The Word: The Currency of the Kingdom

Published 8:44 am Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Word

Matthew Sorenson

Forgiveness is the currency of God’s kingdom. The United States has the U.S. dollar and England has the pound. But in the kingdom of God the currency is forgiveness. As a member of the kingdom of God we exchange that currency every day. We receive forgiveness from God for all the sins we have committed and then we share forgiveness with the people who have sinned against us.

When the dollar became the currency of the United States it was based on the gold standard. The forgiveness that we exchange in the kingdom of God is based on the blood of Christ. In 1 Peter 1:18 Peter says that our sins were paid for “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.”

But like any economy this currency must be exchanged. It must be received and given. Jesus taught us that when he taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:12. We pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” In Ephesians 4:32 the apostle Paul writes, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” In Colossians 3:12-13 he says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts . . . bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” The currency of forgiveness must be exchanged.

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But each of these verses goes even further. Jesus and Paul tell us that we must forgive other as we have been forgiven by God. We’re not allowed to short change our neighbor. No receiving a dollar from God and giving a quarter to our neighbor. So what does God’s forgiveness looks like? First, God will never bring up your sins again or use them against you because they no longer belong to you. Jesus took them and paid for them. (2 Cor. 5:21). Second, God won’t dwell on what you did because He accounted it to Jesus. Third, God will never tell anyone what you did. Finally, God forgives you so that you can live everyday as His beloved son or daughter. Your relationship with Him is completely restored. (Luke 15:24). In the kingdom of God it is that forgiveness that we receive from God and give to our neighbor.

People often tell me that they can’t forgive like that. They’re right! That kind of forgiveness is a gift from God that we must first receive from God and then and only then are we equipped to share God’s amazing forgiveness with our neighbors. The good news is that God showers His children with that forgiveness every day and we are only asked to share a fraction with those around us. But exchanging that currency brings the world around us to life!

REV. MATTHEW SORENSON is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.