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Grace and Forgiveness Book Review (a Powerful Key to Your Freedom and Healing)

Grace and Forgiveness by John and Carol Arnott is a religious, educational book detailing the importance of forgiveness in Christian living. It also talks about the role of God’s grace in our lives and how Christians hinder the same through unforgiveness. The authors, John and Carol Arnott are well established in the ministry of renewal through their teachings on God’s life-changing love and grace. More specifically, John Arnott went to Ontario Bible College, after which he opened his first church, Jubilee Christian Fellowship, in Stratford, Ontario, in 1981 with his wife Carol (Arnott). Since then, they have established themselves as international speakers, teachers, preachers, and authors, having written several books, including Making Life Healing ChangesA Powerful Key to Your Liberation and Recovery and The Importance of Forgiveness. Through the book Grace and Forgiveness, one can learn to be more forgiving of others and themselves to welcome God’s grace into their lives and be better-positioned to portray grace to others.

Book Analysis

Spiritual Healing

One of the main themes in Grace and Forgiveness is spiritual healing resulting from forgiveness. Forgiveness involves finding peace with the past and changing the emotions and feelings around a hurtful memory (Gnirs). Often, individuals focus on asking God for Forgiveness for their sins while neglecting to forgive those who have wronged them (Gnirs). In so doing, individuals harbour resentment and hurt, contrary to God’s command that Christians forgive others as he forgives them. They are also more likely to become bitter and angry towards innocent persons around them (Confronting Unforgiveness and Bitterness). Grace and forgiveness emphasize the importance of forgiveness in promoting the spiritual well-being of individuals since they no longer harbour negative feelings that can prevent them from thoroughly enjoying love for God and their neighbours. This claim is similar to Making Life Healing Changes’ recommendations on the role of forgiveness in spiritual healing and subsequent physical and mental well-being. Moreover, research shows that spiritual healing is a form of complementary and alternative medicine in healthcare (Rafii et al.). Therefore, the link between forgiveness, spiritual well-being and an individual’s overall health is evident and why hospitals increasingly recognize the value of spiritual wellness and self-healing in healthcare.

Grace in Christian Living

Another central theme in Grace and Forgiveness is the role of grace in Christian living. Grace is commonly defined as undeserved favour and the power of living (Piper). Grace and forgiveness talks about God’s gift of grace despite our misdeeds through his forgiveness and mercy, which encourages the reader to be merciful to others as a way of letting God work through them. Grace as undeserved favour can be demonstrated in Romans 11:5-6: “At present, there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace” (Piper). This scripture emphasizes how individuals do not have to labour for grace, for it is inherent of God to bestow it on his children even if they sin or condemn themselves to be unworthy. Furthermore, grace as a power of living refers to God’s work in people’s lives as illustrated in 2 Corinthians 9:8 “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (Piper). Grace is, therefore, a gift that we cannot merit or deserve.

Forgiveness and Grace

As mentioned earlier, grace and forgiveness are inherently linked to Christian principles of living. Christians must practice forgiveness for others by letting go of negative feelings and resentment as part of God’s will. Grace and forgiveness claim that failure to forgive others is a sin that blocks God’s grace in one’s life. The book goes into great detail about forgiveness serving as a link and connector between grace and mercy. It continues to say that no matter how justified we may feel in withholding forgiveness from those who have wronged us, doing so will only obstruct the flow of God’s grace into our lives. If we only plant one seed, the harvest will be awful! We anticipate that one seed to produce will make many kernels. God’s law states that planting seeds of love, joy, generosity, benevolence, compassion, forbearance, and mercy will result in a plentiful harvest of those things. However, if we plant seeds of resentment, we will likewise harvest those things with an intensifying level of resentment, like a bumper crop of weeds.

However, John and Carol Arnott’s argument that lack of forgiveness for others blocks God’s grace and mercy in our lives contradicts the teachings that grace is guaranteed and underserved despite human actions. The book implies that individuals must constantly work to be worthy of God’s grace which is different from the scriptures. Nonetheless, I acknowledge that Christianity requires responsibility and obedience whereby Christians have to follow commands, such as the need to obey and be merciful to others as a way of acting Christ-like.

Christians must actively strive to forgive and uphold other teachings, no matter how difficult. No amount of good acts will save them when it comes to their salvation. Nothing they do is sufficient on its own. According to John 3: 16 and Romans 5:8, Jesus Christ’s blood and sacrifice provide us with his grace and mercy, and his death on the cross created a pathway for mercy and escaped sin’s effects. Through his salvation, we receive the grace of life in Christ, including eternity with him and the mercy of our sins forgiven. Mathew 6: 14-15 states that” If you forgive others’ trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Bible Study Tools). This scripture sums up John, and Carol Arnott’s claim that withholding forgiveness is disobedience to God’s will and those that do so will also not face God’s mercies.

Freedom and Liberation

Overall, Grace and Forgiveness teaches the importance of forgiveness, grace and mercy in fostering spiritual freedom and liberation. A heavy heart ridden with resentment for people who have wronged you tends to weigh on an individual’s spiritual and mental well-being. The burden of holding a grudge can cause mental stress, which has been associated with physical distress (Mee et al.). Forgiveness is, therefore, an act of personal care meant to benefit the wronged person even more than the person to be forgiven (Piper). Yet, most of us operate on a three-strike rule basis, depending on the offence’s seriousness. Our instinct is to shield ourselves from harm and to successfully block them off, which drastically limits or cripples our blessing. Holding on to a lack of forgiveness in our life has the opposite effect; it short-circuits and prevents the blessing of God from flowing and is perhaps the number one grace blocker in a person’s spiritual life.

A Powerful Key to your Liberation and Recovery by John and Carol Arnott offers a distinctive viewpoint on the interactions between Christians who choose to forgive and those who select the path of a lack of forgiveness. Christians who choose not to forgive cannot mature in their Christianity or bear fruit in their career, families and self-development (“Trap of Unforgiveness”). “Trap of Unforgiveness” notes that Christians may fail to forgive others for several reasons, including; stubbornness, societal pressure and the need for revenge. However, holding a grudge only inhibits a Christian’s ability to progress beyond the hurt (Lawrence). Hebrews 12:15 warns, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Richison). Christians are thus expected to forgive and constantly search for themselves to be spiritually free from the sin of unforgiveness and bitterness. On the other hand, Christians who are quick to forgive, given that fellow humans are imperfect and will inherently hurt or cause you to harm either intentionally or unintentionally, are more likely to grow and be forgiven when they repent.


The importance of forgiveness in attracting God’s grace and mercy over our lives is a lesson no reader should miss. John and Carol Arnott adequately take the reader through the role of Forgiveness in Christianity and how it impacts their ability to grow or get stuck in the past. The book lines up with numerous studies on the topic and the scriptures, indicating that they are well-versed in the content they minister to their followers. I enjoyed the book and will strive to practice forgiveness and grace as crucial principles of my Christian living. Overall, Grace and Forgiveness is a well-written invitation to do better as Christians with emphasis on the fact that we are loved and in God’s mercies regardless.

Works Cited

Arnott, J. Importance of Forgiveness. Sovereign World,

Bible Study Tools. “Matthew 6:14-15 – For if You Forgive Other People when They Sin Agai…”, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Confronting Unforgiveness and Bitterness.

Gnirs, D. S. “The spiritual life: Finding healing through forgiving.” Catechetical Review, 2015,

Lawrence, C. “The Self-Destructive Sin of Unforgiveness.” AG Aviation’s Magazine, 23 Feb. 2021,,(Hebrews%2012%3A15).

Mee, S., et al. “Psychological pain: A Review of Evidence.” Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2007,

Piper, J. “What is Grace.” Desiring God, 2020,

Rafii, F. et al. “Explaining the Process of Spiritual healing of Critically-ill Patients: A Grounded Theory Study.” Ethiopian Journal of Health Science, 2020,

Richison, G. C. “Hebrews 12:15.” Verse by Verse Commentary, 22 Nov. 2019,

The Trap of Unforgiveness.


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