“And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”

Matt 6:12

 

Forgiveness of sin is one of the great blessings of our salvation. When we first got saved, all our sins were forgiven – wiped away. Forgiveness is a form of release – we are released from the punishment for sins we have committed. But the truth is that we all continue to sin from time to time, and so we need to ask forgiveness for those sins.

 

We have a great promise in 1Jn 1:9 that says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So if we confess our sins from our heart (really meaning it), we have God’s assurance that we are forgiven.

 

What we also see in this passage is our responsibility related to this. Forgiveness is something that God has given to us as a free gift of grace. He expects and even requires us to give the same gift to those around us.

 

We have all experienced the pain of being mistreated by somebody. Sometimes it’s just a small thing, but sometimes it’s big – maybe even life-changing. One way or the other, the release that comes from forgiveness is crucial. And this goes both ways: by forgiving the person who did it, we release them from the debt that sin creates. At the same time, we also release ourselves from bitterness and anger.

 

And while we may still have to face some consequences from sin we have committed, we can rest assured that in God’s eyes, we are released from the eternal penalty, and we stand righteous and clean before Him.

 

 

Consider

 

Have you ever been released from a financial debt? How did it feel?

 

Even after we’ve asked forgiveness for our sin, we may still feel guilty. How does 1Jn 1:9 help with that?

 

If we are tempted not to forgive someone for something they’ve done against us, how does God’s forgiveness serve as an example?