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July 21, 2009 / beidson

Forget the Sin–Remember the Sin Forgiven

It is too easy to remember the sins of yesterday.  After all, we are likely still dealing with the consequences today.  In truth, we canthink never really get past our sin in this life–it is far too much with us.  We are stained from head to toe, from mind to heart, with the blackness that is our sin.  It clings so closely to us.

But God has not given us an option to remember our sin.  He himself has put it away in Christ fully and finally.  Our sins are removed from us, having been nailed to the cross.  God has cast them behind his back; he has thrown them into the sea; he has banished them to the extreme ends of creation.  So Paul can gladly say, “Forgetting what lies behind . . . I press on . . . ” (Philippians 3:13-14).  If our brother sins against us and in repentance seeks forgiveness, we are to forgive him and be reconciled to him.  No, we don’t play dumb and enable people’s sinful tendencies, but neither do presume they will do it again.  We put the sin behind us and forget it.

However, the biblical way to forget sin is to remember that it was forgiven.  Peter tells us that those who forget the cleansing of their former sins are “nearsighted” and “blind” (2 Peter 1:9).  If we forget that God forgets through forgiveness, we have lost sight of the grace of God in Jesus.  The gospel is not a matter of recollection, as if God just decides not to recall our sins.  The gospel is a matter of reconciliation, in that God only forgets our sin when he has forgiven us our sin.  Our sins are out of God’s mind because they were laid on Jesus.  We will not stand sinless before God because he has put our sins under a benevolent rug.  We will stand sinless before God because Jesus was put under the merciless wrath of God.  So we do not forget our sin because it is forgettable, but because it is forgivable.

Remember your sin to the degree that you remember it as forgiven.  If it causes grief to think of past grievances against God and people, so be it.  Sin is a horrible reality.  But do not sink under the heavy weight of the guilt which as already been lifted off your shoulders in Christ.  Move quickly from remembering former sin to reflecting on God’s forgiveness.  Forget your sin by remembering it was (and will be) forgiven.

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