GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #471
THE BLESSED FORGIVENESS OF SIN Isaiah 45:25
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
The Lord our God, the one true and living God of heaven and earth, is a God who freely and abundantly forgives sin through the blood of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what God himself says, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Who are the people to whom God will be merciful? They are not good, righteous, and morally upright men and women. So long as a man thinks that he is good and righteous he will never obtain mercy from God. The people to whom God says he will be merciful are sinners. The grace and lovingkindness of Jehovah is reserved for sinners. Until you see that your supposed righteousness is an abomination to God, until you see that your best righteousnesses are just filthy rags before the holy Lord God, you will never obtain the righteousness of God in Christ (Rom. 10:1-4). Every promise of the gospel is made to sinners - “The Son of man came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 11:28-30; Isa. 1:4-6, 18; 55:6-7). The grace and mercy of God is for sinners. Christ died for sinners. The gospel is sent to sinners. God saves sinners. God forgives sinners. I rejoice to tell you that our God is a God of mercy (Psa. 103:8-14). There is mercy in Christ and forgiveness for sinners.
What is mercy’s great deed? Mercy’s great deed is the blessed forgiveness of sin. It is the glory of grace to forgive sin. It is the majesty of mercy to forgive sin. It is the character of God to forgive iniquity and transgression and sin (Ex. 34:5-7). God is the only One who can forgive sin. God’s forgiveness is the only one whose forgiveness we need, desire, and must have for the salvation of our souls and the peace of our troubled consciences (Psa. 130:3-4).
How does God forgive sin? There is only one way for a holy and just God to forgive sin - God can only forgive sin through the obedience and sacrifice of an all-sufficient Substitute. The Lord Jesus Christ is that Substitute! In him, and only in him, is there forgiveness with God (Rom.3:23-26;1 John 1:9).
Why does God forgive sin? He says, “For mine own sake!” The greatest honor and glory of God is his mercy, his holy, righteous, and just mercy in forgiving sin (Psa. 106:8; Ezek. 16:62-63).
What is the promise which God makes to sinners whose sins are forgiven by him? What a promise this is! “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, and will not remember thy sins.” There are some things God himself cannot do! He cannot lie. He cannot break his covenant. He cannot forsake his people. He cannot be unjust. He cannot remember the sins of his people. I do not mean that God is not aware of the fact that we have sinned. I mean that in so far as his law and justice are concerned, our sins do not exist. Therefore, God cannot remember them. He will never remember our sins so as to treat us any the less graciously because of them. He will never remember our sins so as to bring them up and require payment for them while we live. God will not remember our sins when we stand before Him in judgment (Jer. 50:20). God will not remember our sins in the distribution of his heavenly crowns and gifts.
Would you be forgiven of all your sins? Then confess your sin and put God in remembrance of this promise (v. 26). It is written - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."