And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
I. Consider MAN AS A SINNER in need of Divine forgiveness. How could guilt be remitted? Through death of Christ. How can a righteous lawgiver who insists upon a righteous equivalent be said to forgive? Forgiveness and payment of price often combined by sacred writers — "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
II. A reference to our own MORAL CONDITION AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. These words presuppose in us some failure of moral obligation.
2. That sin unremitred has an indelible place in the Divine remembrance. Debts are registered.
3. The need of an individual interest in the provided atonement for transgression.
III. The scriptural CONNECTION between the forgiveness we seek of God, and the forgiveness we may show to our fellow man.
1. The words suppose us to have sacred or relative rights which, as appertaining to our station, every other person is under obligation to acknowledge. This prayer implies that in the case of invaded rights we seek only such restitutions as are necessary to social security; not resentment.
2. The exact force of the connecting particle "AS" in this petition. The word has various meanings, ground or reason — this would attribute to man the meritorious initiative in obtaining his own pardon. Sometimes the word is used in the sense of similitude — God infinitely above man in the way and measure of His forgiveness. It is used both as an ordained condition and as a ground of hope. This connection between our mercy and what we expect is one of unalterable necessity.
IV. The MOTIVES which concur to enforce the duty.
1. What kindness is it to ourselves to forgive.
2. What a victory is it over our enemy to forgive.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.