Forgive Us Our Debts

Date: AM
Text: Psalm 51; Lord's Day 51
Psalters: 391, 337, 140, 83
  1. The wonder.
    1. The truth of the forgiveness of sins is essential to every child of God, both objectively and subjectively.
    2. The gospel is the good news that God has wiped out our sins and has given us righteousness.
      1. He did not make it possible for us to pay them in full, but He paid the whole thing, to the last penny.
      2. O the bliss of this glorious thought: that not the part, but the whole of my sins are nailed to the cross.
  2. The prayer requesting forgiveness always implies confession, the admission of our sin and sinfulness.
    1. In instructing us to confess our sins and guilt Jesus teaches that God?s children know they are sinners.
    2. To appreciate forgiveness we must truly understand the reality and depth of that for which we are forgiven.
      1. Luke 11:4 speaks of ?sins,? i.e., any human activity which misses the mark of God?s glory.
      2. Matthew 6:12 speaks of ?debts,? because every sin incurs guilt and makes us justly worthy of punishment.
    3. This petition must be in the spirit of a confession, not an abstract, general notion of sin.
      1. An honest confession arises from a deep sensitivity that we sin against love, against our Father.
      2. True apology consists of the admission of sin unaccompanied.
  3. The request to be forgiven is our asking God to wipe out so they cannot be seen anymore (Psalm 51:4).
    1. Only God can forgive, because all sin is essentially against Him.
      1. The only way God can erase sin is by its debt being paid.
      2. Sins are forgiven only by atonement, i.e., satisfaction of God righteousness.
    2. Forgiveness also includes the positive blessing of righteousness.
    3. This petition every child of God wants to pray and must pray.
      1. We do not pray for the atonement, for ?It is finished,? but for the application of the atonement.
      2. God declares forgiveness only to those who sincerely confess and continually repent!