Last time we looked at “Forgive us our debts…”
Now let’s look at the next phrase: as we also have forgiven our debtors. The key word being “as”.
The word “as” implies that the forgiveness we receive from God will be directly correlated to the forgiveness we give out to others! “To the same degree, amount, or extent.” Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it! Therefore, let us not hold accountable all those who have hurt and even abused us, so that we too may be held guiltless before our Creator!
The word “as” can also mean “at the same time or while”. So, this would imply that our forgiveness is given while we forgive others.
I think both definitions certainly apply. Because the word “have” is not in the Greek and also the word often translated “forgiven” is the same word translated “forgive” in the first half of the verse. So, the English should read, “Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.”
God is the great initiator! His forgiveness gives me the ability to forgive those who hurt me, those who “owe” me. Again, the same is true for a group! So, as we are in the midst of forgiving our fellow believers or even other groups that show hatred toward us, God will be forgiving us!