The reason that I have referred to forgiveness as a “two-way street” is because of the importance of recognizing the TWO parts of forgiveness…God’s Part, and then our part. So often people are good at one part but not so much the other part.
For example, I see, hear, and read information from sources that do an absolutely amazing job laying out for us all of the wonderful aspects of the Grace and Forgiveness that God has extended to us. They talk about what Jesus did on the Cross for us, Jesus’ Position with His Father, how the Work of the Cross is a “Finished Work”. How Jesus took the power of death, hell, and the grave for us so that we could experience His Life! I love it! Absolutely LOVE it, that Jesus would do that for us, and that His Father would even send Him for that Purpose! Just meditating on the depth of the Love and Forgiveness of God is enough to cause the worst of us (that would be ME) to fall in love with the Savior all over again!
Then there are those who point out our NEED for the Savior. They seem to have a gift for lovingly pointing out how needy we actually are without Him, and that we need to examine our hearts daily in order to walk closely with Him. That when we “mess up”, His Blood is applied to our lives to deal with that issue, but that we need to be consciously AWARE that His Forgiveness is available for each issue, every time.
I rarely see a balance between each of these approaches, but BOTH are valid and need to be applied to our lives! There has recently been a pitting of the “Hyper-grace” group against the “sin conscienceless” group. This is usually how satan not only divides the Church, but then causes us as individuals to fall into one ditch or the other. Thank God for the Cross, because it’s the Cross that brings a balance to both sides of this issue. Meditating on the Work that Jesus did at the Cross causes us to be deeply convicted of our sin, and at the same time overwhelmed by the GRACE of God! Thank God for the CROSS!