Forgiveness. That’s a word that can bring you peace or irritation, happiness or sadness, gratefulness or resentment simply from what side of it you are on. For someone who has been forgiven of a wrong – whether it is to a spouse, co-worker, or friend – forgiveness brings a release. But, for someone who hasn’t been forgiven, the controversy surrounding it remains. The same can be said for a person’s relationship with God. Depending on what side of forgiveness someone is on either brings feelings of relief or regret.
Maybe you just haven't accepted what has been
Finding forgiveness, whether it is by a person or by God, often has these three things:
1. A debt – whether it is a debt of wrong, money, etc.
2. A release – maybe with the offended party having a change of heart, or writing the debt off the books, a release of the debt grants forgiveness.
3. A reconciliation – when both parties are satisfied with the release of debt, they can move forward in their relationship.
Between God and us, there is a debt on our part – a debt of sin. Since God is the Creator of the universe, God has the right to set out what He wants, and He has. This is known as His will, or His laws. Sin, being something that goes against God, breaks God’s laws. So naturally, the person who sins is a law-breaker. Although that sounds like bad news, what’s even worse is that everyone is in this debt because everyone sins. (Romans 5:12)
But, there is good news! God loves us, and has done something to release us from the debt. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. (Romans 5:8) When Jesus was on the cross, He took the world’s sins by being a substitute for us. Since Jesus paid the price for sin, God can now give us forgiveness. Jesus taking our sins and us taking His righteousness isn’t a fair trade, but God did it because He loves us! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
This makes Jesus the One who brings us back to God. Before Jesus, we were separated from God because of sins, but because of forgiveness we can have a relationship with God. (Colossians 1:19-22)
All of this might sound good, but you might be thinking, “Why do I still feel unforgiven?”
It could be that you just haven’t accepted what was offered.
Part of reconciliation is when both parties accept the forgiveness and can then move on in their relationship. God has done everything that He needs to do to forgive us, but we need to accept the forgiveness to go on. We do that by believing that Jesus came to give us eternal life. Here are some things that Jesus said:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
It’s pretty clear: we either accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers, or we stand on our own un-forgiven merits.
Oh, and one other thing … when we believe we confess our sin to God and receive salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
I hope you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and acknowledged your belief to God in prayer. If you would like to know more, please contact us! We would be happy to try and help and pray for you!
- "Rockstar Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on entertaining the crowds.
- "Walmart Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on the bottom line, viewing people as customers.
- "Stonecold Church" - a church whose focus is primarily on tradtions and rules.
- Something else?