Just As If You’d Never Sinned
By Rick Warren
“Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16 NLT, second edition).
You don’t have to be hesitant or shy about coming to God for forgiveness. The Bible says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16 NLT, second edition). At the throne of grace, you will not find scolding, punishment, or rejection. When we come to God with our sin, we receive his mercy, and we find his grace.
What’s the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy is forgiveness for all the things you’ve done in the past. Grace is the power to change in the future. You need both. You need mercy for all the things you’ve done wrong in the past (forgiveness). And you need grace, the power to change, in the future. God says that when you come to him with honesty and humility, you will receive his forgiveness.
Let me tell you how not to get God’s forgiveness.
You don’t beg God. He wants to forgive you more than you want to be forgiven. You don’t have to beg.
You don’t bargain or bribe. “God, I’ll never do it again! I’ll live this kind of life. I’ll tithe 20 percent.” You don’t bargain. You don’t bribe. You don’t beg.
You just believe.
What do you believe? You believe God’s promise in Hebrews 4:16.
How do you do it? You just confess. Confession is not saying, “God, I’ll never do it again.” It’s saying, “You’re right, God. It was wrong. I was wrong.”
The Bible says in Romans 5:1, “Since we have been justified (that is, acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God) by faith, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God ... through our Lord Jesus Christ” (AMP).
What does it mean to be justified? It means “just as if you’d never sinned.”
Wouldn’t you like to have a heart that’s washed clean? No matter how deep the stain of your sin, God can take it out.
Talk It Over
- Do you believe that God can forgive your worst sin? Why or why not?
- What needs to change about the way you confess your sin to God?
- If we have been justified through faith, why do you think we have to keep confessing our sin?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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