I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently on the subject of forgiveness. After chatting it out for about 20 minutes, I realized that what she understood about forgiveness was short and then somewhat inaccurate according to what the Bible teaches us. Her idea of forgiveness is similar to what I have been taught as a child which is, when we sin, we should go to God and ask for His forgiveness, then make sure we beg for His mercy. You see the concept is this, though we ask for forgiveness and we may get it or not, seemingly so God still has to punish us. What then is the purpose of forgiveness if we still expect punishment from God? We know the stories in the old testament of how the priest offered the sin offering to God on behalf of the people and if it was accepted then they could expect a great year, if rejected, a bad year was in store. So the concept here is that once forgiven, we can expect good and once not forgiven then we can expect bad. When we kneel before God in humble request of His forgiveness, what makes us know that we are forgiven? Isn’t it getting up with the full assurance that we can expect good and not bad? There is no voice out of heaven that says “you’re forgiven,” so where do we get the assurance that our request for forgiveness has been granted? The truth is my friend, there is no real assurance where this methodology is concerned. It’s suggesting to me that every time I need forgiveness, I need to also seek full assurance and that would make me feel better and not expect bad. Jesus said in John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Friends, here is the truth, you are FORGIVEN FOREVER! There is no step by step forgiveness, God has completely taken your sins and placed it on the body of Christ and punish your sins in the body of His Son. You are forgiven and until you know this, you will be trapped in the ideology that you will have to seek God for forgiveness that has already been freely given. You will love little because you do not know how big His love is for you. You will feel condemned because you will always think something bad will happen when you fall. You will think that you have to rush to a place of repentance to try and stop the hand of God from smiting you. You will try and cry and try and feel just to know you have been forgiven. This my friends, is the result of not knowing how forgiven you are. This is what the TRUTH will set us free from and that TRUTH is that you are FORGIVEN FOREVER! If the blood of goats and bullock can offer the people assurance that they have been forgiven, how much more can the blood of Christ fully assure us that we are forgiven and we can expect good things from our Heavenly Father!