This is the second part of a series of post that will be on forgiveness and how important, not just important, but vital it is for all Christians to have a clear understanding of the teaching. I am hoping that it helps you as much as it has helped me.
Forgiveness Part 2
I understood why my spiritual eyes had to be opened and forgiveness for my sins was so important.
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18
I needed desperately to be brought out of the darkness that Satan had me in. Without the light of understanding I was constantly going the wrong way, stumbling, getting up and starting again; only to start in the wrong direction once more. I realized the wisdom of the Scripture:
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18
Step by step through the study of His Word, God is doing what He said He would do. He is leading me in the paths of righteousness. Giving me the light I need for the path I am on at this time.
I have wondered and questioned God many times why I am not able to see all that I feel that I should see. He answered that question by reminding me that when the children of Israel were crossing the wilderness, the pillar of fire at night (in the darkness) did not light up the entire desert, only the part they the part of the desert they were traveling on at the time.
As I grow in His Word, I begin to see things that I have not seen before, even though I had read and even memorized many of the verses. One of those scriptures is the familiar passage of what has been called: The Lord’s prayer”.
It is found in Matthew 6 and again in Luke 11. In verse 12 of Matthew 6 Jesus himself tells me to ask God to forgive my debts (sin), as I forgive my debtors (those who sin against me). Jesus is saying that I am to ask God to treat me in the same way when I sin against Him, that I treat those who do me wrong, or sin against me.
If you read the same passage in Luke 11, it is translated that I am asking God to forgive me of my sin for (because) I have forgiven everyone who is indebted to me (that means whether they said they were sorry or not!)
Because Luke wrote it in the present tense, using the verb ‘is’ instead of ‘has’, Luke is quoting Jesus as saying, "And forgive us our sins; (why?) for we also forgive everyone that is sinning against us.” The ‘why’ in italics is mine.
That was an eye opener! Why is my forgiving those who hurt me that important to God? Because after I become a child of His, the forgiveness I receive from Him depends to a degree on my actions toward others.
I have two disciples, writing about the same experience. Both disciples are testifying that Jesus gave them this prayer for a pattern so that when they pray they will be asking correctly so that their prayers will be answered. But as I studied, I found that this was not the only reason Jesus told them to pray this way. There is another very important reason that God commands us to forgive as He has forgiven us.