We all like the word forgiveness. Somehow it feels refreshing to say, liberating to see in print. But why do I need it? Why do you need it? We are all very familiar with having things we don’t need–my garage is always filled with stuff I can’t seem to get rid of, but I’m not sure I really need. Perhaps it makes me feel good to see stacks of stuff ready for deployment–even if I don’t really need it. Is that how forgiveness is? It’s available…if I ever really need it? Like that odd tool in your garage that you only need once every few years, but in that moment, sure is nice to have.
Let me list a few reasons why I need forgiveness, not as a random tool, but as a declaration over every moment of my life.
God made me and He owns me. A hard concept, especially in our country, but absolutely true.
God requires obedience to His Word and love for His Person all the time.
God is aware of every act of disobedience and disloyal affection.
God has the right to hold judgement over me for my failure to be what he made me to be. God is not blameworthy or capricious in this; He is simply being God.
Forgiveness is God’s decision to not judge me for my sin, to count my punishment fulfilled in the death of his Son, and to remove the barrier of sin in our fellowship. Nothing outside of God compels him to forgive. Nothing inside of me compelled him to forgive. He simply chose to forgive.
I need forgiveness, not as an abandoned garage relic, but as the dawning sun, as my daily bread, my water, my constant companion. I need forgiveness because without God I am dead. But I cannot have God, unless I have His forgiveness. And in Jesus he forgives all my trespasses and remembers my sins no more.