Matthew 6:9 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.”
We look at the verse 12 petition today, “Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who sin against us).” Remember that Jesus is teaching believers to pray. Believers have had all their sins forgiven for all time as far as eternal salvation goes. Jesus’ death on the cross would pay for all believers’ sin once and for all. John 19:30 states this, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said,
‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” “It is finished” is better translated,
“It is paid.” Jesus paid the penalty for all believers’ sin on the cross. Jesus told Peter this 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/her heavenly Father, not 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 don’t 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 won’t 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.)
When you ask God to forgive your sin that broke your fellowship with Him just as you have forgiven those who asked you for forgiveness, will fellowship with God be restored? Or will you feel the pain of unrestored fellowship with God and be reminded of your need to forgive someone from the heart who has asked for your forgiveness?
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ