Romans 5:1-2 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
The mercy of God is amazing. It's easy to look at God's forgiveness through a carnal, human perspective, and reduce it to the way we forgive here in the world.
Man's forgiveness is more like "you're forgiven, but I'll never forget what you've done and I'll always
keep you at arms length, I can never let you back
in to my life, but I can just about decide not to hold a grudge against you."
Personally, this is how I've often thought about God's forgiveness. I'm so glad that God doesn't forgive like that. We would all be in huge trouble if God acted like man.
The word 'justified' means declared not
guilty which is awesome if you think about it.
Another way to remember is: Justified means 'Just-as-if-l'd' never sinned.
That means that, when we come to Christ, repent
of sin and put our faith in the finished work of the
cross, God not only forgives, but He also wipes
away all charges of guilt against us. Every sin we ever committed, every shameful, hurtful, messed up regret and bad memory that we have, every guilty stain on our conscience has all been totally washed away.
In the eyes of God, it never happened. As far as He's concerned, you never lied, you never did screw everything up, you never took those mind-bending drugs, you never smoked, and drank and abused your body, you never slept with so-and-so, you never did fail.
HE NO LONGER ACKNOWLEGES YOUR PAST SIN.
That's so awsome because, not just that, but He accepts you and loves you like it never happened. When we stand before Father God, we are standing before Him as clean as Jesus. That's what it means to have peace with God! And that truth alone empowers us to live a life free from sin, and free from regret.
And now, because we've been SO forgiven, and totally washed clean, with no record against us, we have ACCESS to all that God has provided. Your past is no longer able to keep you from accessing the grace, power, and freedom that God planned for you all along.
It's like returning to the state you were in before sin messed you up. Becoming children: healed and whole, pure, free and joyful! And because we've been forgiven so excessively, we also can forgive, to the degree where we no longer hold anything against anyone AT ALL, EVER. No one owes me anything! That's true freedom!
Father God thank You for clearing my record of sin and regret. It's gone forever. Thank You that I stand before You clean and holy, and that You've given me power and grace to live this way everyday!
Thank You for forgiving me, and because of this, I chose to forgive myself, and everybody else in the world who has ever done me wrong. Thank You that I'm healed. In Jesus' name, amen.