To forgive is to send away that for which there was a breach in the relationship.
When a person confesses their sin to us, we are to remove the offense from the relationship and receive the person back into our society. Clearly then, only the one who was offended can extend forgiveness and reinstate the offender in the relationship.
The Bible makes it clear that forgiveness is a possibility and is to be extended when the party who has committed the offense has repented.
In 1 John1:9, it tells us that when we confess our sins the Lord will forgive us. We, in like manner are told to forgive those who sin against us when they repent.
Luke 17:3 says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” The sequence then is fourfold. 1. An offense is committed. 2. A rebuke is given by the offended party. 3. The offender repents. 4. The offended person extends forgiveness.