The following excerpt is from a sermon preached to the Grammar School students of Annapolis Christian Academy by ACA faculty member, Rev. Andres Garcia on the promise of God’s forgiveness.
These past few weeks we have been talking about the promises from God. These promises are gifts from God to us that we can stand on and know that they WILL come to pass. Today I would like to talk about another promise from God– The promise of forgiveness! In 1 John 1:9 it says,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Have you ever been mistreated? Has someone been mean to you or made fun of you? Have you ever been told, “Hey dude, your beard is ugly, man?” No? Just me then. Have you ever been lied to? Here’s another question: have you ever been mean to another person before? Have you ever lied to someone before?
You see, when it happens to us, we are quick to cry foul. You shouldn’t make fun of me, be mean to me, or mistreat me! You shouldn’t tell me a lie, you should tell the truth. We can always point to others sinning against us! But what about when we sin?
Let’s change the subject to something else. Have you ever been given something you just don’t need? Here is a story for you. So one Christmas I was given socks. A lot of socks by my parents and I said thank you and was happy because I can use socks. But then my grandparents decided to give me socks for Christmas as well. Well, the problem was they got me adult, big feet socks and I was 8 or 9. So not only did I not need these socks, they were too big for me anyways! I think I gave them to my dad or big brothers or something because I had no use for them.
Here’s my point: the gift of God’s promised forgiveness to us is not something we don’t need, like more socks that don’t even fit. All of us have sinned against God and displeased Him by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We truly need forgiveness, which gets me back to the other question: What about when we sin?
The thing about this promise of forgiveness is that it comes with a requirement. “If we confess our sins…” We have to be humble to know we have sinned! We have to acknowledge our sin and admit our fault. We have to be honest with ourselves, God, and others in order to receive the gift of forgiveness. We have to be humble enough to say we are sorry.
If you have mistreated someone, maybe your parents, or family, teachers or friends, you must confess it to receive forgiveness. If you have ever lied or told a story that wasn’t true, you have to be humble enough to say “Lord I have sinned. Have mercy on me for the sake of your Son Jesus.” If we do this. If we humble ourselves and confess our sins, the promise of God is guaranteed: He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins!!! And then he purifies us from all unrighteousness!!! He will help us to be kind instead of mean, to treat people with respect instead of putting them down, to tell the truth instead of lies, to be honest instead of cheating.
You see this promise requires from us the understanding that we are in need of being saved. And in seeing that we are in need of saving, God gives us the promise of a Savior! Let us take this promise of forgiveness and know that we can hold on to this because God is faithful and just!