Focal Passage: 1 John 1:5-2:2
Think about how difficult it is to forgive someone when you have been deeply wounded. How easy it is to store that hurt in your memory and to pull it out again; to allow it to consume your thoughts and taint your perspective. Thankfully, we do not serve a God who holds grudges.
Instead, scripture reveals that we worship a God who is forgiving. He demonstrated a love so great that it covered not only the multitude of our sins, but the sins of the world. Psalm 103:11-12 says, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
As we learn in this week’s lesson, God’s forgiveness brings us into fellowship with Him. We receive forgiveness at the moment of our salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.” Jesus is our peace, reconciling us to God through the cross. This is considered justification or judicial forgiveness. We do not lose the ability to sin at the moment of salvation though. We are still prone to wander. Paul touches on this in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I am already perfect …”
This leads to another type of forgiveness needed in the life of a believer called familial forgiveness. Although we are fully reconciled to God once we place our faith in Christ, we can lose fellowship with Him because of our sin. When I sin against my parents, I do not lose my place as their daughter; it does nothing to change my actual relationship to them. It does change my relationship with them however. It is the same with God our heavenly Father. We must seek restored fellowship with Him by confessing our sins and asking for His forgiveness.
As believers, we have received the promised Holy Spirit, who convicts us in sin (John 16:8) but does not condemn us (Romans 8:1-2). What sins has the Spirit convicted you of this week that you need to confess to bring renewed fellowship with Him?