ernieyip asked a question:
Hi, I have a question about forgiveness. In the Lord’s Prayer, there’s the part that says “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Also, in Matthew 6, Jesus says “if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. To me it looks like the verse says that God’s forgiveness is conditional on our own acts of forgiveness, but I don’t think that’s the case. Could you help me better understand this passage? Thanks
Hey my friend, the passage you mentioned definitely scares me too. There are also other similar ones.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. — Mark 11:25
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. — Luke 6:37
In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” — Matthew 18:34-35
At first glance, all these passages seem conditional, as if God will only forgive when we forgive others.
But as with any Bible passage, we must always balance out singular verses with the rest of the Bible in theme, intent, and the Gospel. Otherwise, we end up with a lopsided theology that might be half-right, but is therefore all wrong.