If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us … and purify us …
1 John 1:9
Why does the forgiveness of sins find special mention in the Apostles’ Creed? Perhaps it’s because most of us have a hard time really believing we are forgiven.
Let me explain. It may well be that you are a respected member of your community. You’re considered a model of moral behavior for others. But there is something from your past you cannot escape. At some point in your life, you messed up big-time. Looking back, it’s the chapter of your personal history that you are most ashamed of.
And the worst part is that, to some extent, your past controls you. You’ve confessed your sin, but you can’t quite believe your guilt is gone. Your sin is a cancer on your soul that has sucked joy and confidence out of your life. Maybe you have even held back from serving your Lord in ways that fit your gifts because you consider yourself unworthy.
If I’m describing you, read again the words of our text. Ask the Lord to move you from a preoccupation with your failure to a focus on his grace.
And consider this: God often uses fellow believers to assure us of forgiveness. If there is a sin you cannot shake, find a trusted Christian friend you can talk to. When that person says to you, “In Christ, you can trust that your sins are forgiven,” be assured that this is true.
Lord, help us to accept our acceptance by you. May a vision of your deep love and unfailing faithfulness lead us into the joy of true forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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