“If I am forgiven without being altered by the forgiveness, forgivesness is a damage to me and
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14
Forgiveness means not merely that I am saved from sin and made right for heaven (no man would accept forgiveness on such a level); forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a recreated relationship, into identification with God in Christ.
The background of God’s forgiveness is holiness. If God were not holy there would be nothing in His forgiveness. There is no such thing as God overlooking sin; therefore if God does forgive there must be a reason that justifies His doing so. If I am forgiven without being altered by the forgiveness, forgivesness is a damage to me and a sign of the unmitigated weakness of God. When a man is convicted of sin he knows God dare not forgive him; if He did it would mean that man has a bigger sense of justice than God. God, in forgiving a man, gives him the heredity of His own Son, i.e. He turns him into the standard of the Forgiver. Forgiveness is a revelation-hope for the hopeless; that is the message of the Gospel.
A man may say, ‘I don’t deny that God will forgive me, but what about the folks I have put wrong? Can God give me a clearing-house for my conscience?’ It is because these things are neglected in the presentation of Redemption that men are kept away from Jesus Christ.
Men are kept away by honesty more than by dishonesty.