File Not Found: A Fresh Look at Forgiveness

They say someone somewhere is keeping a record on you and me. With a surprising level of detail, our lives are being documented in a massive, highly confidential database. In other words, someone’s always watching – and taking notes. If you ever apply for a job with the federal government, especially the FBI, they will tell you all about it.

Kind of creepy, huh?

Thankfully, the One who knows all there is to know about us is not keeping track of our tresspasses. While He does make note of every single heartbreak we sustain and every tear we shed (Psalm 56:8), God is not keeping a tally of our offenses.

The psalmist put it this way:

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you. –Psalm 130:3-4 (NLT)

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

Let’s face it, not one of us would have a shot if God kept a running file of our sins (Romans 3:23). The good news is that He doesn’t. Instead, through His Son, Jesus Christ, God offers total and complete forgiveness.

In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace -Ephesians 1:7

Because of the loving sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, the record of your offenses can be obliterated. The file on you, which would otherwise be busting out in all directions, can be as empty as an ice machine in mid-July.

C.H. Spurgeon, in a message called Forgiveness Made Easy, broke forgiveness down this way:

“If you have believed in Jesus, your sin is all gone; all your sin has been erased from the records of the past, never to be accounted against you again ever. The moment a sinner looks to Christ, the burden of his sin rolls off his shoulders, never to return. If Christ has washed you (and He has if you have believed in Him), then you are clean every whit, and before the Lord you stand delivered from every trace of guilt…Pardon is not a matter of hope, but a matter of fact.”

To reinforce the point even further, here’s a helpful summary of forgiveness by J.I. Packer:

“Link up with Jesus, the living Lord, by faith, and the great exchange is fulfilled. Through Jesus’ atoning death God accepts you as righteous and cancels your sins.”

What a relief. Now the challenge is to forgive just as we have been forgiven, for the forgiven to be the forgivers.

Help us, Jesus.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -I John 1:9


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