Do you really believe God forgets your sins once you repent? He does. Jesus paid in full the price for our sins, that we are forgiven and have no reason to feel guilty or condemned once we have repented. Now I want to go a step further and make sure you understand God not only forgives but also forgets all your sins. He does not forgive you and then say: “Oh, boy, I remember when I had to forgive Johnny for pulling his sister’s hair and making her cry. Now he wants me to forgive him for cheating on his algebra test. His list of forgiven sins is getting awfully long!” No, if Johnny were to say to God, “I know You’ve already forgiven me for pulling my sister’s hair a couple of years ago, but now I need Your forgiveness for cheating on a test,” God would say, “Your sister’s hair? You asked me to forgive you for that? I have absolutely no recollection of that; there’s no record of it anywhere. Now, what did you want to tell Me about your algebra test?”
In both the Old and New Testaments, God makes sure we understand how completely He forgets our sins. In Jeremiah 31:34 He says: “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will (seriously) remember their sin no more.” In Hebrews 10:17, the writer references Jeremiah’s words: “And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.”
I want us to see this verse in context:
For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy. And also the Holy Spirit adds His testimony to us (in confirmation of this). For having said, This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding), He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more (verses 14-17).
This passage is not talking about a forgiveness that happens the day we receive Christ and takes care of all our previous sins. God’s forgiveness is ongoing for the duration of our lives; it is for every day. When Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago, He not only forgave everything we had done in our pasts, but He also committed Himself to forgive every sin we would commit in the future. He knows our thoughts before we think them; He knows every wrong decision we will ever make—and it’s all already covered. All we have to do is stay in relationship with Him. After all, what He wants from us more than anything else is not perfect performance, perfect behavior, or perfect attitudes, but hearts that really love Him. Always remember, God is not surprised by our bad behavior. He knew about it long before we did and He wants us anyway. He is excited about helping us grow into all He knows we can be.
God buries our sins—past, present, and future—in the sea of forgetfulness and remembers them no more. Often, we preach God’s forgiveness, but we fail to focus on the fact that He also forgets them. “I will remember your sins no more!” says God. Determine today to stop remembering what God has forgotten. You will not progress into the new life God has for you as long as you keep using your past as an excuse to continue in old thought patterns and behaviors.
Jesus said, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32). When we are willing to face the truth about ourselves, we will be set free. When you accept the fact that you are blaming others and the circumstances of your past for your failure to go forward in the future, you will be able to take responsibility for your life, deal with your past, and become free to pursue your future. You can find the strength to believe 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any person is (in grafted) in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold the fresh and new has come!”
Being a new creation in Christ does not mean all your problems and weaknesses vanish in to thin air the minute you make a commitment to live for God. It means you become brand-new spiritual “clay.” Let me explain.
Jesus who is called “the Seed,” comes to live in us as the seed of Almighty God, bringing with Him a seed of everything God is. In the physical world, seeds must be planted; they need time to become rooted and grounded; and they must be nurtured. They need sun-light and water. Someone has to keep the weeds from choking the life out of them and hindering their growth.
A similar process is necessary in our spiritual lives. We do not become “new creations” overnight, but through a process. God’s Word needs to be planted in our hearts and it needs time to take root in us. We need the water of God’s Word (Ephesians 5:26) and the light of His Spirit to strengthen us. It is also extremely helpful to take advantage of every opportunity we have to be nurtured by more mature believers who can guide us.
As we continue and continue and continue in these good, godly habits, those seeds God planted in us begin to grow up like plants and become trees of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3). Over time, we realize we are changing not because of our own effort but because we are spending time with God and growing in His Word. As we dwell in His presence and live by His truth, His image is re-created in us and we truly become new. By Faith I Keep Pressing On!