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FEBRUARY: Our Great Salvation

February 17

GOD FORGIVES SIN

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
John 1:5

God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin. Now the common idea about God, the one that we have instinctively, is that when we admit we have sinned, all that is necessary is that we should come to God, say we are very sorry, and God will forgive us. But according to the Bible that is impossible, and I do not hesitate to use that word. As a preacher of the Christian Gospel, I am compelled to say this, and I say it with reverence: God, because He is God, cannot just forgive sin like that.

If you want me to prove what I am saying, this is how I do it. If God could have forgiven sin just by saying, “I forgive,” He would have done so, and Christ would never have been sent into this world. The work that was given to Him to do, this work, this assignment, this task, was given to the Lord Jesus Christ because, I say again, without it God cannot forgive sin. He must not only justify the ungodly—He must remain just. The way of salvation must be consistent with the character of God. He cannot deny Himself; He cannot change Himself; He is unchangeable. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). He is “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). He is eternally the same, and He is absolutely righteous and holy and just. He cannot remain that and simply forgive sin.

It is wrong to say, “God is love, and because He is love, He will forgive me.” My friend, He cannot, because He is God! The work of Christ was essential because of the character of God, and it was essential because of man being in sin; something had to be done to render man fit for God.

A Thought to Ponder
God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin.

From Saved in Eternity, pp. 99-100.




Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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