Everyone who is familiar with the Lord’s Prayer should know that forgiving others is a salvation issue, for Jesus expanded verse 12 in verses 14 and 15 (right after the ‘Amen’).
But many of us only memorized 9b-13. In effect, we were only taught soundbites. And that’s how the great deception has been pulled off. Many don’t even know that verses 14 and 15 exist!
We must be holy — experientially — not just ‘legally’ (a theological term that is currently being used to deceive many).
The Bible teaches: we are only legally, in-God’s-sight holy if we’re actually living holy — right with God and people — enabled and empowered, given GRACE by the Holy Spirit to do so.
According to the Bible, we must forgive. We have no excuses. Forgiving others is a big deal!
May we be ONE in Him!
<< Matthew 6:9-15 >>
King James Bible
9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 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.
<< Matthew 6:9-15 >>
World English Bible
Pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.
Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Okay, that’s pretty clear, right? But verses 14 and 15 weren’t included in what I had to memorize in the materials I was taught from in Lutheran school and in confirmation class. We were taught our sins are forgiven, period. And that’s what Luther taught in his Large Catechism.
This is how Martin Luther spins Jesus’ words to mean something He didn’t say.
From: Martin Luther’s Large Catechism, translated by Bente and Dau by Martin Luther, not copyrighted.
The Fifth Petition.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
This part now relates to our poor miserable life, which, although we have and believe the Word of God, and do and submit to His will, and are supported by His gifts and blessings is nevertheless not without sin. For we still stumble daily and transgress because we live in the world among men who do us much harm and give us cause for impatience, anger, revenge [James-3 cursing? – ed.], etc. Besides, we have Satan at our back, who sets upon us on every side, and fights (as we have heard) against all the foregoing petitions, so that it is not possible always to stand firm in such a persistent conflict.
Martin Luther believed that we could not overcome serious sins like persistent anger and revenge [Luther actually stated that he intentionally cursed people daily], though the Bible in many places teaches that we must overcome [see: Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way]. The Holy Spirit enables and empowers us, gives us the grace to overcome temptations, to the degree that Paul taught: “No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
Now Luther goes into his once-saved-always-saved theme. He taught that we are forgiven no matter what we do, no matter how many and serious are our sins. So he concludes that Jesus didn’t really mean what He clearly said. Jesus’ admonition to forgive others is merely to help us know inside what is true in reality, that we are already forgiven—because we can never be unforgiven.
To Luther, we don’t have to forgive others in order to be forgiven (Jesus made sure we understood this is what He meant in verse 12 by his emphatic statements in verses 14 and 15), we forgive others only so we can “obtain consolation to comfort the conscience.”
Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and to pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness. For since the flesh in which we daily live is of such a nature that it neither trusts nor believes God, and is ever active in evil lusts and devices, so that we sin daily in word and deed, by commission and omission by which the conscience is thrown into unrest, so that it is afraid of the wrath and displeasure of God, and thus loses the comfort and confidence derived from the Gospel; therefore it is ceaselessly necessary that we run hither and obtain consolation to comfort the conscience again.
So, according to Luther, if we willfully sin sins that lead to death, and feel guilty as a result, so that we lose our comfort and confidence before God, even being afraid of the wrath and displeasure of God, this is only an illusion. This fear is unwarranted (even though Hebrews 10:26-39 and many other scriptures say the opposite), and forgiving others helps us feel right with God again; even though, in reality we were right with Him all along.
Jesus said the opposite. We must forgive to be forgiven, and that’s why we feel right after doing so, because then we are right. Martin Luther was clearly a false teacher who was deceived, himself, and tragically, the false doctrines he taught are still widely accepted today!
But this should serve God’s purpose of breaking our pride and keeping us humble. For in case any one should boast of his godliness and despise others, God has reserved this prerogative to Himself, that the person is to consider himself and place this prayer before his eyes, and he will find that he is no better than others, and that in the presence of God all must lower their plumes, and be glad that they can attain forgiveness. And let no one think that as long as we live here he can reach such a position that he will not need such forgiveness. In short, if God does not forgive without ceasing, we are lost.
That’s precisely Jesus’ point. God does not forgive without ceasing, so many are indeed lost, having believed this lie.
We must obey — Jesus.
We don’t have to obey — Luther.
God’s forgiveness is conditional — Jesus.
“God forgives freely and without condition” — Luther (says below).
It is therefore the intent of this petition that God would not regard our sins and hold up to us what we daily deserve, but would deal graciously with us, and forgive, as He has promised, and thus grant us a joyful and confident conscience to stand before Him in prayer. For where the heart is not in right relation towards God, nor can take such confidence, it will nevermore venture to pray. But such a confident and joyful heart can spring from nothing else than the [certain] knowledge of the forgiveness of sin.
But there is here attached a necessary, yet consolatory addition: As we forgive. He has promised that we shall be sure that everything is forgiven and pardoned, yet in the manner that we also forgive our neighbor. For just as we daily sin much against God and yet He forgives everything through grace, so we, too, must ever forgive our neighbor who does us injury, violence, and wrong, shows malice toward us, etc. If, therefore you do not forgive, then do not think that God forgives you; but if you forgive, you have this 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. Therefore Christ also repeats it soon after the Lord’s Prayer, and says, Matt. 6,14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, etc.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus clearly gives a condition to us in order for our sins to be forgiven: “as we forgive others who trespass against us.” “For if you don’t forgive….” But this didn’t fit into Luther’s forgiven-no-matter-what theology in which “God forgives freely and without condition.” So Luther concluded that James shouldn’t be scripture because it talks about the necessity of obedience, and Jesus can’t really mean what He is really saying — because it doesn’t fit into the once-infant-baptized-always-saved (OBAS?) formula. Luther turns Jesus’ crystal clear condition that Jesus emphasized after the ‘Amen’ into an unnecessary mental exercise, “a sign” that merely helps us appease our consciences.
We don’t really have to forgive because it’s all automatic, anyway. Though Jesus clearly said we need to. This is the deception.
OSAS, you all! Once-saved-always-saved — “the seal,” the “promise” — so nothing else matters — even if Jesus says it. We don’t have to be right with our neighbor. Jesus just said this so we would feel right.
Hogwash to the nth!!!
Jesus said it clearly here and elsewhere, as did Paul, John, and almost every book in the New Testament. We can’t keep willfully sinning sins that lead to death: lust, hatred (unforgiveness on steroids), lying, envy, etc. and be right enough with God and man in order to go to heaven. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God” — Paul in Romans 8:14. It’s not automatic. There are strings.
This sign is therefore attached to this petition, that, when we pray, we remember the promise and reflect thus: Dear Father, for this reason I come and pray Thee to forgive me, not that I can make satisfaction, or can merit anything by my works, but because Thou hast promised and attached the seal thereto that I should be as sure as though I had absolution pronounced by Thyself. For as much as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper appointed as external signs, effect, so much also this sign can effect to confirm our consciences and cause them to rejoice. And it is especially given for this purpose, that we might use and practice it every hour, as a thing that we have with us at all times.
The Protestant Reformers Were Frauds: By their Fruits You Will Know Them — Martin Luther was a false teacher, a racist, a persecutor and a murderer! John Calvin was a false teacher, a deranged tyrant, a persecutor and a murderer!
Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God? (Where Paul is reconciled with James — and with Hebrews and 1 John — and with Jesus. It all works!)