Forgiveness is real. The New Testament says, “If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9). God can forgive the worst sin you have ever committed. God will forgive the worst sin you can imagine.
Many Christians are carrying around unnecessary baggage. We have asked and received forgiveness from God, but we have not accepted that forgiveness for ourselves.
As preachers we often contribute to this problem because we don’t want people to think that grace is cheap. It certainly isn’t cheap. Jesus gave his life for it. And to receive God’s grace we pay the difficult price of owning up to our sin and our responsibility. But if we do not accept that God has forgiven us, we are failing to trust that the gospel is true. We are failing to trust in Jesus.
The confession that is necessary for forgiveness is the confession that acknowledges the sin is wrong, accepts responsibility for that wrong, and tries to make it right in any way possible. This kind of confession is no cheap and easy act. But once we have confessed in this way, “God who is faithful and just will forgive us.”
Another well-known Bible verse says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far God removes our transgression from us” (Psalm103:12). God has thrown our sin away. Don’t chase it. Let it go.
Love in Christ,
Greg W. Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC