The Forgiveness of Sins
If a father finds so much pleasure in forgiving his wayward son that he not only gives him a kiss, but also, the best robe, the ring on his hand, and the shoes on his feet, and provides the fatted calf and music with dancing, (Lu. 15:11-24), how much more delight must it give to the God of all grace and the Father of mercies to forgive the returning sinner, for He is the fountain of grace. He forgives the penitent his iniquity, transgression, and sins, and His pardon is without limit; it is
The unbeliever never knows the forgiveness of sins as long as he remains in unbelief. He might justly read Psalm 23 as: The Lord is not my shepherd, I shall want; He does not make me to lie down in green pastures; He does not lead me beside the still waters. The believer in contrast has redemption through Christ’s blood, even the forgiveness of sins, (Eph. 1:7). We are sometimes questioned why we do not ask that our sins be forgiven. The answer is, that we do not ask for the things which we already possess. In addition to forgiveness, we have as gifts, eternal life (Rom. 6:23), the gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:17), the Holy Spirit (Thess. 4:8; 1 John 3:24), the Kingdom (Luke 12:32), God’s Only Begotten Son (John 3:16), and in Him all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). These are our present possessions.
In Col. 1:9-11, we see some of the things that we might well pray for, and in verses 12-14, things that we have and give thanks for. We were once in the power of darkness, and Satan was our God (2 Cor. 4:4); we walked according to the course of this world, and were helpless to get out of that position, but God in His mercy not only transferred, but translated us into a higher kingdom, the Kingdom of His Dear Son.
If an animal were to be translated into the human kingdom, it would need a new nature to live its new life. Thus it is with us; God has made provision for this and states, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” (2 Cor. 5:17). “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” (John 3:6). “That ye may be partakers of the Divine nature,” (2 Pet. 1:4). “He has made us meet to he partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” (Col. 1:12). Whatsoever God does; He does perfectly.
As God sees it, our history as sinners ended at the cross of Christ, when He died for us and we died in Him, (Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 2:19). This took effect when we came to Christ, at which time we became the children of God (1 John 3:2). As children we sometimes need
We do not now need the sins of our entire life to be forgiven; but, as children are taught to say, “I beg your pardon,” so, being in the family of God, if we confess our sins, that is each sin separately, there is forgiveness for us, (1 John 1:9). By nature we like to take the easy way and ask merely for general forgiveness, but it means more to be honest with God and give sin its real name. We should be most careful about this, lest we go on in sin which hardens, (Heb. 3:12-13) and so backslide from God.
There is also Governmental Forgiveness. We can expect that God will forgive us if we from our heart forgive men their trespasses (Matt. 6:12); also, “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap,” (Gal. 6:7). God’s laws are unchangeable. The Judgment Seat of Christ should be continually before us, where each one will hear an appraisal of what he has done, whether it be good or bad, (Col 3:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). “So then each one of us shall give an account of himself to God,” (Rom. 14:12). If in all our actions we would consider how matters will look on the Day of Christ; our thoughts, words, and deeds, would be greatly transformed, making our lives more to the glory of God, and conforming them more into the image of His Son.