Forgiveness of sins
Many Christians are living defeated lives, because they are hanging onto their pasts. They see their sins more than they see the solution to their sins, and that is the blood of Jesus! They spend more of their time dwelling on their sins, then dwelling on what Jesus has done for them!
Repentance - the key to being forgiven
Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
If you can confess it, you can be forgiven of it! It doesn't matter what you've done, if you turn to God and confess your sins, He will forgive you of ALL unrighteousness... that includes anything you've done, that you are willing to bring 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."
There is no sin too great for God to forgive: Titus 2:14, "Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from EVERY lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (NASB)
Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
The only sin God can't forgive, is the one you won't take to Him!!
Did you know that it's the goodness of God (when we realize His great love for us) that is supposed to draw or lead you to repent and turn to Him? Romans 2:4, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Also look at Jeremiah 31:3, "...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
God's rich love and mercy
Do you know that Christ's death on the cross was a symbol of God's great and deep love for you? That's right! Romans 5:8, "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (NLT)
Christ's death on the cross was not just a symbol of God's love for 'good people', but for those who were living in the world! John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
1 John 4:9, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
John 10:11, 15:13, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep... Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
My friend, our minds cannot comprehend the deep love that God has for us!!! Ephesians 3:19, "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." If you want to be filled with the fullness of God, you need to understand this great love that God has for you!!
Ephesians 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" (The word 'riches' in the Greek here means abundance and fullness!!)
Isaiah 30:18, "Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him." (NASB)
The nature of God's forgiveness
Romans 3:24, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"
To demonstrate how our heavenly Father wants to love, accept and forgive us when we turn to Him, Jesus told a parable of the son who took half his dad's money and ran away, then returned home and his father saw his son and was moved with compassion. But in Luke 15:20 it tells us how the father received his son, "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." That is how our heavenly Father sees us, welcomes us, forgives us and loves us even after we've really messed up, and then turn back to Him! He is moved with compassion and welcomes us with open arms.
In Luke 7, Jesus took a very sinful woman (likely a prostitute) and freely washed her clean without hesitation! Luke 7:47, "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."
In John 8:3-11, a story is told where a woman was caught in the very act of adultery and they brought this woman before Jesus. Jesus said unto them in verse 7, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Each one of them were convicted in their own consciences, and walked away. When Jesus and the woman were the only ones left, He said unto her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, a murderer/criminal next to him confessed that he deserved his punishment, and Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Look at the story of Paul, for he was a murderer of Christians! Look at what Jesus did to him... the man was turned around, and used to be one of the greatest names in the whole New Testament! Look at Peter, how much God used him even after Peter denied Jesus three times!!
It is God's deep desire to see you turn to Him and receive forgiveness for your sins! Isaiah 30:18, "Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him." (NASB)
There is great joy in heaven when a person turns from their wicked ways and turns to God! Luke 15:10, "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
Even when Jesus was dying on the cross, the love in His heart for us was so deep and genuine that He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
You are a new creation... so forget your past!
As a child of God, you are a new creation! Your past has been wiped away, and you are given a fresh start! 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
There awaits no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..." Jesus did not come here to condemn you, but to save you! (John 3:17)
Not only does God forgive our sins, but He also FORGETS our sins! He chooses not to remember our sins for HIS own sake! Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Also see Hebrews 10:17)
When your sins are forgiven, they are removed from you as far as the east to the west! Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." Also look at Micah 7:19, "...he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
We are told not to look at the past, but press forward towards the future! Philippians 3:13, "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,"
God Himself does not remember your sins, so why should you? If He felt it was best to forget them, since when is it better to remember them? God wants us to forgive ourselves and allow Jesus' blood to wash clean our conscience from all the evil we have done! Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Why did God choose to make us new creations? Because He didn't want our pasts to be a part of us anymore!