Do the memories of your past sins or of others still haunt you? Do you keep an account of the offenses that have been committed against you, or place conditions for the forgiveness of others? If you do, you are rejecting the “mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NASB)” and are serving the destructive interests of Satan!
Ouch! Bad enough, I’ve been the victim of another’s sin, been reminded of all the sin and failure in my own life, but now you’re telling me that I’m serving the interest of Satan to boot? How so?
True, the omniscience of God knows the past and future just as well as He does the present. There is nothing that we have ever done, are doing, or will ever do that escapes His notice.
Remembering our past sins and mistakes, and the inevitability of our future sins serves a divine purpose. We can choose to learn from them and allow them to keep us from repeating them and/or entering into the sin of pride, arrogance, or of judging others.
At the same time, Scripture teaches that God does not remember our sins (1). The accuser of the brethren is none other than Satan himself (2) and many who unwittingly do his bidding (3).
Other than to recall our own sins for purposes previously stated, bringing up past sin(s) of self or of others that God has forgiven is evil. We have no way of knowing what sins others may have already confessed and have received the forgiveness of God.
Unconditional love, that we are to exhibit to others, does not keep a record of sins (4).
Forgiveness that places an offense on the back burner, only to bring it forward at some time in the future, is not the forgiveness that God requires (5) if we desire to have God forgive us.
Satan, people, and even our own fallen natures in some cases, will not forget or let us forget the sins that God has already forgiven. We have no control over the minds of others, but we can choose to forgive others and ourselves and move on. We can also choose to refuse to listen to talk about the sins of others.
God knew of every sin we would commit before we were even born. Sin, does not mean that our usefulness to God is over. Neither is the plan He has for us.
The Bible is full of great men and women who were greatly used of God, even though they sinned over and over again.
This does not condone sin or imply that there are not consequences for the sin we commit, but loss of salvation is NOT one of them and loss of fellowship need not be one either.
The “Sunday School” versions of the lives of such men as Noah, Moses, Jacob, David and Paul do not always include their sins of murder, swindling, persecution, adultery, and drunkenness. The inclusion of these facts in Scripture is not to malign their reputations, but to point out that these Biblical heroes had their faults and failures as well.
There is no sin (other than the sin of disbelief) that God will not forgive. He does not do so because of something that we can earn by future good behavior or rituals of religion. He does so because the Lord Jesus Christ has already paid in full the entire sin debt of the human race.
Our memory of sin is for the purpose of learning our lessons, not for forging a weighty chain of guilt to drag behind us. Whenever possible, we should make amends for the harm we have done to others, but there comes a time when the past is the past and its time to move on and get on with the plan of God (6).
We must truly forgive others for the things they have done to us, receive the forgiveness of God for things we have done, and forgive ourselves if we are to use our memory for constructive purposes.
(1) Heb.8: 12 (2) Rev. 12: 10 (3) John 8: 44 (4) 1Cor.13: 5 (5) Matt.6: 15 (6) Phill.3: 13
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