Summary: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors:" When we think of forgiveness we usually think about who we have to forgive. Rarely do we remember that unforgiveness is a sin that we are committing when we refuse to forgive.
Please continue standing as we read what is most commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer”
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Over the last couple of weeks we have taken a look at the first half of this section of Scripture and we have found …
1) The Lord’s prayer, while actually a prayer, is also a pattern for prayer. When Jesus went out to pray for an entire night He didn’t just repeat this prayer over and over but if you look at His prayers recorded in Scripture you can see where different elements would fit in to almost all of these broad types of prayer.
“Our Father in heaven …”
2) We pray to God the Father in heaven and Him alone
“Our Father in heaven, holy is Your name!”
3) We come to Him in an attitude of humility, reverence and awe
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
4) The first priority on our prayer list, even the major emphasis of our very life, is His Kingdom and that He has chosen us to be the conduits of His Kingdom coming to earth as it is in Heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
5) We see that our provision for everything we need comes from God but part of His will be done is that we participate in the kingdom work of God on earth just as we will one day do in heaven!
God gives us life for another day - we get out of bed
God gives us work or school or other activities for another day - we do what He has given us to do
God provides pay for our labors - with that we buy food - in this way in His kingdom He provides our daily bread.
As a result of this we come into contact with those who do not know the joy of knowing Jesus and we get to share that great truth with them and hopefully many of them come to know Christ as their Savior as well! PTL!!
And, so, today we arrive at the next portion or phrase in the prayer which says
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Just as a side note; I had gotten use to using the word “trespasses” instead of “debts”. I checked 10 different translations to see if any of them said “trespasses” and none of them did.
The “trespass” wording comes from the 1549 Book of Common prayers which was based on the 1526 Tyndale Bible which says:
“And forgeve vs oure treaspases eve as we forgeve oure trespacers.”
Aren’t you glad that they’re not still putting THAT version in hotel rooms???
C. S. Lewis was right when he said,
"We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it."
Two little brothers, Harry and James, had finished supper and were playing until bedtime. Somehow, Harry hit James with a stick, and tears and bitter words followed. Charges and accusations were still being exchanged as mother prepared them for bed.
The mother instructed, "Now, James, before you go to bed, you're going to have to forgive your brother." James was thoughtful for a few moments, and then he replied, "Well, OK, I'll forgive him tonight, but if I don't die in the night, he'd better look out in the morning."
So, as we look at, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
This is NOT talking about financial debt but the spiritual debt owed to God and to the person we have sinned against. It would be just as accurate to say, “And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”
How do we know this? Jesus goes on, almost immediately to explain it further in verses 14-15 when He says,
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
This “debt” is “An offense, a trespass which requires the making of amends for wrong or injury done.”
This is NOT talking about taking out a loan and then asking permission not to pay it back. If these verses were actually talking about money they would be referring to stealing and the forgiveness that would be associate with such a sin.