Forgiveness is one of the main themes of the Bible. From the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis and throughout the Scriptures we see many people who sinned and made great mistakes. We also read how God forgave and restored them. They are stories full of struggles and also of the triumph over sin and evil.
This is how God wants us to live, in communion with him. He longs to forgive our sins, restore us to their friendship. God wants our stories to also reflect the transformation that comes as a product of his forgiveness and love.
We like to think that we are good and fair, but inside we know that we make mistakes and injustices. We lie and cause pain to others because of our selfishness. The Bible calls this sin, to miss the mark, to live apart from God. However, he has provided a way to reconcile us to restore our relationship with him. In the Bible we find inspiring passages that tell us about God’s forgiveness and tell us how to receive it.
How do you receive God’s forgiveness?
1. Confess sins
If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us and cleanse us from all evil.
(1 John 1: 9)
The first thing is to express and recognize the bad things we have done, say them to God. He knows everything and already knows it. But we need to accept in humility before him that we have failed him and have done things that go against his desire for us. This step of confession opens the door for your forgiveness to flow and reach us.
God cleanses us from all evil. There is absolutely nothing we can confess that he cannot forgive. His love and forgiveness reach and cover every corner of our heart.
The Lord does not take long to fulfill his promise, as some understand the delay. Rather, he has patience with you, because he does not want anyone to perish, but everyone repents.
(2 Peter 3: 9)
It is not enough to confess and recognize the bad things we have done. We need to repent! When we repent we express the pain that causes us to see the mistakes we have made and that drives us to make the necessary changes to start acting as God wants.
God wants us all to repent, to recognize that we need him in our lives. He wants us to reconcile with him and receive him as Lord and savior. He does not want any human being to spend eternity away from him. So wait patiently for our repentance.
3. Believe in Jesus
Then we must believe in Jesus because only in him do we have salvation. We need to believe that Jesus is God, that through his death on the cross and his resurrection we are saved and reconciled with God.
It is important to express with our mouth the certainty that is in our heart. We must confess that Jesus is the Lord. We decided to pass the lordship of our life to him. We don’t do what we want anymore, we don’t live to satisfy our ego. He is the Lord and we obey him because he has transformed us and has given real meaning to our lives.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of grace that God gave us in abundance with all wisdom and understanding.
(Ephesians 1: 7-8)
The blood that Jesus shed on the cross was the price he paid for our sins to be forgiven. He redeemed us, rescued us and we are no longer slaves of sin. Through Jesus we are free from his power. And all this has been by the abundant grace of God, a gift we didn’t deserve.
He delivered us from the domain of darkness and moved us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1: 13-14)
Thanks to the work of Jesus and the sin that separated us from God, he has no more power over us. We are no longer his slaves. Now we belong to the kingdom of Jesus, kingdom of light, forgiveness and freedom. What a great joy!
My dear children, I am writing these things to you so that you do not sin. But, if anyone sins, we have before the Father an intercessor, Jesus Christ, the Just. He is the sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, and not only for ours, but for those of the whole world.
(1 John 2: 1-2)
God wants us to live lives of obedience, but he knows our human nature. He knows that we can fail sometimes even when our desire is to be faithful and obedient. Jesus intercedes for us, he is the only one who can do it because only he is free from sin, is totally righteous and merciful. He constantly intervenes on our behalf, restoring us as forgiven children.
The result of God’s forgiveness
We do not deserve to be saved and forgiven, rescued from the power of sin. But God grants it to us anyway. We are not saved by what we do. We are saved by what Jesus has already done for us.
Blessed is he to whom his transgressions are forgiven, to whom his sins are erased.
(Psalm 32: 1)
What a great joy brings forgiveness! There is great joy and freedom in knowing that we are children of God. Our sins no longer count, God erased them forever.
That is why I tell you: if she has loved much, it is that her many sins have been forgiven. But to whom little is forgiven, little loves.
God’s forgiveness fills our hearts with gratitude and love for him. That love will be evident to others and will manifest itself in actions that exalt God and show that we have been transformed by him.
4. New beginning
So far from us he cast our transgressions as far as the west is from the east.
(Psalm 103: 12)
When God forgives us he decides not to take our sins into account. Christ bore our sins on the cross and gives us the opportunity for a new beginning, a new life guided by him.