When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He said, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And, forgive us our trespasses (our debts), as we forgive those who trespass against us (our debtors). Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, Amen. (Matthew 6: 9-13).
OK, so we know that we are to forgive those who trespass against us. And, we know that we are to ask God to forgive us for our trespasses against Him and anybody else. I’ve known this prayer most all of my life. We not only prayed it aloud in church and at bedtime in our home, but when I was a child, we prayed it daily at school and it public gatherings. I can remember when I as an adult returned to a deeper walk with the Lord, I mistakenly believed that because we all knew it and could say it by heart and without feeling that it was the vain repetition that Jesus referred to done by the heathens. However, I know that I had a misunderstanding of that scripture as a very young mother — early twenties.
Today, I pray that prayer daily in agreement with prayer warriors on the wall over our tent. I came to the Truth that if Jesus taught His first disciples to pray this way, that I, a disciple of today, am to pray the same way. When Jesus sent the disciples forth in the Great Comission of Matt. 28: 18-20, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I’ve commanded you; and, lo, I Am is with you always, even until the end of the world.
He’s not only told us to go in His power, preaching, and teaching, and baptizing, etc. He even told us what to do to prepare. Luke tells us in his gospel, in chapter 24, verse 48 and 49, when Jesus is speaking to His disciples after He had eaten fish and honeycomb with His disciples after His crucifixion and ascension. He said, And, ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Luke also is the writer of Acts, and chapter 1, verse 8, he repeats what Jesus said, But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
All three of the above scriptures refer to Jesus having all power, and of His disciples receiving that power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon them. For what purpose is the power? To be witnesses in our Jerusalem, our Judaea, our Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth from us. What does a witness do? Preach the good news of the gospel and teach whatsoever the Lord has commanded us to do in His Word. What did one have to do to receive power? He/she had to tarry until he/she was endued with power to be a witness.
Thus, here is the place of quandry throughout the Lord’s Church! You know, I used to wonder how to walk in the spirit. I wanted to be like Jesus, but I didn’t want to do what it took to get there. I read a lot about Him, and I went to a lot of meetings both in church, in homes, at conferences, etc. I had a lot of things not to do, but I did not have an intimate walking/talking relationship with my Lord and Savior. Though, His Word says, that He will come and sup with me — that He no longer will call me servant but friend — I just didn’t know how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. I prayed and asked God to do things for me, but He had already done it all! Jesus had already died for me and forgiven all my sins and healed all my diseases. I had to learn to accept what was done.
In the gospel of John, when He’s sending the disciples forth at the end of that gospel, chapter 20: 21=23. It is another account of the same meeting after the cross: Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father has sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins you retain, they are retained.
Now, let’s go back to what we fondly call the Lord’s Prayer! And, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Let’s look at that little 2 letter word as. Jesus clearly says to his disciples to pray, Father, Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us (Matthew 6: 12). In fact, verses 14 and 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 you your trespasses.
So, if I, Jesus’ disciple of today, forgive others that have hurt me or defiled me or pained me in any way their transgressions against me, then, and only then, will my Father forgive me of my transgressions against Him and anyone else. That is a very sobering thought. If I am not willing to let go and forgive — and I mean like Jesus forgave me — burying my sins in the sea of forgetfulness — not holding it against me somewhere down the road –reminding me that I am a sinner — but washing me white as snow — redeeming me. The remission of sin that is spoken about is the forgiving of — wiping it out. Delivered! Sins gone!
Now, let’s go back and look at John’s gospel again, chapter 20, where Jesus says, Whosesoever sins I remit are remitted and whosoever sins I retain are retained. Remit means forgive. Remission means forgiveness. Oh me, Lord, You have chosen for me to be in this marvelous plan of redemption — not only to be forgiven — but to forgive. As You so wonderfully put it, Freely you have received, therefore, I freely give. What can I freely give? Everything you’ve given me. You never intended for only the old-testament saints to impart blessings, but you intended for us — not only new testament saints — but last-days saints to impart blessings. Abraham blessed his — Isaac his — and Jacob all his. Then, all the writers of the New Testament blessed their readers — first the gospels with Jesus’ last Word to His disciples, and then, Peter, and Paul, etc., to the church in the various places.
The Lord says, we are to bless each other! We are to love each other! We are to serve each other! We are to forgive each other! Jesus came that we might have life — and life abundantly!
Recently, the Lord gave me a very clear picture of unforgiveness. First, He showed me the grave — you know — our baptism is a picture of our new walk. We are buried in the watery grave in our trespasses and sins, but we don’t stay there. We are raised to walk in the newness of Jesus’ life. Galatians 2:20 says, We are crucified with Christ. It is no longer us who live, but Christ lives in us; and the life that we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Then, the Lord showed me what I look like when I don’t forgive. When someone hurts or disappoints me and I continue to remember it like it just happened, or even if it seems ok and then something reminds me and it hurts all over again, I saw myself walking around with a dead carcass attached to me. It was me, but the unforgiveness I carried was dead and attached to me. In other words, I stink to high heaven when I’m unforgiving. Is that a disgusting sight or what? Imagine how many carcasses we might have attached to us at any given time.
If I am to walk in the forgiveness Jesus paid for my sins, then I must forgive others with the same forgiveness He forgives me. Not only am I set free when He forgives me, I set others free with the forgiveness He’s freely given me. When we ask what would Jesus do — WWJD? We need to ask what did Jesus do — WDJD? Jesus died that I might have life and life abundantly. I am crucified with Him. It is no longer me that lives but Christ in me. And, the life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me. If it is Christ living in me, then, would He hold the sins and trespasses against people — no, He would forgive — let them go.Tweet