Matthew 6:14,15 says For if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This is the end of the Lord’s Prayer. He hits them really hard. He says and warns them they won’t be forgiven unless they go around forgiving others first.  And everyone pretty much says the Lord Prayer. Church Leaders ask their people to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Athletes before and after games recite the Lord’s Prayer. You find it everywhere and most walks of life recite this. It is probably the most recognized prayer there is. Yet you rarely here the last statement of this prayer. You may say well, there is a amen at the end of the prayer. Well amen is not an ending to a prayer. It means ” and it is so”. So you can said amen after each sentence. However, all of it is the Lord’s Prayer.

Jesus is telling his Jewish listeners that their forgiviness is conditional upon their forgiving others first. Now this prayer is before the cross. Do you really want to be saying this prayer? This is a prayer that will condemn anyone. This is why rightly dividing the word of truth is so important. If we were to receive forgiveness from God that only mirrored our own forgiveness of others, we’d be doomed.

Now Ephesians 4:32 says And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. And Colossians 3:13 says Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. This prayer was to show On this side of the cross our forgiveness isn’t gained by forgiving others first. Forgiveness is a gift in Christ, with no string attached.

This is from the book God without Religion. Jesus’s prayer was designed to expose our hopelessness apart from grace. God wants us to realize that we’re going to need more than just the same kind of forgiveness we’ve been passing out to others. God wants to see his forgiveness as a gift, not something earned through forgiving others first.

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