Can God Every Forgive ME?
Can God Forgive Me?
Can God Forgive Me? – Rejection and Rebellion “Can God forgive me” is a very common question. If you are not sure about God’s nature and character, doubts about His forgiveness are recurrent. Often feelings of guilt and rejection dominate our thoughts. “I’ve asked God to forgive me, but I still feel guilty.
I’m not even sure I deserve God’s forgiveness.” We may be unsure about what the Bible says about His children. The consequences of uncertainty will: 1) imprison you in self-condemnation, and 2) restrain you from receiving God’s mercy and grace. Forgiveness is an act of pardon. Even when we choose to reject Him, God is still anxious to forgive us.
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). God graciously declares that He is ready to forgive us. He could have just as easily chosen to destroy us, freeing Himself of our disobedient nature. Yet, in His greatest expression of love, God’s posture towards us is the Giver of Grace.
God chooses to pardon our sins, blotting them out as a cloud blots out the sun’s rays (Isaiah 44:22).
It is not always easy to comprehend an omnipotent God as gentle and tender-hearted. Our rebellious nature impacts everything about us. Often we continue to reap the consequences of our rebellion.
Yet, God chooses to give us not what we deserve, but to give us what we need, forgiveness.
Can God Forgive Me? – Paying the Price In the Old Testament, God required an animal sacrifice, such as a bull, for forgiveness. He required the sprinkling or pouring blood as a sin offering upon a consecrated altar. This represented the fact that the life of the sacrificed animal was given to God instead of the sinner’s life.
This was a ransom, the price demanded for the Israelites’ sins (Leviticus 4:14-21). For more than a millennium, God placed the payment of a blood sacrifice for forgiveness at the very center of Jewish life.
David, the Jewish shepherd-boy and king of Israel, may have wondered, “Can God forgive me?” David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba and conspiracy to murder her husband resulted in the death of David’s firstborn son. God can’t violate His righteous nature—sin must be atoned [paid] for. Yet God responded to a repentant David and forgave him (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
But, when David desired a census of his military men, Israel paid a high price for their leader’s pride and self-sufficiency. God permitted David to choose the form punishment for disobedience—an angel was sent to destroy Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 21:10-15). David then confessed his personal sin and urged the Lord to spare the innocent people.
“David built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings…Then the Lord spoke to the angel and he put his sword back into its sheath” (1 Chronicles 21:26-27). It is only through God’s infinite mercy and grace that the full price for David’s sins was not demanded.
Can God Forgive Me? – Sizing up the Sacrifice David, perhaps you have experienced the devastating consequences of your poor behavior. Forgiveness from others was not forthcoming.
“If people can’t forgive me, how can God forgive me?” Satan, who accuses both day and night, wants to lead God’s children to believe that God no longer wants to forgive them (Revelation 12:9-11). These doubts regarding forgiveness are completely contradictory to God’s nature and character.
God does not simply forgive us “automatically” without seeking a response from us. He addresses our intellect, our emotions, and our will.
- God addresses our intellect by explaining that “we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory” (Romans 3:23).
- God speaks to our emotions by issuing a heartfelt personal invitation. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” (Acts 3:19).
- God speaks to our wills by asking us to have faith, to trust Him. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved…anyone who trusts in him [Jesus Christ] will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:10-11).
So, “Can God forgive me” even if I’ve committed actions that society deems deplorable? It’s not the size of the sin, but the size of the atonement. Jesus became a curse for us and took the impact of God’s righteous wrath against our sins (Galatians 3:13). Jesus paid the incalculable price that we could never pay. He surrendered His life and shed His blood, as the Lamb of God—the body and blood sacrifice for each one of us (1 John 2:2). God’s grace is giving us what we don’t deserve—salvation from sin and a promise of eternal life. He chooses to freely give us His grace as a gift. God promises that all who believe in Jesus Christ “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood…” (Romans 3:24-25).
The scarlet thread running throughout the Bible is the story of God’s unmerited love and redemptive action on behalf of His children. Which is harder to accept—that God longs to spend eternity with you—His unique and precious creation? Or that God willingly sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that forgiveness could be extended to all mankind?
Learn more about God’s forgiveness! WHAT DO YOU THINK? – We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, “Jesus is Lord,” you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions
Can God really forgive my past?
Do all the bad things you’ve done bother you? All the hurt and pain you’ve caused others through your thoughtless words and careless actions. Not to mention all the hidden sins that only you know about. It feels you’re carrying the whole world on your shoulders.
Now close your eyes and imagine for a moment that God forgave you, for every single thing you’ve ever done. Wouldn’t that be an enormous weight off your mind? A fresh start! Wouldn’t that suddenly make life become a whole lot more attractive? It sounds too good to be true, but is that really the case? Maybe you’re sitting there and thinking: Can God really forgive my past?
God is not human
As human beings it doesn’t take much for us to become bitter. We readily bear grudges, are easily offended and we derive a subconscious satisfaction in clinging to things certain people have said or done towards us.
With this kind of track record it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s almost impossible for us to comprehend God’s extraordinary capacity to forgive.
Forgiving others seems a world away, the question! That would be pretending things never happened, letting people off the hook, scot-free!
“But they don’t deserve…” What was that? Stop right there for a minute and reflect on your past again. Are you really in a position to decide what other people deserve? Are any of us?Both the Old and New Testaments spell out in black and white what it is that we, as sinners, really deserve. The Apostle Paul puts it this way: “For if you live according to the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws.
To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful … you will die.” Romans 8:13. God is righteous and His Word stands forever.
Things aren’t looking pretty—clearly we all deserve the death penalty.
Jesus Christ – a ransom for mankind
Yes, this is the end that would have awaited all of us; we would have died in our sins, if it weren’t for an incredible display of love by God Himself: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6.
Jesus Christ gave Himself a ransom for mankind! He voluntarily came down to earth and paid what God required, in full.
Jesus died an innocent man, just for you! He died for all of us, paying for our sins with His own precious blood and opening up a way back to God in the process. Paul describes the greatness of this sacrifice in Romans 5:7-8.
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The conditions of forgiveness
But it also says in Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This makes it clear that forgiving others is not just a favor or a request that God is asking us in return.
It is a condition and without this condition we will not receive forgiveness.
The second condition is given in Acts 3:19: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” This repentance is a conversion. Turning from the old ways to the new. It is not simply a feeling of shame that you have sinned but a whole-hearted desire to never sin again!
These are vital points, and two key questions to ask yourself: How quick am I to forgive others? And have I really repented from my sins?
We haven’t gotten what we deserve—we have received forgiveness!
This should stir each one of us to a deep, lasting gratitude and fervent love for Jesus Christ, who paid this sacrifice for us. He took upon Himself flesh and blood, so He could be those whom He came to save, and be able to help them.
He wants people to live He did; He wants them to overcome sin and glorify God in their bodies, just He did. That is also the reason He wants to forgive our sins: after we are forgiven, we can start this new life and show our love and gratitude by following Him.
We can be among those whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren. (Hebrews 2:9-18)As you ponder this, recall the love Jesus had when He died for you—the just for the unjust—and never forget that you have been cleansed from your old sins. For where would any of us be if we had gotten what we truly deserved?
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins,Nor punished us according to our iniquities.For as the heavens are high above the earth,So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;As far as the east is from the west,So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:10-12.
You may be interested in reading more on our topic page about forgiveness and guilt, or in the selected articles below:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.