Two of the best known verses in the Bible which deal with forgiveness are in the Lord’s Prayer:
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
However, Ephesians 2:8-9 states:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no-one can boast.”
Here, there is no requirement for us to forgive others before we receive salvation. Not only that, later we read:
“Be kind and compassionate to on another, forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians4:32)
This verses turns the words in Matthew around entirely; we should forgive because we God has already forgiven us. How then, can we reconcile these seemingly two contradictory statements?