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Forgiven and Forgotten

You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. —Papa in The Shack by William Paul Young

In Old Testament times, the Day of Atonement came once a year. On this day, the high priest required two goats. One goat was sacrificed, its blood spread in the Holy of Holies for the sins of the people.

The high priest placed his hand on the second goat—called the scapegoat— and conferred all the sins of the people upon the animal. As the people of Israel watched, the goat was led into the wilderness, never to be seen again.

These two goats come together in the work of Christ. Jesus entered the heavenly throne room by His blood, cleansing us of our sins. And then He promised to forgive and “remember [our] sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).

Do you see your sins walking off into the wilderness never to be seen again? Some of you have the “yeah, buts” right now.

  • Yeah, but what if I commit that awful sin?
  • Yeah, but if I can’t stop sinning, eventually He’ll stop forgiving me.
  • Yeah, but if there’s no consequence, then what keeps me from increasing my sin?

These questions unintentionally make light of Jesus’ sacrifice. The grace of Jesus’ blood doesn’t lead us into more sin; it gives us an attitude of ever-increasing gratitude.

Yeah, but the Holy Spirit is convicting me of all this sin, Pete. 

No, the Spirit is not. Nowhere in Scripture does it say the Holy Spirit convicts believers of their sin. Instead, Scripture teaches us that the Holy Spirit convicts those who are unaware of their sin about their need for the blood of Jesus (John 16:8).

So if you’re a believer and you’re feeling convicted about your sin, that’s not the Holy Spirit. That’s your guilt or shame talking. You’re accusing yourself of something that has already been forgiven and forgotten. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … (Romans 8:1).

Jesus, I want to stop living under “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” and instead live by “Thank You, thank You.” Amen.

Dive deeper into Hebrews with Pete’s video series Better: A New and Living Way!
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