Don’t Get Historical

1 John 1:9 (NASB) 
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Bill commented to Sam, “Oh, how I hate it; every time my wife and I have an argument, she gets historical.”

Sam questioned back, “You mean hysterical, don’t you?”

Bill quickly insisted, “No, I mean historical. Every time we argue she drags up everything from the past and holds it against me!”

Why is it that those who are so assertive that others forgive them so often forget the first part of this verse. God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins if we confess our sins.

Our being forgiven is intricately tied to at least three things:

  1. our forgiving others of their wrongs against us (Matthew 6:14-15),
  2. our confessing our sins to God (1 John 1:9),
  3. Jesus’ atoning work through His death on the cross (Ephesians 4:32).

John R. W. Stott says in The Cross of Christ (page 90), “The crucial question we should ask, therefore, is … not why God finds it difficult to forgive, but how he finds it possible to do so at all.” We all tend to take forgiveness too lightly and for granted.

While we expect others to forgive us the wrongs we have done against them, we must confess our culpability in the wrong. Only God can forgive sins, but we are to forgive wrongs done to us.

John Oglethorpe once commented to John Wesley, “I never forgive.”

Mr. Wesley replied, “Then, Sir, I hope you never sin.”

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