Chris Brauns in Unpacking Forgiveness: biblical answers for complex questions and deep wounds is helpful in defining this so often grossly misunderstood truth.
He defines forgiveness as “a commitment by the one true God to pardon graciously those who repent and believe so that they are reconciled to him although this commitment does not eliminate all consequences” (51).
He then “exegetes” this definition with the following explanation:
God’s forgiveness is gracious. He offers forgiveness freely. This is not because forgiveness is free in terms of cost. It is a very expensive gift that can be offered freely because, motivated by love, God send his one and only Son to pay the price for it.
God’s forgiveness is a commitment. When God forgives us, he makes a commitment that we are pardoned from our sin and that is no longer counted against us.
God’s forgiveness is conditional. Only those who repent and have saving faith are forgiven.
God’s forgiveness lays the groundwork for and begins the process of reconciliation. When God forgives us, our relationships with him is restored.
Not all consequences are immediately eliminated. God disciplines his children as a father disciplines his children (Proverbs 3:12) (51).
If you’re looking for a book to encourage and challenge you in not only understanding forgiveness but also how to biblically manifest forgiveness in your life then I’d highly recommend this book.