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Summary:

(Matthew 6:9-15 (quickview)  NASB) "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. {10} 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. {11} 'Give us this day our daily bread. {12} 'AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE ALSO HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS. {13} 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.'

Recent events in my life have reminded me of the need I have to be forgiving and to be forgiven by those around me. So for my sake and yours I would like to look again at what Jesus says on the subject in the Lord's prayer. Jesus teaches us to pray, "Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors."

The word debts as used in the KJ and NASB versions of the Lord's prayer is defined in the Strong's Concordance like this; DEBTOR, sinner, 1) one who owes another, 1a) one held by some obligation, bound by some duty 1b) one who has not yet made amends to one he has injured: 1b1) one who owes God penalty or one from whom God can demand punishment as something due, i.e. a sinner. 3781 opheiletes of-i-let'-ace} from 3784; TDNT - 5:565,746;

The word TRESPASS, used in some versions of the prayer, is defined by Strong as meaning: offense, sin, fall, fault, 1) to fall beside or near something 2) a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness 2a) a sin, misdeed. 3900 paraptoma {par-ap'-to-mah} from 3895;

The word we have chosen to use in our corporate recitals of the Prayer is "SIN". "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Strong's definition of this word is not unexpected. SIN 172, sinful 1, offense, 1b) to miss the mark 1 (quickview) c) to err, be mistaken 1d) to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong 1e) to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin 2) that which is done wrong, sin, an offense, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act 3 (quickview) ) collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many. 266 hamartia {ham-err-tee'-ash from 264. Sin is that which puts us in debt to God or other people, and, all sins are trespasses or deviations from the way of righteousness and truth. Therefore, we are to pray each day and perhaps many times during the day, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

The first thing critical to understanding our text is to remember that Christ is speaking to Christians. It was Christian men who made the request, "Lord teach us to pray", (Luke 11:1 (quickview) ), and, it is to Christian men that Jesus spoke these words. "Pray then in this way, "Forgive us our debts, sins, trespasses, as we forgive our debtors." Therefore, we must conclude that Christians sin. On a daily we are indebted to God and to men because we sin against them both.

Some might think that all Christians understand this truth, but that is not so. Some believe they do not sin at all. Therefore, confession of sin is not necessary. Others believe that since they have been washed and cleansed by the blood of Christ that they needn't deal with sin ever again. Jesus, however, tells us to pray for forgiveness every day. Consider with me the words of I John 1:8 (quickview)  and following.


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