Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
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(14, 15) The condition implied in the Prayer itself is more distinctly asserted. It is, as we have seen, not an arbitrary condition, but the result of the eternal laws of the divine order. Repentance is the condition of being forgiven, and the temper that does not forgive is ipso facto incompatible with the temper of the penitent. As if for greater emphasis, the truth is presented in both its positive and negative aspects.

Matthew 6:14. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you — We are not to infer from this, that the forgiving of injuries alone will entitle us to pardon. Surely not. Repentance toward God, and fruits worthy of repentance, as also faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, working by love, overcoming the world, and purifying the heart, are absolutely necessary, as is frequently stated elsewhere in the discourses of our Lord, and in the writings of the apostles and evangelists.6:9-15 Christ saw it needful to show his disciples what must commonly be the matter and method of their prayer. Not that we are tied up to the use of this only, or of this always; yet, without doubt, it is very good to use it. It has much in a little; and it is used acceptably no further than it is used with understanding, and without being needlessly repeated. The petitions are six; the first three relate more expressly to God and his honour, the last three to our own concerns, both temporal and spiritual. This prayer teaches us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and that all other things shall be added. After the things of God's glory, kingdom, and will, we pray for the needful supports and comforts of this present life. Every word here has a lesson in it. We ask for bread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance: and we ask only for bread; not for what we do not need. We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread of others, nor the bread of deceit, Pr 20:17; nor the bread of idleness, Pr 31:27, but the bread honestly gotten. We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us constantly to depend upon Divine Providence. We beg of God to give it us; not sell it us, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must be beholden to the mercy of God for their daily bread. We pray, Give it to us. This teaches us a compassion for the poor. Also that we ought to pray with our families. We pray that God would give it us this day; which teaches us to renew the desires of our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed. As the day comes we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we could as well go a day without food, as without prayer. We are taught to hate and dread sin while we hope for mercy, to distrust ourselves, to rely on the providence and grace of God to keep us from it, to be prepared to resist the tempter, and not to become tempters of others. Here is a promise, If you forgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive. We must forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to find mercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren. Christ came into the world as the great Peace-maker, not only to reconcile us to God, but one to another.For if ye forgive men their trespasses - If ye forgive others when they offend or injure you.

Your heavenly Father will also forgive you - This is constantly required in the Bible. See the notes at Matthew 6:12. Our Saviour says we should forgive even if the offence be committed seventy times seven times, Matthew 18:22. By this is meant, that when a man asks forgiveness, we are cordially and forever to pardon the offence; we are to declare our willingness to forgive him. If he does not ask forgiveness, yet we are still to treat him kindly; not to harbor malice, not to speak ill of him, to be ready to do him good, and be always prepared to declare him forgiven when he asks it, and if we are not ready and willing to forgive him; we are assured that God will not forgive us.

14. For if ye forgive men, &c.—See on [1229]Mt 6:12. See Poole on "Matthew 6:15". For if ye forgive men their trespasses,.... Christ here refers to the petition in Matthew 6:12 which is enforced with this reason and argument, "as", or "for", so Luke 11:4 "we forgive our debtors"; which he repeats and explains: and the reason why he singles out this particularly is, because he knew the Jews were a people very subject to revenge; and were very hardly brought to forgive any injuries done them: wherefore Christ presses it upon them closely to "forgive men their trespasses"; all sorts of injuries done them, or offences given them, whether by word or deed; and that fully, freely, from the heart; forgetting, as well as forgiving; not upbraiding them with former offences; and even without asking pardon, and though there might be no appearance of repentance. Now to this he encourages by saying,

your heavenly Father will also forgive you; will hear your prayers, and manifest his forgiving love to you: not that the forgiveness of others is the procuring cause of forgiveness with God, which is the blood of Christ; or of the manifestation and application of it, that is, the advocacy of Christ; nor the moving cause of it, that is, the free grace of God: but this enters into the character, and is descriptive of the persons, to whom God is pleased to make a comfortable discovery, and give a delightful sense of his pardoning grace; such persons, so disposed and assisted by his grace, may expect it of him.

{4} For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

(4) They that forgive wrongs, to them sins are forgiven, but revenge is prepared for them that take revenge.

Matthew 6:14 f. Γάρ] points back to Matthew 6:12, the subject of which is now further discussed.

ἀφήσει] like the preceding ἀφῆτε, placed first to render it emphatic. For the thought, the fundamental basis of which was stated in Matthew 6:14 ff., comp. Sir 28:2 ff.Matthew 6:14. Γὰρ, for) referring to the twelfth verse. See of how much account it is to forgive our neighbour. Of the seven petitions, one alone, the fifth, has a certain condition or restriction, as we also; the reason of this is, therefore, added in the present verse.Verses 14, 15. - For if ye forgive men their trespasses, etc. Matthew only. To insert the reason for having said, in the Lord's Prayer, "as we forgive our debtors," emphasizes the necessity of such forgiveness (cf. also Matthew 18:21, sqq.; Mark 11:25; Ecclus. 28:2-4). Trespasses; παραπτώματα, not ὀφειλήματα (ver. 12). Our Lord uses a word which would forbid any limitation to pecuniary matters. Their trespasses. Omitted by Tischendorf, and bracketed by Westcott and Hort (cf. their 'Introd.,' p. 176). The omission more sharply contrasts "men" and "your Father." Trespasses (παραπτώματα)

The Lord here uses another word for sins, and still another (ἁμαρτιας) appears in Luke's version of the prayer, though he also says, "every one that is indebted to us." There is no difficulty in supposing that Christ, contemplating sins in general, should represent them by different terms expressive of different aspects of wrong-doing (see on Matthew 1:21). This word is derived from παραπίπτω, to fall or throw one's self beside. Thus it has a sense somewhat akin to ἁμαρτία, of going beside a mark, missing. In classical Greek the verb is often used of intentional falling, as of throwing one's self upon an enemy; and this is the prevailing sense in biblical Greek, indicating reckless and wilful sin (see 1 Chronicles 5:25; 1 Chronicles 10:13; 2 Chronicles 26:18; 2 Chronicles 29:6, 2 Chronicles 29:19; Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 18:26). It does not, therefore, imply palliation or excuse. It is a conscious violation of right, involving guilt, and occurs therefore, in connection with the mention of forgiveness (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:16; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:5). Unlike παράβασις (transgression), which contemplates merely the objective violation of law, it carries the thought of sin as affecting the sinner, and hence is found associated with expressions which indicate the consequences and the remedy of sin (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:15, Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:1).

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