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When God Forgives, He Forgets!

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Key-verse: "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine Own sake, and will not remember thy sins" (Isaiah 43: 25).

If you were to visit a jeweler’s shop and ask to see a diamond, the first thing the jeweller would do would be to place a black cloth over his counter, and he would then show you a sparkling diamond against the jet black background of the cloth. The diamond would appear all the brighter against the black surroundings. Now, God employs this same method in His Word. Over and over again, when we are reading through a dreary account of sin and failure, we suddenly come across a gem of Divine grace that shines out amid the darkness that surrounds it. We have an example of this in Isaiah 43. In Isaiah 43:22-24 we see the dark background, but Isaiah 43:25, our key-verse, is the gem that God places against this dark background, a gem that sparkles with heavenly brilliancy. We learn at once from this great statement of the gospel that God is not indifferent to sin. He is not complacent about it. Men and women cannot sin with impunity and get away with it. God is just and holy, and sin is never treated lightly by Him. We are in danger, on the one hand, of thinking that sin does not matter, and, on the other hand, of thinking that we are too sinful for God to help us and to save us. The wonderful message of the gospel, however, is that although God hates sin and must deal with sin, He has made provision for the sinner to be forgiven, and His promise is that when He forgives He forgets. Look at the key-verse, and notice three things that it declares: -      .


Who is it who says, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgres­sions ... "? It is God, and when we speak about God it is always as well for us to remember three things about Him:-

(i) He is the One Who made us, and He made us for Himself. This is clearly stated in Isaiah 43:7, 21. He is the Creator of the world, but He is our Creator-look up Colossians 1: 16, and compare Genesis 1: 26; Malachi 2: 10, and Acts 17: 28-29. God created us; not for our own sake, but for His glory.

(ii) He is the One against Whom we have sinned. Isaiah 43:22-24 state this very clearly, and while the primary application is to Israel, we find here a perfect description of men and women everywhere, for there is not one of us who is without sin. God is the offended One-"l, even I ... ", and we must never forget this. Sin is not a light matter; it is a very serious matter, and we can only ever come to know God and to be brought back into fellowship with God when the question of our sin has been dealt with and the barrier of our sin has been removed.

(iii) He is the only One Who can save us. Isaiah 43:11 makes this absolutely clear. Why is He the only One Who can save us? Well, for one reason, because it is against Him that we have sinned-look up Psalm 51:4; Isaiah 59:1-2; Luke15:18, 21, and compare Psalm 130:4.

Thus, we see that' God is speaking to us, inviting us to come and receive His pardon. But notice the second thing:


What is it? It is a two-fold offer. He tells us that if we will come to Him and put our trust in Him, He will not only forgive our sins but He will forget our sins. We have all sinned in two different ways: we have committed acts of sin and we have omitted to do those things that are pleasing to God. We are guilty of sins of commission and sins of omission; we have done that which we ought not to have done, and we have not done what we ought to have done. Both aspects of sin are mentioned here. The word "transgressions" means rebellion, lawlessness or revolt and these are sins of commission. The word "sins" means failures, and includes the idea of coming short of God's glory, of missing the mark---look up Romans 3:23 ---and these are sins of omission. Now, God offers to forgive and to forget both kinds of sin, which is very much more than human forgiveness can do. When some­one sins against us, even if he comes and asks forgiveness and we gladly forgive him, as we should, it is not by any means always possible for us to forget the sin that he has committed. We may try to forget and wish to forget, but sometimes we cannot do so; but God can, and He promises to do just this! Our key-verse tells us that He blots out the record of our sins. This is a commercial term. We are hopelessly in debt to Him, but He cancels the obligation. He wipes it out com­plete1y. He leaves no record against us---look up and compare Romans 8:1 and Colossians 2:14. He blots out the very memory of our sins. He puts our sins for ever out of His sight-behind His back (Isaiah 38:17), at an immeasurable distance from Him (Psalm 103:12), even into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). On what grounds does He do this?. H.e does it on the grounds of Calvary, where His Son, our Savior, died to make provision for our pardon and our cleansing---once again look up and revel in the glorious truth of 1 John 1:7. Notice one other truth:


Why does the Lord offer to forgive us and to forget our sins? He does so, of course, because He loves us, because we need Him so very greatly and because we are in danger of judgment and Hell; but in our key-verse He tells us that the supreme reason for His action toward us in grace is not because of anything in us, for there is nothing good in us anyway, but simply because of what He is in Him­self. He forgives our sins and forgets our sins for “His own sake”. In other words, for His glory, for the glory of the Lord Jesus Who has died and has risen again to provide a full and a free salvation-look up and rejoice in the truth of Ephesians 2:7-9. Have you accepted God’s gracious offer to forgive and to forget your  sin? Have you come to Him and bowed at HIS feet and thanked Him for HIS love manifested in the gift of His Son and in the sacrifice made on the Cross? Are you rejoicing in the knowledge of sins forgiven and forgotten?

"No, not despairingly,                                                       

Come I to Thee;                                                          

No, not distrustingly;                                                              

Bend I the knee.

Sin hath gone over me,                                                 

Yet is this still my plea,                                                

Jesus hath died.

"Ah, mine iniquity

Crimson hath been;

Infinite, infinite,

Sin upon sin;

Sin of not loving Thee,

Sin of not trusting Thee,

Infinite sin.

"Lord, I confess to Thee

Sadly my sin;

All I am tell I Thee,

All I have been.

Purge Thou my sin away,

Wash Thou my soul this day,

Lord, make me clean."

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