Forgiveness through the Cross

The salvific work of Christ on the cross paves the way for man to be made in a right relationship with God. God's own forgiveness is the central theme of Scripture as it should be in the role of Christian leadership. This quote explains further, “Christ’s atoning sacrifice covers sin, God is now able righteously to forgive our sins and to declare us righteous, resulting in a restored relationship.”[1] Leadership is to simply follow in line with God’s leadership, especially in the personal conflict that arises. The first step to dealing with conflict is to realize that God must be the first priority in the process. God has not called his children to be unforgiving, but to begin the process of trying to initiate a way of bringing healing to hurting or broken relationships in life. Conflict is inescapable in the realm of leadership. How a leader learns to deal with conflict will reveal their character. Leaders much learn to exemplify this quote, “Grace is as infinite and transcendent as the God from whom it flows. He is “the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10), and He is abounding with mercy for the merciless, help for the helpless, redemption for anyone and everyone.[2] Leaders must embrace their own vulnerability and give forgiveness if they want the people to learn to apply forgiveness in their lives. It is easy for church leaders to remain on another level of expectation and never admit fault. Leaders who never learn to ask for and give forgiveness will become broken through bitterness.

Brokenness is not a popular term in today’s culture. In God’s plan of redemption, one must become broken over their sin and self in order to receive the gift of salvation. This quote explains further, “Brokenness releases the holy passion lying dormant in the depths of your soul.”[3] Through the brokenness, it builds a leader’s heart, soul, and mind into a person that is free to live for a purpose. Jesus was broken on the cross and through His agonizing death; mankind can come to have peace with God. This quote explains the totality of His sacrifice for us, “Jesus’ death is directed at us. As the grand exhibition of God’s great love for humankind, the death of Jesus frees us from fear of God’s wrath and kindles in us a desire to love God.”[4] Forgiveness within leadership creates the ability for people to take Christ-centered risks and learn to grow spiritually. Leadership requires a person that is aware and sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. “David was a skilled fighting man, hand with a sword and bow-but God selected him because of his heart.”[5]

Christ is the vehicle by which a person is made right with God the Father. “The peace is God’s towards us, through His beloved Son – on this our peace is based. God is able to be at peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20).”[6] Through the sacrifice on the cross, we are made complete and have an eternal hope. God’s love keeps giving, “When God forgives us for violating His design, He pours His life into us; and that restores our capacity to connect, first with him, then with others. He makes us alive with the actual life of Christ.”[7] God does not wish that anyone will lose heart and not receive His salvation. Believers must be ever vigilant to set an example of forgiveness and speak of it to the world. Spurgeon states, “We teach men what they ought to be, but we do far more; by the power of the Gospel, applied by the Holy Spirit, we make them what they ought to be by the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not tell the captive how free he ought to be, but we open the door and take away his chains.”[8] Leaders must learn to forgive themselves and receive God’s peace when they make mistakes. No leader is without sin. Leaders must learn to receive God’s forgiveness in order to have the strength to overcome past failures and discouragement. If leaders live free from bitterness, they will be heard as the mouthpiece of God of hope to the lost.

The necessity of the cross is seen in this quote, “So whenever you come into God’s presence and ask Him, “Why did Jesus have to die? Was there any other way? – Let Him show you from the Scriptures how the cross was necessary for the redemption of the whole world. Then let Him apply that truth to your heart. Let is sink in how it was all for you…and exactly what you need.[9] He redeemed mankind from the fall in the Garden of Eden through Christ’s finished work on the cross and resurrection. This quote explains, “No matter how much you have messed up, it isn’t too much of a mess for God. And that’s not the theory talking. It is experience. Every time we fall prey to a sense that the answers to our problems are found in us, God reminds us that the answers are in Him alone.[10] Leadership revolves around the necessity of character and integrity for longevity. Receiving and giving forgiveness is a key ingredient to establishing the heart of Christ in leadership.

[1] Stanley J. Grenz. Theology for the Community of God. (Broadman and Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN. 1994, 452).

[2] David Jeremiah. Captured by Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God. (Integrity Publishers, Nashville, TN. 2006).

[3] Larry Crabb. SoulTalk: The Language God Longs For us to Speak. (Integrity Publishers, Nashville, TN: 2003, 123).

[4] Stanley J. Grenz. Theology for the Community of God. (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994, 448).

[5] Gangel, Kenneth. Team Leadership in Christian Ministry. (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1997, 50).

[6] Miles J. Standford. Principles of Spiritual Growth. (Lincoln, NE: Back to the Bible, 1997, 17).

[7] Larry Crabb. Connecting: Healing for Ourselves and Our Relationships. (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2005, 36).

[8] C.H. Spurgeon. The Soulwinner. (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1995, 242).

[9] Henry Blackaby. Experiencing the Cross: Your Greatest Opportunity for Victory Over Sin. (Sisters, OR: Multonomah Publishers INC, 2005, 19).

[10]Gary & Barbara Rosberg. The Five Love Needs of Men and Women. (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2000, 184).