Bible Passage:The Lord's Prayer
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
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Being taught by grace, we are to be under the persuasion that every man is a sinner against God, and has also sinners against, or debtors to, himself. First, we are sinners against God, and we are such in great and damnable sins from which few of us are found to be free. And even if any one be of such moral goodness that he is not as yet polluted with these greater sins, still he is a debtor to God; for he does not fulfill the law of God nor does he show forth the least gratitude or thanks unto God for all the gifts and benefits that he has received above others. And therefore, if God should contend with him, that which Job said would be proved to be true, that "If one wished to dispute with God, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times." (Job 9:3). And clearly, then, it is humility alone that keeps even those who live under grace safe, whose own sins are not imputed unto them, because they judge and condemn themselves and plead for pardon, and mercifully pardon their debtors. Secondly, there are also those who are debtors to us. For thus does God permit, in His management of things, that some one or another should rise up who may trouble or injure our property, or fame, or anything else of that kind which belongs to us; and thus He gives us an occasion for repenting of our sins and pardoning our debtors. And here, turn your judgment upon yourself and commune with your own heart. See who and what you are, and then you will forget all the evils of your neighbor, because you yourself will find both your hands full of, yes, even running over with, your own evils.
Lord, all our trespasses forgive,
That they our hearts no more may grieve,
As we forgive their trespasses
Who unto us have done amiss;
Thus let us dwell in charity,
And serve each other willingly.
aka Pastor Robin Fish
To be Lutheran is to be Christian -- and Vice Versa!
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