“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
(a) If he repents. In Luke’s account repentance is a condition for forgiveness. But in Matthew’s version, we are exhorted to forgive the sinning brother unconditionally.
(b) Forgive him means don’t hold his sin against him. See entry for Forgiveness.
“And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
(a) If he sins seven times… forgive him. In other words, be extravagant with your forgiveness. Forgive as Christ forgave you – without hesitation, reservation, or qualification (Col. 3:13).
(b) I repent. See previous verse.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
.Increase our faith! Many Christians have prayed the same thing, but as Jesus is about to explain, we don’t need more faith.
Since God has given every one of us a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), it’s inaccurate to say “I have no faith.” Your faith may be weak like an undeveloped muscle, but you have faith none the less. You don’t need extra faith any more than you need extra arms and legs. You just need to use the faith you have (Rom. 12:6). Just as you build your muscles with use, you can grow your faith by putting it to work (2 Cor. 10:15, 2 Th. 1:3).
And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.
(a) Faith like a mustard seed. We don’t need great faith to draw upon the abundance of God’s grace; we just need to believe.
(b) This mulberry tree. In Matthew’s account, Jesus said our faith could move mountains (Matt. 17:20).
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