jump to navigation

Forgive as You Would Be Forgiven: A Lofty Goal February 23, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Religion.
Tags: , , , ,
trackback

Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray. The prayer template that he gave them, although often called “The Lord’s Prayer” was only his by way of authorship. He in no way ever prayed this prayer nor was it meant for him. Also, the model prayer was never meant to be a rote repetition as some have made it. Jesus said, in essence, pray LIKE this or “after this wise” and not “repeat this prayer word for word”. The Lord’s Prayer is meant to be a model and an example.
One of the most important aspects of the Christian life that the prayer models is forgiveness. The model prayer not only stresses forgiveness for the Christian but forgiveness BY the Christian and that is a much harder subject. Hopefully a short scripture study will let us see exactly what God expects from us as far as forgiveness is concerned. Let’s start with the ultimate authority on Christian doctrine, Christ himself, and see what he expects.

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 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.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

The meaning seems pretty clear. Forgiveness for the Christian’s sins may only be attained if we are also forgiving. We know this is meant for Christians because no lost person can pray this prayer. They are not His children and can not say “Our Father”. Verses 14 and 15 are very direct. If you wish to be forgiven then you must forgive.

How much must we be willing to forgive? Just as verse 12 tells us, we are forgiven as we forgive. Peter tried to put a label on it when he asked how often we should forgive…

 

Matthew 18
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

 

There is no minimum daily requirement for our forgiveness. We must forgive even as God forgives. Now think about that for a moment. God forgives the Christian anything and everything. He would forgive those who nailed his only son to the cross had they asked for it. He would forgive Hitler for the Holocaust. His mercy knows no limits. He knows the sins of every Christian, both past and future, and they are all covered under the blood of Christ. Now ask yourself again, what am I expected to forgive against me and my family? The answer is “EVERYTHING”. No transgression, no matter how large, should be held against someone who honestly comes to you asking forgiveness.

 

Luke 17

3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

 

What was the response to this doctrine? The apostles threw in the towel. They knew it was impossible without help from above. Most of the Christian life is impossible to live without Christ but this one aspect is doubly so. We CAN NOT forgive as we are expected to without the power of Christ in our hearts. The story has been told of a pastor whose son was killed by a drunk driver going to that man’s hospital bed to witness to him in the hopes that he might be saved. THAT is the kind of forgiveness that is expected of us. It goes against every fiber of human nature. Without Christ it would be impossible and yet we can do all things through him. Join me in prayer for that kind of heart that forgives without ceasing.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. nelda flanagan - March 8, 2013

Wonderful lesson, Deep thought. Only Christ can do this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: