“And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors”
How are you? We just enjoyed watching a special performance of the youth association. Didn’t we have a good time? Brother Jinho Hong is pretty tall, but he stretched himself even further to do his squid dance. You wouldn’t know how much I laughed observing that dance. Truly, our brothers can dance much better than I ever did when I was still a bachelor. Our sisters said that our young brothers are brave.
This church of God is wonderful no matter what we do in it. It is even greater when we sing the praises we have composed and written the lyrics by ourselves. The church of God is so very beautiful and glorious. Don’t you love the church of God? Of course, you do. And if God permits, I believe that we will write even better praise songs. If any of you have good lyrics or songs for praise, please submit them to our senior Pastors. Then, we will make praise songs out of them and sing them together. God will receive great glory through the praises of the born again righteous. When our praise songbook gets too thick, let’s publish a second volume. Right now, we have 21 new songs in it. I would like to see about 50 new songs at our next Discipleship Training Camp. Am I asking for too much? If not, I would like to praise God with about 15 new songs each year.
In this year’s Summer Discipleship Training Camp, we are studying about the Lord’s Prayer together. Today, we will focus on the Word from Matthew chapter 6, verse 12, which says, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.”
If we understand the Word of God only literally, that will be our own ruin. That is because God hid deeper divine meanings in the written Word. Every Word of God is written in letters so that anyone can read it, but to correctly understand it we need to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the key to opening and understanding the Word. Only those who possess this genuine gospel can share the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer correctly by interpreting it properly.
We are studying the Lord’s Prayer, which our Lord has taught us. When we look at the Lord’ Prayer in its literal meaning, we may feel the urge to do something. Hence, when we read today’s Scripture passage, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors,” we feel the need to continuously receive the remission of our sins by doing something. Do we really need to continuously receive the remission of our sins? Not at all! True faith is not coming from a mere feeling. If we consider the feelings of our hearts as our true faith, we easily misunderstand and misinterpret the Word of God.
We should know first that the phrase “And forgive us our debts” from today’s Scripture passage does not mean that those who have received the remission of sin in their faith should wash their sins away again. This passage is one of the most misunderstood passages by many people. “If our Lord has really blotted out all our sins, why did our Lord teach in the Lord’s Prayer that we should pray for the forgiveness of our sins?” Like this, many people have misunderstand and wrongly believed in this part of the Lord’s Prayer. Because of such misunderstandings, confusion abounds to almost every Christian.
Does the Word from verse 12 really tell us that we need to continuously receive the remission of our personal sins? No. We can ask ourselves: “It seems that God tells us to pray daily for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, how could we still have sins, if all our sins were taken care of once and for all by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Our Lord Himself has taught us the Lord’s Prayer. Are there some differences between the Lord’s Prayer and the gospel of the water and the Spirit?”
Most Christians insist that the sins they commit daily should be washed away through daily prayers of repentance. However, it is not so. Because our Lord has remitted all the sins of the world once and for all by receiving His baptism of the water and shedding His blood on the Cross, believers in this gospel have no sin.
Yet, if we misunderstand the Lord’s Prayer, we fall into great confusion again. The faith of those who have received the remission of sin is crumpled at once by those who wrongly believe in the Word of God out of their misunderstandings of it not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They say that our original sin was remitted through our faith but that our personal sins still remain. However, such is a great error out of their fallacious faith. Because they tried to comprehend the Word of the Bible without the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, they have fallen into great errors and come to have a wrong faith.
Although We Are All Weak, We Should Forgive Each Other’s Faults within the Faith in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
We cannot help but commit sins daily, while we live in this world. Hence, it is right for us to forgive each other’s wrongdoings. We live committing personal sins. That is a fact. Yet, we have to wash away all our personal sins we commit daily through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In another word, the solution to all our problems of sin and the forgiveness of each other’s wrongdoings is in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The phrase “As we forgive our debtors” is telling us to forgive each other’s faults that are committed out of their weaknesses.
Every Word in the Bible presupposes the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The phrase “As we forgive our debtors” also means that we have to forgive each other’s faults with the heart of generosity of the born again who have received the unconditional remission of sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we are able to resolve the problems of sin only through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord is telling us about this part. Only those who have experienced unconditional love of the Lord, that is, who have received the remission of all their sins that was given freely by our Lord are able to show mercy to the others who have committed sins against them. Hence, our Lord told the righteous about ethical living in faith. Dear fellow believers, do you understand this?
God has spoken the Truth: “If you have received the grace of the remission of all your sin at once, you also have to be able to forgive those who have sinned against you. If you who have received the grace of the remission of sin from Me are unable to forgive those who have sinned against you, you would be disgracing My name. If you are unable to forgive each other when I have already blotted out all of your sins, I will not remit your sins either.”
Our Lord has spoken to us along this line. Hence, the Word is telling us that we should forgive each other of the wrongdoings that we cause against each other. This Word is given to the born-again saints who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order for them to apply it in their true ethical lives. That is, it was a lesson for us to forgive each other’s personal wrongdoings as long as it does not constitute the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Although we cannot forgive those who interfere and corrupt the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must forgive each other’s wrongdoings in our ethical lives as saints.
Truly, there are those in this world who have received the remission of sin at once by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has really remitted all of their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, they have become sinless by their faith in this true gospel. Believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can approach God with a pure conscience. Hence, they are able to forgive each other’s wrongdoings by faith within the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As long as someone among us does not corrupt the unchanging Truth, we are able to forgive each other’s wrongdoings. Those who have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the power to forgive each other’s wrongdoings.
Still, there is one unforgivable sin even in the Lord. That is the sin of corrupting the greatest gift to humanity, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We cannot allow the sin of obstructing the spread of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the sin of trying to spread a corrupted version of the gospel. As a matter of fact, if you ever forgive such persons who commit sins of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, you would be worse sinners than themselves. And if you are one with such people, you will not be able to avoid the curses of hell. However, if they realize their sins and turn away from their sins and try to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and spread that gospel, they would still receive the compassion of God.
In the Old Testament times, our Lord allowed for the believers to wash away all of their sins through their faith in the sacrificial system: They transferred their sins onto the sacrifices by laying their hands on the head of the sacrifices and they paid off the wages of their sins by sprinkling the blood of the sacrifices in front of the altar of burnt offering.
In the New Testament times, our Lord came as the sacrificial Lamb that was to take upon Himself all the sins of the world. Through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, our Lord took away all the sins of the world. Furthermore, He went to the Cross and paid the ransom for our lives by shedding His blood. God has allowed us to receive the remission of sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which blots out all of our sins once and for all. Moreover, this is the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which blots out all of our sins for eternity.. Because we commit wrongdoings against each other, our Lord blotted out our sins by receiving His baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross.
When we try to understand the Word of the Bible, we have to do so by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Of course, those who can pray the Lord’s Prayer properly are the ones who have placed their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, when we are willing to learn the lessons of the Lord's Prayer properly, we must first comprehend the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is impossible to understand the passage “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors” without the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If God had desired to see the righteousness from our flesh, He would have been disappointed. If God had only demanded us our good deeds out of our human nature, we all would have been discouraged. And then our believing hearts that we had before would fade away under the heavy burden of sin. We are unable to do any act of righteousness in our flesh. God does not demand our righteous acts out of our weak flesh.
We rather have to think about and believe in this Truth of the remission of sin, which came by the water and the Spirit. Because God knows all about the weaknesses of our flesh, all He demands is that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God the Father has given us the faith, by which we can give glory to the name of the Father.
There Are Unforgivable Sins
Still, there are cases where even we the righteous are unable to accept each other. That is because there are those who try to corrupt the God-given gospel that cannot change forever. Even the best of the swords are regarded as no better than a wooden sword by an untrained eye. Likewise, there are those who underestimate and try to corrupt the God given gospel of the water and the Spirit, whose power is absolute and which we should have absolutely believed in and relied upon.
There may be those who are asking, “Are you saying that there are some people who you are unable to forgive before God”? Yes, there can be some kinds of people whom God Himself does never forgive of their sins. Why are we also unable to forgive those who ignore the eternal gospel and even try to corrupt it? All forgiveness and tolerance depend on our Lord. We cannot forgive people like Jezebel, who controlled her husband Ahab intentionally to lure the people of God into idolatry. Jezebel and Ahab were standing against Elijah, although they knew very well that he was a servant of God. Also, although Jezebel knew that her husband should serve Jehovah God as the king of Israel, she coerced Ahab to serve idols other than Jehovah God.
Among the sins Jezebel committed was the extortion of Naboth’s vineyard to turn it into the vegetable garden of her husband. There was a vineyard near by the palace of King Ahab, and he coveted that vineyard. Through unlawful means, Ahab demanded Naboth to give up his vineyard. Naboth, the owner of the vineyard refused to give the inheritance from his forefathers to the king. Because Ahab desired that vineyard so badly, he struggled without even eating his meals. Once Jezebel saw that, she told Ahab that she would get him that vineyard so not to worry. She bought false witnesses against Naboth and had him killed. Then, she took that vineyard and gave it to King Ahab as a present (1 Kings 21:1-16).
The vineyard signifies the church of God in the Bible. Thus, those who turned the church of God inherited from the men of faith into a useless vegetable garden were the ones who committed the grave sins that stood against God publicly. This was an outright act of hostility against God. Jezebel opposed God without any hesitation to satisfy her own greed. That was an unforgivable sin, unless she turned around and repented truthfully.
As far as we know, all human beings are essentially the same in front of God, having the same human nature. Then, those who think of them as special and superior to others and try to control others are of the kind of Jezebel. A person who thinks, “I should use this person in this way, and I should control that person in that way” is a very wicked person. Is there any wickedness or selfishness in our hearts?
As a matter of fact, the human gene itself is very selfish. Bio-scientists have ascertained that human genes are so selfish that they give selfish orders to various parts of our bodies. As a matter of fact, all cancer diseases are the result of such selfishness of cancer cells. Hence, a life that has not received the remission of sin is very selfish. Also, even if you have received the remission of sin, you cannot but live selfishly if you follow the greed of your flesh. You have to turn away from these kinds of lives. No matter how good a person looks from human perspectives, his life cannot help but be selfish if there were not the Holy Spirit in him. Only the souls of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, by which Jesus washed all our sins away, can live a good life through being guided by God. Those who have been doing the good work of God are not affected by their selfish genes because they believe in the powerful gospel of the water and the Spirit and live for that Truth.
However, there are those who still are under the control of selfish genes, even among the born again. They follow their thoughts of the flesh and reject the guidance of God. They seek their own interests, even using the other saints to such ends. They try to accomplish their will by any means necessary. It would be a grave sin if we tried to raise ourselves and fulfill our own desires without regard to what happens to the good work of God. Then, we have to correct ourselves. Since our Lord has blotted out all other human weaknesses by His baptism and the blood, we could also forgive those sins. However, we cannot forgive those who obstruct the good works of God and try to kill others to seek their own interests of the flesh. We cannot accept them, unless they turn away from their wicked ways from the depth of their hearts. Such wicked hearts not only kill themselves but also lure or kill others to accomplish their goals. Hence, we cannot accept them, unless they repent appropriately. Many people can lose their faith and be led into the ways of damnation by a single wicked person. Just as some Israelites worshipped Baal instead of Jehovah God, we cannot allow people with wicked hearts inside the church of God because they may lead many righteous people into sinfulness.
Human flaws and weaknesses other than these can be forgiven at any time. Although we have not realized our wrongdoings yet, if we realize that we have done wrong in certain ways with the passage of time and turn our hearts around, would not our Lord have taken care of those sins? As long as we don’t disturb the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can be forgiven for our human stupidities, foolishness, and temporary spiritual blindness.
Those who have received complete remission of their sins from the Lord must forgive others for their transgressions that were committed against them. When we have the true faith, we are able to truly forgive each other. We can forgive others from our hearts. Is that true? It is surely thus. All human sins that were committed from their weakness can be forgiven. There is just one sin that cannot be forgiven, and that is the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which is to corrupt the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For other than this sin, we can forgive whatever is the sin of others, as our Lord has first remitted all of our sins.
Even we who have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit still commit personal sins on a daily basis. Hence, dust may settle in our hearts, and they can go astray with wrong thoughts. When your heart comes to face such a situation, you must begin your new lives by believing that even all of these sins have been already washed away completely by the Lord. We are able to become anew and complete day after day by believing in the baptism our Lord received and the blood He shed on the Cross.
Our Lord blotted out all our sins by offering His own life to wash away our sins. It wouldn’t make any sense, therefore, if we who have received the remission of sin were unable to forgive each other. Forgiving others for their faults within the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a presupposition for the life of the righteous. Hence, we are able to glorify God through the Word of God.
However, sometimes we complain about the sins of others, although our hearts have already forgiven them. That is, our thoughts and actions may not always agree. That is not a problem though. Our Lord will take care of such problems in time through our faith. If we are able to forgive others in our hearts, all is already forgiven. On the other hand, if we are unable to forgive others in our hearts, all is not forgiven.
This Is the Greatest Sin among All Human Sins
What is the greatest sin among all human sins? That is the sin of corrupting the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that is, the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Some people do commit such a sin without hesitation. Not only do these people commit this sin alone but they also lure others into believing wrongly like them. In order to fulfill their greed of the flesh, they enslave other people.
If a person truly believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that person would not enslave another person to satisfy the greed of his flesh. If a person truly believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit purely, that person would never be able to do such a thing to the other saints. The hearts of the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must stay pure. So, we must quickly realize that our flesh is far from being pure and actually very evil. When we acknowledge our wickedness of the flesh before God and ask for His compassion, our hearts are truly purified. However, if we follow the greed of our flesh, we will become filthy and hideous. We become as Esau, who sold his rights of the firstborn for bread and a stew of lentils. That is the very story of our own selves. Hence, we must quickly acknowledge that we are such beings and surrender ourselves before the church of God to be guided to a good path by our God.
Any talent, power, or even a small source of pride can bring us our spiritual death, if we do not use them for the spread of the gospel. All of our talents that are not used for God are prone to turn wicked and evil. But, there can be people who regard their wickedness, deceitfulness, and evilness as their special rights and something to brag about. Such people are trying to make subordinates out of naïve fellows and make them work like their slaves. Whether we are humanly talented or untalented can be taken seriously in human perspectives. God does not care about those things but only about the spread of the gospel. God created each human different, but none is more talented than the others from His perspective. In another word, we are all on equal ground. There only exists spiritual order in God’s Church for the spread of the gospel. We have to work for the spread of the gospel of the water and the Spirit within this order.
There is no great difference in human talents. Even the least talented is not that different from the most talented. There is no one who is absolutely talented. If a person excels in one area, that person falls behind in another area. If we see a person lack in one area, this means that we just haven’t seen the area he excels in. That is, no one is talented in every possible way, just as no one is untalented in every possible way. Hence, if anyone wants to see the merits and talents of another person, that person will come to see too many merits and precious talents. Especially, if we look at people in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, everyone will appear even more precious.
We who were born again of the water and the Spirit must be able to respect and see the preciousness of the servants of God, who serve the gospel with the lowliest of hearts. When we see things from a broader perspective, we gain the heart to forgive, accept, and care for the coworkers God gave us. This is a humble heart.
Many foreigners ask the most questions about the Lord’s Prayer, after they have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit: “The Lord’s Prayer taught us to pray, ‘And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.’ This Word comes from the prayer our Lord taught us. Our Lord taught us to keep praying this prayer. So how do I understand this Word? Although we believe that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real Truth, we cannot comprehend why we should pray everyday for the forgiveness of our sins when we believe all our sins have been remitted by Jesus’ baptism and His blood at the Cross. So what is wrong with this?”
There have been so many who asked me such questions. Hence, I felt the need to go verse by verse and interpret the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer in detail. This lesson is not for foreign coworkers only. I felt the need for our domestic coworkers to know about the Lord’s Prayer. Also, I had to cover the Lord’s Prayer, since all of our saints are probably curious about it as well. Thus, we are sharing the Word from the Lord’s Prayer as well as the grace that overflows from it during this Summer Camp.
I believe that our Lord has us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to forgive each other’s faults and shortcomings in our lives. Those who have received the remission of all their sins have the power to forgive the wrongdoings of others. Hence, I am speaking boldly to both our coworkers who are abroad and in our country: “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” This Word does not tell us to continuously receive the remission of sin, but that the righteous who are born again of water and the Spirit should forgive each other, for they have already received the unconditional forgiveness of sins from God. God is telling us that we should also forgive each other’s faults.
Once, Peter came to the Lord Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Then, Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” And He told his disciples “the parable of the unforgiving servant” (Mathew 18:21-35).
The story goes like this: There was a person who owed so much debt to his master that he was unable to pay his master that amount of money. He was suffering from a debt, which he wouldn’t be able to pay off through in his entire lifetime. So he went to his master and begged him to cancel his debts. His master who had lent him the money realized that his servant was unable to pay him back. Knowing that he was unable to receive any money from him, the master thought that it would be better to show compassion and write off his debts. Then, the servant will truly be glad and feel grateful, and the master would feel good about saving this person that was in great hardship. The servant’s name was crossed off from the list of debtors and all of his debts were cancelled, making it unnecessary for the servant to pay back his master.
That servant was returning to his home in a great mood. On his way back, he ran into another person who owed him some money. As soon as he saw his debtor, he grabbed him by the neck and coerced him to pay back the money, which was far less than 1/1000 of his debt that had just been written off. Although the debtor said that he would pay back soon, the unforgiving servant took the other person to the police station. He tried to put the other person in jail for not paying him back. When his master heard about this, he recalled his wicked servant and rebuked him, saying, “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:32-33). And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
Our Lord will not forgive those who don’t cancel the debts owed to them, forgetting that their debts were also cancelled. The lesson was for us to cancel as much debt as we are owed, since the debts we owed were also already cancelled. And that was an order from God. We have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when we were unforgivable sinners. What justification do we have to hold others accountable for their debts?
Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). This is essentially the same as the Word “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” Hence, we should not misinterpret the passage, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” We are able to forgive those who commit sins against us, because all of our personal sins were also blotted out already by the baptism our Lord received and His blood of the Cross. What our Lord requires of us is nothing other than this. What our Lord demands of us through this passage is for us to forgive each other. That is the real feature of the righteous. Indeed, we forgive each other in our lives.
However, sometimes there are those who practice evil to the servants of God, who treat each other preciously and believe in each other. There are many who loot from other people who are below them and treat them like fools, but we the righteous should never act that way. Although every person has some stupid side to a certain degree, but the righteous are not fools. Because we have pure forgiving hearts and faith before God, worldly people may look at us as fools. However, the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit are not fools. Rather they are the people who have experienced divine grace of Heaven living for the Kingdom of God.
Hence, we should never look at others as below us. If we are people of true character, we have to treat those who serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit as better than ourselves. People who cannot feel so with their hearts and who don’t have such a mind are the most arrogant people in the world. Believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit are blessed citizens of Heaven, possessing the wisdom and faith of Heaven and having brighter minds than anyone.
It is a great mistake and foolishness out of our confusion to think that we can control others with our thoughts. Trying to mislead the righteous, they are themselves led to the wrong place. Hence, they must repent, turn away, confess their wrongdoings, and obey God’s Word on the basis of a right faith. Although God forgives those who deserve to receive their forgiveness even without their confessions, when those who have done wrong to God say their heartfelt repentance, their hearts will be made even more spiritual. True fellowship of faith takes place, when we confess our wrongdoings to each other. Then, our gratefulness for the grace in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which delivered us, will be inscribed deeper into our hearts. Our hearts become generous if we forgive each other in the love of our Lord and in the gospel, by which our Lord blotted out all our sins. I wish that the path to true fellowship in faith shall be always open among the hearts of the righteous.
In Order for the Righteous to Enjoy Good Fellowship with Each Other
The Apostles’ Creed goes, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost… I believe…the Communion of the saints.” The Apostle’s Creed is talking about the Communion of the saints. That is, in God’s Church, fellowship of the saints takes place among each other.
When we look at the righteous, we see both the things of their flesh and the things of their spirits. That is because God has made us look at each other’s hearts through faith. We see both each other’s wickedness as well as the preciousness of pure faith. The hearts of the righteous are like mirrors that reflect each other. We are able to serve the gospel and live in fellowship with each other for God, because our Lord has remitted all our sins by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because we believe in the gospel of Truth, we are able to have fellowship with each other. We live in the gospel while joking with each other, sharing the sorrows of our hearts with each other, serving our Lord together, giving strength to each other, and comforting and encouraging each other.
It is certain that the Word “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors” does not mean that we should receive the remission of our sins on a daily basis. It says, “Forgive each other if you have truly received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I gave you the necessary faith to do so and have already blessed you. You can do it if you really have received the remission of all your sins by believing in Me. If you believe that I have truly remitted all of your sins, you should also forgive each other and be at peace with each other.” This is what the Word truly means. We believe that it means for the saints to live an ethical life in faith. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this? I am sure you do. If the righteous turn their hearts around and ask for forgiveness, which of the righteous would not forgive and what sins would God not remit in the gospel of the water and the Spirit?
Our sisters! Our young sisters who will marry in the near future! We cannot do anything about those who are already married, but those who will marry in the near future should remember how good it is to have a believing spouse. This applies not only to our sisters but also to our young brothers. We may care about each other’s face for a few days, but our preoccupation with each other’s face won’t last long.
Once we are married, we don’t really care so much about each other’s appearances as much as each other’s hearts. A Korean pop singer once sang, “♪A woman must have a pretty heart. ♪Are you really a woman just for having a pretty face? ♪You are a true woman if your heart is unchanging once you give it to your lover.” Dear fellow believers, sometimes we can learn from pop song lyrics. Truly, we must have pretty hearts to be good brothers in Christ. We need faith to be precious brothers and sisters in Christ. Then, we are brave and handsome gentlemen and ladies spiritually. In many occasions, those who are beautiful in their appearances are scamps. These scamps who look decent in their appearances know only themselves, are lazy, and don’t take others into their consideration. Hence, they know nothing about uniting to serve the Lord.
There are people who loaf and eat, and we call them scamps. There are also animals that loaf and eat. The king of all debauchees is the king of the jungle lion, especially, the male lions. The male lions in a relaxed posture lie down in the shadow, not hunting but only taking naps. When the female lions come back from their arduous hunting trips, the male lions eat the largest share. If there is any left over after filling himself, he pushes it over to the female lions and their cubs. There are many people in this world who look perfectly normal in their appearances but only try to loaf and eat without working. It is really easy to be deceived by these scamps too, since they all look decent in their appearances.
Hence, those who look handsome in their appearances are not quite fit for spouses in marriages. Rather, our priorities when looking for a spouse should be a person who serves God with sincerity, who lives for the gospel, who leads his family well, who never lets his family starve, who helps his wife serve our Lord well, and who defends his family from all kinds of danger.
I am one of those people who really married well. My wife never complained a word to me, although I have at times been neglectful to my family to serve the gospel. Although she was sometimes a little disappointed by other things that I failed to take care of, she always said that I am precious for serving the gospel. A married couple must be this way toward each other.
I once even misunderstood her. I was even a little disappointed by it, but looking back I realize that everything was understandable. My wife has such a tender heart that her heart aches when she sees a brother or a sister dying because of his or her weakness and fragile faith. Hence, she sided with them with an empathetic heart, stepping in their shoes and suffering with them. That is so good.
But the problem is that there are those who make bad use of other’s weakness. It is a wrong faith to try to take advantage of other people’s weaknesses and to exploit them to accomplish one’s greed of the flesh. Dear fellow believers, those who are ahead can feel truly empathetic towards the weaknesses of others in order to cover the weaknesses of those who are behind. Being empathetic as thus and comforting others will encourage one’s faith. Such a heart leads others to serve our Lord together. The problem is that there are still those who try to lift themselves up even above God.
Dear fellow believers, we should never allow those who are ahead in the church of God to torment, hurt, and ruin other saints spiritually. A shepherd dog is set free to roam among the sheep to prevent the sheep from going anywhere they are not supposed to. The shepherd dog that roams free keeps the sheep and protects them against the attacks by wolves. And when the sheep wander astray, the shepherd dog keeps them on the safe path by barking to warn them. The shepherd dog does these things in order to prevent sheep from falling off the cliffs. That shepherd dog does the work of the shepherd. In another word shepherd dog means pastor.
Hence, sometimes the spiritual leaders may appear to be without compassion. However, they are doing what they do in order to keep the saints on the right path out of their sincere wish for them. Because they want to see other saints and workers of God prosper in faith, the leaders are admonishing them and strongly encouraging them. They block some saints, set other saints lose, stop still others from doing things, and make the others keep doing what they have been in order to protect all of them.
I truly am grateful for the remission of all my sins by the gift of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If someone truly does not oppose or interfere with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and turns around from his faults, I can say, “Well, that’s understandable. We are only humans. I knew that all along.”
Today’s Scripture passage from the Lord’s Prayer was “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” And this means that God has given us the power to forgive each other’s faults. Our Lord told us to forgive each other’s faults within the Truth. We give thanks to our Lord for blotting out all our sins once and for all.