Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 11:21
Get your coffee and your thinking caps, this is going to be a good one.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.Matthew 6:12-15
Debts and Trespasses
Let’s look at ‘debts‘ first. Other versions you use may read ‘sins’. Both are good to use since the definition of the Greek word used here would say that sins/debts are: the moral debt incurred as the result of sin.
So ‘forgive us our debts we owe You because of our sin’ as we ‘forgive those who have sinned against us, incurring their own moral debt’.
Let’s look at ‘trespasses’ next. Again, in some other versions you may use, trespasses may read sins. Both could be used, but trespasses is a better in this sentence as it makes a distinction. The Greek here: trespasses are what a person has done in transgressing the will or Law and God by some false step or failure. There is no moral debt.
I’m only beginning to study this out throughout scripture. Many people could argue that a trespass and sin are the same thing. I wouldn’t totally disagree. I just see a difference. One describes a moral debt, the other an act that goes against the Law and will of God.
This is something to think about. If I am a new creation, born of God and a slave to righteousness, I owe no more debt of sin to God, I simply have an issue with breaking the rules so to speak.
This scripture specifically speaks to transgressions we must forgive which others have committed, to us. This gives me a lot to think about and hopefully you too!
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before the Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
You can be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the return of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let’s look at this:
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you…
- make you increase and abound – the Lord, Jesus Christ does this!
- in love – to have love based on sincere appreciation or high regard. So we do this to one another in our fellowship and to all.
- just as we do to you – this was the example of the Apostles to the Church. Leaders lead with abounding love which has a sincere appreciation and high regard for others.
so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness…
- so that He may establish – meaning, that He may cause you to become stronger in the sense of a more firm and unchanging attitude or belief
- your hearts blameless in holiness – without fault or blame in divine moral conduct
Putting it together
When we practice sincere love, our hearts are established in holiness without fault before God who is Holy. This is literal, not figurative.
I hope this challenges you. I hope this inspires you. Please do not limit yourself by thinking you cannot reach blamelessness before God. Can you love sinerely? Can you have a high regard for others? Simply put, can you see people as God does?
I say you can! Do you agree?
I was recently reading about the origin of a particular denomination. I discovered that one of the two reasons it was organized was to promote doctrinal stability. Seems like a pretty good reason…
This thought led me to recall their doctrinal statement. Over a dozen statements with scriptural backings all with the intention of promoting unity. Also, seems like a pretty good reason…
This too got me thinking… What’s my “doctrinal statement”? What do I like my life by? What scriptures define my beliefs. I’ll tell you! Get ready, this is complex:
2 Peter 3:10-13
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
That does it for me. It violates every unwritten rule for a doctrinal statement. It’s too short, out of context and mentions nothing about the Trinity, Bible or Baptism.
Yes it DOES NOT mention those things. Yet if I live out this part of Holy Scripture:
- I will examine myself and find that I am lacking.
- In my lack I will look for filling.
- In my search for filling I will see that only God bring life to death.
- In my pursuit of life I will seek God’s voice.
- I will find this in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.
- I will then turn to a relentless, never ending study and faithful living of His Word.
- I will cease to become a Denominationalist.
- I will become a Christian.
It seems when I’m feeling my lowest, God speaks destiny and identity to me the most. This ALWAYS contradicts my negative emotions. So why is it that God would speak something to me which causes me to feel this way? He believes in me!
He is causing me to overcome by calling out what is great while completely ignoring what I’m thinking about myself.