Matt 6:14-15, Matt 18:35, Mark 11:26 For if ye forgive men.

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VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

These verse have often confused me, at first reading it seems to make salvation conditional on ones ability to forgive, which is contrary to the gospel. I know the classic response to this is that this is descriptive rather than perscriptive. In other words if you are truely forgiven by God then you will forgive. This is true but is this what this verse is really saying. Could the be another interpretation in light Matt 18?

This chapter speaks of church discipline, and Jesus concluded by warning the Apostles that they should forgive the brethern if they repent of their sins. Could this be something to do with their Apostolic authority (John 20:20-23) that was unique to the laying of the foundation of the church(Eph 2:20) In other words is Christ saying that the religious leaders of that day were completely corrupt and didn't pronouce forgiveness those who sought it e.g.Matt 23:4,13 . In other words is Christ telling the disciples that the Old Cov order was going to be destroyed (because it was corrupt Matt 23:28), and that they were to make sure not to be corrupt like the religious leaders. That they too would be destroyed with the religious leaders of that day, if they failed to pronouce forgivens to those who sought it 1 Cor 9:16.

Any thoughts??

VanVos
 

Areopagus

Puritan Board Freshman
Matthew 6 and Matthew 18 are 2 different chapters. The context of Matthew 6 is in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 18 is in a completely different context, no?

Matthew 6 would be the context of Christ laying out the guidelines for the description of a believers life.

Matthew 18:15 follows the context of the kept brother who shunned the prodigal brother.

In Him,

Dustin...
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I agree, they are two different chapters but the book can been taken a unified whole, the major theme being the coming of the Kingdom of God. Matt 6 was first spoken to the disciples, before it was written to us, and it seems to make reference to the disciples present crisis, because of the coming of the kingdom of God i.e. Matt 5:11-13, the persecution they would suffer, asking for the Holy Spirit to empower them, that came at Pentecost Matt 7:7-11, The false Prophets that were coming Matt 7:15-20, the judgment upon the religious leaders of their day Matt 6:1-6, 16-17 etc. In other words, in Matthew, Jesus is telling the disciples not be hypercritical like the rest of that generation, especially the religious leaders. Matt 11:16, 12:40-42, Matt 23:36, Matt 24:36 who were going to be judged, which was consummated with destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Therefore although these are separate chapters I do believe that they are speaking upon similar themes.

Also Matt 6:15 is in the imperative (possibly in the subjunctive) rather than the indicative which would seem to say that this forgiveness was conditional, but that can not mean that if I do not 100% fulfill this verse that I'm not going to be forgiven, because I am forgiven by the believing the Gospel Rom 3:21-26. That's why I believe that the is more to this verse than a simple description of how a believer will behave, although I do believe that believer will forgive others because of the forgiveness they have received in Christ Col 3:13

VanVos
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
I think a forgiving heart is one of the fruits of a geniune saving faith... Forgiveness can sometimes be hard particularly when we're wronged, but our faith isn't static--- we're running a personal race, and God often teaches us how to forgive. The root of bitterness needs to be uprooted, and I learned to pray for those who cursed me and spitefully used me amidst much wrong.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
My belief is that Jesus is not speaking in either place of definitve forgiveness of us by God. Rather, it is speaking of maintaining familial relationships. Being out of accord with another member means we are fundamentally out of accord with everyone, including our heavenly Father. How can we expect our daily sins and offenses to be forgiven if we are unwilling to grant forgiveness to them that offend us? We need to remember the point of the parable of the unforgiving servant. My child, if she is hateful to her sister, incurs my displeasure. And if she will not forgive her sister's sins against her, I too will not be reconciled to her--not in an ultimate or fundamental way (I cannot despise my own child whom I love)--but in a provisional way, to be sure.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I agree with your thoughts Bruce and Ryan. I would say at very least it teaching the principle of walking in forgiveness. I guess my question was, did it have a direct bearing on the original audience, in light of the coming judgment upon apostate Israel?.

VanVos

[Edited on 6-2-2005 by VanVos]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Jonathan,
I assume you may be basing this on the precluding passages? Ironically, I was studying the passage of the withered fig tree this morning. It is difficult to say the least.........

Mar 11:20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
Mar 11:21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
Mar 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Poole writes that the fig tree does not produce fruit all season long and that it was possible that this tree was actually out of season. None the less, Jesus curses it and withered it is. When the apostles ask, it is a teaching on faith, not so much prayer.......Faith and forgiveness go hand in hand. The question here is how are we to interpret the extent of the faith Jesus is espousing. We know that the word of faith circles are wrong. Obviously, the reformed know that that which is within the realm of Gods will will be granted us.

I hope I didn't hijack the thread by turning to the left slightly, but I believe the cursing of the tree to be slightly arbitrary; other than the fact that Jesus used it to teach the apostles about faith and prayer.

[Edited on 2-6-2005 by Scott Bushey]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yes passages like Mark 11 (interesting thoughts Scott), but not just that but the whole transitional period between the passing away of the Old covenant to the establishment of the New, and God's judgment on the Old Covenant community. But that been said I could be reading too much into the passage. I obviously believe that the sermon on the Mount is for the church today, and it is wrong to "dispensationalize" any part of Christ's teachings.

VanVos

[Edited on 6-2-2005 by VanVos]
 
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