Why do we ask "forgive us our debts" if our sins have been forgiven?

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Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am working through the Exposition of the Lord's Prayer, by Thomas Hooker. His explanation for the above-mentioned question seems a bit thin...
Any thoughts?
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I am working through the Exposition of the Lord's Prayer, by Thomas Hooker. His explanation for the above-mentioned question seems a bit thin...
Any thoughts?
Here's some ideas. Hope I am right about John 13

Remember when Jesus washed the disciples' feet in John 13?
Peter complained and said, "You shall never wash my feet."
To which Jesus answered saying, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." And "Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you."

What is taking place here?
Jesus said that the eleven were clean, i.e., Justified already, but that they still needed washing, i.e., forgiveness for their daily failings or sins. I think this is the teaching in this passage.

From Fisher's Catechism on the Fifth Petition of the Lord's Prayer
Q. 16. When a believer prays for the forgiveness of his daily sins, does he pray for a new and formal pardon of them?
A. Whatever may be the believer’s practice as to this matter, at some times, through the prevalence of darkness and unbelief; yet it is certain, that the pardon of sin, in justification, is one perfect act, completed at once, and never needs to be repeated, Micah 7:19 — “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

Q. 17. If daily sins are already forgiven in justification, in so far as the not imputing of them is secured in it; why is the believer here directed to pray for the pardon of them?
A. As the evidences of pardon may be frequently eclipsed, and fatherly displeasure incurred, by our daily failings; it is therefore our duty to pray, that God’s fatherly displeasure may be removed, and the joy of his salvation restored, by his “giving us daily more and more assurance of forgiveness, Psalm 51:8-10, 12.”

From the Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 194. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, (which is, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,) acknowledging, that we and all others are guilty both of original and actual sin, and thereby become debtors to the justice of God; and that neither we, nor any other creature, can make the least satisfaction for that debt; we pray for ourselves and others, that God of nis free grace would, through the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, apprehended and applied by faith, acquit us both from the guilt and punishment of sin, accept us in his Beloved, continue his favour and grace to us, pardon out daily failings, and fill us with peace and joy, in giving us daily more and more assurance of forgiveness; which we are the rather imboldened to ask, and encouraged to expect, when we have this testimony in ourselves, that we from the heart forgive others their offences.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Yeah, I would think relationally. Of course your children are yours and they always will be, but imagine if they never confessed their sin to you or sought forgiveness. I don't think that would be a healthy relationship.
 

mgkortus

Puritan Board Freshman
Our sins were atoned for at the cross.

Forgiveness is the application of Christ's atonement to our consciences in the present.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have addressed that question in a sermon on Lord's Day 51 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Thank you! I read it and it gave me the answers that I was looking for.
Yeah, I would think relationally.
Exactly!
After David sinned, the prophet Nathan gave him the judicial verdict "God took away your sin, you will not die." (Because the penalty of sin is death).
And yet David goes on and writes Ps 51 where he is chasing the restoration of the relationship - epitomized in the joy of his salvation.
Now right after forgive us our debts, we see "as we also have forgiven our debtors". Yet again - relational!
 
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