The Problem Of Spiritual Debt
“‘“And forgive us our debts”’” (Matthew 6:12).
Sin dominates the hearts and minds of lost men and women, separates them from God, and is therefore their greatest enemy and problem. It is the common denominator for every crime, immorality, pain, and sorrow—and there is no natural cure: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23). The natural individual does not even want his or her sin cured (John 3:19).
If sin is our greatest problem, our greatest need is the forgiveness God provides. Though forgiven from sin’s ultimate penalty (cf. Rom. 8:1), believers need God’s constant forgiveness for sins they still commit. The apostle John cautions us, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9).
Jesus’ act of washing the apostles’ feet (John 13:5–11) is more than a picture of humility; it also portrays God’s repeated, cleansing forgiveness to His disciples. The forgiveness that secures our saving position in Christ at regeneration does not need repeating; but we need God’s practical forgiveness every day to cleanse us from sin’s contamination as we live in this world. Out of God’s vast heart of forgiveness He is ever willing to continually pardon His children (cf. Neh. 9:17; Rom. 5:20).
There are probably a small number of things in your life that are clearly in violation of what you know to be right—things that are top-of-mind as you consider again the depths of our sin and our need for God’s forgiveness. Deal with these in prayer today as you repent before the Father and receive His promised mercy.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610