And forgive us our sin, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” - Luke 11:4a
The idea of “forgive” here is to send our sins away and not impute them to our account. This is a beautiful picture. Our ledger sheet before God is red with debt. Forgiveness means that God takes it away and does not hold the debt against our charge.
This text teaches us to ask God for forgiveness as a routine of dependency. It is a humble and dependent spirit that confesses that we are fallen and weak and in need of continual forgiveness. We have no right to claim forgiveness. It is God’s full and free prerogative to give us forgiveness. It is His choice. It is His own free will to fully and freely forgive us through the merits of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
People ask us about our belief in the doctrines of grace. First, we believe in the doctrines of grace because they are clearly taught in the bible. They also ask if we believe in free will. Well, that all depends on what they mean by that. Now think about it for a moment. Anybody with any understanding knows that sin is hurtful and painful. So, if we know that sin is hurtful and painful, and if we have a fully free will, then we should just quit sinning. We should just decide – just “will” – that we are not going to sin. Do you know how long that will last? About three seconds. Do you know why? Because we don’t have a fully free will. We are in bondage to the fallen-ness of our unredeemed flesh. We cannot just “will” to stop sinning! We may want to, but we can’t, because the “will” is not completely free.
But I can tell you who does have a free will, and that’s God. He is absolutely free to do exactly as He desires and chooses. Aren’t you glad that in His infinite grace and goodness He freely chooses to forgive wretched unworthy sinners? We can continually go to Him for forgiveness, and He continually chooses to extend forgiveness to His children.