What a wonderful promise from God! All of us have sinned, all of us have failed by omission or commission to measure up to God’s perfect standards.
If entrance to heaven required our perfection, who could possibly hope to go to heaven? We would all be doomed to an eternity separated from God if our salvation was dependent upon us. How do you see yourself in your relationship to God? Are you trying to be good enough? trying to earn his acceptance?
When you do sin, how do you handle that? Sin = imperfection and sin cannot be permitted into heaven so it stands to reason that we must have ALL sin removed.
God is not going to look at your life and open the gates of heaven based on your performance because your performance includes sin!
Instead of our performance, God has opened up a new way into heaven and it is through Christ’s performance. Jesus Christ is the only Person who ever lived a perfect life without sin.
So it is imperative that we give our sin to Christ through asking for forgiveness and find ourselves “righteous” (just as if we never sinned – also known as justification). Through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we receive perfect forgiveness to cover ALL our sins by faith in what Christ did on our behalf. We are called by God to stop trying to justify ourselves through religious behavior and place our confidence in Christ.
No matter how much sin, no matter how deep the sin, no matter how horrible the sin, the Gospel means that all of it (past, present and the future) can be removed for all eternity by confessing our sins to Christ and receiving His forgiveness. Are you ready to do that?
Once we have received God’s forgiveness, we have the power to forgive others! We can actually live a life free of sin by trusting in God’s promise to forgive us continually. The “Our Father” prayer says it well – “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Give God your sins and give Him all the sins committed against you in prayer. Release everybody! God wants to set us all free. We harm ourselves and we do much damage to our relationships when we refuse to forgive.
Unforgiveness is like swallowing poison expecting it to kill the person who offended us.
Ask God to show you your sins and the sins that have been committed against you, as they come to mind, release them, let the poison go and after you have washed them all away by faith, enjoy the blessings of a clear conscience and the ability to love even your enemies.
Go Deeper: The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness by John MacArthur