Isaiah 6:7 says “… your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Exodus 34:7, “keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Numbers 14:20 “Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, according to your word.”
Jesus stated numerous times to people he healed that “your sins are forgiven”.
What does it mean to be forgiven, pardoned or atoned for?
Forgiven “to cancel a debt or liability”
Atoned “to become reconciled”
Pardon “to release from penalty of an offense”
I’m just starting to teach my daughter to drive so this means how to understand and obey the laws. She asked me, “So how much over the speed limit is allowed… is it 5 or 10 mph”? This statement is so true when we humans interpret our laws and allow wiggle room. The truth of the law is that it is called a limit. Yet each of us that goes a few miles over the limit, would not consider ourselves to be speeding. God’s standard for His laws are more precise than this.
We are all guilty of sin, and this certainly doesn’t stop because we become Christian. The Law gives us 10 simple laws to follow but then we each ‘interpret’ these laws to determine if we’re guilty. But the standard is higher than we can meet. Jesus even says “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:21-22)
So we are ALL guilty and due for judgement. But Jesus himself paid that price, He took the judgement upon Himself. Our debt has been cancelled, we are released from our due penalties so that we can be reconciled with God.
This means if we are repentant of our sins, and accept His sacrifice as payment for those sins, we are NOT to live in guilt.
As a matter of fact, if we allow ourselves to live in guilt, we are saying that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough to cover that particular sin. We are minimizing the power of His sacrifice. If you accept that His payment was enough, then you too are pardoned, meaning you are no longer guilty of that crime. You are now able to live totally free in Him. Without that total and complete pardon, you can’t be reconciled. But with the blood of Christ, you are fully reconciled with the God in Heaven, your Holy Father.
And as we accept that forgiveness of our debt, we too are called to forgive others of debt they have toward us, regardless of the sin, regardless of them deserving that forgiveness (for we certainly didn’t deserve our forgiveness). As you live free in Him, free of guilt for your sin, also release anyone else who has wronged you. Forgive them of any ill feeling or physical or mental harm they caused you. Allow room to be reconciled on earth as it is in Heaven.