God's Forgiveness

Shannon Baptist Church
101 N.
Broad St
Shannon, Illinois 61078
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written by Pastor David Wood


"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

As Christians, we have the sweet privilege to participate in God's unconditional forgiveness. When a person understands the Biblical teaching on God's forgiveness there is great liberty and freedom added to the life. One who experiences God's forgiveness gains the ability to forgive others who've wronged him. God in His forgiveness ceases to feel resentment; He pardons; He grants relief from the payment of our debt.(1) What God does for us, we are to do for others.
In the Old Testament there are three words relating to God's forgiveness. One means "to cover"; another means "to lift away"; and the third means "to send away." In the New Testament the word for forgiveness means to "let go" or "send away." R.G. Lee has said, "In the New Testament forgiveness is the separation of the sinner from his sins through the sacrifice of Christ and upon the ground of pure grace."
God's forgiveness started with the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and continues to be effective for every age. Adam and Eve brought sin into the human race (Rom. 5:12). God's judgement had to pass upon all men then, for all have sinned.

"Yet after all that, God still cared enough about Adam and eve to slay an animal and make garments of skin to cover their nakedness and hide their shame (Gen. 3:21). Although their sin was not taken away, it was covered until something permanent could be done. When an animal was slain to provide the skins for Adam and Eve, a sacrificial system was begun. It was a system that would allow God and His people to have fellowship once again."(2)

1. Who can forgive my sins? God alone can forgive sins.
Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

Forgiveness is God's prerogative alone. As sinners we broke the law of God, therefore, only God can forgive us. Jesus Christ, being God in the flesh, has the right to forgive sin. That was the motivating purpose in his life, death, and resurrection.

2. What is the basis for forgiveness? The Blood of Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is bestowed because Jesus Christ himself paid the penalty for our sins.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

3. What is the extent of God's forgiveness?
Many people think that their sin is too great for God to ever forgive them! But God forgives! God forgave Paul and Moses, both murderers. God forgave David, an adulterer and murderer. God forgave the thief on the cross. God's forgiveness knows no limits!

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Psalms 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.

When God forgives sin He remembers them no more!
Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

4. How many times will God forgive? As often as we ask.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 18:21,22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until [seventy] times seven.

It's important to note that we must repent when we ask for God's forgiveness. We presume too much when we expect God to forgive us if we are unwilling to turn from the sin.

5. How can I know I have forgiveness from God?

*Repent of sin.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

*Believe that God will forgive you!
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Her repentance led to faith and forgiveness.

*Confess your sin to God.
Psalms 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to [forgive] us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

*Forgive others.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

(1) Jack and Carole Mayhall, Marriage Takes More Than Love (Colorado Springs, CO:Navpress, 1981), 55.
(2) Charles Stanley, Forgiveness (Nashville, TN: Oliver Nelson, 1987), 38.

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