July 30, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9 through 13:
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your
name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the
evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever.
Let’s continue to investigate the meaning of verse 12: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” We have seen in Monday’s blog that if indeed we have eternal security, then our being forgiven by God is not conditional on our forgiving others! Forgiving others is really the result of understanding how much God has forgiven us through the work of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who took our sins upon Himself on Calvary’s cross, and robes us with His own righteousness when we come to Him in faith believing!
There are in the Bible several passages that shed light on this phrase, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Here are three:
First – Luke 7:36 through 50 is the account of Jesus dining with the Pharisee Simon at Simon’s house. The dinner must have taken place in the open courtyard of the house because a sinful woman – perhaps a prostitute – came in uninvited from the street and anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil after washing them with her tears and drying them with her long hair. The Lord used this incident to teach Simon – and us – about forgiveness. In verses 44 through 47 Jesus said to Simon:
Do you See this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My
feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair
of her head. You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My
feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this wo-
man has anointed my feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, Her sins,
which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is for-
given, the same loves little.
It is not that Jesus forgives some people just a little, and others a lot! John wrote in I John 2:2, “[Jesus]…Himself is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” He paid fully for all our sins – everyone’s sins! What makes the difference is how we perceive ourselves as sinners before God! Simon was self righteous, and so he did not think of himself as a gross sinner – as in his mind this ‘sinful’ woman was! So he did not have much love for God because in his self-righteous opinion he had hardly ever sinned!
I talked with a young man three weeks ago. I asked him if he had ever sinned. He told me, “Oh, a few times when I was younger.” I then showed him God’s standard of holiness as Jesus gave it in Matthew 5:48: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Be as perfect as God! That’s God’s standard – and who can live up to such a holy standard? We are all sinners to – as some might put it – to the nth degree! Paul wrote about this in Romans 3:10 and 23: “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ ” By the way, my young friend mentioned above began to understand his need before God and prayed for Jesus to come into his life to be his Savior.
If you understand how great a sinner you are – if you realize Jesus paid for your multitude of sins – then you will love the Savior “…with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). And if you have accepted that immense forgiveness into your own life, you will be willing to forgive others their offences against you!
This idea of “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…” is so important, we will explore it in at least one more blog on Friday.