Thankfully, God is forgetful just when we need Him to be. When we become His children through the atoning work of Christ, He grants forgiveness for our past transgressions (Mt. 26:28; Luke 24:47Acts 2:38; 3:19; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; et. al.). The greatest news of all is the fullness of the forgiveness. Consider Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” The point is, the sins we committed cannot catch back up to us once God has forgiven them. Another important passage to demonstrate the complete removal of guilt is Hebrews 8:12 which reads “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” This is a tremendous assurance because, once God removes our sin as far as east is from west, He will never again bring it back into our presence. He will never remind us or take forgiven sins into account again. If only His people could put this into practice, we all would be blessed greatly.
1 John 1:7-9 grants further assurance as we learn that Jesus’ blood perpetually cleanses us as we live with an attitude of repentance. Three principles to take away from this truth: 1) The good news of Jesus’ cleansing blood is not without condition. It is only for those who “walk in the light as He is in the light.” The light is none other than Jesus (Jn. 14:6), and His word (Psa. 119:105; Jn. 1:1, 4-9). Thus, we must walk (live) in Him to receive the promise. 2) His blood consistently cleanses our sins if we do so. Many people live as if they fall in and out of salvation all day long. John denies such a position emphatically! We never use this as a license to sin, but we should take comfort in the fact that we may know we have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:13). 3) This knowledge is the key to overcoming temptation. John said in 1 John 2:1 that he wrote the truths of perpetual cleansing “…so that you may not sin.” Later in 1 John 3:1-3, as he spoke of the blessed assurance of being God’s children, he concluded “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
At the end of the day, God’s “forgetfulness” is not designed to promote a cavalier attitude toward sin; it is designed to promote an attitude of gratitude leading to a life of constant repentance. Paul questioned the hard hearts of the judgmental Jews for “…not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” So, with thankful hearts we echo Paul’s statement in Romans 4:7-8, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Have you taken time to thank God for His forgetfulness today? After all, if you are a child of God, you owe your very soul to it.