Forgiveness… Such a complex topic in Christianity. A lot of people, including myself at times, feel like we have to earn forgiveness from God when we mess up and sin. It is so easy to have the feeling of self doubt, pity, and guilt about poor decisions that we make. It is mind boggling that Jesus has open arms telling us, “You are forgiven.” It is a radical perspective change seeing the freedom that we have in forgiveness, when we see it is not something that we have to work to obtain, but rather a peace that we embrace knowing that we are unconditionally loved by our Heavenly Father.
Coming from a church background, I always learned that we have to do certain things to get back in good graces with God when we sin. We need to pray and ask for forgiveness and repent and feel bad. Now, it is good to do all of that, but really, we need to dig down deeper and assess why we should do these things. I firmly believe that we should repent and ask for forgiveness in response to being radically stirred by the love of Jesus. Seeing that someone died for our sins because we are dearly loved. When the gospel really hits us, our whole mindset changes, not just our actions. We don’t have to fear messing up, but we do live in a way pleasing to the Lord, because of how impacted we are by His finished work on the Cross.
I heard this song from David Crowder entitled ‘Forgiven’. These lyrics are so poignant, “Forgiven! Forgiven!, You love me even when I don’t deserve it, Forgiven! I’m Forgiven!, Jesus Your blood makes me innocent.” When I heard this song, it literally brought tears to my eyes, because I strive so hard to gain a good place with God again, but He is just saying, “child you are free from the guilt. Because of the blood I spilled, you don’t have to be enslaved to the sin or the guilt from it. You are free.” These are such heartwarming words. How awesome that everything brings us back to the love of Christ.
All throughout Scripture, we see a common theme of forgiveness. We see it mostly in the Gospels, as Jesus is in His ministry, in His death and Resurrection. In the same manner, that we have been forgiven, that is how we should forgive others. It is so hard to do that because we are not perfect people, but when we depend on Jesus, that is where the grace and power comes to free us and help us to forgive. Jesus is constantly lifting us from our pits of guilt and shame, saying, “My child you are forgiven.” I challenge us all to embrace that. To really dig in and spend time with God to see His heart for us. That we don’t have to earn His good graces, but rather to embrace the grace and forgiveness that He is offering to us every day. That we should say goodbye to every sin because we are……. FORGIVEN
Below is the song ‘Forgiven’ by David Crowder: