The Forgiveness of God

Bible Book: Psalms  38 : 1-4
Subject: Forgiveness; Sin, The Removal of

God's forgiveness for us came with a great price. Jesus, God's Son, suffered for us so we who call upon Him for mercy can be saved. The Lord's Supper reminds us of the great price that has been paid for us. It also reminds of how blessed we are to be saved and forgiven.

"A young college student was on a Canadian hunting trip when he became separated from two friends in a raging snowstorm. Through he found refuge in a lonely cabin; he died before help could arrive. When the Royal Mounted Police found his body, they discovered a note saying: Dear Mother, I am hungry and cold. I'm afraid I'm going to die. The only question I can't answer is this: 'Will God forgive me?' Although he was raised in a Christian home, he had become an agnostic in college. He died wondering if God would forgive him for the path he had taken." (RBC Ministries: The Forgiveness Of God)

A person was asked to give a definition of a person feeling no guilt. They wrote: "I don't know, but I wish I could steal a little of their ways... I feel so guilty I make myself sick sometimes. I ALWAYS feel guilty when I do something wrong, unless it is to my brother, but that is different."



Psalms 51:5; Job 15:14, 25:4

We all have been born into this world with a sin nature.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalms 51:5)

Sin is not a practice we have to learn. Sin comes from within, the very nature of man. (Mark 7:21-23)


Sin is never what it appears to be. Sin promises pleasure, excitement, fortune, fame or fun. Sin never shows the results of its' intentions. The young person who tries alcohol for the first time never sees himself as a drunkard living on the streets. A young person who tries drugs never thinks he or she will be hooked for life. The thief never believes he will be caught and have to spend time behind bars. The adulterer never realizes the destruction he will cause to his marriage and children. David never believed that day he looked out from the top of his palace the mess he would make of his life. Sin betrayed David and everyone who caves into its temptation.  


1. Consequence of sin.

God knows the destructiveness of sin. He knew the pain and hurt sin would bring to mankind. Guilt is one of the great consequences of sin. Many people are living a life of guilt. They committed some grievous sin that haunts them. Their lives are robbed of joy and happiness. Some who are laden with guilt experience depression, anger and feelings of failure. Guilt may cause others to suffer physical sickness. Unresolved guilt can cause people to suffer spiritually. It affects their fellowship with God leaving them feeling rejected. Relationships are destroyed because of sin. Human history is littered with lives destroyed by sin.

David knew what it was like to be burdened with sin.

A Psalm of David that we should bring to remembrance is "O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger and; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long." (Psalms 38:1-6)

2. Conviction of sin.

The person who feels no guilt for his sin has a dead conscience. If a person's heart is so hard it cannot be touched by God's love, he is in an awful condition. 

Illustration: A flippant youth asked a preacher, “You say that unsaved people carry a weight of sin. I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Is it ten pounds? Eighty pounds?” The preacher replied by asking the youth, “If you laid a 400-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?” The youth replied, “It would feel nothing because it is dead.” The preacher concluded, “That spirit, too, is indeed dead which feels no load of sin or is indifferent to its burden and flippant about its presence.” The youth was silenced.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin which brings us to confession and repentance. God wants to forgive us. He wants to reconcile us to Himself. (Rom. 5:9-10; 2 Cor. 5:19)

"He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." (Proverbs 28:9)

Unconfessed sin defeats the Christian. The believer will have no testimony for the Lord and no joy in his heart.

"The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise." (Proverbs 15:31)

"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." (Proverbs 29:1)

Conviction of sin softens the heart and humbles the soul of man. There is hope for such a man who responds to conviction.

"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalms 34:18)



1. Cross of Christ.

The entire human race is guilty of sin before God. The justice of God requires death for the sinner.  (Rom. 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20) Every person stands condemned before a holy God. We have nothing of our own to offer God to satisfy His righteous demands. 

How can a sinner be forgiven of his transgression and be accepted by God? The answer is the cross. Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree. (1 Pet. 2:24) Jesus, the righteous One, died for the unrighteous. This is the greatest demonstration of grace. He did not have to die for you or me, but He did.

The basis for our forgiveness rests upon Christ's finished work on Calvary.

2. Cry for mercy.

Forgiveness is only given to those who cry out to God for mercy. Forgiveness is available to all who acknowledge their sin and their need of the Savior.

Cry of the publican: "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13)

Cry of Ezra: "And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens." (Ezra 9:6)

Invitation of Jesus: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

There is no mercy in hell: "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (Luke 16:24)


1. Burdens lifted.

The word "forgiven" means "to bear, carry off, or take away a burden." Jesus bore our sins away and lifted the burden of our guilt. Bill Gaither wrote the following words which describe what happens when we are forgiven by the Lord:  

Shackled by a heavy burden

Neath a load of guilt and shame

Then the hand of Jesus touched me

And now I am no longer the same

2. Clean heart.

Solomon wrote: "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" (Pr. 20:9)

A sinner cannot clean his own heart. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away his sin. (Rev. 1:5)

David cried out to the Lord to cleanse him of his sin.

"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalms 51:2, 7, 10)  Horatio Spafford describes this well in the following words:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,

praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

3. Restored joy. Ps. 51:1, 12 

"Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." (Romans 4:7)

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,

And the burden of my heart rolled away,

It was there by faith I received my sight,

And now I am happy all the day!

(Isaac Watts)


Are you burdened with your sins? Have you been forgiven? Receive the grace of God and His forgiveness today. Ask the Lord to have mercy on you. He is waiting for you to call upon Him.