“In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
Many people claim that God could never forgive them for what they have done. Their sins, according to them, are so great, that God could never ever forgive. How could God ever forget such heinous crimes against Him? Of course, such reasoning may simply be a cop out for repentant actions.
But briefly, let’s first understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting in the Bible. God cannot forget anything, for He knows everything (past, present and future; actual as well as hypothetical)! To forgive does not mean to forget. Furthermore, one of the major concepts of forgiveness in the New Testament has to do with remission. To remit means to let go. Simply translated that means that God refuses to bring up a sin again against someone when it is confessed to Him. The blood of Jesus Christ already paid the price for those sins. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). To confess our sins to God is to say the same things God says about them. And His statement about our sins is the cross of Jesus Christ where He shed His precious blood.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16) If the apostle Paul, who claims to have been the chief of sinners was forgiven by God, I just wonder if God can’t do the same for you!
“That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9).
If I were to use an acronym for the Biblical concept of grace, it may read like this: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Paul defines grace in II Corinthians 8:9. He writes, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Grace is what God provided for me what I couldn’t provide for Him or for myself. Therefore, it has to be something that God gives to me as an undeserved gift. I cannot buy it or work for it. It is unearned. So many people live under the delusion that they can do God some favors or good deeds. They want to help God out. Their claims to righteousness are in the forms of baptism, confirmation, good works, lighting candles, and a whole host of other totally worthless means to attain or obtain God’s favor. Not even attending church services regularly or owning a Bible gives anyone any status with God. God doesn’t need or want our good deeds. You cannot do anything to merit God’s gracious salvation, except to accept or receive it as a free gift from Him! But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (John 1:12)
Jesus already paid for all of it. Just believe it and receive it!