Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Matthew 18:21
At Bible Class next Sunday, we discuss the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
In a sermon from 1524, Luther preached:
God’s kingdom or the forgiveness of sins has no limit. Using a parable Jesus exhorts us, in fear of losing God’s grace, to forgive our neighbor his trespasses, without any reluctance, because God forgives us such endless sin and guilt. Our debt which we owe God… is infinite. It is so great we could not pay it, with all our possessions and with all our powers, for we cannot blot out even the smallest sin. And since God in His kingdom forgives us so much out of sheer grace, we ought also to forgive our neighbor a little.
Christ speaks as follows: “In My heavenly kingdom, where there is really nothing but forgiveness of sins, that is, the Christian Church, I will do so to him who pardons another man’s sin.” Or again: “To him who will not show mercy in his neighbor will I also show no mercy. I am like a lord and king with reward to you all, but you are like fellow-servants among one another?”