The Forgetfullness of God

  • Nov. 12, 2014
  • #8488

God is able to remember our sins no more; however, we are prone to remember the impression caused by our sins.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a beautiful old hymn about the cross of Christ.

 

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

 

Boy, do I love singing about the cross, because it was at Calvary that God not only forgave our sins, but He forgot them, which to me is so fascinating because forgetfulness and poor memories are a part of the human condition, not God’s. And so when God tells us that He will remember our sins no more, I'm puzzled by that. How could God possibly forget – that's our job!

 But He does forget. His forgetting of my sin is a complete removal from His knowledge of every sin you and I have ever committed. But the question remains: why then do we feel so bad about our past transgressions, if he has indeed forgotten them? Well, I think it’s because we confuse sin with the impression that it leaves. Here, let me illustrate. If you have a notepad nearby (or you can try this later), let me show you how this can be done. Write the word "sin" on the top page – press hard. Now tear off that sheet of paper, crumple it up, and throw it across the room and that's how God forgets your sin. He separates it from you as far as the east is from the west.

 Now take your pencil and rub it on the new page at an angle, back and forth, over the place where you wrote. And guess what: The ghost of the word "sin" appears, doesn’t it? That's what our flawed memories do. We go back and forth over the deep impression left by the sins we’ve committed, rehearsing them and rubbing them back into our mind and as a result, we feel just as guilty. It's as if the sin never left. But friend, be encouraged; the impression of sin is not the same thing as the transgression itself. David says in Psalm 25, verse 7, "Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord." And we know for certain that love keeps no record of wrongs. We’re told that in I Corinthians chapter 13. God keeps no record of wrongs. Instead, God's divine prerogative is to forget our sin once it’s confessed and once it is repented of. It means that you can cry out with David, "Oh Lord, it seems I cannot forget my scars. But you have forgotten their cause. So look upon me with loving, kind eyes."

So friend, today it's your choice. Really, it’s yours! Will you continue to work over and labor over forgiven sin – as with a pencil – or will you let the Holy Spirit work His loving kindness? Remember today that your sins are lost in an unreachable sea, so resist Satan when He makes you think of the impression of sin. That’s a page of your life you can crumple up and throw across the room, for sure, because that is what God has done.

© Joni and Friends

 

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