"Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Today our focus is on, “Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who sin against us).” Remember, Jesus is teaching believers how to pray.
Believers have had all their sins forgiven for all time, eternal salvation. Jesus’ death on the cross paid for all believers’ sin once and for all. John 19:30 states, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” The phrase, "It is finished” is better translated, “It is paid.” Jesus paid the penalty for all believers’ sin on the cross.
Jesus told Peter in John 13:9-10, “Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean.” Jesus’ teaching on prayer concerns a believer’s fellowship with his or her heavenly Father. It is not referring to freedom from the penalty of sin, the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).
We are to ask our heavenly Father to forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Forgiveness restores people to fellowship with one another and with God. If we are not in right fellowship with God because we have unforgiven sin in our life, then we do not experience God’s love, joy and peace. When we do not forgive a person who sinned against us and asked for forgiveness, then our relationship with that person is not characterized by love, joy, and peace.
If we will not forgive another person and restore a right relationship with that person, then God is not going to let us enjoy a right relationship with Himself.
When we feel the pain unforgiveness causes in our relationship with God, it wakes us up to our need to forgive people who have asked us to forgive them. Matthew 18:21-35 is worth reading concerning forgiveness. Jesus gives us a real life example of our need to forgive from the heart.
Paul calls the Ephesian Christians to restore relationships by forgiving one another just as God in Christ Jesus forgave them (Ephesians 4:32). Jesus commanded us to forgive each other (Luke 17:3-4). Forgiveness restores damaged relationships between God and people and between people and people (friends, family, work associates, etc.)
Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
Questions for reflection: