Should I forgive my brother if he refuses to repent?

In light of Matthew 18:21-22 and Luke 17:3, 4, is a Christian bound to forgive another Christian only if he repents?

Every offended Christian ought to be willing to forgive another Christian whether or not the offender repents. God loves to forgive. Being followers of God (Ephesians 5:1), we ought to be ready to forgive, too. Psalm 86:5 states, "For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive."

An unforgiving spirit produces bitterness and ruins Christian life. The apostle Paul exhorted, "Let all bitterness ... be put away from you...: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31, 32).

When a believer recognizes that he has offended another, he should attempt to restore the enjoyment of fellowship with his offended brother. Sometimes, however, a Christian may not even be aware or feel - that he has offended another. In such a case, a spirit of forgiveness on the part of the Christian who has been hurt will enable him to lay aside the hurt without ever raising the matter. Love "thinketh no evil" (1 Corinthians 13:5) means love keeps no record of evil; thus, Christian love will lay a matter to rest - and forget it - without raising the issue or demanding repentance (1 Peter 4:8).

J. Beattie