Have you ever considered what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer? In the Good News recorded by Matthew, Jesus says this is how we should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.*
Forgiveness and salvation are intimately connected and one of the greatest teachings of the Bible is that salvation is freely given by God’s grace alone. So why are we told to ask to be forgiven as we forgive? That doesn’t sound like the foundation of a grace-based salvation.
The good news is, this isn’t saying that God’s forgiveness is conditional. What it’s saying is, God’s forgiveness is conditional.