THOUGHTS FROM THE PSALMS

FORGIVENESS

The Psalm writers give us a number of images of forgiveness that help us to understand the complete effectiveness of what God does when he forgives our sins.

Forgiveness means that God covers our sins [32:1]. This image of forgiveness teaches that when God forgives our sins he no longer looks at them.

Forgiveness means that God no longer counts our sins against us [32:2]. This teaches forgiveness in terms of the cancellation of a debt or an accusation, a cancellation of all that God could hold against us. God simply does not hold our sin against us anymore.

Forgiveness means the removal of the guilt of sin [32:5]. God no longer holds us guilty; God no longer treats us as guilty.

Forgiveness is God blotting out our transgressions, washing away our iniquity, cleansing us from our sin [51:1,2,9]. All the record and all the guilt of our sins is wiped off. There is nothing in our debit file - it has been permanently erased.

Forgiveness is God hiding his face from our sins [51:9]. This is another indication that God chooses to no longer look at out sins.

Forgiveness is God removing our sins from us as far as the east is from the west [103:12]. He has taken our sins as far away from us as they could be, so that never again can they interfere between God and us.

From the New Testament perspective we know that God applies this comprehensive forgiveness to us because of the sin-bearing death of Jesus Christ.

This forgiveness is total. It is for all sins: past, present and furture; known and unknown; deliberate and accidental; open or hidden. God forgave all our sins in and through the death of Christ [Colossians 2:13-14]. Because of that death we have forgiveness as a present and permanent possession in Christ [Ephesians 1:7].

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2008.