Are you a Christian struggling with forgiveness? Do you stay up at night, tossing and turning, wondering if God has forgiven you?
Here is the deal.
We are all sinners. No one is exempt.
Paul puts it this way,
Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins. For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us (Romans 3:23-25).
But Jesus redeemed us by his death on the cross. If you have put your faith in Christ (invited him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior), you received his forgiveness and he declares you, “not guilty”.
His Holy Spirit moves in to live within us. His presence within us creates an internal peace and gives us the power to live according to his plan for us. We don’t earn or deserve this forgiveness, but by his Grace and Mercy, God gives this gift of forgiveness and redemption and calls us his children.
Here is what Paul says about this gift.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, Father.”For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children (Romans 8:14-16).
Does this mean that we are perfect?
We are a work in progress and may still fall into temptations and sin. But when we confess our sins and ask God’s forgiveness, he forgives us.
Perhaps you struggle with forgiving yourself or receiving his forgiveness. This can keep us bound and become a stronghold through which Satan can condemn us. We need to believe in God’s forgiveness!
Just think about the men and women in the Bible who failed, yet when they confessed their sins, God forgave them and restored them.
God’s promise of forgiveness is clear. He doesn’t lie.
But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins (1 John 1:9).
Take David for example, he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband, Uriah. Psalm 51 is David’s confession and prayer of repentance. God forgave David, and the Bible records, David was a man after God’s heart.
Paul persecuted Christians, yet God forgives him, and he won souls for Christ. Paul wrote a major part of the New Testament.
Forgiveness and the difference between condemnation and conviction
Maybe the enemy is condemning you and making it difficult for you to receive God’s forgiveness. Romans 8:1 is very clear on this, “there is, therefore, no condemnation for those who have put their faith in Christ Jesus.”
So, if you are a Christian and feeling condemned, that is not of God.
If you have fallen into temptation or sin, the Holy Spirit will convict or gently nudge you to repent and restore you back to the Father. What is the difference between condemnation and conviction?
Condemnation– is from Satan. He accuses us and declares us guilty with no remedy.
Conviction– is by the Holy Spirit. He leads us towards confession, repentance, and a restored relationship with God.
God loves you and me very much. He doesn’t brood over our offenses and missteps. Once we confess our sins, ask his forgiveness, He forgives us. We must believe and receive His forgiveness.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we have the assurance that God forgives all our sins, and He removes them from us as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:3, 12). God is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.
Friend, Jesus is for you.
He loves you.
He forgives you.
Nothing can separate you from his love.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16).
If you have never put your faith and trust in Jesus, or if you are unsure, I invite you to commit your life to Him today.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me of my sins and making me a part of your family. Help me believe in your forgiveness and receive your love. Help me let go of guilt and condemnation because you have cleansed me from my sins. Please silence the accusing voice of the enemy. Thank you for clothing me with your righteousness and for giving me the undeserved gift of your grace. I love you Lord and bless your Holy Name. Amen.