THE SCHOOL & FAMILY CATECHIST.
by Rev. William Smith (1834)
The Westminster Shorter Catechism,
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.
Our debts. –Our sins are here called debts, because they show that God has not received from us what is due, and all the demands of his law and justice must be satisfied for them, before we can be again admitted into his favor.
Christ’s sake. –See Explic. Q. 98.
By his grace. –By God’s favor and help.
From the heart. –Freely, entirely, or without any remaining grudge in our minds.
We here see, that when we use, in prayer, these words, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” we pray for two things:
1. That God would freely pardon all our sins. –Psal. li. 1. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
2. That God would do this for Christ’s sake. –John xvi. 23, 24. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, in my name, he will give it you. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
In this answer we are likewise told, that we are encouraged thus to ask for the pardon of our sins from God, because, by his grace, we are enabled from the heart to forgive others. –Matt. vi. 14. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.