Summary: We must shew forth mercy if we hope to obtain mercy.
Unmerciful and Unforgiven
During Christ's sermon on the mount a number of key character traits were addressed. He makes a point to deal with commitment, character, and conduct. Each are of dire importance as building blocks in the life of a Christian. He deals with mercy and forgiveness during this discourse as well. Christ makes it quite clear that if we show no mercy and offer no forgiveness we shall not obtain any of these commodities either.
Jesus uses the word trespass instead of sin or debt here. The word trespass comes from the Greek word; paraptomah. This word means in the original context; a slip, lapse of thought, unintentional error, willful transgression, fault, offense or sin. The use of a word with such a variety of meaning and depth implies His desire for all men to be possessed of a forgiving nature.
Forgiveness afeaymee(Greek) to send forth, forgive, lay aside, leave alone, omit, put away, remit, suffer, or yield up
No controversy can remain then that we must forgive our fellow man.
To be a true Christian, to mirror Christ to a lost world means more than adhering to rules of church guidelines. To adopt the nature of Christ is more important than any rule necessary to be in church leadership. To reciprocate the love of God to humanity through our very conduct and character. To claim as most of us do, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. He is the agent by which God's love is distributed to the world.
St. John 13:35
In order to obtain mercy and find forgiveness for our own sins against man and God, we must show mercy and forgiveness to others. These are the very attributes that personify Christ. If we are to be taken serious enough by our society to merit their respect and interest in salvation; we must mirror the personage of Christ to them. Christians who hope to find God's unconditional forgiveness and mercy must in turn let that be their watchword to their fellows.
The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven upon the earth beneath. It is twice blessed. It blesses him who gives and him who takes. Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. It is an attribute of God himself. An earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice. Though justice be thy plea, consider this, that in the course of justice, none should have seen salvation. We do pray for mercy, and that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy. Why all the souls that were forfeit once. And he whom might the vantage best have took found out the remedy. How would you be if he who is at the top of judgment should but judge you as you are. O think that mercy then will breathe within your lips; like a man new made. How shalt thou find mercy rendering none?