There have been many memorable words spoken by men. Just recently we celebrated the memorable Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. Who can forget Winston Churchill’s famous words, “Never give in,” speech stirred a country and a generation to stand fast in the face of the Nazi onslaught of World War II. However, all these pale into insignificance when compared to, “Thy sins are forgiven…Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 7:48, 50) Oh what words these are! The guilt of sin removed, the burden of a tormented conscience, the terrors of an uncertain eternity, are all removed by these sweet words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Perhaps one of the most deep seated needs of all men is this thing we call forgiveness. Our experience at forgiving others is mixed at best. Our memory plays tricks on us by bringing up afresh and anew old hurts and grievances. Were it not for the grace of God we could never forgive others. For in His grace we find out what it means to be forgiven. It entails something that is impossible for us to perform. We may choose not to remember someone’s trespass or offence against them, but we cannot keep the remembrance of those offences and hurts. Our Heavenly Father is perfect and He can forget nothing. It would make Him less than perfect, but He can sovereignly choose not to remember our sins against us. By an act of His will, He chooses to remove them from His sight, casting them into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19, He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.)
To increase our wonder and awe, the Word of God reveals to us that God forgives all kinds of sinners. Thieves, murderers, extortioners, blasphemers, disobedient children, homosexuals, adulterers, and any other sin you might think to place in the list, He forgives all freely based upon the merits of the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. It is not our goodness that matters; it is His goodness, His perfect Holiness and obedience, His righteousness that is reckoned to our account. In Luke chapter seven, the woman who is ministering to the Lord is an immoral woman. Simon is astounded that Christ would allow her to touch His feet. Oh blessed thought! Our Christ is ever ready for the foulest of men to touch Him by faith and be redeemed. Thank God that our hope of heaven is not based upon the mercy of men, but upon the endless, the measureless mercy of Jehovah Himself. Many Muslims are turning to Christ for they find in Him the forgiveness that Islam lacks. Their hearts are broken by the biblical admonition of loving one’s enemies.
What was it that touched your heart to turn to Christ? Have you turned to Him in faith believing that He will forgive your sins? If not, today is a wonderful time to do so. And, in your soul, those words, “Thy sins are forgiven,” will sound to the depths of your being.