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|Fellowship With God||FEBRUARY 16|
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Forgiveness and cleansing are two of the most important blessings we have in Christ. They form the heart of Christ's redeeming work.
He who desires to begin a new life in Christ becomes conscious of a past that he cannot change. Sin is a dark and slavish reality. Nothing short of a miracle of God's grace can purge our guilt and set us free from sin. God loves us as a father loves his son. An earthly father should have no difficulty forgiving his son who may run wild. As Christian parents, our love for our children never ceases. It is always there. So much the more is it with our heavenly Father.
"Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4). If we are "in Christ" all our sins of the past are utterly past and forgiven. In forgiving us, God does not make light either of His law or of our sins. In forgiving us, God does not mean that he no longer remembers our sins. He does. God does not suffer a case of amnesia as to the kind of life we have lived or are living. He does not ignore what we have been.
When our children sin against us and ask our forgiveness, we grant it immediately; but we still remember what they have done. In Christian forgiveness these forgiven sins are no longer an issue between father and son. So it is with God. Forgiven sins are no longer an issue so long as we maintain the right relationship with God. We must know that our Father has really forgiven us. Men speak of forgiving but not forgetting. By this they mean that they still hold men's sins against them. But to say this of God is not the same thing. To say that God does not forget is explained by the fact that He keeps a record of the sins of all men in the books of heaven. This does not mean, however, that they stand as an issue between us and God. God goes all the way in forgiveness. Once we sincerely confess, God makes no reservations. The freedom He gives us from guilt and condemnation is complete.
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