for it serves “no” Biblical purpose.
In fact, if they don’t forgive you, they won’t be forgiven either as the Lord says:
“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:15)
What type of forgiveness must we give?
From the “heart”, not a hypocritical one where we still harbour hatred or resentment toward that brother (even punishing him). For if not, God will punish you too for “not” being forgiving:
“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:35)
Really? Does this mean that we are teaching people to “sin more”? (wrongly understood)
No! No, as this verse explains that we are often misunderstood as such when we speak His Truth (e.g. on forgiveness and Grace):
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” – apostle Paul (Matthew 6:1 – 2)
But, does this mean that we can sin as many times as we like without fear of its consequences? No! No again.
The point is that, as a “True Christian”,
(i) “we can point out a sin” but after that,
“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:15)
But if he doesn’t want to change, just leave him as a “non-believer” as this verse explains:
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:17)
(ii) “we must forgive that brother who sinned” (except in a ‘special case’, explained later)
But, how many times must we forgive even if it’s the “same sin”?
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21 – 22)
(iii) We cannot pass Judgment sentences on the brother who sinned but rather only “God decides” whether to “punish him for it” or “acquit him by His Mercy”:
“But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” – apostle Paul (Romans 14:10)
(iv) Also, don’t speak “against that brother who sinned” (it’s a ‘biblical command’ as revealed below):
“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.” – apostle James (James 4:11)
(v) Also, we are “not” to judge (pass sentences or condemn) our “neighbour” (believer or non-believer). Remember that the only “pointing out of sins” the Bible allows us to do as point (i) above mentions is the one ‘done with the sincere intention of winning the brother back’:
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” – apostle James (James 4:11 – 12)
(vi) But can we “speak against him” and have the “intention to rejoice in our hearts when our enemies fall”? No! No, it’s so un-Christlike. In fact, if you do rejoice in your enemy’s fall, this is what happens by His Holy Principle:
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.” (Proverbs 24:17 – 18)
(vii) The ‘special case’:
Only the “disciples” of Christ (the “apostles” who are referred to as “you”) in the verse below have been given the “authority” to “forgive or not”:
Firstly, the “doors were shut” and only the “disciples” were there:
“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)
And only to “you” (those “disciples” behind closed doors) was this granted (they were worthy of it):
“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” – Lord Jesus Christ to those disciples only literally (John 20:23)
So, unless you have been divinely appointed by Him to exercise likewise (if it’s possible, so be it; and it’s between you and God if you claim it likewise), it is safe to say that we should follow the ‘biblical commands’ quoted earlier.
In fact, to falsely claim that one has been endowed such an “authority to Forgive or not” only makes one a liar (if He didn’t give “you” that “authority”) . Thus, we need to be careful to speak “truth only”.