It is particularly in the Sermon on the Mount that the Son of God teaches his followers to pray the Lord’s Prayer and to recite the words “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). His disciples acknowledge that they are sinners who need forgiveness, and therefore seek heavenly mercy. Simultaneously, they also pledge to forgive those who have hurt them. While the disciples ask for forgiveness from the Father and the Son who are in Heaven, they also must forgive those on earth who sin against them.
Without forgiving others, no forgiveness is available. This axiom is clearly declared by the Lord himself: “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15). In fact, it is the Messiah who has the authority and the “power on earth to forgive sins” (Matt 9:6). Thus, forgiving fellow human beings is not an option, but rather an obligation demanded by the Son of God. Forgiving others is a lifelong process which has to be carried out without excuses and without conditions.
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