Forgiveness, Punishment and Grace
When God forgives, does He still punish?
First, Jesus was punished for our sins. But it’s important to note that we could still get punished by God for sins, even in the New Testament. In Revelations, in the letter to the churches, we see Jesus threatening to punish believers, especially if they didn’t repent.
Two things determine whether we get punished or not: our attitudes when we sin (pride – 1 Corinthians 5:2) and our levels/maturity (doing what’s not expected of us at a certain level – 1 Corinthians 13:11, Luke 12:48).
Not every sin deserves punishment. God won’t punish us for every sin. And please note that we are not supposed to sin!
We’ve got to understand that punishment is a part of grace. We understand that by knowing the purposes of punishments.
1) So that we are not condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32)
2) For our profit, that we may be partakers of God’s holiness (Hebrews 12:10).
There are basically three approaches to dealing with sin. Apostle Paul wrote:
“What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” I Corinthians 4:21
When a rod is used you are made to feel pain. Jesus said, “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:47-48
When love is applied, multitudes of sins are covered.
And when the spirit of meekness is applied, you are being gentle with the offender in dealing with his sin.
Like I said before, it all depends on our attitudes and maturity. We may get away with certain things at the beginning of our Christian journeys, but the time must come when we put away childish things. When we sin, we should repent immediately, being truly sorry for our sins, and we may not have to worry about being punished by God.
Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim
Able Ministers Chapel