A First Book of Daily Readings
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC Website
The spirit of forgiveness
… The proof that you and I are forgiven is that we forgive others. If we think that our sins are forgiven by God and we refuse to forgive somebody else, we are making a mistake; we have never been forgiven. The man who knows he has been forgiven, only in and through the shed blood of Christ, is a man who must forgive others. He cannot help himself.
If we really know Christ as our Savior, our hearts are broken and cannot be hard; and we cannot refuse forgiveness. If you are refusing forgiveness to anybody, I suggest that you have never been forgiven; … whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody anything. I cannot withhold it; I do not even want to withhold it….
Pray to God and say, “Forgive me, O God, as I forgive others because of what Thou hast done for me. All I ask is that Thou shouldst forgive me in the same manner, not to the same degree because all I do is imperfect. In the same way, as it were, as Thou hast forgiven me, I am forgiving others. Forgive me as I forgive them because of what the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ has done in my heart.”
This petition is full of the atonement; it is full of the grace of God. We see how important it is by the fact that our Lord actually repeats it … (in [Matthew 6] verses 14 and 15): “…if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” The thing is absolute and inevitable.
True forgiveness breaks a man, and he must forgive. So that when we offer this prayer for forgiveness, we test ourselves in that way. Our prayer is not genuine, it is not true, it is of no avail unless we find there is forgiveness in our heart. God give us grace to be honest with ourselves.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 75-6
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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