God's Forgiveness

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will” (no ifs or ands about it) “have mercy upon him; and to our God for he will abundantly pardon.”

Ellen White, Manuscript 48, 1894.22

"To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons, is not only to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.”

Review and Herald, August 19, 1890, par. 7

Question

What does it mean to be forgiven by God?

Quick Answer On God's Forgiveness

Pardon not only includes forgiveness but renewal!

Bible Answer On God's Forgiveness

Our Part In Receiving Forgiveness

• Acknowledge We Are Sinners

1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

1 John 1:10 "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

• Confess Our Sins

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

• Believe God Forgives Us

Psalms 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."

• Forsake The Ways That Needed Forgiving

Isaiah 55:7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

God Forgives And Is Merciful

Hebrews 8:12 (KJV) 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

"Psalms 103:10 "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."

Romans 5:8 (NKJV) 8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

God Renews Us

Ezekiel 36:25 "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God."

1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

Inspired Answer

God Forgives Us

God Pardons Abundantly!

"And now, I would say, Let us get ready. Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. “Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will” (no ifs or ands about it) “have mercy upon him; and to our God for he will abundantly pardon.” And then He explains why. “My ways are not your ways.” Why, one of you, if another of the human nature should offend you, you would let him go. Christ holds on to you. “My ways are not your ways, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Although you have been sinners against me all your lives, you have robbed me of the service that was my due, and yet I will pardon abundantly. You are transgressors and sinners. Is not this an invitation from God to you, and can you resist it? God grant that you may turn, while you can and live." {Ms48-1894.22}

Don't Wait To Get Better

"Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of Jesus, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. Tell the enemy that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Make the prayer of David your own, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7. { COL 205.2} Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that is working upon the human soul. { COL 206.1}

Ask For And Receive Christ's Pardon

"We cannot bless ourselves. We cannot restore ourselves. But Jesus lives and reigns. He loves His children. He is your Redeemer. You are a daughter of God, and Christ is your Saviour. He is your Sin-bearer. If you have committed sin in any way, you may go to Him asking forgiveness, and He will pardon you. He will bless you. The love of Christ is a golden chain that binds the finite human beings who believe in Him to the infinite God. The love that God has for the creatures He has made passes knowledge. He wills not that they shall be desponding and gloomy. He wants them to be cheerful in the assurance that He loves them more than it is possible for an earthly father to love his children. His love is greater than that of a mother for her dependent, suffering child. This love He has expressed by giving us Christ." {Lt94-1897.4}

God Gives Us A New Heart And A New Life

"Penances, mortifications of the flesh, constant confession of sin, without sincere repentance; fasts, festivals, and outward observances, unaccompanied by true devotion,—all these are of no value whatever. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient; he made a whole, efficacious offering to God; and human effort without the merit of Christ, is worthless. We not only dishonor God by taking this course, but we destroy our present and future usefulness. A failure to appreciate the value of the offering of Christ, has a debasing influence; it blights our expectations, and makes us fall short of our privileges; it leads us to receive unsound and perilous theories concerning the salvation that has been purchased for us at infinite cost. The plan of salvation is not understood to be that through which divine power is brought to man in order that his human effort may be wholly successful. {RH August 19, 1890, par. 6} To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons, is not only to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.” The image of Christ is to be stamped upon the very mind, heart, and soul. The apostle says, “And we have the mind of Christ.” Without the transforming process which can come alone through divine power, the original propensities to sin are left in the heart in all their strength, to forge new chains, to impose a slavery that can never be broken by human power. But men can never enter heaven with their old tastes, inclinations, idols, ideas, and theories. Heaven would be no place of joy to them; for everything would be in collision with their tastes, appetites, and inclinations, and painfully opposed to their natural and cultivated traits of character." {RH August 19, 1890, par. 7}

Further Thoughts

Many do not realize that pardon not only includes forgiveness though we are completely unworthy, it also includes renewal. It is the beginning of a new life, in which God gives a new heart and a new desire to walk with Him.