The natural and right effect of the law is to convict the sinner of his or her sin. Although I am quick to say that no believer is under the law, the law had a very important part to play in drawing us to Jesus. By showing us the horror and consequences of our sins, it revealed the need for a Savior.
So one of the most important things the new believer ought to find in the gift package is forgiveness. Jesus promised that He would wash away all our sins. We longed for forgiveness because we were convicted concerning our sins. He offered complete forgiveness.
Yet, many believers can’t seem to find it in the box. They look right past it in their attempts to make up for what they did. Instead of looking for the full gift, some believers look for methods or systems to try to please God. They think they just have to find the right way to be forgiven.
But forgiveness is part of the gift. It’s free, just like the rest of the gift. Jesus went to the cross, long before you and I had committed any of our sins, to provide that forgiveness for us. He paid the price because we could not.
Perhaps this is the part some people miss. We could not do enough good to make God want to forgive us. He does not overlook sin on the basis of an abundance of good works. Giving our lives in service to God or to others will not earn forgiveness.
The only source of forgiveness is the heart of God and the only motivation God has to forgive us is His love. Our sin is from the realm of evil. It is an affront to God’s holiness. And, more than that, it hurts people. Sin hurts others and it hurts us. Sin is so contrary to the will and the heart of God that you and I could do nothing to make Him forgive us. There isn’t anything good enough.
But He does forgive us. He forgives us because He loves us. When you and I came to Jesus, our sins were separated from us. We were saved out of the realm of sin and darkness. There is no sin on our accounts today. All has been forgiven. All.
How much is all? You may think that certain sin is too great for God to forgive, but it isn’t. You may think that sin today, after you have become a believer, can’t be forgiven—but it is. You may think that you would never be able to forgive a sin like yours, but you are not God. Only God can forgive your sin . . . and He has done it.
Forgiveness—full and free. That’s part of the gift!