What kind of an exhortation and reminder to us is the fact that God has forgiven our sins?

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The fact that God forgives us our sins solely by His grace

  1. 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.

  2. 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’. ”