“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1.9
Psalm 103:10, 12 (NLT) says, “[God] does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve . . . He has removed our transgressions (sins) as far from us as the East is from the West.”
You do understand that if you travel far enough north you will eventually end up going south. But, there’s no end when traveling East and West. That’s how far God has removed all of our sins from us! Instead of giving us what we deserve, Jesus Christ completely paid for all of our sins and of our wrong doing, past, present and future. So some people say, “Oh yes. I know Jesus paid for everything up until I gave my life to him, but I need to confess and make amends for every sin after that.”
No! All sin was a “future sin” when Christ went to the cross over two millennia ago!
David was a shepherd, then a giant killer, but he also committed adultery and then because he was King, had Bathsheba’s husband murdered to cover it up. Did David deserve to be forgiven? No. Did David deserve mercy? No. But David knew that God is a good God, and so he asked for mercy. He prayed: “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2 NLT). The Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart! God forgave David and that was before The Cross. God will forgive you, too
Remember, God forgives you not because you’re good but because He is good. Because He IS LOVE. He is a good, good God, and he has a good plan for you, even when you blow it big-time. Nothing can separate you from his love! And if God has forgiven you then you are forgiven!
Ask yourself, “What do I deserve from God?” And, “Why does God want to forgive me?”
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness in the Bible is a “release” or a “dismissal” of something. The forgiveness we have in Christ involves the release of sinners from God’s just penalty and the complete dismissal of all charges against us. That is why the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:1 (NLT) that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:14 (GNT) says that in God’s beloved Son “we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Because you are forgiven, you are set free from the guilt of the sins of your past and “sin is no longer your master. . . .Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NLT).
God forgives sin, but this does not mean that He simply “looks the other way” or “sweeps it under the rug.” The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that penalty must be paid. The Bible gives us the costly requirement for God’s forgiveness: “Without the shedding of Blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22, NIV). In the Old Testament, God allowed animal sacrifices to take the place of the sinner. However, the blood of sacrificial animals did not actually pay for sin. It simply postponed the judgment until a better sacrifice could be offered to pay the full penalty of sin and make forgiveness possible. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on a Roman cross and became the ultimate, once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins.
Follow along here: John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. In 1 John 4:16 we read, “So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Ask yourself, “Am I a “whosoever”? Then it appears that God sent Jesus, who purchased God’s forgiveness on your behalf when he became the Lamb of God and died on the cross. “Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty.
Christ did this to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18, CEV). Ephesians 1:7 (NLT) says, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
Jesus gave Himself as the sacrifice for sin and God forgives us based on the sacrifice of His Son.
Have you accepted God’s forgiveness?
We receive God’s forgiveness when we admit our sins and place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. When we follow Jesus, all of our sins are forgiven. Forever! That includes past, present and future, big or small. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and once they are forgiven, they are all forgiven! The apostle Peter said, “All the prophets spoke about him, saying that all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven through the power of his name (Acts 10:42, GNT).” As a Christian, you are forgiven no matter how many times you sin, but at the same time, as a Christian, because of our love for God, we’ll want to live an increasingly holy life as we grow closer to Jesus. So, if, no when, we slip up we are free to go to our Father God, confess our error, say sorry and move on. Again, 1 John 1:9 promises He IS faithful and just to forgive
Do you recall when and why you accepted God’s forgiveness and claimed Jesus as your Lord and Savior? How has the sacrifice of Jesus, His death on the cross, and resurrection from the grave affected your life?
We need to learn that we are forgiven, whether or not we feel forgiven. When we go through life feeling the burden and guilt over mistakes, wrong choices, and failures from our past we are making a choice to hold on to our emotional pain instead of holding on to Jesus. 2 Peter 2:19 (NLT) says, “For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”
So what controls you? Is it your guilt and inability to forgive yourself or Jesus and His word? To embrace God’s forgiveness we must know God’s unconditional love, choose to trust the truth and confess His promises.
Everyone of us wants to be loved unconditionally and accepted for who we really are. We don’t want to have to pretend or perform. God offers that to every single one of us. None of us can earn God’s love. But to receive God’s love we need first to believe that He loves us. In Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) the Lord says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Romans 5:8 (NIV) says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) says, “For I am sure that neither death not life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God loves you unconditionally, now and forever.
Is there anything that keeps you from believing or receiving God’s unconditional love?
When we ask for God’s forgiveness based upon Christ having already paid for our sins and when we trust in Him as our Savior and Lord, He forgives us. It is as simple as that. But sometimes, even though we are released from any bondage to sin, we can still choose to wallow in guilt and act as though we are not free from it. Either we can accept the fact that we are forgiven in Christ, or we can believe the devil’s lie that we are still guilty and should feel guilty forever. The Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). This does not mean that the all-knowing God forgets because He forgives us. Rather, He chooses not to bring up our sin to Himself or others.
Zephaniah 3:17 in the Amplified Bible says, ”The Lord your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy;
He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins],
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
When our former sins come to mind, we can choose to dwell upon them, or we can choose to fill our minds with thoughts of the awesome God who forgave us and thank and praise Him for it.
Ask yourself honestly, do feelings of guilt still affect me?
Remember, 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. You need to grab hold of that. The next time you ask God to forgive you and then feel guilty afterward, open your mouth and say, “God has forgiven me. Jesus paid my debt, therefore I am forgiven and free.”