Published by Barnabas International • PO Box 11211 • Rockford, IL 61126 • Volume II • No. 11 • November 1988
LAREAU LINDQUIST, Founder
Occasionally, maybe frequently, it is healthy, indeed necessary to be gripped with the awfulness of sin…our own sinfulness. Only then are we appropriately grateful to the Lord for His incredible gift of FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness is a great biblical theme. Perhaps it is the most welcomed gift that we received when first we trusted Christ. It continues to be good news as we reckon with the awfulness of past sins and the continuous reality of sin in our lives.
Imagine the relief sensed when Jesus spoke these words, "Your sins are forgiven," to the woman caught in the act of adultery. Think of the powerful impact on the crowd gathered at Pentecost when Peter said, "Repent for the forgiveness of sins." The message of FORGIVENESS was pre-eminent in the preaching of the early pastors as indicated with Paul's message at Pisidian Antioch when he proclaimed, "I preach the forgiveness of sins through Jesus to you." When Paul catalogs the benefits enjoyed by believers in his letters to the Philippian church and the Colossian church, he mentions "the forgiveness of sins."
David often speaks personally about the forgiveness of sin. He knew much about personal failure…gross sin…the negative consequences of unconfessed sin. He experienced debilitating guilt. Often he cried out to God. Psalm 130 is especially helpful.
Twice he cries out to the Lord for relief. (vs. 1-2)
He spoke of the "depths" of despair. (vs.1)
He recognized his need for the Lord's "mercy." (vs.2)
And then he speaks these amazing words to the Lord…
"If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness." (vs. 3-4)
David you catch the depth of his question? He asked, "O Lord, if you kept a record of sins, who could stand?" good question. And the answer…NO ONE COULD STAND IF GOD KEPT A RECORD OF SINS. David could not stand. I could not stand. You could not stand. None of us would have a ghost of a chance. We would all be without hope.
But, God does not keep a record of our sins. That's right. Believers are forgiven. And when He forgives us, He forgets our sins…wipes them out…casts them behind His back…forever gone. We need to celebrate forgivenesss with a holy exhilaration. It is even permissible to become a shouting Methodist with a resounding, "I AM FORGIVEN."
Maybe you needed this thought right now. Have past sins come back to haunt you? Do the same sins often recur? Is your thought life a bit undisciplined? Is the tongue acting up? God's good news…as you confess, HE FORGIVES and CLEANSES. He really does!