Prayer – Part 5

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Luke 11 v 4. “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”

Nobody in the world can compute the spiritual weight the sins of human beings bring to bear on their souls. Guilt is a very powerful thing in the normal course of events, but never more powerful than when that guilt accrues because of our sins against God.

Not all people feel guilt in the same way of course, but all are nevertheless guilty before God because by nature we are rebels against him. Our greatest sin is not what we think it is. We tend to think of sin as the sins we do or do not commit. But the greatest of all sin is to disagree with God’s assessment of us, that we are indeed sinners, and therefore we reject his solution to our problems – the great gift of His Son who died on the Cross, to bear the weight of guilt for us, to suffer in our place, then to die and rise from the dead so that we might be forgiven.

While there may be many who do not know or understand these things, nor could they care less about them, there are multitudes of others who bless God every day for the Cross of Christ because it means their sins are forgiven.

I think there are other multitudes of people who would give all they possess to go to bed at night with a clear conscience. And that is exactly what the Christian believer has as a gift from God. Not because the believer is a sinless or perfect person, or is, in some way, better than other people, but because on the contrary that believer sees himself exactly as a guilty sinner, but has gone to Christ and been forgiven.

More than that, having been once forgiven, we still remain weak and sinful, even at our best. So now we have the privilege of being forgiven every day and every moment because in Christ we can pray “Forgive us our sins”.

But just in case some may think that this forgiveness is easy or enables the Christian to live as he pleases because he can always be forgiven, Jesus adds these life-changing words, “for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”.

This is a reference to the new nature Christians have, with new obligations to behave as Jesus behaves and a new capacity to love other people and to live for the good of others.

So if you are living in hostility with anybody and you can do something about it – then do it! By treating others as you yourself would want to be treated you prove that you are a forgiven person.

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