Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

When God Forgives, He Forgives Totally!

Summary: The guilt of sin can crush our souls. Weighed down by shame, the sinner asks, "Will God forgive me?" The good news is that, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we can experience God's total forgiveness. How "totally" forgiven? — one hundred percent!

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Psalm 130:3-4  If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

• Our worst nightmare — God keeping a record of our sins
 
• Our fondest dream — “with [God] there is forgiveness.”
 
• Multitudes labor under the crushing guilt of unforgiven sin. The good news for them, and for all of us, is that with God there is complete forgiveness!

Psalm 103:10-12  He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

• How great is God’s love for us? “As high as the heavens are above the earth!”
 
• And that love is manifested in His willingness to forgive those who look to Him.
 
• We “deserve” punishment and condemnation for our sins. But what God offers is His love and forgiveness.
 
• And when God forgives, it is TOTAL forgiveness. How total? — “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
 
• God doesn’t just ignore our sins. He is willing to “remove” them far away from us.

Romans 3:23-25a  …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood — to be received by faith.

• How does this forgiveness, this removal of our sins, come to us today? Consider these thoughts:
1) “All have sinned.” Recognize and admit your sinfulness to God. Confess your sins to Him in sincere repentance. Ask for His forgiveness.
 
2) Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as your Savior.
 
3) Believe that the blood He shed at the cross is sufficient to save us from our sins.
 
4) Turn to Jesus and accept God’s free justification, entirely by His mercy and grace, not by our works (Ephesians 2:8-10).
• Then we begin our new Christian walk as born-again children of God.

1 John 1:7-9  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

• Now saved, you have entered into a lifelong walk with God. Remind yourself often of the four thoughts listed above. With God’s grace, work at overcoming temptation and sin.
 
• If you do falter and sin, immediately repent and confess the sin to God (vs. 9). The blood of Jesus will purify you from the sin, and the Lord will faithfully forgive. Does God forgive all sins? If you can repent and confess your sins to Him, all your sins will be forgiven. Determine to “walk in the light,” open and transparent before God, and you will experience the ongoing power of “the blood of Jesus … [to] “purify [you] from all sin.”

Romans 8:1  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

• Not only are your sins forgiven by God, but if you remain “in Christ,” there is no condemnation! God removes your guilt, and you do not ever need to feel condemned by the memory of those forgiven sins of the past.
 
• Don’t let the devil slyly whisper to your mind, “Ah, but do you remember that ____ sin? That was a really bad one, and you can’t be sure that God really forgives something that bad.” When you hear thoughts like that, reply to the devil, “I am now a believer ‘in Christ.’ He is my Savior. His blood has purified and forgiven me, and now I have no condemnation from God for my sins. So I'm not going to accept any condemnation from you, devil.”

Isaiah 1:18  “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

• Beautiful imagery! No matter how grotesque, no matter how shameful our sins were, with God’s forgiveness they have become “as white as snow … like wool.”

Micah 7:18-19  Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

• These two short verses are greatly encouraging. God pardons sin … He forgives us … He does not stay angry … He delights to show mercy … He has compassion on us … He will tread our sins underfoot … He will cast our sins into the depths of the sea!
 
• If you are having a hard time accepting the fact that you are forgiven, read those two verses again. You are pardoned, you are forgiven, and God has thrown away your sins.

Isaiah 38:17  …In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

• Why can we be forgiven? Because God loves us.
 
• Motivated by His love, He will put all our sins behind His back. In a manner of speaking, God is saying He won’t see our sins anymore.

Hebrews 8:12  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

• God doesn’t have memory failure! He’s saying that He will never bring our forgiven sins back up to us again. Once forgiven, as far as God is concerned, our sins are forgotten, and He will never bring them up again to accuse us.

Let’s quickly review God’s amazing promises to those who look to Him for the forgiveness of sins through what Jesus has done for us:

• God is willing not to keep a record of our sins (Psalm 130:3).
 
• There is forgiveness with God (vs. 4).
 
• He does not treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10).
 
• He will remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
 
• By His grace God offers us free justification from sin (Romans 3:24).
 
• This redemption from our lost condition comes “by Jesus Christ” (vs. 24).
 
• We are forgiven through repentance (Acts 2:38) and faith in the blood Jesus shed on the cross for us (Romans 3:25).
 
• Now, in our daily walk with God, if we do sin, confess it to God and the blood of Jesus will purify us from the sin and God will forgive (1 John 1:7-9).
 
• Remain “in Christ,” serve Him daily, walk under the guidance of His Holy Spirit, and you will experience no condemnation (Romans 8:1-4).
 
• Your sins may have been glaring like scarlet, but God says they shall be as white as snow. Though once red as crimson, they shall be like wool. God forgives! (Isaiah 1:18).
 
• God in His mercy treads our sins under His feet (Micah 7:19).
 
• He casts our forgiven sins into the depths of the sea (vs. 19).
 
• God takes the repentant person’s sins and puts them behind His back — that is, forever out of His sight (Isaiah 38:17).
 
• Once God forgives, He will never again bring our sins back to remembrance (Hebrews 8:12).
 
• In light of all these blessings, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Come to Jesus … believe in Him … confess your sins to Him and repent of them … let His blood wash your sins totally away … and for you there will be no condemnation!

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©2014, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.