“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25
What good news. God has an amazing ability to not only forgive us of our sins, but also to never remember them again. How often Satan beats us up by bringing to our recall over and over every minutia of our failings and sin. But not God, once our sin is forgiven it is forgotten and never brought back to haunt us yet again.
One of my favorite preachers is Charles Price of the People’s Church in Toronto. In their little devotional for May 2014 we find these words, “God who knows all things will never recall what He knows about us, never use it as ammunition against us, never call us to account for it, and never condemn us for it. He will treat it as though it never took place.”
Psalm 103:12 reminds us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” There are no fixed points for east and west like there are for north and south so our sins continue to travel into non-existence.
Many Christians are held under the spell that their sins can come back to haunt them somehow if they fail God in some way. They believe that God has stored up their sins and will recall them if they ever sin again. No, once your sins are forgiven they are no more. Look at Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
When we repent of our sins Jesus promises that our sins are erased and remembered no more. The reference in Acts 3 is to a slate being wiped clean until nothing can be seen on it. We can live in confidence because God is faithful and truthful. When He says our sins are remembered no more, they are remembered no more. Isaiah 38:17b “For thou has cast all my sins behind thy back.”
Notice how many of Isaiah’s sins were cast behind God’s back; they all were. Out of sight and out of view to be remembered no more is the great news that the Gospel is based upon. God uses this imagery because God is everywhere at all times so there is no such thing as the back of God. In other words, God’s back doesn’t exist and when we confess our sins they no longer exist either. Micah 7:19 gives us another insight into the imagery of God’s dealing with our sins. “You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Once again God is pointing out that our sins are irretrievable and gone forever.
God says when I repent of my sins they become as if they never happened. I then must believe God. I need not live as if I am a condemned man with a sword held to my neck waiting to strike at the least infraction. I need not huddle in fear that, if I mess up, God is going to dig through some Celestial record book to find some long forgotten sin to condemn me. The reason that will never happen is there are no past sins to condemn me because when I confessed them they ceased to be. Instead, I stand forgiven and redeemed before the Father totally reliant upon His grace, His sacrifice, His love and His righteousness for my status as a free man in Christ.
My mother was a devout Christian lady most of her life. She loved God with all her heart and prayed my brother, my sister and myself into the Kingdom of Heaven. And yet most of her life she did not have assurance of salvation. Only towards the end of her life did she come to understand that she was saved by the grace of God and need never worry about her past sins because God had no record of them.