Blessing #2: The Blessing of the Assurance of Forgiveness
“In the shadow of my hurt forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another. Forgiveness is the gift that insures my freedom from a prison of bitterness and resentment. When I accept forgiveness from God, I’m free from the penalty of my sin. When I extend forgiveness to my adversary, there’s a sense in which I am set free from his sin as well.” (Andy Stanley)
I’ve been thinking recently about what believers in Jesus have and what my unsaved friends don’t have in not knowing the Lord Jesus as their Savior. My friend Mike chooses to think of himself as not lost, as not being outside the family of God.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Mike is a great guy. He is giving, kind, compassionate, but utterly deceived about his status before a holy God. And therefore, I’m so thankful for God’s Word telling me the truth about my need of a Savior. A Savior who can forgive me.
I heard one man say, “I don’t mind forgiving and forgetting. I just don’t want the one I’m forgiving to forget that he has been forgiven.” The blessing we want to focus on today is that of having our sins taken care of by Jesus on the cross. For, when I think of what we have in Christ . . .
2. WE HAVE THE ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS!
THE BLESSING How audacious of Christians to claim their sins have been eternally forgiven by God, that they are now in His family, and that He will never turn away from them! But that’s what the Bible, God’s Word, promises to all who turn to Him in faith.
THE BIBLE Because the Bible is our final authority for what we believe, we can be assured of our permanent forgiveness by God. We read that it is in Christ “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14). We can be thankful with the Psalmist who declares, “But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you” (Ps. 130:4). We learn that the Lord Jesus came for sinners “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]” (Acts 26:18). Even the prophets spoke about the coming Savior “that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). But the hard fact is that forgiveness is found only in Christ. And if one doesn’t have Him, one doesn’t have it.