In this, the final of three blogs about forgiveness, grace and reconciliation to God, I dedicate this to those of you who may still harbor doubts about the totality of your forgiveness. I have a nick name for y’all : “Yeah Buters  😛 ”. While reading all those words, on unconditional and total forgiveness, you somehow rationalize away those promises made to you by God, and say, “He cannot forgive me for what I did when…..

Here is the truth about that thought: Everyone has similar thoughts that haunt them when as a child, or an immature teen, we succumbed to temptation, perhaps being more sinned against than actively sinning.

Just so you know that God is not kidding around when He said, “ I will remember their sins  no more” a web search found over 100 different instances where those exact words, or synonyms were used. They all say the same things, that forgiveness is unconditional, forgiveness is forever, and forgiveness requires no work from us because Jesus Christ did all the necessary work for God’s Children to be forgiven. So let’s look at a few of those verses, and their context:

Jeremiah 3: 6 The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore?

7  And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore ESV

This is the 586 BC version of the 1980 song by Johnny Lee “Lookin for Love” because Israel as a nation sought comfort from foreign gods and in all the wrong places:

Well, I’ve spent a lifetime lookin’ for you;  singles bars and good time lovers were never true.
Playin’ a fools game hopin’ to win;  and tellin’ those sweet lies and losin’ again.

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places, Lookin’ for love in too many faces,
searchin’ their eyes and lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreamin’ of.

But Israel repented, and asked for forgiveness, and then this is what God said to Israel:

 Jeremiah 31: 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!  gain you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers  ESV

Jeremiah 31: 21 “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway,  the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities. ESV

The differences between the positions cannot be understated. Because Israel as a nation went from the lowest of the low, to the highest of the high, her restoration was total, complete and forever.  Yet some of y’all still believe that God cannot do that same thing to you?

 1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is a frequently misunderstood verse, and some want to make forgiveness available only when and if we confess our sins. The grammar of the Greek (which rules our interpretation) forbids such a rendering. That is because the mood of the verb is subjunctive, and it is: The mood that normally presents the verbal action as being probable or intentional [1] In other words, it is the INTENTION and not the act itself whereby God grants forgiveness .

“Oh, that is too easy” some of you “Yeah Buters” will object. But that is precisely the point. It is so easy that anyone can seek forgiveness, and just as Abraham believed and trusted God, and God acknowledged his faith, charging over to Abraham His own righteousness, He does likewise to those who call upon His Name.

How far does God separate us from our forgiven sins?

Psalm 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  ESV

In his post Pentecost sermon, Peter exhorts all those listening to him,

Acts 3:19  Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20  that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus  ESV

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  ESV

In the same manner as Paul, we exhort you to come and see what the Alliance Community church is like, and it is my intention to demonstrate that using common words and contemporary examples. We believe and teach all those blogs,  and we also believe that God loves you just the way that you are, right now.

We also believe that God loves you so much that He wants you to experience the good things like forgiveness He has available for all His children, so He wants you to grow in His love and grace.  So stop by some Sunday morning, or come to our picnic by the Lake on June 23.

[1] Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press.