Forgiveness is an active word – a word that can cause us great relief, joy, freedom, and peace. Even with what we might call “slight” mistakes, small hurtful actions, petty cash thievery – these give us anxious feelings, broken relationships, and perhaps even legal consequences. How we long to be forgiven! Let’s talk about the power of forgiveness.
We Long for Forgiveness
Conviction of sin – whether we steal, cheat, overtly harm or destroy another, or demean another – is a feeling we are familiar with – whether we have a heart tender toward God, or if purposely running with Satan. We know when we have done wrong. We writhe with the angst within us. The youngest child knows when he has done wrong. We cannot whitewash sin. In our hearts, we long for forgiveness.
Our Heart Craves Forgiveness
Forgiveness from the person/persons we have sinned against, injured in any way, destroyed the reputation of, or deserted. Even in the most hardened heart is the desire for that sinned- against-person/persons, or Creator God to tell them that not only are they forgiven but they are washed clean – the slate is blank.
A jury may give the longed-for verdict: pardoned, exonerated, excused, or let-off. These words give a wonderful momentary sense of relief to the accused.
But does that absolve the burden of the sin within us? Forgiveness from another is relief in a human relationship.
Forgiveness of Sins
However, there is still a known burden of knowing that we all have sins that others cannot forgive – that we are filled with sins that only God by his grace and mercy can remove. The weight of that sin drives many to depression, dejection, and the feeling there is no hope for them.
But there is great Hope, my friend. In the Bible we read in Romans 5:8, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5.
How wonderful and uplifting it is when a friend, an acquaintance, or a family member says they forgive you. Yet, to know and find the forgiveness of all your sin by the God of the Universe, Jesus Christ – well, that is completely awesome! Not because we deserve it, but because we are trusting Him to forgive that sin because he paid for it with his death on the cross – because of His great love.
And Jesus was victorious over your sins and the sins of the world when he died, was buried, and was resurrected. From His throne in heaven, God forgives our confessed sin when we trust Him as Savior and make Him Lord in our lives.
Redemption and Forgiveness
Now that is forgiveness! That is a new birth! That is redemption! Your sin – my sin – paid for by the only one worthy of being able to do so. And this is what opens the gates of heaven when you die – all because of the forgiveness that Jesus Christ has accorded you when you receive him as your Lord and Savior.
Easy? It wasn’t easy for Jesus to be nailed to the cruel cross. Simple? Not really – can you defeat the gates of hell on your own? Redemption and Forgiveness come from Almighty God. Not our works or goodness. Just His grace.
It was His Love for you – It was His Love for me – that nailed him to the tree. And when we confess that sin with a meaningful, heartfelt “Lord, I know I have sinned and am not worthy to stand before you, but I believe you died for my sins, in my place, so that I can live with you forever, come into my heart, forgive all my sin, and make me yours, make me new. I trust only you.” – it is then we can know eternal forgiveness from God.
Jesus left heaven to die in your place. What mercy, What love, and What grace!