The Beauty of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the most beautiful thoughts that can be found within the pages of Holy Writ. Every human to ever reach the age of accountability stands in need of forgiveness (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). The word “forgiveness” (ἄφεσις) is found several times in the Bible.[1]Forgiveness (ἄφεσις) is a putting or sending away of sins, with a consequent discharge of the sinner”. When we as people realize that we are debtors without hope of repaying God (Matthew 18:23-35), we will truly understand the beauty of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is beautiful because it cleanses the unclean. Sin makes us filthy in the eyes of our Holy God (2 Corinthians 7:1; Isaiah 59:1-2). Forgiveness permits us to stand before the Just One, white as wool (Isaiah 1:18). We are cleansed by Jesus’ everlasting truth (John 15:3), CLEANSED!

Forgiveness is beautiful because of justification. Sin is transgression of Gods perfect law (1 John 3:4) and when we sin, we become guilty before God (Romans 3:19). God’s forgiveness frees us from the guilt of sin, and we are able to live before him “just as if we’d never sinned”. God’s forgiveness is so thorough, He promises to never remember the sins which are forgiven (Hebrews 8:12). JUSTIFIED!

Forgiveness is beautiful because of pardon. Sin renders us punishable (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9), but when God forgives us, we are no longer under the burden of His wrath. David put it like this, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalms 32:1-2). When the Lord erases the debt, and covers the sin, David called that man blessed or “happy”. The antithesis of that is also true, there is no happiness without Gods pardon. Life’s goal must be to please God and find His pardon at all cost (Ecclesiastes 12:13). PARDONED!

Forgiveness is beautiful because of freedom. Sin brings bondage, enslavement unto death (John 8:34; Romans 6:16-18). The chains that bind one enslaved to sin can only be broken by the Son of God. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Furthermore, Christ Jesus abrogated the Old Law (Colossians 2:14) and brought freedom and justification impossible to obtain through the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39). FREEDOM!

Forgiveness is beautiful because of reconciliation. Sin causes one to be estranged from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). It is through the beautiful process of reconciliation that we are brought back into a close relationship with God. It is through the reconciling work of Christ that we are forgiven again to be the righteousness of God in Him. Paul said it like this, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). RECONCILIATION!

Forgiveness is beautiful because of peace. Sin renders one wicked and therefore without peace. Isaiah said, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isaiah 57:20-21). It is through Christ we can enjoy peace! “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:20-21). Paul wrote to the Romans, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Our peace with God is only possible through our being justified, pardoned, freed, reconciled, and cleansed by Jesus Christ. PEACE!

Forgiveness is beautiful because it affords sinful man the opportunity to live without guilt while awaiting a reward we could never earn. Heaven is possible for all who live godly in Christ Jesus because of forgiveness. May we ever be thankful for the unspeakable gift of Christ, and the forgiveness we are extended through Him. Our forgiveness is beautiful because by it we are cleansed, justified, and pardoned. Forgiveness is beautiful because of the freedom we enjoy by it, the reconciling power of it and the peace we adore, all because of Jesus!

[1] ACCORDANCE11, Vincent Word Studies of The New Testament, paragraph 7191.

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