Just as if You’d Never Sinned
By Rick Warren
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).
At the throne of grace, you don’t find scolding, punishment, or rejection. When you come to God with your sin, you receive his mercy and grace.
What’s the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy is forgiveness for all the wrongs you’ve done in the past. Grace is the power to change in the future. You need both.
God says that when you come to him with honesty and humility, you will receive his forgiveness. But let me share how not to approach God for forgiveness.
Don’t beg God. He wants to forgive you more than you want to be forgiven.
Don’t bargain or bribe. Don’t promise: “God, I’ll never do it again! I’ll live this kind of life. I’ll tithe 20 percent.”
Don’t beg. Don’t bargain. Just believe.
What do you need to believe? Believe God’s promise in Hebrews 4:16 that, when you come to God, you’ll find mercy and grace.
How should you approach God for forgiveness? Just confess. Confession is not saying, “God, I’ll never do it again.” It’s saying, “You’re right, God. 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 I’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 remove the stain and renew your heart just as if you’d never sinned.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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