I was in 4th grade when I was baptized. The church I went to was very legalistic so I read the Bible and developed an interest in how to understand it. My problem was – as it is with most kids – living it out. There was an adult male who, technically, had authority over me. He went to the same church until he grew up, then he quit attending. I don’t know what he was taught back then but something got distorted along the way. Quite often he would use Bible verses to make me feel guilty or ashamed of something I did.
There’s one of those talks that really sticks out to me. I had done something I had been told not to do again. He said something like “What does God think when you keep doing ____?”
I replied, “I’ll just ask him for forgiveness.”
He spoke as if he had knowledge of the Bible when he responded, “Do you think God will just keep forgiving you over and over?”
“No.” I answered. I think my answer was more out of fear of him. Because I know that’s the answer he was looking for.
When retelling this to a counselor years later, I told them that deep down I believed that lie I responded to. They showed me the truth of what God’s Word actually says about infinite forgiveness and prayed with me. I haven’t believed that lie since.
Here’s only a few verses that talks about Gods forgiveness versus condemnation:
Nehemiah 9:17 “But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in faithful love, and You did not abandon them.”
Psalm 86:5 “For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, rich in faithful love to all who call on You.” …He’s ready to forgive all who call on him. Ready. To forgive!
Psalm 103:3 “He forgives all your sin; He heals all your diseases.” …All means all. Not a limited number of times.
John 3:18 “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” …I never was condemned, even back then. Likewise…
John 5:24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.”
Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” …No condemnation. None. None means none!
Romans 8:34 “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.” …Whether an authority figure, parent, church leader, age, size – no one can condemn those in Christ.
Hebrews 8:12 “For I [God] will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.” …By remembering it means God won’t hold them against us.
It can’t get more plain than this: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. …No stipulations. No use limits.
Truth takeaway: God forgives. He’s ready to forgive, not reluctant to. There’s no limits to his mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
Freedom takeaway: If you feel God can’t or won’t forgive you because of something you’ve done; or if you feel like you’ve just done too much – He will. He can. As often as you need it.