(Article for publication week of 11-7- AD 2012)
"And I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31: 34). Oh! What a glorious declaration by God Himself! He declares that He will not remember His people's sins.
First of all we need to see that this is a judicial statement. It is something that God wills, or purposes. We know that God is omniscient, and that He does not literally forget anything. All things are naked and open before His all-seeing eyes. God makes this declaration because He has eternally justified His people and not one charge can ever be brought against them (Romans 8:33). Christ has taken away our sins by His atoning death. Christ was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). So, you see this is a judicial declaration that God makes when He says He will not remember the believer's sins against him as far as the justice of His law. And this is a vital Biblical concept in which the believer will be greatly blessed. There are so many blessings and comforts you will miss if you do not see the judicial aspect of your salvation. And there are many things in the word of God you will not understand without a clear grasp that justifification is a judicial act of God.
In my fellowship with the Lord's people through the years I have seen there are three things in particular that often disturb their peace and comfort. First of all many are concerned because of the enormity of their sins before they were converted. Some believers have been saved from particularly degraded sins. Now we know that there is no sin that is so small that it does not deserve eternal damnation, but we need always remember there are no sins so great they will not be forgiven those who truly repent. So dear child of God who has been saved from terrible and gross sins, let not your conscience be troubled because the blood of Christ has washed away all your sins forever.
Secondly, believers are often distressed by their sins since conversion. The child of God has been given them a new nature that loves the Lord and hates sin, and his great desire is that he would never sin again. His spirit is willing, but his flesh is weak. He is always repenting and sorrowing for his sins and learning from our Lord's Model Prayer, "forgive me my sins". The believer in Christ can draw comfort from our Lord's declaration that he has willed not to remember his sins. Be sure the death of Christ has taken away all your sins, past, present and future.
Thirdly, we know many of the Lord's people (including your poor writer) who are often troubled in their spirits about the day of judgment. Will the Lord bring up our sins against us at the final Day? After all the Bible says some sober things regarding the Day of Judgment. "we shall all give an account", and "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Your poor writer does not claim to have all the answers, but I draw my comfort from this week's text, "I will remember their sins no more." Justification is an eternal , immanent act of God's free grace, not a work that a sinner performs. Whatever the scripures may say about our final accounting before God, we can rest in the work of Christ and the judicial declaration that God has made. Whatever the Bible may say about God's gracious rewarding of His people in the day of judgment, He will never bring our sins up against us, for He judicially does not remember them. They have been expunged from His record . As a hymnwriter expressed it:
"Bold shall I stand in that great day
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
While through Thy blood absolved I am
From sins tremendous curse and shame."