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Proof That We Are Forgiven

Our forgiving of others will not procure forgiveness for ourselves; but our not forgiving of others proves that we ourselves are not forgiven.

Forgiveness of others is made an express condition of our obtaining pardon and forgiveness from God (Matt 6:14, 15); and the nature hereof is expressly declared (Matt 18:23–35). Such evangelical conditions we have not many. I confess they have no causal influence into the accomplishment of the promise; but the non-performance of them is a sufficient bar against our pretending to the promise, a sufficient evidence that we have no pleadable interest in it. Our forgiving of others will not procure forgiveness for ourselves; but our not forgiving of others proves that we ourselves are not forgiven. And all these things do show what weight God himself lays on this duty.

—John Owen
Works, 6:496–497.