Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Calvin on the Lord's Prayer - Part 6

"Remit us our debts, as we remith (them) to our debtors."

"By these words we ask that grace and remission of our sins be made unto us, which remission is necessary to all men without exception. And we call our offenses 'debts' inasmuch as we owe to God the penalty thereof as the payment of a debt. And we could not meet it in any way if we were not absolved through this remission, which is a gratuitous pardon because of his mercy. We ask that this be done to us as we do it to our debtors, that is to say, as we forgive those by whom we have been wounded, in whatever way, or iniquitously outraged through deeds, or offended through words. The condition, however, is not added as if by forgiving others we deserved the forgiveness of God. But this addition, 'As we remit them to our debtors,' is simply a sign offered to us by God to confirm us in the certainty that the Lord receives us to mercy as we are certain in our conscience of exercising mercy upon others, if our heart is well purged of all hatred, envy, and revenge. And vice versa, it is a sign that God effaces from the number of his children all those who, being inclined to revenge and unable to forgive, keep enmities rooted in their hearts so that they do not undertake to invoke him as their Father and to ask that the indignation which they nourish against men may not fall upon themselves." (Instruction in Faith, p. 63)


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