Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Forgive Our Debtors

Date: AM
Text: Matthew 18; Lord's Day 51
Psalters: 51, 38, 232, 365
  1. What it means.
    1. God?s constantly forgiving us is to be the pattern for our forgiving those who sin against us (Matthew 18:32,33; Eph. 4:32).
    2. Jesus teaches Peter to forgive 70 x 7 times those who confess their sins.
      1. The idea is that we should always forgive, and always be ready to tell them we forgive them.
      2. There is a difference between forgiving our debtors and going to them to seek their repentance.
    3. Our forgiving consists of promises.
  2. How can you and I forgive?
    1. First, remember that we commanded to forgive (John 13:34; 15:12; I Peter 1:22; I Jn. 4:21).
    2. God?s forgiveness is first, and in it He gives us the ability to forgive.
      1. Because God has, in love, forgiven us, we receive from Him the love with which we forgive our debtors.
      2. The desire to forgive our debtors arises from the knowledge of God?s forgiving love of us (cf. Eph. 4:32).
    3. We must forgive because Jesus teaches us to pray this prayer exactly as He gave it to us.
      1. Can we honestly say that we love God, when we hate the brother whom God loves? (I John 4:20).
      2. Our forgiving others is evidence of a sincere sorrow for all our sin.
  3. Jesus teaches us that the experience of forgiveness comes in the way of our forgiving.
    1. The idea is not that our forgiving is the basis or ground on which God forgives us.
    2. The meaning is that in the measure that we forgive our debtors, God will give us the joy of our being forgiven.
      1. We ought not seek forgiveness of God unless we ourselves also forgive those who sinned against us.
      2. When God forgives, He gives the grace of thankfulness.
    3. Jesus uses this expression to comfort us in the weakness of our faith.