Forgiveness is – loving other people better!

#GrowingCloserToGod and learning how to love people better means that

  1. We do not bear grudges,
  2. We do not get even with them.
  3. We do not hold their sins-or perceived sins over them forever and ever amen.

The Lord gave us a sample prayer to indicate the importance of forgiveness! We will look at several versions of this sample prayer. This Bible study refers to the Greek meaning of the words and or word phrases in this prayer. Why Greek and not Hebrew? KKQ states that the New Testament canon was written and disseminated throughout the Roman empire (16). The language of mainly used by its citizens was Greek.

However, before we do that, here are some questions that we might want to answer.

  1. At what age did you learn to say “the Lord’s Prayer?”
  2. As you have prayed throughout the last year, how often did you say the Lord’s prayer?
  3. When you prayed the Lord’s prayer did you dissect it word for word and allow the impact of each word to govern your thoughts?
  4. What specific phrase in the Lord’s prayer governs your relationships with others?
  5. How has repeating this prayer on a daily basis changed how you relate to people?
  6. The last time you had a grudge against someone did this prayer come to mind?
  7. If this prayer came to mind how did it change your attitude toward the person for whom you had feelings of doubt?
  8. How did saying this prayer prevent you from telling others about your perceived hurt?
  9. While we are praying who hears us?
  10. What is the role of the Holy Spirit as we pray this prayer?

King James Version of Matthew 6:-13

“After this manner, therefore, pray ye:

  1. Our Father
  2. which art in heaven,
  3. Hallowed be thy name.
  4. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
  5. Give us this day our daily bread. 
  6. And forgive us our debts,
  7. as we forgive our debtors.  
  8. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
  9. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen”

1. The opening phrase of the prayer:  “Our Father which art in heaven.”

We are acknowledging YHWH as our “Father.” We are also identifying His residence! The Greek word for father is pater.” Strong’s concordance lists the root and identifies the parts of speech for this specific word.

patér: a father

Original Word: πατήρ, πατρός, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: patér
Phonetic Spelling: (pat-ayr’)
Short Definition: father, Father, ancestor
Definition: father, (Heavenly) Father, ancestor, elder, senior.

In John 4:24 Jesus clarifies who God is “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

We cannot human reasoning to guide our thoughts and actions toward others. We must operate according to the Spirit that lives in us.

2. His Residence.

“which art in heaven.” The latter part of the phrase tells us where our Heavenly Father lives. Genesis 1:6-8 “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day” confirms the location of our Father’s home!

3. This prayer also gives us an opportunity to make requests of our Heavenly Father.

Request number 1: “Hallowed [Greek word=  hagiazo] be thy name.”

What does “hallowed” mean? This is an important word. Its distinction from other words determines how we treat the name of God. Strong’s Cordance presents the following definition;

hagiazó: to make holy, consecrate, sanctify

Original Word: ἁγιάζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: hagiazó
Phonetic Spelling: (hag-ee-ad’-zo)
Short Definition: I make holy, sanctify
Definition: I make holy, treat as holy, set apart as holy, sanctify, hallow, purify.

So, are we saying here “I will make your name Holy?” If that is what it is saying then why is it that we do not have a problem using the emoticon “OMG?” Yes, it is an abbreviation, but it is still an irreverent use of the name of God Almighty!

What are the biblical consequences for taking our Father’s name in vain? 

Old Testament: Lev. 24:16  “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.”

1. Deuteronomy 5:10-11 “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

2. Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

3. Leviticus 19:12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the LORD.

4. Psalm 139:20-21 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? Why doesn’t God exact this same punishment today? New Testament Scriptures allude to the Holiness of God and the connection we have to Him through the blood of Jesus; therefore, we do not swear anything to anyone using His name.

New Testament.

1. Matthew 5:33-37 ” Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” We do not allow unwholesome talk to come out of our mouth against anyone or anything because we represent our Heavenly Father.

2. Ephesians 4:29-30 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption [The answer to the question why does our Father not exact the same Old Testament punishment for using His name in vain today is mentioned in the latter part of this Scripture. We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ!]

3. Philippians 2:9-11 ESV Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

4. As Jesus prayed in John 17:26ESV He declared “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

5. There is power in YHWH Holy name “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:11 ESV [Our Heavenly Father does not punish us today in the same way that he punished Israel of the OT because He is “keeping us in His name.” He has never broken a promise made to any human being so He is not about to break his promise to His Son.

Request number 2:“Thy kingdom come.”

  1. What do you think our Father’s Kingdom will look like?
  2. What is the Greek word for Kingdom? Strong’s Concordance sheds some light on this word.
basileia: kingdom, sovereignty, royal power

Original Word: βασιλεία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliterationbasileia
Phonetic Spelling: (bas-il-i’-ah)
Short Definition: kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, kingdom
Definition: kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense.

“Thy Kingdom come” implies that our Heavenly Father/or someone is a King who is ruling in this kingdom.  Read the Greek Scriptures that refer to Kingdom/basileia. They are quite extensive. Do they identify ho the King of this “kingdom/”   A King is of no repute if He does not have a kingdom and citizens to rule? Who is this king who will be ruling?

Matt. 24:30 KJV “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”  Who is this Son of Man?

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Rev 11:15 ESVThen the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”” Only one person can to seek  and save – Jesus?

Who will be ruling with the Son of Man in this Kingdom?

Revelation 20: 4-5 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” The Children of God have a role to play in the “Thy Kingdom Come!”

Request number 3: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven..”

What is the will of our Father? How can we know what it is?

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasingIn everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
  3. Ephesians 5:15-17  “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
  4. 1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” [We cannot put the silence the ignorance of foolish men when all they experience is from us is a tongue lashing, disrespct, foolish talk, lack of trust, and finger pointing.]
  5. 1 Timothy 2:2-4 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. [ We are praying for and respecting all kings and those who are in authority.] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;’ Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Scripture alludes to the role that we play in God’s plan for humanity. How we behave toward each other is an expression of His will for our lives! So maybe it is time for us to do a self check to see if our behavior is in keeping with His will.

References

Köstenberger, Andreas J., L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. Nashville, Tenn: B & H Academic, 2009. Google Books.

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