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Forgive us our sins.

20/12/2016

Forgive us our Trespasses.

Reading: Matt 18:21-35

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
A different type of petition from our last study? Perhaps, because it reminds us of our human nature. We are sinners who need forgiveness. Let’s use the structure of our Heidelberg Catechism to help us to understand the petition better…

Guilt.
And. The connection between God’s providential blessing and forgiveness.
Why we need to pray this petition. Consider the depth of our sins. Consider the offence of just one sin, and think of how often we sin.
Against whom have we sinned? Ps 51.
It is because we are sinners that we must pray this petition. Remember that Jesus is teaching his DISCIPLES to pray. Christians are sinners and they sin.

Grace.
How are our sins forgiven?
* By forgiving others? Structure of the verse sometimes causes some confusion.
* By Christ’s death alone. Ephesians. 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
* The mechanics of forgiveness.

  1. CONFESSION. ‘Agreeing with God’ 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
  2. CONFRONTATION. Should confession be verbal?

Gratitude.
Now that we have been forgiven, we will be so overwhelmed with thanks to God that we will forgive others. Heidelberg refers to this as an ‘evidence of God’s grace in us., The application of the petition is demonstrated in Matt 18.
But note: what if the offender doesn’t want to be forgiven? Often forgiveness can’t be granted – only offered. Jesus prayed, Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
So what does it mean to have a willingness to forgive?
Think through the practical implications of being willing to forgive and write them below.

Heidelberg. 126.
Q. What is the fifth petition?
A. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. That is: For the sake of Christ’s blood, do not impute to us, wretched sinners, any of our transgressions, nor the evil which still clings to us, as we also find this evidence of your grace in us that we are fully determined wholeheartedly to forgive our neighbour.

Homework:

This week, look up and read:
Psalm 51:1-7;
Psalm 143:2;
Romans 8:1,
1 John 1:8 – 2:1-2

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