Matthew, Chapter 6

Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."


The Lord has taught us that he will conditionally forgive us of our trespasses. It is important that we recognize where this forgiveness takes place. As far as our sins are concerned in the courtroom of God's justice, we are unconditionally forgiven. No charge can be made against God's elect (Rom. 8:33). Jesus has justified us and the Lord will remember our sins and iniquities against us no more (Heb. 8:12). However, in the courtroom of our heart and mind we may not in our experiences feel the forgiveness of God. There are times when we trespass against God and we pray that he will forgive us of that sin so that we no longer feel guilty or unclean. It is here that we are conditionally forgiven of our sins. The condition of feeling relieved of the guilty conscience is that we forgive men of their trespasses. If we do not forgive men of their trespasses, the Father will not forgive our trespasses. That guilty conscience will remain with us.


Other verses shed light on the need to forgive and the consequences of unforgiveness:


1. Mat 18:21 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

2. Eph. 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

In the above, the Lord has taught us that there is to be no limit to our forgiving others (until seventy times seven) and that we are to forgive one another unconditionally (even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.)

Matt. 6:16-18

Matt. 6:16 "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."

Fasting was an Old Testament practice that involved the denial of food to the body over a period of time. It was a sign of mourning and afflicting of the body as a sign that they were mourning over the dreadful condition of their lives or the condition of the country because of sins that they had committed and were afflicting their body as a symbol of their repentance from those sins. Even in this the Lord was not pleased as we read in Is. 58:5 "Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?"

Fasting had been made such a practice to be seen of men in the days of the Lord that the people went to great links to appear to others to fast as a show of their zeal and devotion to the Lord. Obviously, the Lord was not pleased with this practice. He told them that if they were going to fast, they should make an effort not to give the appearance of fasting.

In this sixth chapter of Matthew, the Lord plainly shows us that our religion is not about appearing to be religious to others. It is about serving and obeying our Lord and doing it not for the reward or praise of men, but doing it to please our Lord. If we do these things for the praise of men, then we are simply being hypocritical. If we do these things without show in order to please God, then the Lord has promised to bless us in our worship and service of him.

Matt. 6:19-21

Matt. 6:19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

The treasures that we may have on earth would include money, gold, silver, pearls, lands, buildings, stocks, bonds, and other earthly possessions. These things are all corruptible and if you possess them, they are subject to corruption and theft. You can have them one day and they are lost to you the next day. Earthly treasures are not lasting treasures. The Lord set forth this parable in Luke 1215 "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." How wasted are many people's lives when they spend nearly all their time and effort to acquire worldly possessions and then before they can enjoy them they die.

There are three great spiritual treasures that we can lay up that moth and rust cannot corrupt and that thieves cannot steal from us. These three treasures pertain to God's word. They are the treasures of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. These treasures are set forth in the following verses:

1. Prov. 2:1 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
2. Matt. 13:52 "Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
3. 2 Cor. 4:6 "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
4. Col. 2:2 "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

There are three things that we are told to do with God's word. If we do these three things then we lay up for ourselves the treasures of knowledge, understanding and wisdom. These three things are:

1. 1 Tim. 4:13 "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." When we read God's word, we lay up for ourselves knowledge, one of the rich spiritual treasures that God has given us.
2. 2 Tim. 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." When we study God's word, we lay up for ourselves understanding, another of the rich spiritual treasures that God has given us.
3. 1 Tim. 4:15 "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." When we meditate upon God's word, we lay up for ourselves wisdom, the third of the rich spiritual treasures that God has given us.

We must first read to gain knowledge. Then we study to gain knowledge. Then we meditate to gain wisdom. With wisdom we are able to apply the teaching of God's word to our lives and the circumstances of our lives.

Our heart will follow our treasure. If we place our treasures in spiritual things then our heart will follow those spiritual things. If we place our treasures in natural things, then our heart will follow those natural things. The Lord has taught us to seek after the spiritual treasures.