“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14–15, ESV) When Jesus was on the cross and we were on his mind he said “It is finished” – our sin was paid in full forever on the cross of Christ. So, why would Jesus, knowing this was to be, say the above about Father not forgiving our trespasses when we fail to forgive others? This is a very important question and so it must be answered accordingly, and this is the multi-part answer.
- God does not contradict himself
- Jesus said sin paid in full at the cross
- Salvation is not us seeking forgiveness but trusting (faith) in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross
- These two verses are all about fellowship and sin in the life of a believer disrupts fellowship with God. Unforgiven sin is a sin and it is disruptive with the other person also and hampers our Christian witness and it also causes physical and emotional / mental problems in the life of the one who is holding on to that stuff
- When we don’t forgive we are like a child who has done what the parents said not to do (or failed to do what the parent said must be done). We don’t lose our place in the family but our fellowship with the parent is put in disarray (from our side) because of this ‘elephant in the room’ of disobedience.
- Forgive others, God has forgiven us far more than anyone will ever sin against us – ever