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Bible with Cross ShadowFor if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

This may be the most direct, easily understood and often taught saying of Jesus. So, why is the church so divided over the trespasses of others? It is tragically ironic that such a saying – and the consequences of not doing it – has had so little response in the church. Perhaps the easy, once saved always saved, gospel has turned this saying of Jesus into an option.

So, let me ask you: What does it mean if the Father does not forgive someone’s trespasses? Will He allow such a person into His presence? Does the blood of Jesus somehow make this saying of Jesus null and void? If so, then we would have to surmise that this saying is only for the lost. That is the only way it would make sense.

No, there is something more going on here. Jesus was speaking to His followers then; and this is for us now. Let’s not be so naive to think that we are free in this area. Let’s not underestimate the consequences.

Whatever your opinion on the conditions for salvation, certainly we can agree that the consequences of even one unforgiven trespass will be tragic. Perhaps we should take some time for a heart examination.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

Humbly yours and forever His,

Bible with Cross ShadowThe deeper we go into the Sermon on the Mount, the more challenging it is becoming to focus on the simple “doings” that are required for our houses to stand. Or, it just may be that I am making it harder than it needs to be. Perhaps, as some have suggested, I think too much.

Perhaps I just need to write the article, and see where it leads us. Bear with me.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.  Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19

“Do even the least of these commandments (the Law), and teach them.” Would you agree that is a simple and fair interpretation of this saying? It is simple, isn’t it?

Yet, it is not simple; at least, not for me – not the application of it. Why? Because I have been taught most of my life that the Law is totally optional; that it’s only purpose was to show us that we could not fulfill God’s requirement for righteousness in our own strength; that we needed the grace of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation.

We are saved by grace, through faith; and not by works of the Law. That is how I remember it. That is how I was taught. And that is what I still believe with all my heart. I am incapable of fulfilling the Law.

So, why did Jesus make this a point of His sermon? There must be something more here. It seems to me that, in this case, I did not think enough. I certainly did not search out the matter as I should. I allowed myself to believe that the Law was of consequence for the Israelites, only. Let me see if I can make sense of it; if only to clear up my own confusion. Read the rest of this entry »

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