“As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12).
Here King David records a truly remarkable promise of God. Once we are His children we are forever covered in the security of His forgiveness and mercy.
As humans it is hard for us to fathom such a complete separation from sin. But according to God’s Word, once our sins are confessed before the Lord, they are literally forgotten. If our confession and devotion to Jesus is genuine, then eternity with Him is assured and no act or person can ever take us from His presence. Jesus said,
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (Jn 10:27-28).
As followers of Christ, we can find great comfort in our Savior’s words. But we must be mindful of the fact that forgiveness, mercy, and salvation are terms dealing with eternity. In other words, our sins and transgressions have been made clean by the blood of Jesus and we now are saved from the condemnation of hell. As Paul wrote:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).
But does freedom from condemnation also provide the believer freedom from consequence? Does faith in Christ render one invincible and oblivious to the effect of sin? Does godly conduct really matter once we are under grace? Paul asked and answered the same sort of question,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (Rom 6:1-2).
Clearly the Christian is not excused by grace to go on with his/her previous state of living. Instead we are called to no longer live for ourselves but rather conduct our lives with honor, compelled by the love of the One who saved us (2 Cor 5:14-15). In this state of love and honor we are connected to Christ in a manner that yields conviction and sorrow when we sin; provoking repentance and restoration rather than prolonged, deliberate disobedience. Paul wrote,
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (2 Cor 7:10, NKJV).