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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary


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Specifically, a refraining from the enforcement of a punishment; generally, a synonym for patience. Forbearance makes it possible to influence a ruler (Proverbs 25:15 NAS; patience NIV, NRSV; patient persuasion TEV). Jeremiah prayed that God not take him way in His forbearance ( Proverbs 15:15 NRSV), that is, that God not be so patient with Jeremiah's enemies as to allow them to destroy him. In Romans 2:4; Romans 3:25 forbearance refers to God's patience expressed in God's willingness to hold back judgment for a time. God's forbearance does not mean that God condones sin, but that God gives opportunity for repentance. God is able to maintain God's reputation as a righteous judge in spite of God's overlooking the past sins of Israel and the present sins of those who place faith in Christ ( Romans 3:26 ), because the cross was an effective sacrifice of atonement. God's forbearance is an opportunity for salvation (2 Peter 3:15 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Forbearance'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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