Like in the Old Testament, there are 3 words for forgiveness in the New Testament. These terms suggest that forgiveness is granted based upon human repentance.
Eph. 4:32 says: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” How did Christ forgive you? He forgave you when you repented for your sins! I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When someone truly repents for his/her sins, then the great news is that there is NO LIMIT to forgiveness according to Matthew 18:20. We are to forgive repentant sinners just as God forgives us LIMITLESSLY in Christ. We are not to withhold forgiveness from a repentant offender no matter how many times we are sinned against and asked for forgiveness!
Repentance and forgiveness go together! They are inseparable! They are essential to reconciliation whether it is reconciliation between God and mankind OR between two people. It is limitless in Christ.
-Mark (reconciled to God only by His grace)