Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Did you catch it? Forgiveness is a major weapon to defeat Satan. His designs (schemes) are to use offenses between believers to divide and conquer. As humans, there are times we say/do things that do offend each other. The answer… to keep Satan from winning a battle… is to forgive. Otherwise division within the body will fester and could cause great harm to the cause of Christ.
God takes division within the Body seriously. Those who participate in division by either letting it continue or causing it put themselves in a dangerous place before God. After all, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Consider the following texts…
Proverbs 6:16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Titus 3:10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
In Acts (Click here) there was a couple that sold property but kept back some of the money for themselves along with control of the property. This put a black eye on the reputation of the early church. As a result, God struck the husband and wife dead because their actions brought potential harm to the Body of Christ.
Then in 1 Corinthians (Click here) there were people who by their actions were causing division within the church. Paul was quick to point out that God would not tolerate those who cause divisions within the Body by causing some of them to be… “weak, sick, and some of you have died.” God takes it seriously when people cause division within the body.
The approach believers must take in relation to the unity of the fellowship is that the Church is the Bride of Christ. As such, the peace and unity of the Bride is of tremendous importance. If/when someone offends, forgiveness must be granted… quickly… by all parties. If a person continually causes trouble in the church, then Romans 16 and Titus 3 instruct about how they’re to be treated.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Satan and his demons. That means we fight him with the weapons God has given us… one of which is forgiveness as found in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11!
So when someone offends you… know who is behind it (Satan) and be one who is quick to forgive!