“Seek for God’s forgiveness with an open heart towards others”
Vs.12 says, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”.
Two principles could be drawn from this:
- Mankind is indebted to God
When Jesus teaches his disciples how they are to come before God / what should be contained in their prayers as they come to God, he teaches that we are to ask for God’s forgiveness…..’ forgive us our debts’.
Someone may ask, “What debts do we have? What do we owe God?”
Someone might say,”Hey, God is the one who owes me, I was taught that if I give God the money then God owes a 100 fold of what I gave him”.
What do you mean when you say, “I am the one who owes God?”.
Well it’s not what I am saying but it’s what Jesus says. To Jesus it’s a given that you need forgiveness for your sins…..though it may not be obvious initially when we are born….
We seem so innocent, but then give us a few more months, that inbuilt nature that wants its own way starts kicking in…..
You feed her something and she throws it back at you……
Funny, I observed this at our pre-school, the teachers promised the kids sweets after their finish eating their fruits……
A 2 year old, picked up her fruits and flung it at the teacher and cried in demand for the sweets…..sinful.
As David once said, “Sinful from the time my mother conceived me”. (Psalm 51:5)
Sooner or later we need to accept that we are stubborn, we want things our way…..we want to rule and take control of our lives.
To Jesus, this is nothing new, you are a sinner…..you have failed your Father in heaven…….plead for his mercy, plead for his forgiveness.
To be a sinner means that you miss the mark…..you miss the direction….
God’s direction for mankind is that we would live under God in full submission, but the issue is that we have failed as from the time Adam and Eve ate the forbidden tree…..up to today.
We are failing to fully submit to God’s will and purpose and commandments…..
In fact, we are dismally failing……
If a child was given an exam and a pass mark was 100%, ie a child needs to get 100 out of 100….
But then a child gets 99%….you would say – he failed but that was close….
If a child gets 39% that is when you would say, that is dismally, miserably failed…..
And the bible presents mankind as a dismal failure in regard to God’s commands….
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Here Paul doesn’t give the quantitative nature of falling short….
But come with me to Romans 3:9ff…..
Here Paul drives the point home and cites an OT text (Psalm 14:1-3), and reiterates it – ‘None is righteous…..not even one’
In Romans, Paul is clear that both the Jews and the non-Jews are in trouble…..none whatsoever can stand before God and plead for a full pass mark…..
Look at these words that he uses which shows how serious we have and continue to fail before God….
Here they are:
Rom 3:Vs.12 – worthless (good for nothing)
Rom 3:Vs.13 “Their throat is an open grave” (what comes through their mouths is death only)
“The venom of asps is under their lips”, what comes from their lips is gevaarlik, danger only.
Rom 3:Vs.14 “their mouth is full of curses and bitterness”
Rom 3:Vs.15 “their feet are swift to shed blood”
Rom3:Vs.18 “there is no fear of God before their eyes”
Now this is a description, just in case anybody missed it – look again at Rom 3:vs.9b “For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.”
Now when Jesus says cry out, “Forgive us our sins”, Jesus understands how bad the situation is.
He understands how far we have fallen from where we supposed to be ……
A throat that is an open grave……
Not only does he know how bad we have fallen, Jesus also knows how terrible the consequences will be……
Jesus led his servant John to write about the consequences of sin in Revelation 20:11-15.
“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
That is how serious sin is. Today an opportunity for one to be forgiven and hence have his name written in the Book of Life still exists…..
Hence Jesus says cry out to God……”Forgive us our debts”.
Have you? Are your sins forgiven? Is your name written in the Book of Life? If it’s not, I fear for you…..
Today Jesus pleads with us, cry out to God “forgive us our debts”, but, and there is a big BUT here, you must be willing to give to others what you are seeking from God.
- Mankind must seek from God that which others receive from them
As we have forgiven those who sin against us…..
Forgiving, means not holding others debts against them……you free them from whatever they may have done to you…..
Whether they ask you or not – it is imperative that you do forgive……
Other people may not even get a chance to ask you to forgive them…….but you must forgive…..
Your forgiveness is driven by God’s forgiveness of you……and not because he or she has asked for your forgiveness…..
In fact, Isaiah 58 is God’s pleading with Israel that if they are looking for God to come to their aid and rescue them from their enemies, they too must be found to be doing to others what they are seeking.
Forgiveness: We cannot survive in the Kingdom with it…..we cannot be children of the kingdom unless we come to God as sincere as possible and plead for our sins……
But remember to treat others as you would want God to treat you.