The fact that God forgives us our sins solely by His grace
- Exhorts us with grateful hearts to forgive, from our hearts, all of our neighbor’s sins against us.
Col. 3:13: Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
- Reminds us, that whoever does not want to forgive his neighbor, but still believes that he himself has God’s forgiveness, is deceiving himself. Such a person truly does not know his own sins, and does not have forgiveness for them, but in his impenitence brings God’s judgment on himself.
Matt. 6:15: If ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Assignment: Read Matt. 18:23-35: Jesus’ parable of the merciless servant.
Luther: “If, therefore, you do not forgive, then do not think that God forgives you; but if you forgive, you have that consolation and assurance, that you are forgiven in heaven, not on account of your forgiving – for God forgives freely and without condition, out of pure grace, because He has so promised, as the Gospel teaches – but in order that He may set this up for our confirmation and assurance for a sign alongside of the promise which accords with this prayer, Luke 6:37 ’Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven’. ”