IDENTITY, pt. 4—I am Forgiven
1 John 1:9
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Pet. 2:9
Sin is PERMANENT but forgivable
God originally made Adam and Eve morally perfect with no inclination for selfishness or wrongdoing, creating perfect peace between God and man, Adam and Eve, the animals and the earth. After Adam rebelled against God and sinned (Heb. chaṭṭâ’âh and Gr. hamartia, ‘to miss the mark or correct path’; Gen. 4:7; Rom. 3:23), God cursed the universe and the peaceful relationship between God, humans, the animals and the earth ended (Gen. 3). Adam, as the Head and ideal example of humanity handed his sinful genetics to all humans afterward (Rom. 5:12). All people are spiritually dead and alienated from God so everyone is a sinner both by nature and choice. Man, of himself, is unable to fix his lost and depraved condition and will continue as a sinner permanently and eternally (Eph. 2:1-3). ‘Good’ human deeds will never make up for a wicked human heart (Ps. 14:2, 3; Is. 64:6). God cannot let sin go unpunished indefinitely but provided relational repair and cancelled the moral debt owed to Him through Jesus (Matt. 26:28; Col. 2:13, 14).
Forgiveness should produce FORGIVENESS
God will not force anyone to be saved but continually pleads with people to repent (return to God by asking forgiveness and wanting to change) through nature, conscience, the Bible, and other Christians (Acts 3:19; Rom. 1:18-23; 2:15). Only God can forgive sin against Himself, and once a person repents, their heart is changed and their lives purified to live for Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). After being forgiven an unimaginable amount, believers are commanded to forgive others who are imperfect and unworthy of it as well (Matt. 6:9-15; Mark 11:25; Eph. 4:31, 32). Forgiveness releases the bound-up conscience, unloads the heavy heart, is the salve for the wound of being wronged, and the purifier for the poisoned well of the soul. Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the chains of slavery to guilt, heals emotional wounds, and restores broken relationships. Seeking forgiveness is the opposite of pride—giving it is the essence of godliness. Only forgiveness sought can heal what sin has wrought.