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Matthew 6:14-15

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The Lord’s prayer ends there in v13 and we move to vv 14-15 this morning as Jesus brings a point of clarification of the fifth petition that reads, "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” ()
so Jesus tacks on this clarification of vv14-15 which are read as conditions.
This is the only conditions laid out in Scripture for salvation.
Repentance and faith are also conditions as well.
The glorious salvation that comes to us through our merciful Father is that He (Himself) supplies all the conditions.
He supplies all the conditions through the new birth, or regeneration.
All these graces come to the regenerate.
He that relents towards his brother in Christ shows that he repents towards his God.

Big Idea

By God’s help today we see God’s Commending Promise to those that have His forgiveness as well as the Condemning Peril to those that do not have God’s forgiveness.
Let’s look first to the:

Commending PROMISE (v14)

"“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.” ()
We absolutely know that salvation doesn’t rest upon any human accomplishments but solely upon the grace & mercy of God!
All of the seemingly conditional language used in scripture is met and supplied by our God who saves and rescues.
He supplies all the conditions.
So only believers are saved! He gives the faith.
Unless you repent, you will perish, God gives the gifts of repentance to His people.
Here is another condition, if you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven! WOW.
So included in the package of regeneration is a heart that now becomes eager to forgive!
Those that sit here today that don’t have critical spirits and are quick to forgive have the greatest comfort.
They have the greatest assurance!
Their faith is strengthened as they extend forgiveness to others and gain great assurance that their sins are forgiven!
Forgiveness is NOT:
the same as Dismissing (forgetting).
We’re told that to forgive is to forget.
But forgiveness isn’t just dismissing offences.
Dismissing is passive. Forgiveness is active.
Does God just be passive when we sin?
Does God forget that we sin? God does not forget. How could He forget?
He’s all-knowing and doesn’t struggle with memory problems as we do.
the same as Diminishing what’s been done.
Forgiving doesn’t mean that we diminish any offense, excuse or accept the wrong.
Being called to forgive someone then, by definition, that means the offender has sinned against God and against you.
There was a real wrong and a real injury.
It is tempting to want to delay forgiveness out of the concern that
forgiving this person will somehow miscommunicate that it is “not that big of a deal” to me or to God.
Truly, forgiveness does not communicate to the person that it is okay to continue sinning or to perpetuate the same behavior.
the same as just Disclosing that you’re “sorry”.
Forgiveness isn’t just disclosing that you’ve sinned and hurt the person and saying, “I’m sorry”.
It is important to differentiate between saying “I’m sorry,” and “Please forgive me.”
Is there a difference? Ask the victim.
When we say we are sorry, we communicate that we feel bad about something.
We sadly realize that we have been the cause of another’s pain.
This grief is a crucial part of repentance but merely feeling sorry falls short of taking full responsibility for having done wrong.
It may only communicate that I regret that the other person has been hurt.
Far too often, saying “I’m sorry” is motivated by wanting to get off the hook rather than
fully acknowledging and accepting responsibility for a real wrong committed.
When we ask for forgiveness, we go beyond communicating sorrow or regret.
We see ourselves and our indebtedness accurately. And we ask for mercy.
So when then is this forgiveness that Jesus speaks of?
Forgiveness IS:
Streams forth from a relationship with God.
Forgiving others is a crucial aspect of our new life in Christ.
It is a natural and daily token of our gratitude for his salvation.
dForgiving others is a crucial aspect of our new life in Christ. It is a natural and daily token of our gratitude for his salvation. Rather than being an extraordinary manifestation of faith, it is an expected attribute of all Christ-followers who have been forgiven by Christ himself and who now seek to imitate him.
Rather than being an extraordinary manifestation of faith, it is an expected attribute that streams out of all Christ-followers
who have been forgiven by Christ himself and who now seek to imitate him.
If I say “I’m saved” but don’t forgive others, then my status with God is called into question by v14.
The stakes are high.
And the results of refusing to forgive could not be more devastating.
Forgiveness therefore, is less about emotional peace and moving forward
than it is about our relationship with God.
a Symbol of your heart attitude towards God and the person who sinned.
Symbolizes your heart attitude towards God and the person who sinned.
Think of this statement: "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”” ()
Here, to be praying for God’s intervention is to be accompanied by extending God’s mercy!
You can forgive, even while you stand praying.
Before we approach the person who has sinned against us,
we must approach God and battle to have a forgiving and merciful heart.
Aiming for a forgiving attitude means working to forgive those who sin against us in our hearts,
Sironi, A. (2012). From Your Heart … Forgive. The Journal of Biblical Counseling, 26(3), 48.
being prepared to offer mercy to the offender
if and when asked, and being ready to forgive
even if reconciliation may not happen at this time.
More than a feeling, it’s Submission.
Forgiving is not something we wait to do until we “feel ready” (which often feels intuitive for us to do).
Forgiveness is without exception or exclusion: anything against anyone.
We’re also taught that forgiveness has less to do with an enormous amount of Daniel-like spirituality
than it has to do with submissive, servant-like humility and meekness.
Forgiveness is obedience, and we should cry out to God for help as we
wrestle with a lack of desire to obey.
And if we make the decision to forgive, our feelings most often follow our lead.
The forgiveness that streams out of a person in relationship with God, whose heart (symbolized by forgiveness) is ready to forgive
even as they they wrestle to forgive, that is a heart that is submitted to Christ!
Having the Spirit-wrought disposition of forgiveness not only bears no malice and hatred, nor seeks revenge, but then don’t
upbraid their brothers and sisters with the injuries done to them. Nor rejoice in any hurt that might come upon others.
But they are ready to help others. Ready to do good to others.
Here’s how it all boils down: Our forgiving of others will not purchase forgiveness for ourselves,
but our not forgiving of others proves that we ourselves are not forgiven.
Now, for the Apostle Paul, Jesus’s words here are the root of forgiveness in the church.
Please turn with me to . Where we see church discipline having its most desired effect, repentance.
"If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree—not to exaggerate—to all of you. "This punishment by the majority is sufficient for that person.” ()
True discipline (moms and dads) and all members of this church, true discipline is backed with forgiveness.
Oh brothers and sisters, may we see redemptive love and real forgiveness as being utterly essential
in maintaining strong fellowship in our church family.
May such qualities always be in good supply in our church family.
But here, Paul shows the church from where our forgiveness ought to flow from.
We are about to be pointed by to Christ.
First Paul points us back to Christ’s Counsel.
"As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, he may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. "Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.” ()
Paul encourages the church to rally around the repentant sinner with forgiveness and comfort,
lest the individual be overcome with sorrow.
Paul calls the Corinthians to reaffirm their love to this brother by forgiving him freely, which all flow out of our text this morning in .
The apostle commands each one of us to heed Christ’s command to forgive and
affirm our love for our repentant brother or sister anytime they repent of sin.
We are commanded to confirm our love by forgiving one another even as Christ has forgiven us.
We demonstrate our love for God’s children by forgiving them when they confess sin.
This ought to happen not only in cases of discipline, but also in cases where we sin against one another in church life.
Our lives and attitudes must be clothed with gospel forgiveness.
God has forgiven us much for the sake of Christ; therefore, we ought also to forgive much for the sake of Christ.
Secondly, Paul points us back to Christ’s Countenance.
Look at the direction provided to the Corinthians in v10: "Anyone you forgive, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for your benefit in the presence of Christ,” ()
Paul offers the Corinthians a living example of love and forgiveness in his own person and how he views forgiveness.
Paul’s forgiveness and ours must be done in the presence of Christ.
As we go about our daily lives within the church, we must be aware that we do so in the presence of Christ.
It is His body that we are part of if we profess to believe in Him by faith. Our forgiveness then is done in His presence.
He has forgiven us our sins if we are His children.
He made the sacrifice for sin so that our sins could be forgiven.
If we profess to believe in the gospel, we must wear the coat of forgiveness.
We must be as ready and willing to forgive as Christ is.
He is the King of His church who will forgive us if we forgive others—
but will not forgive us if we do not forgive others.
This is clear and unmistakable justice on God’s part.
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and
we must model that same faithfulness and just character.
Paul points us back to Christ because He is not only our example but also our empowerment.
And that empowerment is found in Christ’s cross.
In the mercy and goodness of God, Christ has provided a way for sinners to be reconciled to Him and to others.
Paul says in , "And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. "He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.
If this is how Christ has dealt with us in our sins,
how can we not then deal likewise in mercy with a brother who has repented?
Let’s look at our own history and then look at the cross.
My sins—nailed! My brother’s or my sister’s sins—nailed!
They are removed and washed in the blood of Christ.
Our forgiveness must ultimately be centered on Christ and His cross.
Without Him, we will never be able to effectively carry out His command. (please run back to Mat. 6)
Here we find Paul and the church at Corinth living out practically the words of Christ here in .

Commending PROMISE (v14)

Condemning PERIL (v15)

"But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.” ()
The verse begins with a conjunction that introduces to us the other side of the coin.
In v15 the emphasis is on the activity of those forgiving rather than the nature of the offenses.
Forgiveness is important for the followers of Jesus, whereas the nature of the offenses committed against them is not.
Jesus is saying that to fail to forgive others is to demonstrate that one has not felt the saving touch of God.
Forgiving others is a mark…it’s evidence of a pardoned criminal.
When a person’s heart is entenered by the Lord’s grace, and inclined to show mercy, this is where’s it’s evidenced.
Do you remember: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” ()
The impression upon the soft wax was to show that the King’s seal has been there.
Mercy and forgiveness of God leave their marks upon a sinner.
Forgiveness is also, an effect from being forgiven.
O that you might examine yourself this morning as we remember Jesus teaching His people.
The context of three times, Him using the word “hypocrite” (just in this chapter alone).
As He speaks about the three religious works of giving to the poor, praying, and fasting.
He warns us as we go through worship services, prayer meetings, bible studies etc. that we don’t be the hypocrite.
It’s madness. Why would anyone want to go through the motions of giving, praying, and fasting and be a fake?
Let us all beware of keeping up with others and having others commend you and your conscience condemn you!
What good would it be when you’re in hell and everyone thought you’d be in heaven?
Let us all beware of the counterfeit devotion of hypocrisy!
God-enraging sin.
To carry nothing but the name of Christ in your bible but not your heart is an affront to God’s face!
In we see how the professing people of God are labeled by God, who stirs up the people of Assyria to come against them, “a people destined for My rage”!
It’s a grave mistake to take a show of grace for actual grace. How does James describes people that hear but don’t do in as “deceiving yourselves.”
Stinky towards God and man.
› Stinky towards God and man.
Stinky towards God and man.
The wicked despise this person because he pretends to be godly and
+ God rejects this person because he pretends to be godly.
The wicked despise him because he has a mask of godliness and
+ God rejects him because he has no more than a mask!
› Vanity.
Hypocrites lose all that they have done.
Their pretend tears drop beside God’s bottle (), their prayers and fasting’s prove to be ineffective.
In . Listen to the question that God asks.
It speaks about the people of the land fasting and lamenting for years and God asks, “did you really fast for Me?”
____________ __________________________________________________________
To do things on a human level and not a divine level leaves us with the poorest of rewards: the empty breath of men (,). “Truly I tell you, they have their reward.”
› No comfort in death.
Will paint that is a golden color enrich a person? Read .
How were the foolish virgins better off for their blazing lamps, when they would eventually go out?
Hear what happened to them in v10-12?
"“When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. "Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’ "“He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’” ()
What is the lamp of profession of faith w/out the oil of saving grace?
› Exposed to Satan’s ridicule.
Oh how sad to be brought out at the last day as Samson, "...So they brought Samson from prison, and he entertained them. ...” () to make entertainment for the devil!
Satan will say, ‘What has become of all your promises, tears, confessions?
Is all your religion come to this?
Did you so often defy the me, the devil, and are you now come to dwell with me?
Could you find no other way to hell but by seeming godly?’
Oh yes, let us all BEWARE!!
Let us therefore take heed of this kind of devout stage-play.
It causes my heart to really pause when we see tall cedars in the church worm eaten (so to speak) with hypocrisy.
Balaam a prophet, Jehu a king, Judas an apostle, all of them stand to this day upon record for hypocrites.
all that had risings, or spots in the skin of the flesh, were not reputed unclean, and put out of the camp, so all that have the risings of hypocrisy in them. But that which marks a hypocrite, is, when hypocrisy is prevailing, and is like a spreading tumor in the body.
When is a man under the power and rule of hypocrisy?
There are two signs of its domination.
1. A squint eye, when one serves God for sinister ends. 2. A right eye, when there is some sin dear to a person, which they cannot part with. These two are as discerning signs of an hypocrite as any I know.
O, let us take the light of God’s Word and search for this leaven of hypocrisy, and burn it before the Lord.
Christian, if you grieve for hypocrisy, yet find a sin so potent, that you cannot get the mastery of it,
go to Christ, beg Him that He would exercise His kingly office in your soul; that He would subdue this sin.
Beg of Christ to exercise His spiritual surgery upon you;
desire Him to cut Your heart, and
cut out that which is rotten, and
that He would apply the medicine of His blood to heal You of your hypocrisy!
May you often make that prayer of David, Psal. 119:80. "May my heart be blameless regarding your statutes.”.
Lord, let me be anything rather than an hypocrite.
Two hearts will exclude one from heaven.
To help us avoid this deadly plague of hypocrisy, let us turn our hearts to God as we close, and remember that

in heaven, our sins are dealt with by God

is the ultimate wronged party, against Whom all are offences are ultimately against!
who is the ultimate wronged party, against Whom all are offences are ultimately against!
To sin against one another, is always to breach His law it is to defy His sovereign authority!
So He’s the wronged party and He’s the supreme Judge.
And shall not the judge of all the earth do right? ()
Our sins are dealt with in heaven and also

to our consciences here on earth.

This is where God’s Spirit comes and speaks peace to the soul.
He does this because of two reasons: His authority and His power.
Because of His authority.
Your conscience is God’s deputy, and till God be pacified, your conscience is not pacified upon sound and solid terms.
And that authoritative God has all power too.
Power to come and set that condemning conscience free by speaking peace to your soul.
In , it’s called “the peace of God” as all true peace is wrought by Him in the heart of forgiven people.
So there’s a people who’s sins are dealt with in heaven and whom
God comes with authority and power and speaks peace to the forgiven ones on earth!
And what do they do to one another? Forgive each other.
"“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. "But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.” ()
The nature of the text namely, it commends the promise of eternal life and it warns us of the condemning peril that awaits all unforgiving people.
First and chiefly we must learn to forgive the sins against us, great or small.
A few reasons to move us towards this are:
FIRST. The nature of the text namely, it commends the promise of eternal life and it warns us of the condemning peril that awaits all unforgiving people.
By nature God, through His word, binds our conscience to obedience.
Let us obey God!
We’re all prone to offend one another and I have the hope and expectation that you desire the forgiveness of your sin as I do mine...
Therefore, we’re prone (with our new natures, in Christ) to want to forgive!
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