At our table discussion during the message at church tonight we talked about why it was hard for people to grasp the meaning of the gospel.
We mentioned that most often people think they have to earn their way to God—they must do enough good works to be accepted.
But then someone said, “It’s really so simple.” We summarized it:
God made us so He could be with us and love us.
We chose to go our own way—we sinned.
That sin separated us from God.
He said, “No. I still love you and want to be with you. I will send my son to bring you back.
Jesus came as a person—one of us. He didn’t sin. He died in our place. He offered us reconciliation, forgiveness, salvation. A free gift.
When we accept it, the gift is ours. Yes, lots of learning and growing is still to come. But the gift is ours. This is good news.
Then one of the women at the table, still a young Christian, said, “But I have to keep asking Him to forgive me for what I have done in the past. Over and over I ask Him.”
I said that, when I have that problem—feeling like I need to keep confessing something from the past that He has forgiven—I recount these wonderful promises from our compassionate, gracious, merciful God:
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.: (Isaiah 43:25)
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,…” (Isaiah 61:10)
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin….If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1: 7,9)
These words remind me that God has forgiven me because Jesus paid the ransom for me.
So when I sin, or when I remember those sins from the past, I can say, “Thank you, Lord, that you have forgiven that sin. You have washed me, clothed me in righteousness, buried that sin in the sea, removed it as far as east is from west…and you do not remember them. Thank you!”
My friend buried her face in her hands and wept. When she looked up, she said, “Thank you. That’s the best news I have ever heard.”
What about you? What do you do when old sins keep following you?
C2015 Judy Douglass