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Summary: So just what is Jesus speaking about when He says, "...and forgive us our debts (transgressions)..." If properly prayed this statement changes how we approach God!

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Sermon Brief

Date Written: June 02, 2014

Date Preached: June 04, 2014

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: A Study on the Lord’s Prayer

Sermon Title: …and Forgive US Our Debts…(Sermon 9)

Sermon Text: Matthew 6:9-13 [HCSB]

Essence of the Text: Jesus wanted His disciples to know how to pray…

Essence of the Sermon: Jesus wants believers today to know how to pray…

Objective of the Sermon: Prayer is vital for the believer, but prayer is not so much in the words as it is in the attitude behind those words. This model prayer lays forth a template that guides the believer in the direction of their prayer and the attitude of their heart.

Introduction:

We have learned MANY things in the first 8 sermons based on this model prayer Jesus gave to His disciples and to US as believers today! We have learned how God is holy and MUST be honored as such, we have learned that the accomplishment of God’s Will begins with the individual believer, we have learned that we must learn to trust in God to provide all our needs and for us to trust in Him and lean on Him to do it!

But tonight I want us to look at the next phrase in this model prayer and it is “…and forgive us our debts…” There other translations of this phrase read, “…forgive us our trespasses [sins]…” which is a more generic term.

Tonight we are going to look at: “…and forgive us our debts…” In the model prayer, Jesus’ FIRST priority was to acknowledge God and His holiness and His sovereignty, but the 2nd priority of Jesus’ prayer is to focus on the human condition and what can be done about it…

The phrase we looked at last time deals with providing for our welfare and us trusting God to take care of us… This phrase deals with the forgiveness of trespasses or debts…

We find that forgiveness in this prayer is a major theme… so much so that Jesus takes the time to develop the theme of forgiveness in a much greater detail throughout His ministry!

The thoughts/concepts held by Jesus when He uttered to the words, “…forgive us our debts,” were much broader and wider than just what we can see in this prayer. We can see this in how the many translations have actually translated this Greek phrase…

Forgive us our trespasses…

Forgive us our shortcomings…

Forgive us what we owe you…

Forgive us our sins…

Forgive us our resentments…

Forgive us the wrong behavior we have done…

I believe many points stand out here in this phrase… and when we recognize these points it helps this prayer to become SO much more meaningful to us!

If we are going to sincerely pray, “Forgive us our debts OR trespasses…” then we are openly admitting that we have sin in our lives… that we are guilty of doing WRONG! I say that because MANY who say these words don’t see this as a confession of THEIR sin!

They don’t see themselves as sinners… as one owing a debt to God… as an offender of God’s holiness or being guilty before God. It also follows that until one is convinced of their guilt… that there is NO sense of a need for forgiveness! In other words, what do I need forgiveness for?

The irony here is that while people feel ‘innocent’ and we use these words or the attitude behind these words without truly seeing our guilt… then this prayer becomes nothing more than empty rhetoric and words coming from a self-satisfied soul!

This leads us to a 2nd concept that is revealed thru several questions we can ask of ourselves:

Why am I even coming to God in prayer if I don’t need His forgiveness?

Do I feel indebted to Him?

Do I sense in some way that I have trespassed against His holiness?

Am I of the belief I am FREE of any guilt in that area?

Am I conscious of wrongdoing, a wrong attitude, or a wrong motive in my life?

Unless I can answer yes to these questions… this prayer become a pointless exercise in repetative babble…

Now I don’t believe we need to morally whip ourselvses or brow beat our soul everyday, however is it also NOT spiritually healthy to casually overlook or ignore sin that is in our lives. We know that ALL thru Scripture God’s people are called to live lifes that seek to please and glorify God.

As believers, we are ‘new creatures’ in Christ and we are urged to leave our past behind and forge forward in the grace and forgiveness of God, but that cannot and NEVER should be done casually, but only with a disciplined spirit and a focused heart on giving God glory thru our lives!

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