A Jagged Contention: Breaking Pride

The Fifth Petition: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

This should serve God’s purpose to break our pride and keep us humble. He has reserved to himself this prerogative: those who boast of their goodness and despise others should examine themselves and put this petition uppermost in their mind. They will find that they are no more righteous than anyone else, that in the presence of God all people must fall to their knees and be glad that we can come to forgiveness. Let none think that they will ever in this life reach the point where they do not need this forgiveness. In short, unless God constantly forgives, we are lost.

Martin Luther, The Large Catechism, The Lord’s Prayer: Fifth Petition


Leave a response or reaction to Luther’s contention below. Is he right to say that we will never reach a point where we do not need forgiveness? What dangers arise when the church forgets this truth?

One thought on “A Jagged Contention: Breaking Pride

  1. It is true that the believer, fully aware of being a sinner saved by grace, should disdain spiritual pride and wear the cloak of humility. However, since a profession of faith is offensive to those outside of Christ, merely declaring the righteousness of God and His word will make one repugnant to the world’s values. If one speaks of sin, mentioning the sins of the flesh, and God’s warnings, in today’s narcissistic America, the culture will have none of it. You become instead the bigot, the hypocrit, among the unrighteous and intolerant to be vanished. The sins in our own lives show our own vulnerabilities, and we who have been forgiven must always be ready to forgive those who disparage us. Why? Because Our Lord commands it.


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