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  • Grant Fraley

Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.


Whenever we refuse or struggle to forgive someone, it’s because in our heart we view the debt they owe us as having not been fulfilled or satisfied. In other words, we feel they still owe us something—whether it be an apology, our innocence, years of life, or something physical that was taken from us. Or maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself because you believe you owe someone something after a failure.


This verse in Romans is often used to teach against financial debt. I’m okay with that application, but I want to look at it from another angle. What if this verse became an anchor in your heart concerning how you deal with others and yourself? There isn’t any emotional debt Jesus hasn’t paid for. Every individual experienced a supernatural debt cancellation through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. This means you owe no one anything, nor do they owe you anything. The debts have been paid in full. Until you receive that truth in your heart, the cycle of pain in your soul will continue to hinder you.


One of Jesus’ specialties in ministry is healing the broken-hearted (see Luke 4:18). Healing isn’t just for the physical body. It’s also for your heart and soul. However, God will not force healing on you. There are decisions and intentions to be made. Will you reconcile in your heart that every debt you owe, every debt someone else owes you has been paid in full by the work of Jesus? The only thing you owe anyone is to love them. When there is a debt owed between two parties, love can’t grow and flourish—it can only go as far as the debt has been paid. When the debt is released—so is love into the situation. Reconciliation isn’t always possible, but love is through the grace of God working in your heart.


Look at this principle given under the Old Covenant:


Deuteronomy 15:1-2

"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. [2] And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD's release.


Every seven years, God commanded the Israelites to release the debts others owed them. I love how the NKJV uses the word “release”. This is one of the most powerful definitions and images of the word forgive. What was God doing here? What was the purpose of releasing debts every seven years? Jesus referred to finances as the LEAST thing in the Kingdom of God (see Luke 16:10-11). He said if you don’t find yourself faithful in the least then how can you hope to be faithful in that which is greater. Here’s how this applies with forgiveness: how can you believe to forgive someone for the greater offenses if you can’t forgive them for the financial, tangible debt they owe you?


Therefore, every seven years, God was activating the hearts of the people and teaching them how to forgive. What’s the lesson for us? Begin to practice living a lifestyle for forgiveness. Begin to release the unseen debts you believe people owe you. Begin to practice debt cancellation in your heart. Maybe you need to begin with that which is least—send it away, release it, and allow God to heal your heart. Once that’s settled, move on to the next debt. Do this until your heart is free of every burden that weights it down.


Your heart needs to be free for the glorious places God wants to take you. Begin to release the debt in your heart and love God, people, and yourself! 

  • Grant Fraley


This issue is passionately debated within Christendom. Can a believer lose their salvation? Once an individual is saved—are they always saved, no matter what (Once Saved, Always Saved)? Like so many issues, people see two sides, black & white, they choose a side and stick to it. However, I have found there are many answers that are found in the gray. In other words, we ask— “is the answer A or B?”—completely ignoring there is a third option, “C”. This is where I stand on this specific issue. I’m intentional with my terminology: the security of the believer. The New Testament offers many wonderful promises to the one who has placed their faith in Jesus for their salvation. On the flip side, there are warnings given to those same believers, in the same document (the New Testament), to continue in the faith.

The New Testament offers both promises and warnings to the believer. If we ignore either of these, we are being Biblically dishonest. First, let me state this: salvation is not a sin issue. In other words, your salvation is not about your performance. Our standing with God doesn’t change based on whether we are currently living in sin. It’s not about our obedience, church attendance, giving, witnessing, praying, reading our Bible, or any other discipline we should develop as believers.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Years ago, as a new minister, I pondered this topic. The Spirit quickened one word to me in this verse: through. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is what connects us to God and receives everything He has provided for us by grace. No faith—no grace. It’s not that grace isn’t available, it is! However, faith is the channel through which grace flows. Salvation is a faith issue!

In Christ is the safest place you can be. This a covenant connection that makes all the provisions of the gospel available to you. You enter this place by trusting in Jesus. For the one who has chosen to do so, there are some wonderful promises. Here is one of my favorites:

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:28-30 KJV)

In the KJV, the word “man” in verses 28 and 29 are italicized. This means that word isn’t in the original Greek manuscripts. It was added by the translators because they believed it helped clarify what Jesus (or any other speaker) meant. I’m thankful that the translators had the integrity to include this feature in the KJV Bible, so the reader could know when something was added. There are times the italicized word does bring clarification. Many times, however, if you remove the italicized word, you will discover it makes things clearer.

Back to John 10:28-29. As I stated above, the word “man” is not in the original language. In verse 28, when you look up the word any, it can be referring to: any (man, thing, thing at all). Likewise, in verse 29, the word “no” can be referring to: no one, nothing. Therefore, let’s read John 10:28-30 this way:

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any (man, thing, thing at all) pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no one, nothing is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:28-30, author’s translation)

Another one of my favorite promises of security for the believer is found in John 6.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.”(John 6:37-39)

The will of God is that every person who comes to Jesus (places their faith in Him), not be lost. In other words, your job is to come to Jesus. His job is to secure your salvation. Notice, what is being said: when you believe in Jesus, He makes your salvation His responsibility. The good work He begun in you He will complete it. You simply trust Him. These are only two examples about the promises for security given to the believer. You can also look at 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Philippians 1:3-6; Philippians 2:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; and Jude 24.

The New Testament also offers warnings to believers. Again, to ignore these warnings or attempt to explain them away would be Biblically dishonest. Here are a few examples:

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Colossians 1:21-23)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

What happens if one doesn’t keep their faith in Jesus and places their faith in someone/something else? The Scriptures aren’t abundantly clear. However, that’s not enough reason for us to ignore them. It’s simply an admonition: keep your faith in Jesus. There are also Scriptures that speak about the ability for a believer to “fall away” (see 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5; 1 Timothy 4:1; and Hebrews 10:26-39).

This isn’t saying that a believer can lose their salvation, nor can they sin away their salvation. However, sin does carry dangerous consequences. When one consistently rejects the leading of the Holy Spirit and continues in sin, their heart hardens (see Hebrews 3:13). It’s possible for this individual’s heart to become so hardened they reject the Lord (see 1 John 5:16-17). The consequences of such an action are ultimately up to and known only by the Lord.

If you’re a believer, you have one simple part to play when it comes to your eternal salvation: keep your faith in Jesus. Keep looking to Jesus (see Hebrews 12:1-2). There is security and assurance for those whose heart remains steadfast in Him. Does anyone truly have an issue with encouraging believers to keep their faith in Jesus? As we look to Him, He takes care of the rest. It is there, we can truly rest.

  • Grant Fraley

Over the last few years, I have spent much time teaching the truth concerning the forgiveness of sins for the believer. The New Testament makes it clear the believer has received eternal forgiveness of all their sin—past, present, and future (see Hebrews 9:12; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). This is a foundational teaching of the New Covenant.

Recently, it’s come to my attention there is an epidemic within the church. Surprisingly, it seems to be an even bigger issue among those who claim to have a revelation of the truth above. What is this epidemic? Unforgiveness. Unforgiveness has ravaged relationships, marriages, homes, families, churches, and more. It’s dangerous and destroys all in its path of influence. The Bible teaches unforgiveness is one of the schemes of satan and gives him an advantage (see 2 Corinthians 2:10-11). You see, the enemy NEVER has legal right to operate in a believer’s life—I don’t care what they have done—BUT he doesn’t need a legal right. He only needs an advantage. The enemy is terrorizing the life of many believers and they have no idea why. For many, the door they have opened is refusing to forgive those who have wronged them.

The New Testament makes forgiving others a priority in the life of a believer (see Matthew 6:12-15; Mark 11:22-26; Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13). This was not an Old Testament principle. In fact, the word translated as “forgives” in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word salach. It appears 50 times in the Bible and in every occurrence, it is always God who is forgiving—never man. It NEVER refers to an individual forgiving another. This is why in Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26, the crowd was shocked at the idea that an individual had the ability to forgive.

When Jesus came teaching the importance of forgiving others, He was introducing a Kingdom principle into the earth. The early Church taught it strongly, as well. We must understand—the same New Testament that teaches the believer is forgiven of all sin (past, present, and future), is the same document that teaches the believer should forgive everyone who has wronged them.

What is forgiveness? First, let’s establish what unforgiveness is. The New Testament law or rule all believers are to live by is the Law of Love. Paul breaks down what love is in 1 Corinthians 13. There, he says:

Love, “…keeps no record of being wronged.” (NLT)

Unforgiveness is when you keep a record of being wronged filed away in your heart. If love involves keeping no record of wrong, and we are commanded to walk in love—for a believer to walk in unforgiveness towards anyone is to be in active disobedience towards the Lord. That’s strong, but strong language is needed. Unforgiveness is deceptive, dangerous, and deadly. Anytime someone wrongs us, in our heart, it often creates a sense of debt they now owe us. What is it they owe? Maybe it’s an apology, innocence, time, among many other things.

With learning what unforgiveness is, we can understand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is when you choose to no longer keep a record of those who have wronged you and what they did to you. It’s when you choose, in your heart, to release them from the debt you feel they owe.

It’s important to know two things about forgiveness. First, it’s an issue of the heart. Jesus teaches this in Matthew 18:21-35. When I speak about forgiveness, I’m not referring to sweeping anything under the rug or giving someone a pass for the natural consequences of what has been done. Biblically, we are speaking of when you refuse to allow what people have done to you to hold any weight in your heart.

It's important to know how much you have been forgiven. You have been forgiven completely of a lifetime of sin. Yet, so often, we hold onto what someone did to us in a very small moment. There is a lot of talk about supernatural debt cancellation in the Church, today. When you understand our sin is debt then you realize this: every believer has experienced a supernatural debt cancellation. Our debt has been paid in full by Jesus at the cross. Here’s the hard part: including the person who harmed you and what they did to you. Unforgiveness is a subtle form of self-righteousness. It declares, “the blood of Jesus was enough to forgive my sin, but not theirs!” It’s a subtle form of pride, “My sin can be forgiven against God, but their sin against me can’t be forgiven.”

Why should we forgive someone who hurt us?

“"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)

God says He forgives for His own sake. We need to learn to forgive for our own sake. We aren’t releasing them from the natural consequences of what’s been done, but we are releasing ourselves from the torment that comes with unforgiveness. The word “remember” in the Hebrew means to mention, be mindful, recount, record, bring to remembrance, think on, or recall. Forgiveness is not a supernatural brainwashing that erases all bad memories. Rather, it’s an intentional choice to not mention, think on, recount, speak about, and recall those individuals and what they have done to us. Forgiveness cannot change the past, but it has the power to change the future.

Forgiveness is not trust, nor is forgiveness reconciliation. Forgiveness is given and granted. Trust is earned and built. If reconciliation is possible then repentance must be present. Forgiveness and repentance are the foundation of rebuilt trust (reconciliation). We are not commanded to do life with everyone, but we are commanded to forgive everyone. Here is another hard truth: your situation is not the exception. I have counseled many people who have described stomach-turning, gut-wrenching moments in their life. The enemy has harmed a lot of people using others. However, we must send away the harm unforgiveness is causing us in our hearts. Allow God, and if necessary, legal authorities to handle any necessary consequences, but your job is to be healed and live in a place of freedom.

Many thinks by holding onto unforgiveness they’re protecting their heart—in reality, they’re damaging it. Your heart was not created to harbor unforgiveness. It will cause damage to your heart and soul. Then, if this continues for a long period of time, it will wreak havoc on your physical body, as well.

How do you know if you’ve forgiven someone? When the thought, sight, or memory of that person no longer shakes your peace. What if those thoughts come back? What if the anger rises again? What if the nightmares return? Forgive them, again. Refuse to hold onto it. One of the meanings for the Greek word translated as “forgive” is to let it go. This is my word for you, today: let it go. It’s not worth it. God has placed more value on you than what they did to you. The only person who defines you is Jesus. The only event that defines you is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The only thing that happened to you that defines you is the new birth. Forgiveness is freedom. In freeing others, you’ll free yourself.

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