Someone once said to me, “I’m going to straighten out my life and then I’m coming to God.” I explained that line of thought is backwards. One doesn’t straighten his life out and come to God; one comes to God and He straightens the person’s life out.” Seeking and receiving forgiveness is often misunderstood.
I’ve heard some say that their sin is so terrible that God would never forgive them. Others have been more complacent, saying that they’ll “live it up” a little while longer and then come to God. Still others have an indignant attitude toward God’s forgiveness; someone saying to me once, “you mean God forgave Hitler!” I explained that God did not forgive Hitler because Hitler never asked to be forgiven; but had Hitler come with a sincere heart of repentance, then God would have forgiven him.
Here is a fact of forgiveness: The ultimate grounds for our forgiveness is God’s initiative. The reason for our forgiveness is wholly of God and nothing of ourselves. Look at the wonderful verses found in Isaiah 43:25 & 44:22, “I, yes, I alone, am He who blots out your sins for My own sake and will never think of them again. I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Return to me for I have paid the price to set you free.” To me, these verses explain the beautiful grace of God like no other. Here we see a threefold repetition that points to His Lordly and Kingly decision concerning us — “I, yes, I alone and He…” He does not have to forgive sin, but in His sovereignty and majesty, His Holy love compels Him, and Him alone, to do so.
Our pardon from anything we have ever done or ever will do rests on His decision. From the beginning, His decision to forgive is one-sided; it is His will to show His love to us through His forgiveness. God made His decision to forgive us when we were not seeking it. Only He can forgive sin because only He is holy. There is no other way to come to God, entering into His presence, except through seeking forgiveness through His dear and holy son, Jesus, who died for our ransom.
When we realize this and come to God in our brokenness, He forgives and makes us whole by actually removing our sin from His record and making us a new creation. In other words, we are “born again.” This removal of our sin is complete eradication. As if that were not wonderful enough in itself, Almighty God then reveals that when He forgives He forgets. Only a holy and loving God can do something that perfect and amazing.
It is Satan who cruelly seduces us into sin, then convinces us that our sins are so terrible that not even God can forgive them. Never be duped into believing the lies of evil Satan, but only the truth of Holy God. When God says He will forgive, that He will remember your sin no more, and that He will make you into a new creation, walk forward in the light of that truth. Humbly accept and walk on in great joy in the position of honor that God then gives you —sons and daughters of God, destined to live with Him in perfect joy, peace, and forgiveness, for eternity.
God will not change His mind in this matter. We know this because He said in Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord and I do not change.”
To be made in His image, to be forgiven of all our sin, to walk in a new life — why wouldn’t everyone want it? Forgiveness is yours today. Just come to the Father, ask His forgiveness, receive the gift of life that Jesus died to give to you. Then walk in His promises. There’s nothing to compare to such amazing grace.