God’s Great Capacity to Forgive
I taught you the other week about the parable of the Forgiving Father. This, you may think, is a rehash of
that, but, it is not! This goes much further than that. Although we could spend a full month studying
God’s forgiveness there are facets that I want to explore with you that I believe will help you to walk a
more closer walk with Him.
First, will God forgive us? For the answer we go to I John 1:9
1 John 1:9 (KJV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
The “we” here are the born-again Christians. This is not talking about the people outside the pail. This is
not for them. They have to be saved, first, and you DO NOT get saved by confessing your sins! You get
saved by confessing Jesus, the savior from sin, as LORD and believing in your heart that God raised him
from the dead! (Romans 10:9,10.)
As a Christian we can go to our Daddy and … oh, some of you take offense to me calling God Almighty
“Daddy.” Well who are we? Sons of God it says in Galatians 4:6, Philippians 2:15 as well as Romans and
Corinthians and the term “Abba, Father” in Galatians is a loving tender term just like “Daddy.” We can
go to our Daddy, God, and confess our sins and He WILL forgive us. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
The next question is regarding levels of sins and is there a sin that God will not forgive us for. Nope!
There is only one sin that God will not and cannot forgive a person for and that is being born-again of
the seed of the Devil and I can guarantee that nobody receiving this article is in that state. So, what
about other sins? Are there some sins that are larger than others? No, sin is sin. There are no shades of
sin with God. Let me remind you that the definition of sin is broken fellowship with God. Nothing more
I want to share with you a little about the great Apostle Paul, Saul was his name before he was bornagain.
Acts 7:59-60 (KJV)
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he
had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 8:1 (KJV)
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against
the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions
of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
The great Apostle Paul consented unto Stephen’s death! Stephen’s only crime was being a Christian.
Paul didn’t do this once, but, many times.
Acts 9:1-18 (KJV)
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, wentunto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way,
whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a
light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is
hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
In the orient a person would plow with oxen and have a sharp stick so if the oxen would kick the
man would hold the sharpened stick low to the legs and the ox would kick back into the stick,
hurting himself. The stick is called a “prick.” Saul was hitting out “kicking” against Jesus Christ
and it was hurting Saul.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said
unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led
him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a
vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire
in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that
he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done
to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
This is wonderful. Ananias, just a “certain disciple” arguing with the Lord! I tell you, we have
freedom of will, just like Ananias. This should be a clarion call to all those who are told not to
question leadership. Ananias questioned the Lord and I can tell you he ranks a little higher than
the guy in the pulpit.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name
before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said,
Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent
me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith,
and arose, and was baptized.A murderer, a man that persecuted the Christians, a man that sent Christian men and women to their
deaths in the arena and, yet, look at verse 15 Paul – a chosen vessel unto God and Jesus Christ! Also,
look at verse 17 where Ananias says “brother Saul.” In the orient you don’t call someone brother unless
you mean it and there is only one reason for Ananias to call him “brother Saul” and that is that Saul was
It was NOT too late for Paul. He changed his ways and went from being a murderer to a great man of
God who received the greatest revelation, the revelation of the Mystery of the One Body.
It is never too late to turn to God! Confess your sins and He WILL forgive you. What is it to confess your
sins? Just say “ God, I’m sorry for _____________.” I’ll let you fill in the blank.
How many times will God forgive us. We seem to keep blowing it, messing up, sinnin’, for all you
Southern Baptists. But, will God continue to forgive us? For that answer let’s look at Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)
21 Then came Peter to him, Jesus Christ, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Let’s take this logically. I know this is talking about people i.e. Peter and others. But, let’s work
up the chain. If we are to forgive seventy times seven would Jesus do less? No! And, if Jesus
would not do less what about God? Jesus always did the will of the Father.
The term “seventy times seven” is a figure of speech meaning never-ending. We are to always
forgive our brothers and sisters. By the way, if it is hard to forgive another it is because you have
forgotten what God forgave you for.
Let me say that I John 1:9 does not have a limitation on how many times we can go to Him for
forgiveness. It says He is faithful and just to forgive us. God is always there waiting for His sons
and daughters to return to Him.
No man rises so high that he rises above the loving arms of God and no man sinks so low, but,
that the loving arms of God are underneath him. God is always there for you and for me and He
is always ready to forgive you and welcome you back into His loving embrace.