TEXT: Matthew 6:9-13
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.
On yesterday, we began looking at the fourth essential part of The Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus tells us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” When we pray, we ought to confess our sins — even those things that we may not think of as serious sins. When we confess our sins, God promises to forgive us of them. However, there is something additional that we must do before we can regard our sins as forgiven: we must forgive those who have sinned against us. Our prayer is, “Forgive us our debts, AS WE forgive our debtors.”
The Greek word for ‘debt’ means something that is owed — a spiritual or moral debt owed to God, or in this case to the person praying and seeking forgiveness. In the parallel passage of the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke, a different Greek word — hamartia — is used which clearly indicates that the prayer is talking about sin and not financial obligations. We cannot go to God asking for forgiveness of our sins if we refuse to forgive those who have sinned against us. “Well,” you say, “So-and-so has not come to me asking for forgiveness.” That is not the point. God didn’t wait for us to come to Him asking for salvation before He decided to send Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for sin. We ought to forgive freely because we have been freely forgiven by God. We are commanded in Ephesians 4:32 to ‘forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’
The phrases, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” are dependent on each other. God will not forgive us if we do not forgive those who have sinned against us. John MacArthur said, “If we want to enjoy the benefits of God’s forgiveness toward us, we must be willing to forgive other believers, even those who repeatedly sin against us. Or we can express this final principle more directly, which is that God does not forgive those who do not forgive others.”
Early in his life, John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, was a missionary to the American colonies. He ministered in the area that would one day become the state of Georgia. There was a general by the name of Oglethorpe with whom Wesley had some dealings. General Oglethorpe was a great military leader, but he had a reputation as a harsh and brutal man. One day he said to John Wesley, “I never forgive.” And Wesley replied, “Then, sir, I hope you never sin.”
We all have sinned against God and others. The Bible makes that plain. Our life experiences also make plain that others have sinned against us. There is a remedy for this undesirable part of the human condition — prayer to God and forgiveness of others. Let us be quick to forgive, quick to confess, and quick to pray: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Robert E. Smith wrote:
Remember Christ, our Savior
Who paid the debts you owed
To God the heavenly Father
And to you mercy showed.
When others sin against you
Be ready to forgive.
Since you have been forgiven
With them in peace now live.
O Father, Son, and Spirit,
O Patient Trinity,
Who lifts from us sin’s burden
And from its debt sets free.
Grant us the will to pardon
All those who us offend
That we might enter heaven
With them when ages end.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.