Sermon: Forgiveness Guaranteed
Scripture: Matthew 6:12
In this week’s lessons, we see the connection between the Christian’s continuing need of forgiveness from God, and our need to forgive others who wrong us.
Now there is just one other point that comes to us from this great text in Matthew, and it comes from this word “debts.” In this context, the word refers to our sin, and the verse is a prayer for forgiveness. In this sense, we cease to become debtors to sin by means of confession and of God’s forgiveness.
After we have come confessing our sin and receiving forgiveness, however, we then become debtors in another sense, the same sense that occurs in Romans 1:14-15, when Paul says, “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” This is a debt on two levels. First, we become a debtor to God. We were nothing before Him. We were going our own way. We were serving ourselves. We were not even understanding spiritual things. But God came to us first in Christ Jesus to redeem us from sin and then in the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to His truth and to lead us in His way. Because of these things, we are debtors to God to serve Him with all our heart, soul and mind, and to carry out His purposes in this life.
But we are also debtors to men. Have you known God’s forgiveness? If you have ever come to Him confessing your sin and your need for His Son to be your Savior, you have confessed that you know it. If you have ever come to a communion service eating the bread and drinking the wine that stand for the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have declared your knowledge of that forgiveness. If you know this, then you are also acknowledging your indebtedness to declare that same forgiveness to others. You must tell them, because as Jesus said, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).
To what does the word “debts” refer?
Once we confess our sins and receive forgiveness, on what two levels do we become debtors in another sense? Describe each of them.
Application: List some practical ways you can show your indebtedness to another because of the forgiveness God has shown you.
For Further Study: Download and listen for free to David Garner’s message, “The Power and Practice of Forgiveness.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)