To Be Forgiven, We Must Forgive

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
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 Interestingly, the request “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,” is the only part of the model prayer that Jesus commented on. After concluding the prayer, he added: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14, 15) Thus, Jesus made it very clear that our being forgiven by Jehovah is contingent on our being willing to forgive others.—Mark 11:25.

 On another occasion, Jesus gave an illustration showing the need for us to be forgiving if we expect Jehovah to forgive us. He told of a king who generously canceled an enormous debt that a slave had incurred. The king later severely punished this same man when he refused to cancel the incomparably smaller debt of a fellow slave. Jesus concluded his illustration by saying: “In like manner my heavenly Father will also deal with you if you do not forgive each one his brother from your hearts.” (Matthew 18:23-35) The lesson is clear: The debt of sin that Jehovah has forgiven each of us is immeasurably greater than any transgression anyone may have committed against us. What is more, Jehovah forgives us daily. Surely, then, we can forgive the occasional offense others commit against us.

The apostle Paul wrote: “Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Mutual forgiveness makes for peace among Christians. Paul further urged: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering. Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also. But, besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” (Colossians 3:12-14) All of this is implied in the prayer Jesus taught us: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

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~ by DJ Camstar on 22/02/2015.

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