Christian Biblical Counsel: FORGIVENESS OF SINS (God’s forgiveness)

See also Salvation.

1.   Believers are made as white as snow.

Isa. 1:18. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

2.   David sang joyfully after he repented of adultery and God forgave him.

Ps. 32:1–2. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3.   David was depressed until he repented and was forgiven.

Ps. 32:3–4. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

4.   God readily forgave David when he repented and confessed his sin.

Ps. 32:5. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

5.   David’s confession of sin and his cry for forgiveness occurred only by God’s grace.

Ps. 51:1–17.

6.   God will not despise a broken spirit and contrite heart.

Ps. 51:17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.

7.   How great is God’s forgiveness!

Ps. 103:12. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

8.   The Lord is kind and forgiving.

Ps. 86:4–7. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me.

9.   God calls sinners to seek him and promises them forgiveness when they repent.

Isa. 55:6–7. Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

10. Jesus extends a loving invitation.

Matt. 11:28–30. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

11. Jesus forgave the penitent woman.

Luke 7:36–50.

Luke 7:47–50. “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

12. Jesus forgave the murderer on the cross (an example of one saved only by grace).

Luke 23:43. And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

13. Sinners are forgiven when they repent and believe in Jesus.

Luke 15:11–32. (the parable of the prodigal son)

14. Jesus tells us to pray for forgiveness.

Matt. 6:12. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

15. We are justified (cleared of all guilt) by faith in Jesus; in him we find peace.

Rom. 3:21–25. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.

Rom. 5:1. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom. 8:1, 4. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

16. In love Jesus died to make us holy; we are without blemish.

Eph. 5:25–27. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Heb. 10:10. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb. 10:14. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

17. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.

1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

18. God graciously forgives when we confess our sins before him.

1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Prov. 28:13–14. He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

19. God forgives and saves all kinds of sinners, no matter how bad they are; he changes them.

1 Cor. 6:9–11. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

20. Zechariah had a vision of the high priest in filthy clothes, which were removed and replaced with pure white garments.

Zech. 3:1–5.

21. The Samaritan woman, an adulteress, was saved by Jesus; she received living water.

John 4:4–26.

22. Peter, who denied Jesus, was forgiven and reinstated in his office.

John 21:15–19. (Jesus even entrusted Peter with his precious people, for whom he died on the cross.) So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

23. Jesus gave us the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Luke 18:9–14. (The proud, self-righteous Pharisee was not justified, forgiven. But the humbled tax collector was justified and could go home with peace in his heart.)

Luke 18:13–14. “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

24. Troubled sinners cry out for mercy, and God graciously forgives; he restores us to his love and favor.

Ps. 130:3–4. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.

25. Believers are rescued from the dominion of darkness. They are brought into Jesus’ eternal kingdom and are forgiven of all their sins.

Col. 1:13–14. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

26. God has lavished his grace on us, choosing us, forgiving us of all our sins through the shed blood of Christ.

Eph. 1:3–10.

Eph. 1:7–8. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.

27. The prayer for forgiveness must be accompanied by repentance.

1 Kings 8:33–36; 46–53. (Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, prayed that God would forgive his people if and when they should repent of their sin and sincerely serve him.)

1 Kings 8:33–36. “When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers. When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.”

28. Nehemiah wept and confessed the sins of God’s people.

Neh. 1:6–7. “Please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.”

29. God sweeps our sins away and wants us to sing for joy!

Isa. 44:22–23. “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And glorified Himself in Israel.[1]

 


[1] Kruis, J. G. (1994). Quick scripture reference for counseling (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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