JESUS TEACHES US TO PRAY
Mt. 6:12 Forgive us our debts
Over the last several days Jesus taught us to pray by focusing on the Person, Place, Purity, Plan, Purpose, and Provision of God. Jesus now teaches us to seek God’s Pardon. Some translations use the word debts and some use the word trespasses. In either case, Jesus is instructing us to ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins.
Sin began the moment the angel Lucifer chose to consider Himself equal to or even greater than God. Lucifer wanted to be worshipped like God. Isaiah 14:12-15 tells us he was thrown out of heaven for his blasphemous rebellion against God. Lucifer, renamed Satan, has been deceiving humanity since Adam and Eve believed his lies and disobeyed the Lord in Genesis 3. The whole human race has adopted Satan’s viewpoint and basically said to God, “We will not obey You. We choose to live our lives without submitting to You.” Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden. We all face eternal separation from God if He does not forgive us our sins.
There is no greater need we all share than the forgiveness of our sins. Sin separates us from God and cuts off the relationship the Lord desires to have with us. Our sin prevents the abundant life God wants us to experience and instead is leading us to death. Sin, if unforgiven, insures our eternal separation from the Lord and our condemnation in Hell. But, thanks be to God, He promises to forgive us if we come to Him on His terms! Here are some steps to take as you ask the Lord to forgive you:
- Admit to God that you are a sinner by nature and that you have sinned against Him.
Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
Psalm 53:2 God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
- Confess your sin to the Lord specifically and in detail.
Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Notice verse three above. David suffered when he refused to confess his sin. God’s conviction was heavy upon him. But in verse five, after he acknowledges his sin to the Lord, David’s burden is lifted. The Lord forgives him. It is the same with you and me.
- Rejoice that God has made a way for you and I to be forgiven through Jesus Christ!
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
Romans 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- Turn away from sin – when the Bible uses the word ‘Repent’ it’s telling us to stop sinning.
Luke 5:31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 13:5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
John 5:14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
John 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
- Depend on God’s strength to live a pure life
Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
REVIEW (circle all correct answers)
- The Lord forgives me because
- I’m basically a good person – at least I’m a lot better than most of the other people I know.
- Jesus received the punishment for my sin when He died on the cross
- The Lord is full of mercy and grace
- I have placed my faith in Jesus and asked Him to forgive me
- The Lord knows I’m a great asset to His kingdom
- The wrath of God against my sin was poured out on Jesus
- When I confess my sin to the Lord
- The burden of guilt is lifted from my heart and mind
- He forgives me
- Through Christ, I am no longer separated from God because of my sin
- To repent means I turn away from those behaviors in my life that dishonor God T or F
- The Lord gives me strength to stop sinning if I rely on Him for it T or F
List those things you have done that cause you to feel guilty or shameful. Confess each situation to the Lord and ask His forgiveness. Ask Him if you need to do something to restore a relationship or correct a wrong you’ve committed. Do those things He shows you. REJOICE – YOU’RE FREE OF GUILT AND SHAME! Praise God! THROUGH CHRIST YOU ARE FORGIVEN!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.