I cannot forgive myself. Am I forgivable?
Help, Comfort and Healing for Everyone Who Says:
“I Can’t Forgive Myself”
Relief for a Guilty Conscience
Suppose you were enduring appalling hardship and danger, struggling to attempt something that is generally believed to be humanly impossible. The thought that thousands have tried and every one of them has failed would be so oppressive and discouraging that you would want to keep pushing that fact out of your mind. After you make it, however, this same fact that no one before you had ever done it would become an exciting truth that you savor and will boast about for the rest of your life.
Likewise, human depravity is an unbearable truth until viewed from the perspective of Christ’s victory and the purity that is now ours. If, instead of running from it and trying to live in denial, you start savoring this truth, you will discover that what had seemed to be the ugliest of truths is actually strewn with the richest of treasures.
Until you experience it for yourself, you will never understand how wondrously liberating it is for me to despise any foolish excuse I might find for thinking myself morally passable. I pooh-pooh the fact that I’m a virgin, have never uttered common swear words, have never tasted alcohol or taken illicit drugs or tobacco or even had a speeding ticket. Instead, I glory in the truth that I am as guilty and as worthy of hell as any rapist-murderer and yet, through Christ, more innocent than any baby.
Though initially horrifying, knowing that I’m as evil as Stalin or Hitler or anyone you could name has ended up becoming a cherished truth for me. You will find my joy in this truth so incomprehensible that you will never believe it until you make the discovery yourself. All I can do is try to coax you to explore the truth that seems so awful that no one wants to even think about it.
Christianity is not for escapists. God honors those with the courage to face truth head on. In Jesus’ famous words: the truth will set you free.
Face your fears and they will vaporize. Run from them and they will terrorize you.
In the previous webpage (which you must read first to get full value from what follows) we commenced this scary but exciting journey. Let’s continue.
When a Pharisee Discovers He’s No Better Than a Tax Collector
What makes the apostle Paul, the former Pharisee, so spiritually different from the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable is that Paul finally reached the point where he wanted to be found on Judgment Day having no moral achievements that he could claim as his own. Jettisoning every act of devotion others might boast about, he staked his eternal destiny solely on the right-standing with God that Jesus offers everyone who trusts him for it.
Had he chosen to, Paul could have pointed to decade after decade of sacrificial devotion, prayers, fasts, financial giving, Scripture memorization, prestigious scholastic achievements in biblical studies, and meticulous attention to obeying God’s every command. Instead, he counted it all as – well the Greek word he chose means offal (stinking, stomach-turning animal waste)!
Trashing as pathetically inadequate and unacceptable his every effort to please God, he staked everything on the conviction that nothing but the purity that comes through sheer faith in Jesus could render him acceptable to the Holy Judge. He insisted on putting all his eggs in the one basket. That’s what saving faith is all about.
This is too staggering and too significant not to quote the passage in full:
Philippians 3:4-9 . . . If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Emphasis mine).
People who think themselves good, are in grave spiritual danger. They want to hold on to all their acts of kindness and good deeds, proudly displaying to God “moral achievements” that impress them but in the eyes of the Holy Lord are imperfect and hence as repulsive to the Perfect One as bodily filth (Isaiah 64:6). A groundless, divinely-offensive pride – a preference for their attempts to do good over God’s free gift of righteousness – is why Jesus told the chief priests and the elders, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31).
We have just two options: present God with the perfection of Jesus’ purity, or present him with our defiled attempts. Guess which option impresses God!
Saint Paul dies and the first thing he sees is an angel who says, “Welcome, I’m Uriel. Like everyone, you must face the Judge to be sentenced to hell or ushered into heaven. I’ve been appointed to build your case for the defense. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how vital it is that we get this right. We don’t have long, so let’s get right into it. Could I have your name, please?”
“Saul of Tarsus, but everyone calls me Paul.”
“Wow! You’re the great apostle Paul? What an honor to meet you, Sir! Could I have your autograph when we’ve finished? Anyhow, we’d better get on with this. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your moral achievements?”
“Ha! Ha! Sorry, Paul. It must be your accent. For a moment there I thought you said minus ten!”
“That’s right. Minus ten.”
“Oh, dear! We’ll have to work out how to present this in the best possible light.”
“Forget it. I don’t want the life I’ve lived taken into consideration.”
“My sole defense is that Jesus died for me.”
“But Paul! We have only one shot at this! We need the best possible defense.”
“Jesus died for me. That’s it! I have nothing else to offer.”
“Well – er – um let’s try another tack. There are so many common sins that almost everyone has committed but you haven’t. Let’s . . .”
“Forget it. Alongside the perfection of Jesus my best efforts are garbage. Nothing in my life will impress the Almighty except that Jesus died for me and has handed me his righteousness.”
“But what about all the imprisonments, deprivations and torture you’ve suffered for Jesus’ sake?”
“Suffering for Jesus was an undeserved honor. Yes, I believe the Lord is so gracious that I’ll be eternally compensated for anything I’ve suffered but as far as escaping hell is concerned, the only suffering that counts is what Jesus suffered for me.”
“Paul, I hate to bring this up but we’ll need an exceptionally strong case. After all, you realize, don’t you, that you’ll have to plead guilty to torturing Christians, trying to get them to blaspheme. That’s a horrific offense, and with all your learning we can hardly plead ignorance . . .”
“Yes, I am guilty. I deserve hell a million times over, but Jesus died for me.”
“So that’s it? You’re staring at eternity in hell and that’s your only defense?”
“Congratulations, Paul! I knew you’d pass! It’s going to be great having you in heaven! Would you be willing to give me your autograph?”
Just as we cannot find salvation by dividing our faith between Jesus and false gods, so we dare not divide our faith between Jesus and our own attempts to please God. It would be a recipe for spiritual disaster to try to hedge your bets by placing some of your faith in the unique power of Jesus’ sacrifice to make you acceptable to the Holy Lord and some of your faith in your own efforts. It’s those who have abandoned faith in their own efforts to be holy who are destined for spiritual greatness and divine perfection, provided they go all the way by putting all their faith in the life-transforming power of what the Innocent One achieved by letting himself be tortured to death.
Does anyone think that to soar heavenward you must help a jumbo jet by pushing it? That is as nonsensical as people who think they have to help God in their quest to get to heaven. Just as you cannot hedge your bets by putting one foot in a jet and the other on the tarmac, so you must decide whether to put your faith in Jesus’ ability to make you right with God or whether to keep struggling.
There is no divine disapproval left because Jesus bore it all. The only thing we must decide is whether to let Jesus’ suffering count as our suffering, or whether we’ll waste his sacrifice and continue to act as if we must bear the blame and shame ourselves.
Do you believe Jesus took upon himself the full consequences and punishment for your every sin? Your eternity hinges on your answer to that question. And if you believe it, spend a few minutes asking God to examine your heart and show you whether the way you think and act is consistent with that belief.
I don’t want to insult your love by saying you do not want to forgive me. I don’t want to insult your power by saying you cannot forgive me.
My sins are enormous, but that’s not the issue. I sometimes feel unforgivable, but that’s not the issue. You are the Almighty God of infinite love and infinite power. You are the God who so loved the world that you gave your precious Son so that whoever believes in him will not die but have everlasting life (John 3:16). You are the God who has the power to forgive me and who wants to forgive me.
From this moment on, I give up all attempts to be my own god and I make you God of my life. If my puny mind disagrees with you, I’ll believe you, not my puny mind. If you say whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life, I’ll believe that, not what my mind might say.
If the way I think and act does not line up with the way that you see me, I ask that you clearly show me and keep reminding me until I do all that I should to cooperate with you in becoming the person you desire me to be, rejoicing in your forgiveness.
In the piercing eyes of the fearsomely holy Lord, even virgins who have never so much as touched anyone are so far from God’s standard of absolute perfection that they – like every human not connected to Christ – are defiled. Yet this same God of unapproachable moral standards pronounces you flawless, if you trust Jesus for your forgiveness.
“Innocent!” declares the Judge of all humanity, “Morally perfect from the day you were conceived right up to this minute and for all eternity, if you remain spiritually one with Jesus.”
With the omnipotent God in one’s life, anyone’s potential is limitless. God is excited about you right now because he sees that astounding potential. All you need do is yield to him, letting him forgive you, cleanse you and join himself to you so that your destiny and his destiny, your ability and his ability, merge. Instantly you are treated as being as holy as he is, and even though it is only partially manifested in this life, you are destined for an eternity of sinless perfection.
We have been morally bankrupt but whenever anyone becomes a true Christian, that person’s assets merge with God’s assets. It would be ridiculous to suppose that the merger of our moral debts with God’s moral riches could end in impoverishment. Our moral bankruptcy is utterly swallowed up by God’s riches, even more than a two dollar debt vanishes in a trillion dollar bank account. To think it could be any other way is an insult to the Almighty Lord who longs to merge his assets with yours.
There is only one critical issue: whether we trust Christ to gain our forgiveness and to make us one with God.
Set yourself free
For most of my life, scriptures like this have filled me with such dread of the dangerous trap of pride that I felt driven to avoid it at all costs. Tragically, this commendable attitude got me nowhere. My godly intentions were sabotaged by such a mistaken understanding of pride that all I managed was to fall into false humility. I wrongly thought I could foster humility by thinking negatively about myself. To my horror, I eventually discovered that false humility is itself a form of pride.
I correctly understood that if I thought I could achieve anything of lasting value without God’s help, or if I thought I were moral enough to gain God’s approval outside of Christ’s forgiveness, then humbling myself involved lowering my opinion of myself. My mistake was in wrongly concluding from this truth that the basic ingredient of humility is having a low opinion of oneself.
Godly humility flows not from thinking lowly of oneself but from seeing things through God’s eyes. Pride is having the audacity to disagree with God. It is saying I know more than the God of the universe; my puny intellect knows better than the Almighty; the God of truth is wrong and I am right.
Since the God of love sees you as lovable, and true humility involves taking God’s assessment of everything as gospel, humility requires you to see yourself as lovable. If God sees you through eyes of love, how dare you see yourself in a different light, as if your perspective is right and your Creator and Savior is wrong? If God forgives you, to refuse to forgive yourself is to have the audacity to imply that you have higher moral standards than the Judge of all the earth; that you are holier than the Holy Lord. Isn’t that the very pinnacle of pride? Please avoid this deadly trap.
Make God your God by agreeing with him. He says you are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Dare you exalt yourself above God by disagreeing with him? Stop wounding yourself by squandering your faith on a lie, thus robbing God of faith that should be invested in him. Refuse the sinful, pride-filled path that deceptively seems humble but is actually implying that you know better than the Almighty. Set yourself free. Embrace God’s truth.
Change Your Life With A Single Prayer
Here’s a prayer I suggest you read to God, if you really mean it.
Help me to keep remembering that the fact that you are God makes you altogether better than anyone I’ve ever met. You hate sin with an intensity and loathing beyond human ability to even imagine and yet, with an equally astounding passion, you long to forgive sinners.
I cannot come to a holy, sin-hating God saying, “I want you to let me keep sinning. Let me have sin’s pleasure but not sin’s punishment.” I cannot say to Jesus, “I want to keep enjoying sin and I want you to suffer all the torment my sins create.”
Since it is not just the “big” sins that can send me to hell, I desperately need you to remove all my sins – not just the sins I hate but the sins I love. Even though sin’s pleasure is but a cardboard cutout of the fulfillment and joy you offer, and it ends up destroying me anyhow, I am so hooked on the inferior that a part of me does not want me to pray this, but I know that I must. There can be no spiritual benefit in me being sorry about some of my sins that killed my Savior if I’m glad about other sins of mine that killed my Savior. I need to deny myself all sinful pleasure forever and I ask you to help me do just that.
Like the tax collector, in Jesus’ parable, I realize I am condemned and without excuse. Overwhelmed by the sickening magnitude of my sin, all I can say is, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
That, taught Jesus, is all the man did. Instantly, he became so holy in your righteous judgment that alongside him it was the fasting, saint-like Pharisee who was the wicked sinner.
Not only does that astound me, it doesn’t seem right. My iniquities are so atrocious that they deserve horrific punishment. But your Word affirms that all of my abominable acts have indeed received the awful punishment they deserve. Humanity’s only Innocent – whose perfection mysteriously outshines even the innocence of a baby – was voluntarily abused, tortured and killed for my every misdeed. I dare not insult you by implying that your one and only Son, who died for the sins of the world, did not suffer enough to convince me that my sins are utterly forgiven. I will no longer render Jesus’ death for me a useless waste by refusing to accept his torturous death as adequate payment for my offenses. I will not dishonor you by refusing to forgive myself, as if I had higher moral standards than the Holy Judge of all the world who declares me innocent.
I see the tax collector doing nothing except be devastated by the gravity of his sins and desperately crying to you for mercy. If he went home justified, then I, too, am made just as if I’d never sinned, if I regret all my sins. If the devout, tithe-paying Pharisee could miss out because he trusted his own goodness, and the despicable, cheating tax collector won God-given holiness by abandoning faith in himself and trusting in your goodness, then divine holiness is mine.
Like the great apostle Paul, my faith is not in my own righteousness but in the righteousness of the Son of God who took my punishment and traded my defilement for his purity. Therefore, Scripture says, I have “become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Your Word says that how I judge others is how you will judge me; how much I forgive others is how much you will forgive me. Since I need you to be merciful to me, I desperately need you to help me be merciful to others.
There are people who have hurt me so immensely that they owe me more than I could ever describe. Nevertheless, Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35) implies that my debt to you is exceedingly greater than what these people owe me. That defies my imagination but it must be true. Their sins have hurt me beyond words but somehow my sins have hurt the innocent Son of God even more. I am acutely aware of the enormity of their sin because I am so sensitive to the pain they have inflicted on me, but I am so insensitive to the pain I have inflicted on you. The people I find hard to forgive deserve an eternity of torment in hell. But so do I.
I bring before you those who have hurt me so horrifically. Show them the enormity of their sin against me and against you. Fill them with deep regret. May they loathe themselves for what they have done. May they never do it again. May they cry out to you for forgiveness and may you transform them into completely different people who are meek, gentle, good, kind, loving and thoughtful, just as I want to be.
Even though I don’t deserve it, bless me beyond my wildest dreams. And bless those who have hurt me just as much as you bless me.
Thank you that your longing to forgive and bless me is far greater and purer than my prayer of blessing for those I despise. Nevertheless, thank you for graciously promising to forgive me because I pray your blessing on these people.
Help me get my thinking right. Your Word declares that you, the holiest of all, dwell in the weakest believer, as you dwelt in the holy of holies in Old Testament times. How, then, could I be anything but the pinnacle of holiness if you, the fearsomely holy Lord, have chosen to dwell in me, thus making me your temple and holy of holies?
I used to wish I could be as pure as a virgin, as innocent as a child, but now I realize that in your unfathomable love and power you give me far more than this – more, in fact, that I can comprehend. Not even virgins or tiny children reach your exacting standards of perfection, yet you offer me the pinnacle of purity that not even they can achieve.
Had I been the most corrupt and defiled person on the planet, you would have made me pure as crystal the moment I sincerely asked for the forgiveness and sinlessness that Jesus died to honor me with. On the other hand, had I arrogantly supposed I have no need of Jesus’ cleansing, I could not avoid an eternity of hell even if I were the nicest, noblest person alive. Without Jesus, the best person is doomed; with Jesus the worse person is fanfared into heaven, if the person has genuine remorse for all offenses and commits his/her life and spiritual destiny into Jesus’ hands.
Since Jesus gives me moral goodness that no human could ever attain, it is pointless for me ever again comparing myself with others. I cannot look down on anyone because, were it not for Christ’s undeserved gift freely offered to us all, I would be as defiled as those I am tempted to despise. Neither can I think myself morally inferior to anyone, because Christ has clothed me in his perfection – and no one could ever surpass Christ’s perfection.
Never again need I try to dredge up the past in an attempt to assign blame, because Jesus bore all blame. I don’t have to judge myself because you, the Judge of heaven and earth, declare me innocent of everything that has ever touched my life – from the biggest to the smallest thing.
I dare not judge anyone, because all of the blessings you shower on me come through Jesus out of your love for me, not because of any moral achievements of mine. With everyone on this planet deserving hell, how can I demand you give others the punishment they deserve without demanding that you be consistent and give me the eternity in hell that I deserve? And yet in my self-righteousness, that is what I have sometimes done. Thank you so much for mercifully delaying my request until I could see the sheer folly of demanding justice when I need your mercy. I repent of ever wanting that. Help me be as merciful to others who deserve hell as you have been to me.
Through Jesus, you have transformed me so that I can hold my head high, not just among saints, but in your very presence. Forgive me for thinking of myself as second class when Christ died to treat me like divine royalty – an exalted son/daughter of the King of kings.
Help me get it into my head that the magnificent, eternal Son of God, through whom and for whom everything in existence was made, bore my shame and blame so that I could have his honor.
Without you, I’m a fire that would wreak havoc and destruction. But I’m not without you. So as a fire I’ll bring warmth and cheer. Without you, I’m as useless as a brush without an artist. But I’m not without you. Together, we’ll create divine beauty that will stun heaven and earth.
Help me stop thinking and acting as if the exalted Lord had never exchanged places with me on the cross. I need your supernatural empowering to grasp the mind-boggling implications and to live in the joyous wonder of it all. May awareness of all that you have done for me – and all that I now am in you – sink deep into my spirit until I am fully healed.
Faith is the Key
Either a single, heartfelt prayer makes you pure, sparkling with God’s glory – the very righteousness of God, says 2 Corinthians 5:21 – or Jesus was a deluded fool to die for you. Which will you commit yourself to believing?
See yourself charging into a burning building to rescue someone you love more than life itself. Shielding her body, you suffer horrific burns to carry her to safety, where you collapse, writhing in agony; life ebbing from you. But it is worth every throb of pain because the love of your life is completely untouched by the fire. All that matters is that she is unharmed.
Then, appalled at your wounds she says, “I don’t deserve such love!” You look on in horror as she runs back into the fire and kills herself; breaking your heart by her death and rendering all your suffering an utter waste.
When we have difficulty accepting God’s forgiveness, we teeter on the brink of treating our heroic Savior like that. Let’s not let Jesus’ agony be wasted!
If you keep beating yourself over your sins, Jesus was beaten for nothing. He suffered horrifically to give you the right of access to all God’s riches. For his sake, we must refuse to throw aside such a costly sacrifice. Through sheer love he considered you worth it. For Jesus’ sake – for the sake of the One who suffered for you – stop whipping yourself!
Christ was tortured to death for the full punishment of your sins. You either put your full faith in this, or Christ’s suffering for you was in vain and you must suffer for your sins, which would mean an eternity in hell. There is no middle ground. So please completely give up any notion of punishing yourself and live in Christ’s unlimited forgiveness. Forgive self.
My heart breaks for you if, like so many of us, beating yourself has become such a deeply ingrained habit that you find it exceedingly hard to stop. But Jesus found it hard on the cross, too. For his sake, put in whatever continued effort it takes to stop whipping yourself.
He was tortured to death to exchange your sin for his sinlessness. He took your guilt and gave you his innocence. Would you dare throw it all away, reducing to a senseless waste his agonizing death for you? Delight him by enjoying your forgiveness. Honor his righteous judgment by refusing to see yourself in any way other than through his loving, forgiving eyes. If God is truth, then refuse to insult him by acting as if your harsh view of yourself is right and as if he has inferior moral standards or is foolishly deluded in declaring you pure and holy.
Most Christians try to exist in the dreary mediocrity of understanding pitifully little about the depravity of their past, nor the gloriousness of their present.
If you have been drawn to this webpage, chances are that you have been blessed with the first half of the equation – special insight into how hideously debauched we would be in God’s sight without Christ’s cleansing. Quite possibly, this insight has been somewhat distorted. You might, for instance, have felt guilty over things that were not your doing, or not realized that despite the gravity of your wrongdoing, you were no more degenerate than other people. Even though it might have been misplaced, however, that feeling of guilt is appropriate for every one of us until we put our faith in the supernatural power of Jesus’ sacrifice to purify us. An awareness of guilt gives a person a significant spiritual advantage, as it did for the tax collector, over all the “good” people. For this revelation to benefit us, however, it must drive us to act like that tax collector by crying out to God for mercy and putting our faith in God’s eagerness to forgive.
It is usual for one’s feelings not to line up with spiritual reality. The Pharisee in Jesus’ parable obviously felt that God’s approving smile was on him, when in reality God was grieved by the arrogance that led the Pharisee to trust in his own attempts at moral perfection rather than in God’s moral perfection. On the other hand, the tax collector, said Jesus, “stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven.” Looking up was the usual posture for prayer in Jesus’ day. It’s as though this man was so sure of God’s hot displeasure that he couldn’t force himself even to look in God’s direction. In actual fact, the Lord was thrilled with him because his desire for sinlessness was genuine.
Likewise, regardless of whether we are hypocrites or sincere, devout or deceived, every one of us has feelings that are often out of step with spiritual reality. A pilot will crash if he trusts his feelings about the angle of the plane, rather than rely on the plane’s instrumentation. Likewise, Christians crash until they stop trusting their feelings and learn instead to rely on the Word of God.
Something stupendous happened when you cried out to God like that tax collector, horrified by your desperate need of forgiveness, and when, like Paul, you staked all your faith on the purifying power of Jesus accepting full punishment for your wrongdoing. Instantly, your status rocketed heavenward, leaving your old moral condition so mind-bogglingly far behind that, along with every other Christian, you actually need divine psychiatric help to grasp the merest fraction of the enormity of what has happened to you (Ephesians 3:19-20; 1 John 3:1-2).
We Christians are like paupers ecstatic because we think we have inherited $10,000, when we’ve actually received $1 billion. The gulf between who you think you are and who you really are is so serious and so beyond normal comprehension that whereas some psychiatric patients have delusions of grandeur – supposing themselves to be ridiculously more important than they really are – you and I suffer the opposite problem. The psychiatric definition of a delusion is a false notion that cannot be altered by reasoning. That’s why I could write a million words and the implications still won’t hit home without supernatural revelation. A major task of the Holy Spirit is to help us grasp the enormity of the wondrous things that have happened to us (John 16:14; 1 Corinthians 2:9-15; 1 John 4:13; Ephesians 3:3-5; John 14:26; 16:13).
What has happened is so far beyond our expectations that even after glimpsing a little of who we now are, we keep reverting to our old self-image. You are so different to what you once were that it will be a long, uphill battle just to turn your thinking around until your thinking is consistently even in the right direction. It is so frustratingly easy to let go of the truth about God’s view of ourselves and slip back into our former depressed thinking. Keep praying for a revelation. Keep trying to claw your faith higher. Keep pushing out the million doubts. Keep flooding your mind with the glorious truth that will set you free. And rest in the certainty that Almighty God has invested everything – even the death of his precious Son – to ensure you make it.
Our current mindset and self-image took our entire life to form and harden. To reverse this and create a new self-image corresponding to how the King of kings sees us is a long and laborious process in which it is perversely easy to slip back into our old dreary mode of thinking. In God’s eyes we change from a debased child of the devil to an exalted child of God in a flash. For us to catch up with this in the way we view ourselves, however, is quite arduous. In fact, we will need to keep working on it for the rest of our lives.
A young man concluded that God wanted him to become a youth pastor and decided not to go to a university but instead stay plugged into his church youth group. The very next day, when he was at work Scriptures came to him, out of nowhere along with memories of past defiant rebellion against God, causing him to feel unforgivable. He was terrified and before too long even began considering suicide. At first he did the very worse thing. Since even thinking about God made him feel condemned, he avoided God. Eventually he came to his senses a little and began fighting the feelings of hopelessness and reaching out to God. However, he wrote to me saying:
I don't believe that’s how God works, my friend. That would be God giving up on you and concluding that you are a spiritual weakling. God believes in you. He believes you have what it takes to be a spiritual giant, which means holding on to faith when everything within you seems to scream the opposite.
So, although it is fitting to close by restating a portion of what we discovered earlier, doing so will not suffice. Many of these pages need to be read and prayed through over and over if the truth is to displace deep seated convictions that might once have been true but are now dangerous lies that have dominated our thinking year after year.
Regardless of whether you think yourself forgivable, the holy Lord sees you as forgivable because Jesus, the Innocent One, willingly took all the blame upon himself for every unholy thing that has ever occurred in your life, from the most horrific, down to the tiniest moral slips. He swapped places with you so that he could suffer for your guilt and you could be honored with his innocence.
All that is needed is to admit to yourself and to God that you need Jesus’ cleansing and to put all the faith you can muster in what Jesus achieved on the cross by taking your full punishment. Then, like a bride decked in an exquisite, literally out-of-this-world gown, you are clothed with the flawless perfection of the Lord Jesus, irrespective of your past.
The Almighty, brimming with both infinite power and infinite love, has not only mind-boggling ability to transform you into someone of priceless beauty, he is driven by a stupendous yearning to do so. He is a sculptor who delights in displaying his skill by taking what the arrogant despise as useless hunks of rock and fashioning them into breathtakingly exquisite works of art. You are his jewel, his treasure, his joy, and the day will come when the entire universe will see and gasp in awe as you manifest the stunning perfection that the Almighty has always seen in you. In Christ, you are unique, irreplaceable, the pinnacle of divine artistry. You make God proud. In you, God’s glory is displayed for all eternity.
Jesus’ Astounding Power to Bring Good Out of Sin
Warning: These Pages Won’t Help Everyone
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Some people terrified about being unforgivable just need Bible-based reassurance or an explanation of a disturbing Scripture. If vast amounts of rational support and biblical exposition are the answer, keep following the links. Many Christians, however, presume this is what they need but it turns out that no amount of biblical proof or sound, theological argument or even spectacular spiritual experience can put their minds to rest. If you have already sought much help but worries keep resurfacing, you most likely need a totally different approach. You should skip these pages (you can return later if you wish) and go straight to Scrupulosity.
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Vital HelpScripture quotations are from the New International Version © Copyright, 1978 by New York International Bible Society
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