To some it might sound like a pretentious protest…when I say “I like Paul can say I am chief among sinners”…and threaten to overtake him in holding that title. But I know me…and my heart and I know where I came from. While I regret some choices…I can’t take them back or make them go away.
Oh I know that God has forgiven me. Receiving His forgiveness has never been an issue for me. I know I am so hopelessly lost without Him…I had no choice but look up and receive. That’s a good place to be.
But I guess I can’t quite comprehend that He has chosen to not only forgive, but remember my sins no more. Wow!
That truth was pointed out to me by Mike Paddison as we got side tracked on our ongoing debate of the Calvinist verses Armenian view of salvation. Mike threw a few scripture verse my way…and dared me to step over them. Of course I couldn’t. To do so would be to claim that the Bible was in error.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more." – Jeremiah 31:34
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more. – Hebrews 8:12
Then he adds:
"Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more." – Hebrew 10:17
I tried to comprehend how an all knowing God can choose to “Remember no more”.
How can He who knows all things…not remember that which I am so keenly aware of? An awareness that not so much condemns me as it keeps me humble. If my remembering keeps me humble…that a good thing.
When someone sins against me…do I choose to forgive and remember their sin no more? While I have so very far to go…thankfully the Lord continues to grow me and shape me.
Just think…in heaven…there will be no need for us to be forgiving one another. People will no longer intentionally cause offense or hurt. We will no longer sin…against God or man. We have been cleansed and made whiter than snow. In heaven we will truly be able to walk in His forgiveness and purifying transforming power.
Do I grab hold of that today…so much so that I experience freedom in Christ? Am I an attractive witness to that freedom in Christ to an unbelieving world?
Think about it…He who knows all things…chooses to remember my sin no more. Chooses…ongoing…present…active.
He whom I offended…whom I sinned against…He remembers no more. By an act of His will. He who received punishment upon His body all because of my sin. He who let them drive nails through His hands and feet and stayed upon that cross…so that my sins would be forgiven. That same Jesus…is the one whose blood was shed, like the sacrificial lamb…and not only covered….but took my sins away.
How many times when I suffer because of another do I instead choose to complain?