Finding Forgiveness: Discovering The Healing Power Of The Gospel by Stanley D. Gale: A Book Review

71hd9xfmdnlFinding Forgiveness: Discovering The Healing Power Of The Gospel by Stanley D. Gale

One of my favorite works to recommend since reading and reviewing it has been Pastor Gale’s book, A Vine Ripened Life. So when the opportunity presented itself to read and review more of his craftsmanship, I was eager for the opportunity.

Finding Forgiveness is an expanded version of a book Pastor Gale wrote that I read and reviewed as well called, Why Must We Forgive?.

“The Gospel is conspicuous in power and glory through the practice of forgiveness. Relationships are healed and community strengthened. The grace of forgiveness bears witness to the Gospel, and the hope for a better world shines forth. Forgiveness displays the glory of a reconciling God and gives teeth to the angelic announcement, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! {Luke 2:14}”

Finding Forgiveness starts with the Gospel. There is no other means by which to find ultimate forgiveness. We must start with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“When it comes to readying ourselves to forgive others, simple study of the subject will not do. A true, compelling understanding of forgiveness cannot be merely academic. It must be experiential. Our heart must be gripped by God’s astounding grace and awed at such a great salvation in the reconciling us to Himself through the giving of His Son for us to be properly positioned to forgive others in like fashion.”

Pastor Gale walks us through Kingdom economics by referring to ‘forgiveness as Kingdom currency’ to depict the sinner’s debt, the Savior’s cost, the generosity and joy of forgiveness bestowed upon His Church and the Church’s duty to extend forgiveness to others.

“…forgiveness is not found in mere confession of sin but in confession of Christ…”

In usual fashion, Pastor Gale provides colorful word illustrations through analogy and personal stories to equip us with practical applications for what it looks like to exhibit forgiveness in our daily lives.

Finding Forgiveness faithfully cautions us to avoid the sinful shackles of bitterness and the lure of worldly clichés.

“It is one thing for a jury to be instructed to disregard testimony in its deliberations. It is quite another for them to not be tainted by it. We can’t unring a bell. The language of Scripture is better expressed not as forgive and forget, but as forgive and not remember. We can’t flick a switch and forget, but we can work at not remembering.”

Throughout these pages we are reminded that Biblical forgiveness takes effort and obedience through faith in Christ. Contrary to the world’s estimation, forgiveness is not merely an end goal but rather the necessary foundation towards restoration.

“Like removing a splinter and cleansing out the wound, forgiveness sets the stage for healing and rebuilding.”

As with Why Must We Forgive?, Finding Forgiveness reminds us that forgiveness is not a guarantee of trust, induced naiveté, or a call to ignore tendencies. Neither is forgiveness a summons to be dismissive of, make excuses for or enable sin.

The final chapter is singularly devoted to the gentle and thorough expounding on the misconception of ‘forgiving ourselves’.

“But the Bible never speaks of forgiving ourselves. Not a word. Not a whisper. Not a hint. A document replete with teaching on forgiveness is silent, either by instruction or illustration, on the subject of forgiving ourselves.”

Finding Forgiveness is a Christ centered, Gospel saturated, enduring call …the enduring call to love God and love others as He has loved us.

“There is always more that could be said, new insight gleaned from the study of God’s Word, a fresh apprehension of the glorious gospel of grace. With the application of forgiveness in the healing of a burdened spirit or a broken relationship, the awe of the gospel dawns anew and presents a spectacle of beauty and certain hope of a better life to come for those who know and love Jesus Christ.”

Disclosure: This book was provided by Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my review.

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