God’s “get out of jail free” card

by Joel Ramshaw

Matthew 6:12-15 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors….. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”


The NLT incorrectly renders “debts” as “sins” which misses the financial focus here. Matthew was a tax collector before coming to Christ and as such this is the reason he uses “debts” as part of the Lord’s prayer. It really is referring to finances. This all goes back to the Old Testament year of release. Every seventh year was to be a forgiveness of debts and freeing of slaves. Every 50th year was the year of Jubilee which meant restoring all lands to their original owners. I believe this means that if a brother/sister in Christ has fallen on hard times and is going to be unable to pay us back without being crushed, we need to forgive their financial debt we hold against them.

When a person wrongs you or defrauds you an amount you are unable to get back, there is actually a positive spin you can put on the situation. By forgiving them with a good attitude, you get a “get out of jail free” card on some of your sins and offenses that God may be chastising you for. It won’t work if we are not repentant of the sin, but once you have, it can do wonders. Forgiveness is not only from hell, it is also from God’s punishment against us in this present life. There may be a point where you are unknowingly holding small unforgiveness’s that may not be enough to keep you out of heaven, but will be enough to block your blessings in this present life.

SOS 2:15 “Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.”


We have to watch out for these “little foxes” that spoil the garden of our heart. Song of Solomon is all about cultivating the love in our heart and very allegorical.

King David’s Example

1 Samuel 24:10-11 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.

2 Samuel 18:5 Now the king had commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains orders concerning Absalom.

18:33 Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”


David had plenty of opportunities to kill his archenemies Saul, Absalom, and Ish-bosheth yet he ordered that they be treated kindly. In fact, when some assassins took out his enemies to please the king, he instead punished them rather than rewarding them. Why? Because he knew he had his own sins and understood that if he forgave others, God would forgive him also. This is one reason why God treated David so much better than Saul despite David having made just as many mistakes as Saul had made.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”


This is probably the #1 most abused scripture in the entire bible. It is used by lukewarm Christians to silence anyone who preaches against sin. What the passage is really saying is that we should not publicly accuse a brother or consider them as lesser without first acknowledging our own sin. Preaching against sin is not the same as shaming and accusing a person. The important thing is not to single someone out.

This verse is very much related to forgiveness in the sense that God is going to judge us with a harsh standard if we use are harsh and unreasonable towards others with accusations. We all have differences of opinion on many matters in the faith. Some Christians believe you should use the divine names Yahweh and Yeshua, take a day of rest on the Sabbath, and believe it is a sin to have a Christmas tree (Jeremiah 10:4). The other side believes that these people are “false Christians” due to legalism and that their strict standards will actually keep them out of heaven like the Pharisees. Regarding these things Paul said “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”  (Romans 14:5). This means that whether you believe God prefers these high standards or is against them, the real sin is to become divisive over the issue and split brothers/sisters in Christ apart. We have no right to accuse someone of being a false Christian just because they believe differently on minor issues or have problems in their walk in Christ. The only time we should accuse is if the person is leading many people astray, such as a false minister. Our enemy is the sin, not the sinner.

Here is a true and anointed prophetic word I received from a sister in Christ long ago at a critical point in my life. I am sharing it here as it seems to fit in with this message:

Encouraging Personal Prophecy

Do not block your blessings. Forgive, repent of anger and hate and bitterness daily. I will forgive you if you forgive others. There is someone with unforgiveness you are holding onto. Release them, now. Examine your heart. I want to use you. You have to do your part. I love you and I want you to have the best. Repent and resist the darkness of the devil.. I have a new path for you , receive it and you will be filled with joy and all your needs met. There is someone in need around you that needs help. Reach out to them and meet their need even if you think you cannot. I will make a way where there is no way. I love you, my Son.


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