(Article for publication week of 12-28-2011 AD)
“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).
As we consider the faithfulness of God, we delight to write to you to confirm to you that God is faithful in forgiving sin.
Are you a sinner? Has the Lord taught you that you are the chief of sinners? Have you learned from the word and by the Spirit that you are a loathsome wretch in the sight of the Thrice Holy God? Do mourn in your very soul because of your sins? Do you “roar like a bear” because you feel that you are too sinful for God to save you? Well. If I am describing your case, I have some good news for you- God is faithful and just to forgive sinners for their sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
It was for sinners that Christ died. He came not to call the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance. The scriptures sweetly tell us that Christ received sinners and ate with them (Luke 15:2). “ ‘Twas for the guilty Thou didst die, and I a sinner stand.”
Christ died for the filthiest of sins. All sin is filthy. Christ died for disobedience to parents. He died for fornicators and adulterers. He died for filthy sodomites. He died for liars. He died for murderers. He died for thieves. He died for railers. He died for the covetous. He died for idolaters. He died for blasphemers. He died for Sabbath breakers. He died for drunks and dope heads. He died for vile wretches like you and me. Christ died to justify the ungodly (Romans 4:5).
Christ died for many sins. All the guilt of all those who would ever repent and believe in Him was transferred to His precious Person by imputation, and He satisfied the just and holy wrath of God forever when He died on the cross and rose again the third day. Should you repent and believe in Christ, this very moment your sins are all forgiven.
Christ is willing and able to save all who will truly repent of their sins and come to Him by faith. You will never find an instance recorded in scripture where Christ ever turned away one who came to Him broken hearted for sins and pleading mercy. Now, He did turn away, and still does the self-righteous. If you still love your sins and want to continue in them, I haven’t been writing to you. But if you are broken hearted and contrite and wanting to be saved from your sins, my message is for you. Christ is faithful and just to forgive you for your sins- and to clean you up! When Christ saves a sinner, He does not leave that sinner wallowing in his sins, but rather He cleans him up and makes him into a new creature.
Do you want to be saved from your sins? Do you want God to forgive you for your sins? Do you long to be free from your sins and thoroughly cleansed from them? Well, come to Christ right now without delay. Confess to Him that you are a wretched sinner deserving of the lowest hell and throw yourself on His mercy. He is a faithful Saviour who saves and forgives.