by Pastor David Grey
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” — Colossians 3:13-14
More than 30 times in the New Testament we are told to forgive one another’s trespasses and offenses. But there is one verse in scripture that reveals just how crucial it is that we obey this command.
It is verse 6 of Matthew 15: “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Does God really mean that His forgiving me is contingent upon my forgiving others? The answer is “yes, He does.”
That was the whole point of the parable of the debtor Jesus told in Matthew 18. You might remember the story. A man who owed the king more than he could ever repay, begged for mercy and had his debt forgiven.
Yet that same man demanded that someone who owed him far, far less pay back every penny.
When the king heard about it he, “called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”
Now in case someone would fail to understand clearly what this parable meant, Jesus concluded, saying, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
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