•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Part Three
The Ground Upon Which God Forgives Sin. Self must be set aside and God brought in, if we would know His forgiveness. God consulted Himself and glorified His throne. God magnified His own character of righteousness regarding sin by the death of Christ. The blood which Jesus shed is of sufficient value to discharge the debt of every sinner; and God in grace forgives sins upon the ground of what the Lord has done.
The blood of Jesus is available for all; and God's grace is like an exhaustless deposit placed at the bank, so that all, who are poor and needy, may obtain "the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:77In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7)).
God's righteousness has been magnified about the very sins which burden the sinner's conscience, so that He declares "at this time His righteousness; that He might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:2626To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:26)).
The following illustration of debt being forgiven, was used of God to give the subject of the story assurance as to the forgiveness of her sins. May our reader have equally simple faith!
At a village store the old woman, into whose debt her customers ran, would carefully mark upon the back of her store door how much each one owed her. There, in white chalk, as well as upon her memory, was written the name of each purchaser with the exact amount owing beneath it. Name and debt were riveted together in the old woman's mind, and could only be separated by due and full payment of all that was owing.
Among the old woman's customers was one, whose conscience sorely troubled her on account of the debt of her sins, and who dreaded the opening of the books when small and great shall stand before the Great White Throne, and be judged according to their works. Our friend knew that her sins could never be erased from God's book by her own doings, and that unless they were blotted out, she must be everlastingly lost.
"Why do you mourn thus over your sins?" said one to her; "why do you not believe what God says respecting those who really desire forgiveness? Has He not told such that the debt is paid? You never trouble about the chalk marks upon the store door after the money is paid down. Can you not likewise rest in what the blood of Christ has done in paying the debt of sins, and satisfying the demand of divine righteousness?
"I will go to the store and see what she has against your name, and will pay the due; she will then rub out the chalk marks, so that when you next go there, she will tell you that not a mark stands against your name, and you will thankfully believe her. Yet in this work you will have no part, save the satisfaction that flows from believing your debt is paid.
"And thus, dear friend, it is with the terrible debt of your sins over which you mourn, and for which you own you have nothing to pay. Justice is satisfied, for the blood of God's Son has been shed for the sins of His people, and not one sin is left against their names. Jesus has paid the price of them all in His own blood. Indeed, justice has, as it were, by that precious blood, wiped out all the debt of their sins; and we, who believe God, can, and do rejoice in freedom from the debt of sin; and more, it is God's own joy to tell us that our names are no longer connected with our sins, but that our names are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
God graciously owned the illustration from her everyday life, and our friend believed, and henceforth rejoiced in God.
(To be continued)