The succinct and simple phrase, uttered from a heart of genuine repentance and contrition, bears such power that throughout history, blood enemies have been transformed into blood brothers when one party or both humbled themselves to express remorse.
Even more, the Divine and human hearts have entered into rich and redemptive relationship when the latter acknowledges to the Former, "I have sinned. And I am sorry."
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah1:18).
When the Holy Spirit reveals to us the suffering and dying Lamb of God, whose wool became "red like crimson," He freely offers the possibility of our scarlet sins becoming "white as snow." We cannot but sorrow when such illumination shines upon the light of Calvary and the darkness of our unbelief and disobedience. Our Christian life begins with such faith and contrition, and continues accordingly. "I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance. For ye were made sorry after a godly manner... for godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of" (II Corinthians 7:9-10). When necessary contrition characterizes our relationship with God, we will find ourselves also willing and able to express the same to people we wrong. I found myself this morning faced with such an opportunity. Last night, my eldest daughter Marie shared something with me important to her. When I awoke today, I realized I had failed to give her my fullest attention during the discussion. I have no doubt that my realization resulted from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and I apologized first to God, and then to Marie. Both forgave me, and Marie and I had another very enjoyable discussion this morning wherein Iwas fully engaged. After we talked, I realized how gracious our Heavenly Father is to reveal to us our wrongs, and then to give opportunity for repentance directed toward both God and people. Such repentance leads to behavioral as well as attitudinal change, resulting in humility, faith, and works of loving obedience wrought by the Spirit of God who dwells within us.
"I'm sorry." Where conflict and division reign, the simple utterance may dethrone the darkness to make way for the Prince of Peace to reveal His blessed rule and authority. Certainly, in the hearts who respond to the Holy Spirit's conviction, the peace of Christ will reign even if the party to whom we express remorse fails to respond in mercy. We cannot lose when we so humble ourselves, and when the "white as snow" forgiveness of God graces our hearts with the sweet blessedness of His freely given pardon in the Lord Jesus.
"There is forgiveness with Thee."(Psalm 130:4)
"And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."(Luke15:21-24)