Original Word: ἐπιλύω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ep-ee-loo’-o)
Definition: to loose, to solve
Usage: I loose, release; I solve, settle, explain, interpret, decide.
The purpose of this Blog post is to thoroughly examine if we Christians, who rightly divide the word of truth (dispensations of the Bible) (See Dispensation notes below) as instructed in scripture (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV), should be praying the Lord’s prayer. Specifically verse 12 of Matthew chapter 6 and verse 4 of Luke Chapter 11: “And Forgive us our debts/sins”.
Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
11 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
I like the rest of us Christians was taught from childhood the well known “Lord’s Prayer” of Matthew 6 and Luke 11.
We Christians acknowledge that the word of God is infallible and inspired by God for the purpose of doctrine, reprove and correction. We read accordingly:
2 Timothy 3:16 King James Version
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
We as Christians acknowledge we must rightly divide the word of God which means understanding the different dispensations of the Bible. We read accordingly:
2 Timothy 2:15 King James Version
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In understanding dispensations, we see clearly that the Lord’s prayer in total is not applicable to the age of Grace also known as the Dispensation of Grace or the Church Age, the mystery of the Church as given to the apostle Paul.
What really got me to think about this was when I came across an article by Grace Ambassadors the other day that really caught my attention, titled: “Jesus never prayed the Lord’s Prayer”. See article in link and also printed out below. Most of Grace Ambassador’s material is solid, spot on. We differ on mid acts vs Pentecost (which I believe) being the beginning of the Age of Grace and whether or not the Church is the Bride of Christ which I believe and they do not for some strange reason. But this aside, I believe we as Christians really have to take a hard look at praying the Lord’s prayer. Here’s my study regarding:
I read the article “Jesus never prayed the Lord’s Prayer” and really had to ask myself hard questions, primarily in regards to verse 12 of Matthew chapter 6 and verse 4 of Luke Chapter 11: “And Forgive us our debts/sins”.
I was especially bothered by how many heretical new age websites promote the Lord’s prayer and frankly the internet is overwhelmed with Catholic doctrine linked with the Lord’s prayer. We all know that both the Catholic Church as well as most Protestant churches teach the Lord’s prayer as doctrine in mandatory prayer.
However, if we’re honest with ourselves as mature Christians and rightly dividing the word, these words of the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive our Sins, Trespasses, Debts,” really does teach “works” based salvation. Works based salvation was present during the age of the Law and into and through the Kingdom dispensation as announced by John the Baptist and Jesus’ mission. (See link study on Dispensation in notes below if this is not understood). To understand the Gospel what is true Salvation it is simply We’re saved by BELIEF alone and NOT works. Ephesians 2:8,9 KJV The belief is in that Jesus Christ came, died for our sins, and on the 3rd day arose. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV. Please see notes below on why I stopped going to church after 50 years of going to church because most churches if not all of them do not preach this or Rapture or KJV Bible or make merchandise of their attendees, and. and. and…
Also, look at a few commentary from heretical ecumenical new age teaching ministries like Living Hour Ministries and some prominent Christian Theologians that really confuse grace and promote a works based salvation which is really another gospel:
Lord’s Prayer quote: “And Forgive Us Our Sins” quotes taken from Living Hour
Living Hour: By seeking forgiveness for “our trespasses” we also acknowledge an important truth about our “daily bread.” That is, the ownership we have claimed over it is a joint one shared with every man, woman, and child. This partnership is so entwining that, try as we might, we will always trespass on the feelings and interests of others—and often in ways we are not even conscious of at the time.
Helmut Thielicke: When we pray this petition, “Forgive us our debts (trespasses),” we do not pray it only for ourselves personally and individually. In these words we bring to the Father the whole mountainous burden of sin that weighs upon the whole world and like a nightmare haunts this present historical hour.
Andrew Murray: As bread is the first need of the body, so forgiveness for the soul. And the provision for the one is as sure as for the other. We are children, but sinners too; our right of access to the Father’s presence we owe to the precious blood and the forgiveness it has won for us. Let us beware of the prayer for forgiveness becoming a formality: only what is really confessed is really forgiven.
John Wesley: The word translated forgive implies either to forgive a debt, or to unloose a chain. And if we attain the former, the latter follows of course: if our debts are forgiven, the chains fall off our hands. As soon as ever, through the free grace of God in Christ, we “receive forgiveness of sins,” we receive likewise “a lot among those which are sanctified, by faith which is in him.”
The teaching we must ask God to forgive us is clearly NOT commanded to us in this dispensation of grace. I studied each line of the Lord’s prayer and in each case I find scripture that matches in the Pauline Epistles including we must we must Forgive others as is written in Colossians 3:13 KJV. However, the only exception is the absence of asking God to”Forgive us our debts/sins”. This command is non existent in the scriptures written directly to the Church (Pauline Epistles).
The only aspects of the Lord’s prayer that are applicable to the church as I understand are:
Acknowledging God, His Will, His coming Kingdom of course; our daily bread, and Forgiving Others. However,… Asking God to Forgive us is NOT.
Therefore, I conclude with confidence that the Lord’s prayer is not applicable to us Christians in this age of Grace. We do not need to ask God to forgive us. We are forgiven and stand as righteous before God as is clearly written in Romans Chapters 5 and 6. As well as the other books of the Pauline Epistles.
As far as confessing our sins to God as written in 1 John 1:9 KJV , this again is not in the Pauline Epistles. Perhaps it can be substantially argued that Paul did in fact confess his sins and faults by the way he writes in Romans Chapter 7. However, we see clearly there’s no command for us as Christians to “confess our sins” to God. For me personally in my private prayer time, I discuss and confess my sins before God and thank him that I’m washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ and stand before him as righteous according to His word. But as a matter of routine, I will personally no longer use the Lord’s prayer and ask God to forgive my sins.
Please read more on this subject by Justin Johnson from Grace Ambassadors:
Jesus Never Prayed the Lord’s Prayer
Jesus prayed many times. Remember the morninghttps://graceambassadors.com/index?filter=posts prayers in solitary places (Mark 1:35), the prayer before feeding the thousands (Matt 14:19), the prayer for Peter’s faith (Luke 22:32), the prayers in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36), and the glorious prayer in John 17.
But Jesus never prayed what is popularly called the Lord’s Prayer, and he would be a sinner if he did.
You know the one. It starts with “Our Father which art in heaven…” in Matthew 6:9.
In the context of Matthew 6 and in the parallel passage in Luke 11 Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray, not praying it himself.
“…one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” – Luke 11:1
He didn’t say “after this manner pray I”, but “after this manner therefore pray YE” (Matt 6:8). For this reason the so-called Lord’s Prayer would be more appropriately called the Disciples Prayer.
Why Jesus Could Not Pray the Lord’s Prayer
It should be obvious that Jesus never actually prayed the prayer repeated by millions (though Jesus instructed them not to pray using vain repetitions- Matt 6:7). He was merely teaching his disciples how to pray.
So what? What is important to understand is that if he did pray it, he would have been a sinner, and so is everyone else that prays it.
The prayer includes this line:
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” – Luke 11:4
Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, and knew no sin (1 Tim 3:16; Col 2:9; 2 Cor 5:21). Jesus had no sins to confess, and did not need to ask for forgiveness. He was without sin (Heb 4:15).
If Jesus prayed to “forgive me my sins”, he would either be a liar or admitting to be a sinner. So you see, Jesus could never pray this prayer since it would mean he had sins that need to be forgiven. This prayer was only for his disciples who were sinners.
Jesus never prayed this prayer and neither should we.
Why We Shouldn’t Pray this Prayer
Since Jesus was sinless, then it should be easy to understand why he could never pray this prayer, but what does that have to do with us? We are not God manifest in the flesh; we are not sinless; we are not Jesus and this much is true.
We know that we all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and certainly we need forgiveness.
However, according to the gospel of the grace of God, Christ from heaven is now offering his righteousness, through his blood, as forgiveness for all our sins (Col 1:14; Col 2:13).
In Matthew 6 God was teaching his twelve apostles over Israels (Matt 19:28) to pray to bring God’s Davidic kingdom to earth (Matt 6:10), to provide bread like manna in the wilderness (Matt 6:11), and to pray for conditional covenant forgiveness (Matt 6:12-15).
In Matthew 6 and Luke 11 when Christ taught his disciples to pray it was before the cross and before he revealed the gospel of the grace of God (Eph 3:1-2). Jesus taught Israel to pray according to their covenant with God, and not according to the revelation of the mystery of his finished work on the cross. The cross is nowhere found in Matthew 6.
The dispensation of God’s grace changed how we receive forgiveness which is now by faith in Christ’s finished work (Eph 1:7). For us to pray the so-called Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 would be tantamount to ignoring the cross of Christ as the basis of our forgiveness.
Praise God that now that God’s grace has been revealed, all men can be forgiven through the already shed blood of Christ (Eph 3:1-2; Rom 3:23-25). Once all our sins are forgiven through faith in Christ’s cross there is no more need to pray for forgiveness, but to thank God for what he has already done in us for Christ’s sake (Eph 4:32).
Jesus never prayed the so-called Lord’s prayer and now, if you trust the preaching of the cross, neither should you.
Article Index Published: September 3, 2016
Last Modified: March 27, 2019
(disclaimer: Although Dr. Gene Kim has very solid teaching on the KJV only translation, The PreTribulation Rapture and Dispensationalism, Please see my Blog where I call him out on the 501C3 Brick and Mortar Baptist operation and his teaching on the Trinity)
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