God forgives And Forgets – Hebrews 7-8

Hebrews 7-8

At its very heart, the message of the gospel is forgiveness. We are all born into sin and enemies of God. Yet because of His unequaled love for us, from the beginning the Lord provided the way to forgiveness. First with the old covenant of blood sacrifices, to the most wonderful new covenant with the sacrifice of Jesus.

And the forgiveness He so graciously extends to us He wants us to extend to others. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32) I don’t know how many times I read that verse before it finally sunk in that the “others” God wants me to be kind, tender hearted, and forgiving to included myself.

For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (vs. 8:12) I have always been my own worst critic. Quick to forgive anyone, but not myself. First to speak a kind word to another, saving the harshest words in speaking to myself. Able to put the mistakes of others in the past, yet putting each of mine on a movie wheel that continuously plays in my head.

But God says that when we both confess and repent of our sins He not only forgives, He forgets. God wipes the slate clean, clears the history, and destroys the evidence. He removes our sin, “as far as the east is from the west.” (Ps. 103:12), remembering it no more. So if God doesn’t remember, why can’t I forget?

Two of the of the greatest weapons Satan has in his armory are guilt and shame, and he wields them generously. He whose name means Accuser does just that. The Enemy whispers in our ears that we are unclean, unforgivable, unworthy, and unloved. He delights in reminding us of our past sins and tries to inject our hearts with feelings of doubts about God’s truth and love.

And when we give him even an inch of opening, he takes full advantage turning that inch into a mile. And with that mile he takes up residence and builds destructive strongholds in our minds. But he is a deceiver and not to be believed for, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

I love the quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” I hadn’t before considered that not forgiving myself is sin to God. John tells us, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). And Luke tells us, “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (Acts.13:38)

To doubt the truth of these words is to call God a liar and His promises untrue. Jesus while hanging on the Cross says with His final breath, “It is finished!” (John 19:39) The Lord declared all of our sins, past, present, and future, paid in full; forgiven forever. Because of His shed blood we are deemed righteous, and to think otherwise is to sinfully diminish His great sacrifice.

Knowing in your mind that you are forgiven is one thing, feeling it in your heart is another. I once read that forgiveness takes place in the heart of God, not in our feelings. And God says that through faith in Jesus, and with confession and repentance, our sins are forgiven and forgotten.

Our Father doesn’t want us dwelling on our past mistakes, stuck in a prison of guilt and shame. He wants us dwelling in His presence enjoying the victory of His peace, love and forgiveness. So the next time you find yourself listening to the lies of the Adversary, remember that you are forgiven by God. Be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving of yourself. And when we joyfully forgive and forget, we can like David sing, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.” (Ps. 32:1-2)

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