We must remember that all sins call for the death penalty – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” – Romans 6:23. It does not matter whether it is a “white lie” or the heinous act of child molestation. I John 1:9 states: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Hebrews 8:12 states: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” And Psalms 103:8 – 12 states: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” It is important to clarify that these verses on forgiveness refer only to believers. No matter what sin has been committed, if a believer confesses it to God and seeks His forgiveness, it will be given.
We can never talk enough about forgiveness or be too thankful for it. We need also to be reminded constantly what it cost the Saviour—His death on the Cross—to make forgiveness possible. Actually, we need forgiveness more than we need breathe. Forgiveness makes the difference between a lost and a saved eternity.
To be forgiven by God is to experience one of His greatest favors. Forgiveness triggers a wonderful liberation from a defeated past and the beginning of a new start in life. Forgiveness will greatly enhance the ecstasies of heaven. If feelings of guilt were to be carried through a long eternity, it would greatly dampen the joys of the redeemed. But no! Forgiveness crosses out the past, buries it forever in God’s forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 10:17).
From Scripture we know that forgiveness is not a way, it is the way. It is the only way for the Lord or for us to deal with a sinful past. The old sage was right: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on”. No tears can erase history or change the writing. Only forgiveness can deal effectively with this record.
Forgiveness is treating the wrongdoer is if he had never committed the wrong. It is the eradication of the red ink from the record. This is the way God’s forgiveness operates toward us; and it is the way He wants ours to work toward others.