You are a sinner. Your thoughts, your actions, and your words are all tainted with selfishness, pride, and idolatry. You need forgiveness.
By whom do you need to be forgiven? While you may have hurt friends or family along the way, the one person whom everyone has offended is God. Because he is thoroughly good and holy, God will not allow sin and wickedness to go unpunished. He will not simply ignore or forget it.
But how can you be forgiven? No matter how good or charitable you may be, you cannot undo the sins you have committed in the past, and even one sin is too many for a perfect, holy God to overlook. So you cannot earn forgiveness by doing good works.
John announces, however, that your sins are forgiven you for his (Jesus’) name’s sake. Because of the perfectly righteous life that Jesus Christ lived, and because he died on the cross to pay for sin, you can be forgiven through Christ. He took your sins on himself, and he gave you his perfect record!
Your sins have been forgiven, then, through faith in Jesus Christ. And if God has so freely and sacrificially forgiven you, how should you now respond to others? If you have not earned God’s forgiveness, but instead he gave it freely to you, why would you make others’ earn your forgiveness?
This devotional is according to 1 John 2:12.
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