Hearing His Voice Today
Forgiven and Forgiving
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Matthew 6:12, 14-15 (KJV)
- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
- For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
- But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiven and Forgiving
Matthew 6:12, 14-15
The King James uses the word "debts" to translate ophelema, one of five New Testament
terms for sin. Jesus is not referring to monetary debts, but moral or spiritual trespasses. This
word is used 30 times in the N.T. and always refers to sin against God or man. This verse could
be translated, "Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive those who sin against us." This
portion of the prayer is extremely important for two reasons:
It would be good to remember a couple of things by way of introduction:
- Jesus comments on it in verses 14-15. It is the only portion of the prayer on which he
- There are people in this room whose lives are being wrecked by a lack of forgiveness.
- Jesus is speaking to Christians. He is conversing to those who can pray "Our
Father . . ."
- Jesus is not showing how to be forgiven. The basis of our forgiveness is the work
He is not saying, "Forgive us our sins, because we forgive others who sin against
- Jesus Is Saying the Mark of God's Forgiveness of Me Is My Willingness to Forgive
If there is anyone you are stubbornly refusing to forgive because of a sin against you -- be
The parable in Matthew 18:23-35 amplifies the teaching of Jesus concerning the forgiven
- Just because someone says "I'm a Christian" doesn't mean he is one. He said,
"Lord" (v.26). Bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment are evidences of a lost soul.
The lost pay for their sins in hell -- fully. "So likewise shall those who forgive not their
- If God has forgiven me of such a huge debt, why can't I be willing to forgive
- Jesus Is Also Saying The Model Of God's Forgiveness of Me Is to Be Followed In
To understand the teaching of forgiveness in these three verses, it will be necessary to
distinguish between the spirit of forgiveness and the act of forgiveness. Both are
mandated in Scripture, but should not be confused. The spirit of forgiveness is one of love,
acceptance and selfishness and it is the opposite of bitterness, resentment. The act of
forgiveness is the removal of any punishment due to the sinful actions of another. Forgiveness
in Greek is the compound word aphiemi which means, "to send away from."
How did God forgive me? Follow His example in forgiving you as you forgive those
- God first had the spirit of forgiveness . . . "Thou art a God of frogiveness,
gracious and compassionate slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness" (Nehemiah
- He considered me lovingly . . . "I have loved thee with an everlasting
love" (Jeremiah 31:3).
Love always seeks the welfare of the one being loved and will act accordingly. (John 3:16).
- He confronted me honestly . . . "It was impossible for God to lie"
The Holy Spirit confronted me with my sin and rebellion toward God --- using the Truth.
- He corrected me gently . . . "It is God who works in you, both to will
and to do His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). God, at work in me changed me and saved
- He comforted me graciously . . . "He shall give you another
Comforter" (John 14:16).
All of the above was in the heart of God for me --- an offender and rebel of the Most High.
- Then came the act of forgiveness . . . "I will remember your sins no
more" (Isaiah 43:25).
Remember, the act of forgiveness is only given after confession and repentance. (Luke
The spirit of forgiveness ALWAYS is to always remain in the hearts of God's people.
Whereas we sometimes fail in leading others to repentance of their sin, God never fails.
Do you have this spirit of forgiveness? Do you grant forgiveness to broken sinners?