The Covenant of Forgiveness

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Matthew 6:12 NLT

When we pray this part of the Lord’s Prayer, we enter into a covenant with God. When you break a covenant, there are always consequences.

First, this verse is not referring to salvation. The Bible clearly states that our salvation is by faith, not works. If you can get to heaven by forgiving someone, it is not by faith but by works. Nonetheless, saved people should be forgiving people; not doing so is a double standard. Forgive me, Lord, but I am not going to forgive them. V.12 asks the Lord to give us the benefits of forgiveness to the extent we are willing to forgive others.

So, what are the benefits of forgiveness and the consequences of unforgiveness? Let’s look at the negative first. Unforgiveness hinders the work of the Holy Spirit. Grieving the Spirit is saying yes when God is saying no. Quenching the Spirit is saying no when God is saying yes. Saying no to forgiveness is saying yes to unforgiveness, resulting in grieving and quenching the Spirit. While forgiving others is not a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Spirit that comes with salvation, it does hinder the work of the third person of the Trinity in our lives. 

Conversely, forgiveness opens us to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives for comfort and power for service, but we cannot expect to receive comfort from the one we are distressing or obtain power from whom we are stifling. 

When we pray this portion of the Lord’s Prayer, we enter into a covenant with God. God will fulfill His part; the question is, are we walking in forgiveness, fulfilling our part? If not, we will be as the Apostle Paul described; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5a KJV).

Leave a Reply