One of the reasons it is hard to grant forgiveness to others is because we don’t fully realize we have been forgiven. In the Kingdom of heaven, we give to others what we have received, love, mercy, and forgiveness.
How Do I Know I am Forgiven?
The realization of your personal forgiveness can only come if you have experienced the conviction of your personal sinfulness. The apostle Paul explained that all have sinned and that it is through faith in Jesus Christ that all receive the gift of eternal life, God’s grace, forgiveness, and redemption.
Romans 3:21-24 NIV
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
The original sin committed by Adam brought death and condemnation upon all men. It is by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that all are made righteous, in right standing with God.
Romans 5:17-19 NIV
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
This same understanding was explained to a crowd of people who heard the apostle Peter speak on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven. Peter had explained they had refused to believe that Jesus was their Messiah. They had been responsible for putting Him to death, and now they were desperate to know what to do about their sinful condition.
Acts 2:38-39 NIV
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Scripture tells us that 3,000 people were added to the Church on that day.
It is through faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus and his shed blood that we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins.
Colossians 1:13-14 NIV
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
In Hebrews, we see the blood of Jesus being the once and for all sacrifice that paid the debt for the sins of all mankind.
Hebrews 9:24-28 NIV
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Ask God to Forgive You
As you pray this part of the prayer outline, thank God for the blood of Jesus that cleanses you of all sin. At this time, Holy Spirit may bring to your mind a sin(s) that you need to confess and ask for forgiveness.
As you read the Bible, you will likely come upon scriptures that show you areas in which you are not doing things according to God’s will. The Apostle Paul told Timothy about the functions of scripture, it instructs, convicts of sin, and is for correction and training. When you do realize your mistakes, your sins, confess your wrong behavior or way of thinking and ask Him to forgive you.
2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
When we realize our mistakes, we are not to feel condemned. If we all did not need this instruction, the Bible would not have been given to us. A little child needs to be trained to know how to behave and become a productive adult in society. This need is met by the parents, teachers, and spiritual mentors. In the same way, all Christians need the guidance of the scriptures and people who will mentor them into being productive citizens in the Kingdom of God.
We have the assurance that the blood of Jesus has paid the price for ALL our sins. We have the promise of forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The word “confess” in this scripture means “to speak the same thing.” If God says this action is a sin, then we must agree with Him and turn away from doing it. Remember, in a kingdom, the king determines the laws not the citizens. The simple explanation is “admit it and quit it.”
The term “debts” not only includes our sins but also personal debts and moral obligations we may have to others. You may have given your word or made a commitment to a person but have not fulfilled your promise. These situations need to be corrected.
Suggested Prayer: Father, I confess that I have not been obedient to your commandments. I ask you to forgive me. (Tell Him your mistakes.) I trust the blood of Jesus to pay the price for my forgiveness. Help me Holy Spirit to not repeat these mistakes.