Matthew 6:14-15

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

THE NECESSITY OF FORGIVENESS

INTRODUCTION:

 

We remind ourselves that salvation does not rest upon human accomplishments but solely and completely on the grace and mercy of God. This means that we are not saved by works. So, how do we explain Matthew 6:14-15 ?

 

Matthew 6:14-1514 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 – (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

Our good works do not earn our salvation; rather, good works should follow our salvation, which means that our salvation should result in our doing good works.

 

Included in these good works is the forgiveness of others. Unless we forgive the trespasses of others, our sins will remain unforgiven.

 

In Matthew 6:12 sins are called debts, i.e. things we owe; and we suffer punishment for our debts unless payment is made and the debt is satisfied, whether by ourselves or by someone else.

 

In Matthew 6:14-15 these sins are called trespasses, which means that they are violations of God’s laws or directives; and for anyone to be right with God, these sins must be forgiven.

 

Furthermore, just as God has forgiven him, a believer must forgive all people, both saved and unsaved, in order to be right with God. This is implied in Romans 12:18 .

 

Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

 

To forgive means to cancel, to pardon, or to remit.

 

In this message, let’s see what the Bible has to say about forgiveness.

The Bible teaches that –

    I.     GOD OFFERS FORGIVENESS TO EVERYONE

 

Numbers 21:4-94 And they [i.e. the Israelites] journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

 

John 3:14-18 – (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The Bible also teaches that –

  II.     THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED GREAT SIN APPRECIATE THEIR FORGIVENESS THE MOST

 

Luke 7:40-50 – (40) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. (41) There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence [i.e. denarii], and the other fifty. (42) And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (44) And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (45) Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. (47) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (48) And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. (49) And they that sat at meat [i.e. who sat at the table] with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? (50) And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

In addition, the Bible teaches that –

 III.     BELIEVERS WHO CONFESS SIN ARE PROMISED FORGIVENESS

 

To confess means to agree or to acknowledge. We acknowledge our sins and agree with God about them.

 

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that –

 IV.     SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE WRONG SHOULD SEEK FORGIVENESS

 

Matthew 5:23-24 – (23) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought [i.e. has something] against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Moreover, the Bible teaches that –

   V.     SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN WRONGED SHOULD EXTEND FORGIVENESS

 

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The Bible also teaches that –

 VI.     REPENTANCE IS REQUIRED FOR FORGIVENESS

 

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that –

VII.     FORGIVENESS MUST BE EXTENDED AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY

 

Matthew 18:21-22 – (21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

In addition, the Bible teaches that –

VIII.   FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS SHOWS THAT WE ARE GENUINELY SAVED

 

Matthew 5:3-4 – (3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Finally, we come to our text for today. The Bible teaches that –

 IX.     A BELIEVER’S FAILURE TO FORGIVE OTHERS RESULTS IN A LOSS OF HIS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD RATHER THAN IN A LOSS OF HIS SALVATION

 

Matthew 6:14-1514 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

In verse 14 Jesus continues His instruction about forgiveness which He mentioned in verse 12, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 

For continues the thought in the sense of now.

 

If ye forgive men their trespasses is the condition in a conditional statement.

 

The conclusion is your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

 

No assumption is made regarding the truth of this condition. It may or may not be true. It will be true for some people, but it will not be true for others. If the condition is true, the conclusion will also be true. If the condition is not true, the conclusion will not be true.

 

Ye is you and refers to those listening to or reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

 

Forgive is cancel, remit, or pardon.

 

Men is the generic term for human beings and includes females as well as males.

 

Their trespasses is their offenses, their wrongdoings, or their sins. Furthermore, the appears before trespasses in the Greek text, indicating that it is the sum total of all the trespasses committed against any one of these persons whom Jesus is addressing in the Sermon on the Mount. The same word appears twice in verse 15. The use of trespasses in this verse confirms the thought that debts in verse 12 refers to sins.

 

Your heavenly Father is your Father, the heavenly One.

 

Will . . . forgive is will . . . cancel, will . . . remit, or will . . . pardon.

 

Also suggests in addition to your forgiving someone’s trespasses against you. Once again, the appears before trespasses in the Greek text in order to indicate that He means the sum total of all the offenses you have committed.

 

Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

The words in verse 15 are identical to the words in verse 14 except for the words but, not, and neither.

 

Verse 15 indicates what will happen to someone hearing or reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount who does not forgive people for trespasses they have committed against him. His trespasses will also not be forgiven.

 

We remind ourselves that salvation does not rest upon good works we have done but solely and completely on the grace and mercy of God. This means that we are not saved by works.

 

I remind you again of –

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 – (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

So, how do we explain Matthew 6:14-15 ?

 

Before answering this, let’s remind ourselves of II Peter 1:20-21 .

 

II Peter 1:20-2120 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

 

This means that there is no contradiction in the Scriptures.

 

Again, I repeat. Our good works do not earn our salvation; rather, good works should follow our salvation, which means that our salvation should result in our doing good works.

 

Included in these good works is the forgiveness of others. Unless we forgive the trespasses of others, our trespasses will remain unforgiven.

 

John 1:11-1211 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

 

We became God’s children at the instant we believed the gospel. What changes when we do not forgive others is not our status as God’s children, but our fellowship with God the Father. To illustrate this, suppose that I as a son choose to disobey my father. Does he cease being my father? Do I cease being his son? No! No matter how bad my sin, I am still his son. You became a child of God the instant you received Christ as your personal Savior. Your relationship as God’s child will never change. However, your fellowship with Him is broken and will only be restored by your confession of your sin and your forsaking this sin by forgiving someone who has sinned against you.

 

I Corinthians 11:31-3231 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

 

Failure to forgive others is sin and must be dealt with like any other sin – by confessing and forsaking it.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

Are you genuinely saved?

 

Are you forgiving others as you are supposed to?

Scriptures