1. Forgiveness Has Always Been God’s Plan
“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5, ESV
Forgiveness has always been God’s plan. God pronounced the whole of His creation, “very good.” Jesus came to save all. He leaves the 99 sheep to go after one. The gospel will circulate the earth until every ear has had a chance to hear. “From the moment Adam and Eve left Eden, God has not been content to leave his people in exile, corrupt and condemned,” writes Scott Hubbard, Editor for desiringGod.org. The plan was always Jesus, the only Son of God, to come to earth and sacrifice His spotless life for the forgiveness of our sins.
God knows we are prone to wander and incapable of living without sin. Yet still, He says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgression for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set for your case, that you may be proved right” (Isaiah 43:25-26, ESV).
“From a spiritual perspective, we were all born with a sin problem, eternally separated from God,” writes Brent Rinehart, “We’d be lost forever without Him intervening and offering us forgiveness.”
2. God’s Forgiveness Is a Gift
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV
God’s forgiveness is a gift. “All of us are worse than we think,” writes Professor Joe Rigney for desiringGod.org, “Our hearts really are slimy. When you look in there, it’s true that there is a depth upon depth of self-love and sin.” God knows the depths of our hearts: our intentions, grudges, and our hidden and suppressed sin. “When we live by faith in future grace, rooted in God’s forgiveness,” John Piper writes, “we are freed from the lingering, paralyzing effects even of the shame we deserve to feel. That’s what forgiveness means.” He is not only faithful to forgive us of the sin we see and confess, but also intentional to move our hearts to see other areas of our lives where sin is sabotaging our freedom in Christ. Paul wrote to the Colossians, “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive” (Colossians 3:13, ESV).
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