Two things about forgiveness! One is asking for forgiveness and confessing that you have offended. The other is granting forgiveness and then choosing not to remember the offense by bringing it back up.
In 1 John 1:5-2:2 we find the disciple John, after living a long and fruitful life, sharing the wisdom of God in terms of love, confession, sin, light, darkness, and of course forgiveness. John was writing in a time where the Gospel was being distorted by various philosophies and his words in these passages addressed those times as well as ours.
The way John approaches this particular section is by saying that “God is light”. That means much more than illumination even though that is certainly true of God. He is stating that God is sinless and there is “no darkness in Him” at all. In other words, God is perfect and sinless. The people of John’s day (and ours too) were trying to dilute the deity of Christ. John would have nothing to do with these false teachers called Gnostics.
Confession means agreeing! When we apologize to someone we should not say “if I did this” or try to excuse it. We should admit it. Confession of sins to God is agreeing with God that you did (or didn’t do) something. You are saying “God you and I both know what I did, thought, didn’t do, etc. and I am sorry. I am choosing not to sin again and I ask for your forgiveness and help to not succumb to this sin again.”
It is at this point, according to 1 John 1:9 that God shows His character—He is faithful, righteous, and He forgives. Going beyond that He also cleanses us from our unrighteousness. Praise Him!!!
And as I stated earlier, He chooses not to remember our sins. We are clothed with His righteousness. The Bible says, that our sins are as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Now that is the Gospel of the Cross.
Things to Ponder:
Is there anything God has forgiven you for…and you (1) have not received His forgiveness or (2) have not forgiven yourself? Pray right now and let His Spirit cleanse you.
People say, I will forgive you but I want forget. Is that really forgiveness?
A person may have hurt you and yes, you have forgiven them. Boundaries are often needed so that you don’t continue to be a victim to their abuse. Turning the other cheek is a euphemism for not getting into a tit for tat insulting exchange with someone. By turning the other cheek you maintain your dignity. It does not mean that you should let someone try to make you the victim.