God Forgives—and Forgets

People thought she was whacko. She claimed that she and God talked one-on-one every night and that he told her about the shenanigans of people who thought their secrets were, well, secret.

Someone advised her to validate these alleged conversations by asking her minister if she was really talking with God or hallucinating.

Tormented by a sin he had fallen into many moons ago, the minister had prayed for forgiveness but still had a feeling he was on thin ice. So when the woman asked him to legitimize her experience, he told her when she talked to God that evening to ask him what the sin was that still had him spooked.

The next day, he asked her if she had spoken with God.

She said she had.

“What did he say my sin was?”

“He said he forgot.”

Now that’s a story about forgetting that’s worth remembering. God forgives and forgets sin.

Back in Old Testament days, God said the time was coming when he would make a new covenant with his people. The high point of the new treaty was thrillingly stated: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

We live on this side of that promise.

The sacrifices of the old covenant “were not able to clear the conscience,” but were only “external regulations applying until the time of the new order” (Hebrews 9: 9, 10).

Under the old order, there was “an annual reminder of sins” (Hebrews 10:3). The best they could hope for was that the high priest’s sacrifice on the Day of Atonement would pay off their sins for a year—only to have them come back to haunt them twelve months later, when they would have to pony up again. And again. And again.

But “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . . by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:10, 14).

And that’s sealed with God’s promise: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17).

Read the following verses and rejoice.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him” (Romans 4:7-8).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). You can put your weight down on God’s promise to forget what he forgives: “You have put all my sins behind your back” (Isaiah 38:17). Out of sight. Left behind.

You may remember your forgiven sin, but God doesn’t.

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