Seeking ForgivenessQUESTION: I'm seeking forgiveness from God - What do I do?ANSWER:
When seeking forgiveness from God, it is important to know that there is a wonderful promise given in the book of John. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God has provided a signed and sealed guarantee that "whoever" calls upon the name of the LORD, shall be saved (Romans 10:13). The one who calls upon the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and believes in Him is saved, born again, and given the gift of eternal life.
What does being "saved" have to do with forgiveness? God forgives us when we come to Him in the way that He has provided and that is through the LORD Jesus Christ. Seeking forgiveness will bring the seeker to a place of understanding that one cannot "save" themselves or receive forgiveness apart from acceptance of the LORD Jesus Christ.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We cannot work for our forgiveness or be "good" enough to earn it because forgiveness is a gift of grace and grace is receiving something that we do not deserve. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We do not go asking for or seeking forgiveness unless we know we have a need. Therefore, the way we receive forgiveness is to recognize that we have a need to be reconciled to God and then seek after that reconciliation, which was made possible by the LORD Jesus Christ when He took upon Himself the "sin of the world." All sin - no matter the severity - was forgiven at the cross. When Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30) that "sealed" the deal and satisfied the righteousness of God. When we accept Christ's finished work for us, God then looks upon us as forgiven and He removes our sin from us. Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." It doesn't matter what the sin is: sexual sin
, murder, rape. All sins can be forgiven by God!
God's forgiveness is a contract that He makes with every born-again believer through the LORD Jesus Christ. God forgives us for Christ's sake. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). He never brings up our sin again and we are given right standing in Christ. "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30). All of this comes to those who are seeking forgiveness and they find it as they believe on the LORD Jesus Christ. "…Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…" (Acts 16:31).