FORGIVENESS IS NEEDED
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
Everyone needs forgiveness because everyone sins. The British author who created Sherlock Holmes was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He loved to play practical jokes on people. On one occasion, as a practical joke, he sent an anonymous telegram to twelve of his best friends, “Flee at once, all has been discovered.” In 24 hours, all twelve had left the country. Apparently, all of them had committed acts which they feared had become known and threatened them in some way.
We need forgiveness on every level – with God, with others, with ourselves. This week we will look at all three. Our aim is what R.T. Kendall calls “total forgiveness.” He defines it as, “Accepting God’s forgiveness of all our past sins and failures so completely that we equally let ourselves off the hook for our past sins (the same way) God has (already) done.”
We all long for forgiveness. We can feel the same angst David experienced in Psalm 51, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your great compassion blot out my transgression. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” David appeals to God’s “unfailing love” and “great compassion” for forgiveness. He doesn’t ask for God’s justice, otherwise he would have been judged instantly for sin that deserved punishment. He didn’t ask for what he deserved, he asked for God’s mercy.
Did you notice the graphic words he used for forgiveness – “blot out,” “wash away,” and “cleanse?” I get the picture of someone desperately trying to scrub a mustard stain out of a white shirt to no avail – but this stain is sin, a stain on the soul, and the consequence is condemnation. Thank God we have forgiveness through Christ’s cross!
LIVING OUT GOD’S BEST TODAY
Application of God’s Truth
We all need forgiveness. Ask God to make you acutely aware of your transgression and confess them before the Lord as sin. Receive His forgiveness and rest in His goodness.