How much does God forgive?

by startingwithGod.com on May 28, 2010

First of all, we all sin (Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” and Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”).

The fact that you recognize your sin and feel badly about it should give you encouragement for several reasons. For one thing, a lot of people sin and don’t think there’s anything wrong with it – yet God has opened your eyes to seeing how destructive it can be. But God does not want you to live with guilt. He wants you to know and fully experience His forgiveness.

God does not simply overlook our sin and say, “You’re forgiven.” God sees our sin but is ready to forgive us because Jesus fully took OUR sin on Himself and paid for our sin by His death on the cross. Our sin is serious and it cost Jesus incredible suffering. But from the moment we received Christ into our lives, His forgiveness is ours. We can’t ever make up for our own sin or suffer enough for it – nor does God want us to. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

But what about when we struggle with an area and keep on sinning? Does God get so weary forgiving us that we, at some point, reach our limit?

Jesus was asked by the disciples how many times they needed to forgive someone. “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’” (Matthew 18:21,22). It’s unlikely that Peter could keep track of whether he forgave a particular individual 490 times yet, so you see Jesus’ point. You always forgive, because God always forgives us. God does not have a limit. He died for every one of your sins—those you’ve committed and those you will commit—past, present, and future sins.You need to begin looking at your sin the way God looks at it. And here is what He says in the Bible:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1John 2:1,2

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

“You have put all my sins behind your back.” Out of sight. God no longer “sees” me in light of my sins. He sees Jesus righteousness for me.” Isaiah 38:17

“You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Never to be found at sea. Not “dropped” into the sea, “hurled.” Micah 7:19

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Sins are no longer “kept on file”, record is blotted out, destroyed. God cannot “forget” like in human error, but He chooses to “not remember.” Isaiah 43:25

“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Romans 5:20

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself…in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…For our sake He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18,19,21

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

“…since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

We are told that Satan is the “accuser of the brethren”, meaning that Satan will try to convince us that God could never love us. We need to recognize those thoughts as lies and instead choose to believe what God says. What God says about us in His Word (the Bible) is truer than anything we could think or feel. Jesus said that those who build their lives on His word are those whose lives stand strong and secure, able to weather anything in life (see Matthew 7:24-27).

If you’ve asked God to forgive you and to come into your life — you are forgiven!!! His word says so. Thank Him for His forgiveness and begin to rejoice in your secure relationship with Him. He is able to change areas of your life that don’t line up with His desire for you. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with his Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.”