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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 105. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, which is, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, we pray, that God, for Christ's sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.

1. Are our sins our debts to God? Yes: There was a certain creditor that had two debtors, etc. Luke 7:41. Are they great debts? Yes: ten thousand talents, Matt. 18:24. Can we discharge these debts ourselves ? No: we have nothing to pay, Luke 7:42. Are we liable to the prison of hell then? Yes: not to depart thence till we have paid the last mite, Luke 12:58,59. Is it possible to obtain the forgiveness of this debt? Yes: There is forgiveness with thee, Ps. 130:4.

2. Are we to pray for the forgiveness of these debts? Yes: Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, Ps. 143:2. And to pray earnestly for it? Yes: For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, Ps. 25:11. Must we plead God's mercies? Yes: According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions, Ps. 51:1. And Christ's merits? Yes: Through the redemption that is in Jesus, Rom. 3:24. Must we pray for it every day? Yes: when we pray, Give us our daily bread, we must pray, Forgive us our debts.

3. Must we pray that God would ease us of the burden of sin? Yes: Take away all iniquity, Hos. 14:2. And that he would cleanse us from the filth of sin? Yes: Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, Ps. 51:2. And cure us of the wounds of sin? Yes: Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee, Ps. 12:4. And save us from the punishment of sin? Yes: I will say unto God, do not condemn me, Job 10:2.

4. Must we pray to God to give us that grace which will qualify us for pardon? Yes: for Christ is exalted to give repentance and remission, Acts 5:31. And that he would give us the comfort of our pardon? Yes: Make me to hear joy and gladness, Ps. 51:8. And must we, in order hereunto, be particular in confessing sin? Yes: Declare, that thou mayest be justified, Isa. 43:26.

5. Must we forgive those who have provoked us? Yes: forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, Col. 3:13. Must we bear them no malice? No: Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye he condemned, Jam. 5:9. Must we be ready to be reconciled to them? Yes: When ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any, Mark 11:25. Should we be merciful to those that we have advantage against? Yes: Thou shouldest have had compassion on thy fellow-servant as I had pity on thee, Matt. 18:33. Is this required to qualify, us for the pardon of sin? Yes: If Ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, Matt. 6:14. Will God forgive those that do not forgive? No: If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours, verse 15.

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