I was with a friend and her mom a couple months ago when the Lord gave me the simplest revelation I’ve had in a long time.
My friend’s mom was telling us about her sister who can’t remember much from her early life because of a childhood illness. She told us that she liked to tell her sister about all of the things they used to do as kids, even the things they weren’t supposed to do. When she would tell her sister about that stuff, her sister would reply, “We never did that,” and she meant it. In her mind, it never happened, whether it really did or not.
Then I heard the Lord say, “That’s what I say to you.”
And I thought for a minute, “What do you mean that’s what you say to me?”
Then it clicked. That’s what He says to me when I bring up old sin that has already been forgiven.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with this. We know that when Jesus died, He died for all of it. That means that when I say yes to Him – when I say, “I believe you are the Son of God, and you defeated sin and death when you rose from the grave” – my sins, past and future, are forgiven fully and completely and thrown into the sea.
My human mind has a hard time letting go of some things, though. It’s not uncommon for me to ask forgiveness for the same sin 10 times. But when I do that, I am no longer acting under God’s grace, but under the idea that I somehow am the one who redeems myself.
To accept grace is to accept that God forgives us the first time we ask, even if we don’t change.
I guess the hardest part of this for me is the way people say God forgets our sins. Because I know that God is omniscient. How could an all-knowing God forget something? As I’ve continued to meditate on scripture about forgiveness and ask the Lord for more insight, I’ve found something that I think is huge.
The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that God forgets our sins.
It does, however, say that He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12). Forgetting something is not the same as remembering it no more. Forgetting seems accidental. ‘Remembering no more’ means choosing to live as if it never happened. Wiping it from the record. And only God has the authority to wipe something, like sin, from the record of my life. When God looks back at my life, He sees it post redemption. I don’t claim to be perfect, and God knows I’m not, but He sees me under grace and no longer as a sinner.
Now that I’ve been given the revelation, I’m working on living it out – being content to live under powerful grace that makes no sense. Because my sins have been thrown into the sea.
It seems silly to bring something up after it’s been removed from the record, but when I do, God says, “You never did that.” Not because I didn’t really do whatever it was, but because He has chosen to remember it no more.
He keeps no record of wrongs.
Because God is love, after all.