By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
The Lie: God will not forgive me for falling into temptation.
The Truth: God promises to forgive me when I confess my mistakes (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:9).
The false belief God will not forgive me for past mistakes and failures is a devastating lie from the enemy designed to separate us from the freedom God offers through His forgiveness. This falsehood chains us to guilt, shame, and self-condemnation, and can lead to hopelessness.
During our time in prison ministry, we heard men say, “How can God forgive me? What I did was so bad.”
I explained how God promises forgiveness when we confess our sins and repent, as it is written in 1 John 1:9. Though there were still consequences from our penal system, God did not keep a rap sheet on the men once they confessed and repented. We prayed for freedom from captivity that held them in emotional bondage, regrets, and accepting the lie God will not forgive me. They confessed their sins and exclaimed they felt a heavy burden lift off their bodies. I believe God removed their sins.
I had shared the message of God’s forgiveness and promises in Romans 8:1 and 1 John 1:9 on multiple occasions at the prison. While spending time alone with the Lord at home, I sensed Him nudge me and say, “What about you, Gena? When are you going to accept and experience the truth you’ve been teaching the men? Why are you still holding onto mistakes I have already forgiven?” I realized I had accepted false guilt over my mistakes and still held on to them. That is to say, I had embraced the lie God will not forgive me for falling into temptation. I needed to accept the Lord’s forgiveness, let myself off the hook, and release myself to Him.
As believers, we have access to the life-changing power of God’s Word, which refutes the lie what we did was unforgivable and reveals the truth of His infinite grace and mercy. Let’s explore four Bible verses that dismantle the lie we God will not forgive me and consequently offer hope through God’s promise of forgiveness.How to Reject the Lie God Will Not Forgive Me #healing #forgiveness Click To Tweet
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
This powerful verse declares that in Christ, there is no condemnation for us once we confess our sins and repent. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin so we will confess it and receive God’s promised forgiveness and freedom. The enemy condemns us so we will hold on to guilt and not seek God’s forgiveness. Condemnation is from the enemy, not from the Lord.
When we believe the lie God will not forgive me for falling into temptation, in essence, we are denying the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross. Romans 8:1 reminds us Jesus set us free from condemnation. Our sins, no matter how serious or numerous, are forgiven through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. We should choose to accept what the Lord did for us.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God’s promises forgiveness when we come before Him and confess our sins. This uplifting verse reassures us when we repent and sincerely seek His forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us and wash us clean. We are not identified by our past mistakes. They are carried away by God’s mercy. We can trust in His forgiveness and receive the cleansing and restoration He offers.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
In this verse, we find a magnificent image of the depth of God’s forgiveness. The distance between east and west is immeasurable, representing the complete removal of our wrongdoings. When we struggle to forgive ourselves, we can take comfort in knowing God has taken away our sins. He does not hold them against us or use them to measure our worth. Rather, He extends His grace and mercy and invites us into the freedom of His forgiveness.
“He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
This verse highlights God’s compassion and willingness to remove our sins. Not only does He forgive, but He also chooses to forget our wrongdoings, symbolized by throwing them into the deep sea. Just as the sea swallows up and hides what is thrown into it, God’s forgiveness removes our sins from His sight. We can find solace in knowing our past mistakes are drowned in the sea of God’s abiding love and compassion.
The lie we can never forgive ourselves is a deceitful trap that keeps us in bondage to guilt and shame. The truth of God’s Word destroys this lie, revealing the depth of His forgiveness and grace. Through verses such as Romans 8:1, 1 John 1:9, Psalm 103:12, and Micah 7:19, we are told there is no condemnation for those in Christ. Confession leads to His faithful forgiveness and purging of our sins. The Lord removes our transgressions as far as east is from west, and our sins are cast into the deep ocean.
As believers, we are called to accept God’s forgiveness and extend it to ourselves. We must relinquish the burden of unforgiveness and walk in the freedom that comes from His unlimited grace. God’s forgiveness is not restrained by our perception of self-forgiveness. He is greater than our feelings of shame and disgrace. God’s forgiveness heals and restores us. Allow His truth to permeate your heart and set you free to live in the richness of His love and forgiveness.
In light of accepting God’s forgiveness when we repent and releasing condemnation, let’s reflect on the acrostic for “ACCEPT”:
Admit your mistakes and shortcomings to God.
Confess your sins and ask His forgiveness with a repentant heart. Agree to change your behavior.
Cling to the promises of God’s Word, focusing on those related to forgiveness and His endless love.
Embrace the truth God has forgiven you, irrespective of your past.
Place your mistakes in God’s hands, knowing His forgiveness is more than sufficient.
Trust in God’s mercy and choose to believe His Word over the enemy’s lie God will not forgive you.
In conclusion, as you reflect on each letter of “ACCEPT,” may it serve as a reminder to believe in God’s forgiveness and reject the lie God will not forgive me for falling into temptation. Accept His grace, release the burden of guilt, and walk in the assurance of His unconditional love. You are forgiven, loved, and worthy of His forgiveness.
Now it is your turn. Have you ever felt your sins were too great for God to forgive, or questioned, “How can God forgive me?” Which Bible verses speak the truth to you about His forgiveness?