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God’s Forgiveness of Us
by Charles R. Swindoll
Psalm 103:1-12
Truth be told, it’s God’s forgiveness of us that makes possible our forgiving others.
When on the cross Jesus Christ paid in full the penalty of our sin, God’s wrath was expressed against Him—the One who took our place. God was therefore satisfied in the epochal sacrifice . . . allowing all who would turn, in faith, to the Son of God to be totally, once-for-all, forgiven. Christ’s blood washed away our sin. And from the moment we believe in Him, we stand forgiven, relieved of guilt, before a satisfied God, thereby freeing Him to shower upon us His grace and love.
Remember the verse from that grand old song the church has sung for years?
My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho’t—
My sin—not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!¹
That says it well but not as beautifully as the song from the oldest of all hymnals—the Psalms:
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. . . .
. . . He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
(Psalm 103:1-5, 10-12)
It’s important to understand that we can never forgive others, horizontally, if not for what Christ has already done for us, vertically. Not until we fully accept and appropriate God’s infinite and complete forgiveness on our behalf can we carry out the tough assignment of forgiving others.
It isn’t long before anyone who gets serious about serving others must come to terms with forgiving others as well.
Yes, must.

1. Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson

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