Remember the story of little Johnny who had killed his grandma’s duck and hid it, not knowing Sally was watching? Ever wondered how the world would have been without the consciousness of forgiveness? Imagine everyone (believer or not) moving around fully aware of the fact that every atrocity committed in the past and present is fully recorded against them and can definitely speak against them. Personalities like apostle Paul would not have dared to make bold statements about Christ nor would he have become a public announcer of the gospel knowing so well what kind of a terror he was to the Church before his encounter with Christ. The only reason for such confidence was the consciousness that he had been forgiven!
There’s this inner peace and calmness in the Christian faith today because we know once we are in Abba, we are new creatures and truly the things of the past remain things of old, it is forgiveness at work- what a privilege! In John 14:6, Jesus said “…I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the way to a life free of guilt, a life free from the past and a life of reconciliation back to God irrespective of what your past says about you, or what anyone else says about your past. In Christ you are given a clean slate to start over again, 2 Cor. 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; BEHOLD (see), all things are become new.”
You see, there still exists some of us who lack the conviction that Abba forgives all magnitudes of sin and so they keep going about with the unnecessary burden of guilt and shame. This is the need for this discussion; for you to know how ABBA forgives! Forgiveness and unforgiveness powerfully impacts every aspect of our lives and the lives of those around us. To forgive is to pardon; to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment, retribution, compensation, or resentment. Knowing that you are faultless and blameless, and not accused gives you the confidence to approach God.
Forgiveness is the ACTION of making things RIGHT when something WRONG has been COMMITTED or something right has been OMITTED. Please take note of the above highlighted words. Often, we are aware of the fact that we’ve done something wrong and that’s because the actions were from our ends (- our faults), but we can hardly believe these wrongs can be made right because the actions that transform these results are not from our ends. Between us and God, the action of forgiveness is done by Him. It is as simple as Johnny’s story. Maybe you feel you have done worse that killing a duck, maybe you feel Johnny’s was a mistake and yours was deliberate. Maybe you can’t forgive yourself because you are afraid that you would do it again, and you don’t even know why you do it in the first place. Maybe your actions are all impulsive like Johnny only you do something worse – like fornication, or sleeping with another man’s wife, or even murder. God – like Johnny’s grandma – is too busy loving you and trying to help you move on to call you names like society probably would.
You might wonder, how much does God really forgive? There’s a simple answer to that – He forgives MUCH. Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”. God himself is the one making a call for you to allow yourself be forgiven, He wants to forgive you. No matter how deep you may have gone in sin, He will forgive you. No matter how dirty they are, He doesn’t care. He hates your sins not you because they take you away from Him. Nothing can separate you from God, not unless you reject him yourself. Jesus said in Mat.12:31-32, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
So you see the only way you won’t earn forgiveness is by rejecting it. Speaking against the Holy Spirit means you reject what he offers, salvation. He is the seal of our salvation; those who have him belong to God, so to speak against him is to reject salvation. Jesus keeps saying that rejecting God will not earn you forgiveness; the Pharisees who killed him had rejected him and salvation. They knew who he was, they knew he resurrected and yet they refused his salvation. Only such people cannot be saved. Paul had rejected Christ without knowing Him, but when He saw Him, he embraced salvation and forgiveness. You can imagine how hard it would have been for him to suddenly begin to confess and preach the same Christ he had killed so many people for confessing, if he could be forgiven, so can you.
Why would Abba forgive me?
1. He values my relationship with Him.
From the beginning of creation, it was obvious man was the most important agenda to God. Aside the fact that He chose to keep the best for the last He made man to be like Him, “let us make man in our own image and likeness”. He didn’t stop there; he breathed into him ‘the breath of life’ – what an investment! He put His life giving Spirit into you. (Gen 1:26, 2:7). You think He didn’t have a reason for this investment? His main reason was so you’ll continually love him as He loves you (Isaiah 43:21). And you think all of a sudden, he’ll want to throw such investment away? NEVER! Guilt wouldn’t allow you exalt him, neither will shame only peace of mind will allow you do that and forgiving you will give you peace no doubt.
2. God’s Continuing Grace
Abba’s grace is always sufficient and enough to cover up for every wrong we’ve done, all we have to continually do as God chooses to forgive us continually is to open our mouths to confessing our wrong doings and believing that Abba has taken action in his faithfulness to forgive us and make us righteous. (1 John 1:9, Rom 10:10, Colossians 1:21 & 22).
And as we are cleansed of our unrighteousness, we are able then to live according to His righteousness until we stumble again, get up, and humbly ask for His forgiveness and try once more but this time far better! (2 Corinthians 12:9).
3. God is not Human
Often times when we get hurt deeply, our ego wants the offender to somehow pay for all the havoc caused both physically, spiritually, emotionally and otherwise and this gives us a feeling of satisfaction even though the whole thing still hurts. It’s only human to be relieved or indifferent rather than being sympathetic when the one who breaks our heart gets heartbroken. But Abba is quite different, we break his heart but He is never resentful regardless of the fact that most of these decisions are made by us. And that is why even when we were yet sinners, He sent his only begotten Son to die in order to reconcile us back to him. That’s the same reason why he isn’t happy when we stay far from him instead of getting closer to him because we feel we are filthy and unclean before him or he holds a grudge against us. In fact, the only way to be clean is to be with Him.
4. Because He wants us to Forgive others, following His footsteps
Living a life knowing full well that you are freed of your unrighteousness makes it easier to forgive others of their wrongs against you. His commandments towards you to forgive those who wrong you will and cannot make sense to you if you do not receive forgiveness from him. By the time your fellowship with Abba is strengthened, you do not only receive more light on why you should forgive your debtors, you also rub off his personality which is to take an action of converting the wrongs of to right doings. Fellowship cannot be sustained with a guilt mentality, in the long run you end up aborting God’s intentions for mankind which is extending forgiveness and reconciliation (Ephesians 4:32, Matt 18: 21-22). We are meant to let go of every grudge and bitterness against anyone, and as the best father that he is, he chooses to teach us by examples; forgiving us of our own wrongs! Believe this and receive peace!
5. He wants to Humble us
Growing up, I had so much locked up in my heart that I thought it was pretty impossible to let go! Aside the fact that it greatly affected my relationship with Abba; I knew how much it affected me both physically and emotionally. At some point, I lost touch completely (from my own angle because now I am fully aware of the fact that Abba would never lose touch with me no matter how far I think I go!). It was so easy for me to do some abominable things in the sight of Abba. Guess what! I never saw any of these things as wrong. And then I, like the prodigal son, realized the only way to go forward was to come back so I did and amazingly he didn’t crucify me! Why on earth would you think I’ll have the nerves to ever hold grudges on anyone? Abba proved that it was 100% possible to forgive anyone. My pride was cut down in pieces because I didn’t think it through at first to involve Abba. It is absolute pride thinking you can’t forgive because you tried it on your own! Try Abba and he’ll show you how simple that can be by giving you an inner peace you’ll never recover from.
God’s forgiveness is deeper and truer than anything people can ever give! Scripture clearly shows there is a separation of mankind and God when we sin (Rom 3:23), one so vast there is nothing we can do to bridge it on our own and as the guilty party, he only has the choice to forgive us and restore fellowship. So when God forgives us, it is not that we were able to pay off the debt, not even partially; it is because God makes it so that our debt is no more. Know this and know peace!