I BELIEVE IN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
What Is Sin?
Sin is the breaking/violation of God’s law. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4). That is something objective. It does not matter if we know it, feel it or agree with it. As long as we broke it, we sinned!
Sin is falling short of God’s glory. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). To fall short of God’s glory means to miss the mark laid down by God our Creator.
Sin is the neglect of moral duty. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17). Sin is not just doing what God has forbidden. It is also failing to do what God has commanded.
Sin is foolish thoughts (Proverbs 24:9), vain words (Proverbs 10:19) and unrighteous deeds (1 John 5:17).
Sin is a perversity touching each one of us at every point in our lives. Apart from Jesus Christ, no human being has ever been free of its infection. It appears in our desires as well as our deeds, our motives as well as our actions. Ultimately, sin is our rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4).
The good news is that sins can be forgiven. Central to the gospel is the glorious “but” of Psalm 130:3&4 ~ “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”
What Is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is pardon in a personal setting. It is taking back into friendship those who went against you, hurt you, and put themselves in the wrong with you. It is compassionate (showing unmerited kindness to the wrongdoer), creative (renewing the spoiled relationship) and, inevitably, costly. God’s forgiveness is the supreme instance of this, for it is God in love restoring fellowship at the cost of the cross.
Because Jesus died in our place & paid the full penalty of sin, God is now able to forgive us justly (1 John 1:9). God forgives us through Jesus Christ, who died to purchase forgiveness for us (Ephesians 1:7) and rose from the dead to give us forgiveness(Acts 5:31). In Christ our sin is forgiven (1 John 2:12). The Bible uses the following pictures to convey the meaning of forgiveness:
I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you (Isaiah 44:22). Forgiveness is like blotting out.
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18-19). Forgiveness is like casting an iron-ball into the sea and letting it sink to the bottom, never to be seen anymore.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12). Forgiveness is like a removal, moving something out of sight.
All the pictures above are meant to convey that when God pardons, He remembers our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34)!
(a) On what basis does God forgive us?
(b) What does forgiveness do for the forgiven on a personal level?
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