Gain a fresh perspective on forgiveness

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

“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” (Matthew 6:9-12).

IDEA: Sin is a debt owed to God.

PURPOSE: To help listeners understand that sins resemble debts to be paid.

When we ask in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our debts,” what do you think we are asking for?

I. When we confess sin, we admit that we have not done what God required us to do.

Ultimately all sin is against God (Psalm 51): David sinned against Uriah and with Bathsheba, but he confesses, “Against you and you only have I sinned?” Why?

Why do we ask our Father to forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors?

What does the admonition mean, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15)?

There is a twofold foundation for the relationship which exists between God and His people: one is given in the Law and the other is in the covenant which God has made with His people.

In the first case, sin is lawlessness.

In the second case, sin is unfaithfulness.

II. God has forgiven us an enormous debt that we could never pay, and that overshadows all of our relationships with people who owe us a debt (Matthew 18:21-35).

If we are part of a forgiven community, it follows that we are also part of a forgiving community.