I believe that God is very passionate about words. Our Savior, Jesus is called The Word of God (John 1:1,14 and Rev.19:10) and He has preserved His written words in the Scriptures as a kind of road-map to Him.
I do a lot of word studies and most of them will never leave my email drafts but, some of them have very profound implications on how we understand the Scriptures.
For example: The word “as”. This little word has many different uses in our Bibles that may not be recognized much.
Jesus gave us some examples of how to pray in the “Lord’s Prayer”-
“Father…let your Kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Without knowing Greek, I have to use study tools that scholars have provided and Strong’s explains that this use means “in the same manner as”. So we could pray “Father, let your Kingdom come, let your will be done on earth in the same manner as it is in Heaven.”
What I believe is a more controversial issue is when Jesus said: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”This time the word is used in comparison to mean “just as”.
So, Jesus instructed us to ask the Father to forgive us just as we forgive others. That’s not saying “Father, I deserve forgiveness because look how much I have forgiven”. That’s completely opposite everything that Jesus did and taught!
I think of being forgiven to the extent that we forgive. I am forgiven compared to how I forgive! Clearly this is talking to believers because God is being addressed as “Father” and this entire prayer is Jesus’ response to His disciples question. I believe that this entire prayer model is only given to born-again believers and not to unbelievers.
So, Jesus is not talking about being forgiven of our sins and being born-again; our redemption. He is talking about daily life sin that we should be continually confessing and receiving forgiveness, cleansing from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If that was the extent of my evidence, I would have never gone this far but, there is more proof. In the parable of the “unjust servant” when the man who is forgiven much refuses to forgive a little, Jesus said:
“Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me: Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? And his lord was furious, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” (Matt.18:32-35)
I have actually heard a teacher that I respect very much teach that a born-again believer can lose their salvation based on this parable. That is not at all consistent with the Scriptures.
This parable is teaching that we need to forgive our Christian family completely because God will only forgive (now, on earth) as we forgive (now, on earth). He will actually allow the enemy to torment His own children if they do not forgive their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Because we have been forgiven so much! ( I know that I have) In God’s justice, he expects us to be like Him and also forgive. We will be forgiven just as we are forgiven like Jesus said more than once.