Dr. Karl Menninger said that if he could convince his patients in psychiatric hospitals that their sins were forgiven, 75 percent could walk out the next day! Many people find it hard to believe that forgiveness is possible. They fear that their guilt can never be taken away. The Bible teaches that forgiveness comes from a changed relationship with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) through Christ, the God-man, our Mediator. Forgiveness means that Jesus’ followers are now accepted by God, reconciled to Him, and loved by Him, so that we can now gratefully trust and obey Him for the rest of our lives.
Christ said to the woman caught in adultery, “I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” He said to Zacchaeus the cheat, “Today salvation has come to your house.” Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven….The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….Get up, take your mat and go home.” The Lord prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”1
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” So we must repent (turn from our wrongs) and believe on Jesus (turning to Him), confessing and asking God to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. God forgives Jesus’ followers for Jesus’ sake, washes and cleanses us, strengthens us with power through His Spirit in our inner being, and enables us to overcome temptation. Once we are forgiven, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus and forgive those who have sinned against us.2
Because forgiveness is essential for Christian living, I have written a number of posts on various aspects of this important topic. “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit!” (Psalm 32:1-2, CSB)
Notes: 1 John 8:11; Luke 19:9, 5:17-26, 23:34. 2 1 John 1:5-2:2; Eph 3:16, 4:32; Rom 6:1-14; 5:1-11; Matt 6:12-14, 18:23-35.