From the get-go, Romans 8:1 tells us that there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. No condemnation? Really? But does the writer of those words know the things I’ve done? The messes I’ve made? All the ways I’ve failed to meet the mark? There’s only one word to give as an answer to these questions: Jesus. So here are three truths to remember if you are asking, “Will God forgive me?”
He Did The Hard Work
Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. Any works—good or bad—that would have been grounds for any condemnation or approval in the eyes of God would have been insufficient by default. This is why He sent His Son in the likeness of our sinful flesh to be the sacrifice we needed.
“Tetelestai” was the last word Jesus uttered on the cross, a truth that lets us know all we need to know about God’s forgiveness and its relationship to our messes—it is finished.
By faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, we are set free from our strivings, fully able to trust and find the assurance that we are forgiven. If you’re asking if God will forgive you, remember this:
“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
We Have a Responsibility
This may be the part about forgiveness where we’re more tempted to make things about ourselves and our own deficiencies. Or this may even be the place where we find ourselves a little too comfortable with our sin and the grace that covers it. Both of these are incorrect responses to how Jesus has done the impossible on our behalf.
Through His finished work, we are now able to turn away from our sin and shame and equipped to turn to Him instead. Through faith, with the new heart and new life given to us in Jesus, we are now able to walk according to the Spirit and given all the tools we need in order to do so. Because the Spirit of God is alive in us, we are now graciously equipped with the ability to obey His commands, though we will never do so perfectly. And despite our inabilities and insufficiencies, He has made a way.
We are responsible for our repentance—to continually turn away from our shame, guilt, vices, and failures—and to turn back to Jesus. Here, we can embrace the forgiveness He so freely gives. And because the gospel is the good news, we move forward by grace because God forgives.
“You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” –Romans 8:9
Go Forward in Forgiveness
Our response to the seemingly impossible forgiveness granted to us by God must be that of forward motion. We keep moving forward, propelled by the grace that has made a way for us, in spite of ourselves.
One of the most comforting verses in all of scripture is 1 Corinthians 10:13. Here, Paul reminds us of a very important life-giving truth. God has already considered all the ways we could mess things up but has gone on and provided a way. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to handle. However, He provides the way out of temptation.
Through the help of the Spirit of life within us, we can withstand in those moments and seasons that are too much for us. We can keep going forward in the forgiveness He has granted us.
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring you to life through His Spirit who lives in you.” –Romans 8:11
From East to West
Psalm 103:12 writes, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” The human mind may have trouble comprehending the heights and depths of this love, but the regenerated heart, by grace through faith, can know with full assurance that God can and will forgive us if we believe that Jesus made a way. Because the Spirit that was able to raise Jesus from the dead is in us, we can take hold of the forgiveness offered to us in Him.