The Fifth Petition
Only Christianity gives it away.
Every human being who has ever lived has a conscience and knows two things for sure: there is evil within me, and I am in some kind of trouble with the holy Power out there. When people make up their own religious systems, they always put the pressure on the individual to make amends. There are rules to keep, rituals to observe, propitiations and sacrifices, pilgrimages, and various acts of devotion and obedience. But only Christianity gives forgiveness away. Jesus invites you to ask for it.
“When you pray, say: ‘Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us’” (Luke 11:2,4). Jesus Christ, on Calvary’s cross, did all the obeying, sacrificing, and paying that was necessary. He bought forgiveness of sins for the whole world, and everyone who believes it has it. He gives it away.
He also charges his believers to show that same mercy to the fools and sinners who surround them each day. How can the first half of that prayer be so easy and the second half so hard? When you pray the Fifth Petition, pray it with all your might. Don’t let Satan steal your absolute confidence of forgiveness, and don’t let a shabby spirit withhold that same forgiveness to people who ask it of you.
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