“Forgive Us Our Debts” (Matt. 6:12). Believers Confess Their Sins; Unbelievers Satan Soldiers Deny Theirs

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Believers in Christ have a hard time dealing with sin. You probably weren't surprised to hear that. Sin becomes less of a problem, but you become more aware of it as you grow in Christ. This does not make you more susceptible to temptation; rather, it makes you more cognizant of the subtle ways in which sin dishonors God.

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Some people think you should never confess your sins or seek forgiveness, but the Lord instructed us to do so when He said for us to pray, "Forgive us our debts" (Matt. 6:12). That's the believer's prayer for the Father's forgiveness.

John said, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (1 John 1:8–10). That passage doesn't tell us how to get saved, as many have taught. It tells us how to distinguish believers from unbelievers: believers confess their sins; unbelievers don't.

The phrase "forgive us" in Matthew 6:12 implies the need for forgiveness. "Debts" is a Greek word that was used to speak of a moral or monetary debt. In Matthew 6:12, it refers to sins. When you sin, you owe God a consequence or a debt because you have violated His holiness.

When you sin as a believer, you don't lose your salvation, but you will face God's chastening if you don't repent. Hebrews 12 says, "Those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness" (vv. 6, 10).

If you are harboring sin, confess it now and allow God to cleanse you and use you today for His glory.

Suggestions for prayer

Write down why God's forgiveness is important to you, then express those thoughts to Him in praise.

For further study

Read Psalm 38.

  • What physical and emotional ailments did David experience as a result of his sin?
  • What was his attitude toward God as he confessed his sin?

 

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