The threefold malady of sins, doubts and fear that has afflicted the human family is a condition for which this world has no remedy. We know there are many religious “quacks” who advertise their abilities and offer their prescriptions, but they cannot touch the spot, nor grapple with man’s awful guilt. The case is far too desperate. Believing that God has abundant provision to put away every sin, doubt, and fear you have, we call prayerful attention to the following scriptures.
We start with the assumption that our sin and guilt is so great that no created power, neither men or angels, can come to the rescue. But God in His infinite love has intervened to meet the need. That being so, let us clearly grasp, by heaven’s light, God’s attitude towards lost sinners.
Do not, for the present, think of your attitude towards God, but only of His towards you. We have it clearly defined in 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” Calmly consider, before reading further, this wonderful fact: God loves you altogether apart from your attitude towards Him. Yes, He loves you; not your sins, but you. God hates our sins with a holy hatred, but ourselves He loves with a love that no words can express. Christ crucified alone can express it.
This being so, what will God do for those whom He loves? If He does anything, He must do everything, for He does nothing imperfectly. Behold then, God doing the very best and most that He can do for the objects of His love. View with holy adoration on the wondrous sight–for in this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son (1 Jn. 4:9).
God’s Love Practically Demonstrated
Fix your mind for the moment on the cross. All creation above and below bears witness to God’s power and wisdom, but Christ dying for our sins is the manifestation of His love. God sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (v. 10). He sent His Son to settle the great sin question, to span the gulf between the holy God and guilty men, bridging the otherwise unbridgeable distance.
Your sins have “separated you” from your God (Isa. 59:2) was God’s description of the situation. It was more by the nature of sin than the number of offenses, that this separation was effected. But God in infinite love has sent His sinless Son to take the guilty sinner’s place–to die the death that we deserved, and to bear all the just judgment of God against our guilt, and thereby put away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself.
What a rest it is to our hearts to learn that our sins have been punished. Not passed by or lightly dealt with. The holiness, justice, and righteousness of God made this impossible, demanding that the full penalty be paid to the uttermost farthing.
But who shall be the victim? Will God choose to make the guilty sinner suffer in his sins and for his sins? That would have been justice without mercy, God’s holiness apart from love. But instead, love joined hands with righteousness; God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die in the sinner’s place.
Jehovah-God leads Jesus, His holy, sinless Lamb, to the slaughter. There at the hill called Calvary, Christ is wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities (see Isa. 53:5-6). The childlike faith that grasps this glorious truth exclaims with joyous exuberance, “We know He was manifested to take away our sins and in Him is no sin” (1 Jn. 3:5). For this purpose He came, to take away our sins.
The Removal of the Great Barrier of Sin
Re-read the words “to take away our sins,” and as you do so seek heaven’s help to concentrate upon this great fact. Let nothing distract your attention, and then say to Him with holy adoration and deepest thanksgiving, “O, my Lord, it is done, to the eternal satisfaction of my God, and for the eternal salvation of my soul.” Open up your heart to Him. Let His love lead you and the Holy Spirit guide you to the cross. And as you gaze by faith upon our Lord there crucified, let the lines of the well-known hymn be the language of your heart:
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood,
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
In light of the foregoing, if anyone should ask you, “What did the Saviour come to do?” would not your answer be “He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). In light of language so plain, you would not allow anyone to persuade you that He came to give a recipe for us to work out our own salvation. Nor would you allow any to shake your faith in this great fact, for there can be no argument about it.
Therefore, one of two things must be true: He either did this or failed in the attempt. You are forced to declare that Christ’s mission was either a success or a failure. You would not for a thousand worlds say His mission was a failure. But have you ever knelt down and thanked God that His mission was a success? If not, do it now. Could you make a mistake in so doing? No, but what a mistake you make if you don’t. Let the language of this hymn be yours today:
All my sins were laid on Jesus,
Jesus bore them on the tree,
God, who knew them, laid them on Him,
And believing, I am free.
The Assurance of Sins Forgiven
Finally, let us see how God gives to us the assurance of sins forgiven. This is a source of great confusion to many. Let me ask you, how do you expect to know if your sins are forgiven? God has only one way of giving this assurance, and that is by His Holy Word.
Let us propose a question. If God audibly said to you, “Your sins are forgiven,” would you seek or desire any other proof? Certainly not. His word would be quite enough. Well, this is exactly the evidence He gives in 1 John 2:12. He says to every true believer, “Your sins are forgiven you for His name sake.” Faith asks no more, triumphantly exclaiming, “God says my sins are forgiven, therefore with all my heart I believe it.”
Unbelief wants to feel or see something as if God’s Word needed confirmation. Shame that I should have such an attitude toward God and treat Him as if He were unworthy of our trust. It should be self-evident that if we believe what God says, without hesitation or reservation, we thereby prove that we are believers.
The Ground of God’s Forgiveness
Consider the cause of our forgiveness. God does not forgive without cause, but the cause is not in the forgiven ones. There are causes, many and varied, within us, why God should damn us; but none why He should forgive us. Grasp the cause of our forgiveness and you will never doubt again. Your sins are forgiven you “for His name’s sake.”
We are saved because He suffered; we live because He died. Our sins are forgiven because the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin (1 Jn. 1:7).
We would wish our love was warmer, but warmth of love is no cause of forgiveness. We wish our faith was stronger, our zeal greater, and our repentance deeper, and every virtue and merit multiplied greatly; but all these for sin could not atone. It is the blood of Christ alone. Our sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. Therefore we appeal to all to look away from unworthy self to our worthy Saviour–away from sinful self to the sinner’s Saviour. And as you gaze by faith upon Him who dies for our sins, hear God saying to you, “Your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.”
Slowly repeat the follow Scripture, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). Thank God for the cleansing blood, then welcome with childlike trust His word of pardoning grace.
If you have received Christ, your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake (1 Jn. 2:12). Now with all your heart, thank God for His word of assurance and henceforth declare the blood of Christ has made you perfectly safe; and God’s holy Word has made you perfectly sure.