Friday, August 6, 2010

Can you forgive yourself?

I have heard pastors say that we must forgive ourselves. However, I have not heard where this concept is found in Scripture.

God forgives us on the basis of Christ's penal substitutionary satisfaction in making atonement. And why do we need forgiven? Because we have violated God's Law, which is to say that we have committed cosmic high treason against the majesty and holiness of the sovereign, eternal, immutable, and supreme Ruler of the universe.

Sin is not a matter to be dealt with lightly, and neither is God's righteousness. God will render just judgment to everyone, and He will by no means clear the guilty. Our sins must have been imputed to Christ and He must have paid the penalty, suffering the curse through His infinite sacrifice on the cross, in order for us to secure an abatement of God's just judgment and punishment.

We are not free to set our own law by which to judge ourselves or to come to terms with our own violations, easing the guilt of our consciences, by means of our own invention. God alone sets the standard, and all sins are ultimately against Him. He alone can make provision for the removal of our guilt through the penal substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.

Do not look to yourself -- anything wrought within you, performed by you, or pronounced at your own tribunal. You may not forgive yourself. Unless Christ has satisfied God's justice pronounced against you -- and you receive and rest in Him alone through faith alone, repudiating every rival plan of pardon and acceptance before God -- you have no hope. Dressed in Christ's righteousness alone, you can be faultless to stand before His throne.

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