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They're Always Together!

Tuesday, April 18

They’re Always Together!
By: Pastor Mark White

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

When I was a kid our family went to the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland.  It was there that I first saw this weird contraption… a bicycle built for two–a tandem bike.  Have you seen one of these?  There are two tires, two wheels, two seats, two sets of pedals, and two sets of handlebars.  So, it’s two things, right?  

No, it’s really not.  
It’s one thing with two parts.

Jesus said that we are to pray like this, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Understand these are not two things but one thing with two parts. And that they always go together.  

The Apostle Paul says it this way in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 

See it's right there.  It's one thing with two parts… forgiving as we have been forgiven. 

Paul says it again in Colossians, “Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.” There it is again, always together.  

Jesus adds to it by saying, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you.”  

Wait…He can't be saying what I think he's saying. He reverses it to make sure we understand, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.”  Jesus isn’t saying here that you have to earn your forgiveness by forgiving other people.  

Jesus is saying that these always go together, and we shouldn’t try to separate them.  When we truly understand our own sinfulness and the great cost Christ paid on the cross for us, how then can we withhold forgiveness to those that sin against us?

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