I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12}
We know that God knows everything, everywhere, and at all times. That is omniscience. So what in the world does our Lord mean when He says that He will remember our sins no more? Does God really forget our sins? That’s not possible! If God really could forget something, then He would not know everything, everywhere, and at all times. So God doesn’t actually forget our sins; no, He chooses to leave our sins — all our sins — nailed to the cross. He simply refuses to bring up our past sins, no matter what we do.
Listen, the memory of our past mistakes, shortcomings, and sins can cause us to live in the past rather than learn from the past. I’ve said it here many times: God wants us to treat the past like a school. We are to learn the lessons from the past, but not live there. It is Satan who whispers in our ears: Remember what you did back then? How could you possibly do that again? You probably aren’t even a child of God at all! Our remorseless enemy is relentlessly trying to shift our focus away from our Savior and put in on ourselves.
I’ve had so many people tell me during pastoral counseling, “I just can’t forgive myself.” That is one of Satan’s sharpest darts aimed at the heart of the believer. Do you see just how man-centered that statement is? It’s not about forgiving yourself; it’s about appropriating God’s promised forgiveness that has been secured for us by Jesus through His crucifixion and resurrection.
When we sin and repent of our sin, that is the end of it. When we are in a saving relationship with Jesus, all of our sins are forgiven: past, present, and even those sins we haven’t yet committed! What we need to do is develop a good “forgettery.” If God deliberately refuses to bring up our past, so should we . . . and not allow our past sins to keep us in bondage to our sinful past.
How well is your forgettery working? Are you letting your past sins and failures drag you down into the mud pits of life? Look to the cross! Fix your eyes on Jesus, and you will rise above Satan’s strategy to keep you remembering your sins. Remember, God has chosen to forget them, all of them. This is to be the confession of our lives.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!