Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Degree of God's Forgiveness

All taken from Psalm 103.

"who forgives ALL your iniquity,
who heals ALL your diseases,
who redeems YOUR LIFE from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who SATISFIES you with good"

The forgiveness we have in Christ is complete. It is not partial. In the Gospel, ALL our sins are forgiven, not just some. ALL our diseases are healed, we are not partially restored. OUR WHOLE LIFE is redeemed from the pit, and God truly satisfies us. He does not do 99% of the work then leave it up to us to earn forgiveness. He does not merely give us the remedy for our diseases in hope that we use it correctly. He does not reach his hand down into the pit in hopes that we grab it. Rather, He did what we could have never done. He accomplished our forgiveness at the Cross. He restores our wounds by His touch. He saw our helpless souls, dead to sin, lying in the pit, and in His infinite mercy reached down and pulled us up. He doesn't give us fake satisfaction as the pleasures of the world do, but He is the bread of life, who can truly satisfy the souls of men. More so, he laid down His life so that we could receive him.

And to what degree is this forgiveness?

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him." --Psalm 103:11-13

"But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him"
Psalm 103:17

David gives 4 examples to measure God's love and forgiveness to His people. As with the first verses we read, none of them are partial. They aren't quantitative. They are infinite, eternal, and unconditional. His steadfast love reaches as high as the heavens. Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west. His compassion is compared to a Father's love for a child. Lastly, his steadfast love is said to be from everlasting to everlasting. So, how far are the heavens above the earth, or far is the east from the west. Immeasurable. Infinite. If our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west, they are NO MORE. In the words of Charles Spurgeon, "If this be the distance of its removal, there is no shade of fear of its ever being brought back again."

The LORDS love to His covenant people is forever. It is complete. It is eternal. He is faithful. My only response is to echo David in saying
"Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits"

Psalm 103:1-2


  1. You might find the following blogs of interest about C.J. Mahaney and the group he leads, Sovereign Grace Ministries:

    They tell another side.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Steve, I've always been a fan of C.J. Mahaney. I'm not really sure what those sites are implying about Sovereign Grace ministries.