"I don't deserve to be forgiven!" We've all felt this way at times when our sins seem particularly grievous, or when we've fallen yet again into some pit of temptation that has too often caused us to stumble. As David cried when he finally realized the nature and extent of his own failure in the matter of Bathsheba, "My sin is ever before me!" (Psalm 51:3).
Can we ever deserve to be forgiven? By Biblical definition, forgiveness flows from the fount of God's grace and mercy. God freely pardons sinners, based upon the price paid by His Son on the cross of Calvary. We cannot buy the gift for which the Lord Jesus Christ paid in full by shedding His precious lifeblood. We cannot earn mercy. We cannot work for grace. And we cannot somehow cleanse ourselves to the degree that our Heavenly Father grants forgiveness based upon that which He sees in us. He rather forgives in light of what He sees on the Lord Jesus, namely, the prints of nails suffered as the Lamb of God paid our accounts in full.
"He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song,
Amazing Grace the whole day long,
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay."
God pardons those who confess, "I do not deserve to be forgiven!" as the basis of affirming through Christ, "Thou Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee!" (Psalm 86:5). Such a mighty, rushing River of grace flows to pools of faith in the hearts of those who sing with the hymnist, "Nothing in my hands I bring, only to Thy cross I cling." Pardon results, then peace, and finally, a purpose formed in our cleansed hearts that sing yet again, with the Psalmist, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever!" (Psalm 89:1). No, we cannot merit mercy. We can only receive it by believing that the Lord Jesus paid a price so high that He might bestow a grace so free. Indeed, salvation in the Lord Jesus gives to us what He deserves because He bore for us what we deserve…
"He hath made Him to be sin of us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
(II Corinthians 5:21)
Weekly Memory Verse
He is the rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are done in judgment, a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.