1 John 1:9
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Many of us were sickened last week when reports were made public that in 2006 Josh Duggar, the oldest son on TLCs hit reality series 19 Kids and Counting had been investigated for molesting young girls when he was 14. Since this story broke last week the backlash against the Duggar family has been severe.
Without question, Josh’s actions were not only inexcusable, but arguably horrific, perverse, and even downright evil. I cannot imagine the lifelong pain and scars that his actions have and will continue to cause those who were violated. When we choose to sin there are consequences for our actions; not only for us, but for those whom we sin against. To anyone reading this who has been the victim of sexual sin, my heart breaks for you.
While much has and can be said on the various aspects of this story, I want to focus on one specific thought that I keep coming back to. That thought relates to God and the forgiveness that we can find only in Him.
While Josh’s previous actions are appalling, they are not unforgiveable. Let’s remember that Josh is not forgiven because he deserves it. He doesn’t. None of us do. He is forgiven because he has chosen to place his trust in Jesus Christ – the One who already paid the price for his sin.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…”
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
As believers in Jesus we place ourselves on a dangerous and slippery slope when we want to decide what sins should be forgiven and which ones shouldn’t. When we try to decide what sins should be pardoned and which ones we should make people who have genuinely repented wear as a badge of shame for the rest of their lives.
When I was in my early twenties I slowly drifted from God. Without even realizing how far from Him I had strayed I found myself empty, hopeless, and wondering if He would ever forgive me for the sins that I had committed. After reaching the end of myself I cried out to Him for forgiveness and I immediately felt a physical weight and spiritual burden lifted from me.
After giving my life fully to the Lord I found numerous verses in Scripture that address the topics of forgiveness of sin. These are two of my most cherished:
1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
If you are struggling with a particular sin today and wondering if God will forgive you, I can assure you that He will. Not only is He able to, but He wants nothing more than to lift that burden from you. It is the reason that Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross (Mark 10:45). Give your sin to God today, whatever it may be and experience the forgiveness and new life that only He can give (2 Corinthians 5:17). May we all remember that none of us are without sin (Romans 3:10, 23) and that by God’s grace alone are any of us, regardless of our sin, forgiven.
Have you experienced the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus? If so, how has that changed your life?