Website Q#2: How can I be sure God will forgive me?

Here is the second of two questions that I am working on for the new Calvary website – these will be located on the frontpage.  Any feedback on the content is appreciated:

How can I be sure God will forgive me?
To know we are wrong can be a scary thing – we may feel a mountain load of guilt upon our shoulders or we may carry deeply rooted shame in our hearts for things we have done, thought, or said in the past.   While some people ignore the reality of their failures or simply try to cover them up, others of us are well acquainted with the grief of failure.  Though it may not feel like it right now, this is actually a very good place to be!

When we question God’s forgiveness, we are allowing our sin and our judgment to be greater than God himself and what he has declared.  This is why we must turn again to the Bible, God’s Word, to be reminded of the overwhelming grace of God that declares that the sacrifice of Christ was sufficient to cover all of our sin.  For example, 1 John 1:7-9:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

There is danger in making too little of our sin but there is an equal danger of making too little of work of Christ.  The blood of the eternal Son of God has infinite worth to those who receive Christ by faith.  We can be certain of God’s forgiveness because of the value of the sacrifice and God’s promise to receive as payment for our sin – no matter how bad we our sin is or how we feel about ourselves.  And yes, God’s love and grace are that amazing!

A Debtor To Mercy Alone (stanza 3) by Augustus Toplady
My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heav’n.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Adam– good answer to the question. You’ve covered the matter of forgiveness very well.

    I wonder about this: would someone asking this question be looking for a theology of forgiveness (which you’ve nailed)? Or are they really seeking a sense of assurance of salvation?

    Of course the two are related. Perhaps the theology of forgiveness will answer for some. But when someone asks, “how can I be sure God will forgive me?” I hear an emphasis on the need for personal assurance, not just a broad idea of what forgiveness is about.

    Does that make sense?


    • Yes, that does make sense. But I am not immediately sure of how to answer the question with that in mind. Something to think about…

      Thanks (again) for these thoughts.


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