What happened to forgiveness
As children of God we can know: God has forgiven us! In John's first letter we read: “I write to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name's sake” (1 John 2:12). As such, we once confessed our sins and learned that God is “faithful and righteous” when He forgives us (1 John 1: 9). Furthermore, we experience God's motivation to forgive our sins: "for the sake of his name". What security lies in this: God links the forgiveness of our sins to the name of his beloved Son!
Nevertheless, it happens again and again that a believer has doubts about the all-roundness of forgiveness. Only trust in God and His word helps against these doubts. The solid foundation on which the faith can rest is the knowledge: “It is written.” God said!
The all-encompassing forgiveness that God has given us is expressed especially in the Old Testament in very pictorial language. We are impressed by the clarity and clarity of these passages.
- In Psalm 103: 9 and 12, David says: “He will not always judge, nor will he ever indignantly. ... As far as the east is from the west, he has removed our transgressions from us. ”What David probably could not yet know: while the distance from the north to the south pole of the earth is fixed, there is no possibility of a distance between the cardinal points Indicate east and west!
- King Hezekiah sang in his hymn of praise in Isaiah 38:17: “You have thrown all my sins behind your back,” from where they never come into view again, and the prophet Micah could exclaim: “You will entrust all of your sins to them Throwing the depths of the sea ”(Me 7:19).
- Another image is used in Isaiah 1:18: “If your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; if they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool ”(Isa 1:18). Jeremiah announced to the people of Israel that the Lord would forgive their iniquities and would no longer remember their sins (Jer 31:34; cf. Chapter 50:20).
The all-encompassing forgiveness of sins could not be more clearly expressed.
It could now be objected that these passages come from the Old Testament and refer to the people of Israel. That's true, but should God have two standards for His forgiveness? In other words, is Israel's past or future forgiveness more perfect than that of those who believe in the Lord Jesus' work of redemption today? There is not the slightest evidence for this in the Bible
Finally, I would like to address two difficulties:
- It is feared that one has not confessed all sins and therefore that not all sins are forgiven. But if that is the case, one thinks that one is lost.
- One torments oneself with the thought that only those sins have been forgiven that one has done up to conversion. But what about the sins we did after that? Are they also taken?
The two difficulties are linked by the fear that all sins will not be forgiven after all - either because one has not confessed all and forgot some, or because one has done more after conversion.
The real question, then, is this: At our conversion, were we forgiven all of our sins, or only some of our sins? - ALL sins have been forgiven. I would like to justify this as follows:
There is probably not a single person who has truly confessed all sins when he is converted. We have forgotten many. And how many sins have we not assessed as such ?! If it were a question of truly confessing all sins, no one could be saved. Our conversion is not about a complete, but a sincere confession.
What about the tax collector in Luke 18? He did not even confess a single sin by name. But he was very aware that he was a sinner and needed God's grace. "Oh God, have mercy on me, the sinner." And he is said to have departed justified. The customs officer was sincere and unreserved - and that was what mattered.
And what about our sins after conversion? Notice that when the Lord Jesus laid the foundation for our forgiveness for us on the cross, all sins were still future. Both those we committed before and after our conversion. But for God they were all present and the Lord Jesus “bore our sins in his body on the wood” (1 Pet 2:24). And also in 1 John 1: 7 we read: "... and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin" - whether before or after conversion. Or did the Lord Jesus endure God's punishment for only part of our sins? Would he even have to go to court again? That's impossible! Hebrews 9:28 tells us clearly that Christ "was sacrificed once to bear the sins of many".
We are now at the end of this episode on the subject of forgiveness. Let's briefly summarize the most important points again:
- God is a "God of forgiveness". Out of grace and mercy, he offers forgiveness to all people.
- He himself gave the just basis for his actions: the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Golgotha
- Anyone who accepts the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior in faith will be forgiven by God for all their sins.
How grateful we can be to God for the forgiveness of our sins! When we think about our lives, it quickly becomes clear how much God has forgiven us. It becomes clear to us that the Lord Jesus had to take all the punishment for these sins.
Perhaps we feel a little how great is the guilt that we have been forgiven. Our love for the Lord Jesus can then be all the greater. This is what the Lord Jesus himself says about a woman who was known to be a great sinner: “Her many sins are forgiven because she loved much; but whoever is forgiven little loves little ”(Lk 7:47).
Book recommendation: “Anchor of the Soul”, a book on the subject of the certainty of salvation and security of salvation. https://www.csv-verlag.de/glaubensfundamente/13441-anker-der-seele-9783892874003.html
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