Do you feel burdened down by the memory of past sins and failures?
Many of us carry a heavy load of guilt and shame from the things we have done in our past. For some of us, these things happened before we were saved, but they still haunt us. Worst still are those of us who have done things that we deeply regret after we were saved. Each one of us has made mistakes in our walk with the Lord. Not only do we feel our own heart condemn us, but the enemy is also quick to remind us of every fault and failure. It is not surprising that he is called the accuser of the brethren (see Revelation 12:10). That is his nature!
When we feel overwhelmed by our past sins, it affects our relationship with God. We want to have a deep, loving relationship with our heavenly Father, but how can we? He remembers even the things that we have forgotten. So often we feel condemned in His presence and we do not know how He could possibly love us. Though we may know that God has forgiven our sins, we still recall what we have done. How does God want us to view those past trespasses that we have made against Him? How can we live a life of victory, when we know we have failed before?
The first thing the Father wants us to know is that He has forgiven all of our sins. He forgave us of all of our BIG sins and all of those little sins we may have forgotten. He has wiped our slate completely clean!
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the hand writing of requirements what was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14 NKJV, emphasis mine.)
We must realize what Christ accomplished for us on the cross! He removed our sins forever. We have been forgiven for every sin and trespass against Him. We were made clean by the blood of Jesus which He shed for us. When God looks upon our past, before we accepted Christ, He sees it completely free of sin. The record of those sins has been removed!
Now we have the ability to receive forgiveness for any sin that we commit, simply by confessing it to God.
The Apostle John wrote:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV, emphasis mine.)
God eagerly waits to forgive us for each sin. The moment we confess it to Him, the blood of Christ, His Son then cleanses us of it. This enables us to stand before Him just as we did when we were first saved. If we are quick to confess our sins and repent of them completely, we can remain spotless before Him, pure, clean and white. That is the way we should see ourselves every day!
Not only does God forgive our sins, but He also forgets them. The writer of Hebrews wrote:
“Then He adds, ‘Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember them no more.’ ” (Hebrews 10:17 NKJV)
If God can’t remember our sins, then why should we?
This also applies to other believers’ sins. If we know that they have confessed their mistakes in the past, then we must also be careful not to bring them up again. When the blood of Jesus has covered a sin we should leave it there. It grieves the Holy Spirit when we bring up the sins of someone’s past. Don’t you agree?
When the enemy tries to remind us of a sin, we should remind him what Christ has done. He has already paid the price for it. We can defeat the devil, by standing on the finished work of the cross.
The Apostle John wrote:
“And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:10 NKJV, word in parentheses mine.)
When we know that we have been washed in the blood of Jesus, we can testify that we are completely clean from all sin. The devil has no right to accuse us any longer. We can live free from all of his accusations!
Our heavenly Father does not want to condemn us for our sins, He only wants us to confess them so that He can forgive us. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 NKJV, emphasis mine.)
If God does not condemn us for past sins, then we need to stop condemning ourselves. We need to see ourselves free from the sins of the past and live in the victory that we have in Christ.
You are holy, dear saint!
Have you learned to picture your past completely free from sin? Do you also see other believers in the same way? Let me know in the comments below!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]