Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

The facets of forgiveness…

Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 5 of the Lord’s Prayer Series “Forgive as We Forgive”  (LISTEN HERE).

Forgiveness is a powerful word and concept.

Have you ever thought about what forgiveness really is or means?

We use the phrase often, “God forgives you.” Or “You are forgiven.”  But what does that mean?

Here’s a great verse for today to reflect on what forgiveness really is and means:

Colossians 2:13-14  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 

God “forgave us all our sins.”

First, when God forgives me he cancels my debt.  When I break the law of God or sin, I create a deficit between me and God.  In fact, a translation of this petition is “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”  We can easily underestimate the debt we incur.  We can easily think, “I will repay it.”  In the parable noted on Monday from Matthew 18, the servant had the equivalent of $4.8 billion dollars of debt…yet he thought he could repay that with a minimum wage job.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Yet the master cancelled the debt.

When Jesus declared “It is finished!” from the cross, he declared to the debt of sin, “It is paid in full.”  The reason that God in Christ could and does cancel our debt is because the payment was made.  “The wages of sin is death.”  Jesus paid the debt of sin with his very life.  For this reason when God forgives us, we have no more debt caused by sin to pay.

Second, when God forgives me, he releases my guilt.  Sin creates guilt.  Guilt is an emotion that weighs on our heart until it is released.  One website (secular) defines it this way:

Guilt is an intense emotion and a moral, ethical and self-conscious feeling characterized by serious self-reflection. It occurs when an individual feels that they have acted against their own personal beliefs & principles or socially accepted moral standards. They also believe that they need to experience serious consequences or responsibility for compromising such moral standards with their conduct. A person can feel guilty for a number of reasons, such as certain thoughts, emotions, behaviors, or actions that they consider are morally unacceptable.  (

Guilt unsettles our heart because we know what we did is culpable before God.  Guilt also triggers fear of consequences for that action.

What does God do when he forgives us? He cleanses us from a guilty conscience as he states in Hebrews 10:21-22:

…since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Finally, when God forgives us there is no more consequence for sin.  Yes, the wages of sin is death.  However, in Christ, here’s the reality: (Romans 8:1-2)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death

No more punishment to fear.

You are forgiven.

Your debt is paid.

Your guilt is gone.

Your punishment is removed.

Apply: What sin and guilt is lingering in your heart?  Write it down.  Then take a red pen and write, “God forgives me.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for sending Jesus so you can fully and freely forgive me.  Thank you for paying my debt, removing my guilt and freeing me from the punishment I deserved.  AMEN.

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