Final installment of the Teaching on the Lord’s Prayer
By Jerry Williams
The Fifth Petition: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
- Since we sin daily and deserve nothing but punishment, we pray that our Father in Heaven will not look upon our sins, but, for Christ’s sake, graciously forgive them.
- In return for being forgiven, we promise we will also forgive those who sin against us.
- A warning: If we do not forgive those who sin against us, we will not obtain forgiveness from God. We will, in fact, be calling down on ourselves the anger of God.
- Another way of seeing this: He who cannot forgive others has not repented of his own sin and hence cannot find forgiveness for himself.
- This petition is not a contradiction of salvation and forgiveness by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing to earn God’s forgiveness. All we can do is receive it. Having been forgiven, we are now responsible to forgive others. The evidence we are truly forgiven is that we are quick to forgive.
- Only the power of Christ can enable us to forgive.
The Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
- God tempts no one to evil, but God does test us to strengthen our faith and encourage us
- We pray God will guard and keep us safe so that the devil, the world and our own sinful desires may not deceive us or lead us into wrong beliefs, despair, and shameful acts.
- God has promised He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1Cor.10:13).
- We are vulnerable to sin. Our surest defense is the presence of Jesus Christ beside us and in us.
Conclusion: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen”
- Apparently these are not the words of Jesus but of His early followers in response to the prayer.
- Its purpose is for us to experience genuine worship as a response and conclusion to prayer.
- The key to God-centered worship is the focus of our hearts on Him. Our expressions of praise and adoration are for His pleasure and exaltation..
- We say “Amen” as a commitment by us to do what we’ve prayed. It is a promise to God to live out what we have just prayed.
- Luther’s Small Catechism, A handbook of Christian Doctrine, 1943, pp.151-168.
- The Lord’s Prayer, by Douglas Connelly, A Lifeguide Bible Study, Intervarsity Press, 2003.
- The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 1, Revised Edition, by William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, 1975, pp.191-232.
- Life Application Study Bible,NIV, Tyndale House Publishers and Zondervan Publishing House, 1988, p.1657.
- Harper Study Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1971 p. 1446
This is the third part in a three part series. You may read the first two editions from the links below.