We’ve all messed up. We’ve done something we regret or something we knew shouldn’t do. Heck, sometimes we do things that we only realize are wrong later on. These are things that hurt others or hurt ourselves—and most importantly, they go against the will of God. The Bible calls this “sin.”
If you’re lucky, you have good friends who will forgive you for messing up and hurting them. They’ll forgive you and then won’t ever hold it against you again. That way, you can forgive yourself and let go. You can live with gratitude and without insecurities. It’s almost like you never did it at all.
It’s absolutely crucial for human relationships. A psychological study found that a lack of forgiveness “stirs up negative emotions and creates more conflict” and makes it hard “to compromise or resolve issues.”
And it’s important with God, too. You cannot be right with God if you don’t ask Him for forgiveness. Thankfully, God will forgive sins.
Here’s one of my favorite verses about His forgiveness of sins: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:1).
Forgiveness of sins might sound like a big spiritual idea, and it is. But it’s really simple, too.
If you’ve ever done anyone wrong (and I know we all have), you know how much of a relief it is when someone forgives you for your transgression—or “messing up.”
Now, take that feeling and multiply it by infinity and you have salvation. (That’s the big spiritual idea I was hinting at before).
God doesn’t just forgive sins. He offers us salvation.
Forgiveness of Sins and Salvation
Nobody is perfect. That means no one is without sin. We’re all guilty and not deserving of spending the rest of eternity with God.
It would be nice to say, “Well, if God is all-powerful, why can’t he just let everyone into heaven anyway?”
But God is perfect and just. He cannot betray His nature, so any sin brings us under his judgment.
He is also merciful. To save humanity, God sent down his Son, Jesus Christ, to show His love and sacrifice Himself to pay our debt. Isaiah, Chapter 53:4-6 prophesies of this all-encompassing forgiveness of sins:
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
And later, after Jesus came down, Paul describes it in Romans 3:24-25:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in his divine forbearance, he had passed over former sins.
What does that mean? When you invite Jesus into your life and follow Him, your sins are wiped away and you can live forever in the presence of God. Instead of punishment, you get grace.
It’s better than just the forgiveness of sins. It’s an invitation to have a relationship with God that has no boundaries or end.
Accept His Forgiveness, Make New Friends While You Do It.
Are you forgiving others like God has forgiven you? Take this big idea into your next men’s small group. And if you need a hand starting one, download the Playbook for Level 5 Friendship.