12 As far as the East is from the West,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
Our Father knows that we are but dust, and forgives our trespasses to the extent they no longer exist. This is so alien to our ways of thinking that it boggles our minds. We hold grudges — God does not hold grudges with his sons and daughters. A new covenant has been established, the covenant of faith in Jesus who bore our sins on the cross on which He was crucified. Each time we sin and confess that sin and repent of it, and return to our walk with the Lord, that sin disappears. It is no longer in sight; it is as far away as the East is from the West. Our God is compassionate; He is love.
22 The LORD’S loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
We can begin again each day, free from the guilt of past sins, for they are forgotten by our Father. They no longer exist in His mind. He sees only the righteousness of Christ as we put Him on and abide in Him each new day.
Each day is new, all sins are past. At least, this is so with God, and it should be so with us. We must forget what lies behind us and continue forward to what lies ahead in our walk with God. Our past sins are forgiven and forgotten by our Father; they should be this way for us also.
If someone reminds you of any sins in your past, it is not God, nor is it of God, for He has forgotten them. His Son made sure of this. We need only believe in our Lord’s sacrifice and walk in our newness of life by the Holy Spirit. If we do sin, we confess, turn away from it, and it goes away too, for we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
This brings us to The Peril of Unbelief. It is one thing to say we believe our sins are forgiven and we now walk in newness of life. It’s quite another to do it.
12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;
15 while it is said,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.”
16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
We are partakers of Christ IF we hold fast the beginning of our assurance until the end. This is accomplished by forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, and pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. This entails taking the Lord at His word and trusting in His integrity to do what He says He will do.
The Israelites in the wilderness grumbled because there was no water, meat, or bread. Even after the Lord provided them with water and bread, they continued finding fault with the Lord. They doubted the Lord God’s integrity and complained that He was leading them to death rather than the promised land.
The writer of Hebrews warns us to take care lest there should be in any of us an evil, unbelieving heart, causing us to fall away from the living God. He tells us to not harden our hearts if we hear His voice, lest we fall as the Israelites did in the wilderness because of their unbelief.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Unbelief is the sin that so easily entangles us. We must look past our tendencies to judge God on human scales, for He is beyond the reasonings of our minds. We are a spectacular species for sure, but we are a species God made from a handful of dust.
Who are we, mere men who came from dust, to answer back to God? On what can we base our complaints? He is the potter, we are the clay. Doesn’t it seem more reasonable to submit to Him and take Him at His word?
The only liars in the room are Satan and his followers. God is love and His Son is the way and the truth and the life. To doubt God is the height of ignorance.
Again, our past sins are forgiven and forgotten by our Father; they should be this way for us also. We must forget what lies behind us and continue forward to what lies ahead in our walk with God.
Should we stumble and fall along the way, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked, 1 John 2:1-6.
And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him, 1 John 2:28-29.
God is faithful; our sins are forgiven and forgotten the moment we confess and turn away from them. Therefore, forget what lies behind and press forward.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
P.S. I purposefully left out those who may have been affected as a consequence of our sins. I left them out because I was trying to convey how we must not allow the devil an opportunity to drag us down or take us off the road planned for us.
I realize our sins may have left casualties behind, but we can do no more than make amends in whatever ways we can. And in doing this, we must not allow the devil an opportunity to convince us we are still under condemnation.
Our Father not only forgives us, He also helps us make right what we have done wrong. He is as much concerned with those we have hurt as He is with us. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
In the name of Jesus
His most unworthy servant
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org