2 Corinthians 5:21
The goal of a holy God’s forgiveness is not forgiveness. The goal of a holy God’s forgiveness is to qualify the forgiven sinner to have intimate fellowship with Him. It is for this reason that we need to fully understand all that God has included in His provision to bring us into union with Himself.
If our view of God’s forgiveness is merely “a clean slate,” it is woefully inadequate. A clean slate, by itself, does not provide a righteous ground for fellowship with God. Certainly, Bible forgiveness includes a clean slate. How glad we are to embrace the inspired descriptions of the cleansing aspect of God’s forgiveness. “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity” (Psalm 32:1,2); “...wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7); “Create in me a clean heart O God...” (Psalm 51:10); “...though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18); “...You have cast all my sins behind Your back” (Isaiah 38:17); “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist...” (Isaiah 44:22); “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely...” (Hosea 14:4); “...He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19) These passages are only a small sample of the many descriptions of how thoroughly God wipes the slate clean. The prophet Zephaniah foresees the day—wonder of wonders—when we will so fully enter into the cleansing aspect of forgiveness, that we will be free not only from the guilt and penalty of our sin, but even the shame of it. “In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against me...” (Zephaniah 3:11)
Some have made a play on the English pronunciation of the word “justify” to underscore the truth of forgiveness. “Just as if I never sinned!” That is the clean slate!
There is, however, another aspect of forgiveness, and that takes us to God’s goal. God does not leave the forgiven sinner with a clean slate. After He wipes the slate clean, He then lls the slate with the imputed righteousness of God. My record is not a blank page. My record is the perfect righteousness of God Himself. He expunges my sin; He imputes His righteousness! How much more wonderful is the complete revelation of God’s forgiveness. Justi cation is not only, “just as if I never sinned,” it is also “just as if I have always been Jesus!” This is the fullness of the forgiveness that brings us into an intimate union with God. By His precious blood, He washed away the record of sin that would surely condemn me. By His glorious resurrection and Life, He has imputed His sinless record on my account, placing me in Him without condemnation.
Oh! What a record book is His! What holiness divine!
What stooping love has made the way to make that record mine!
My name is in the Book of life; now justifi ed I am;
It’s just as if I never sinned; had always been the Lamb!
Just as if I never sinned, I stand in Him today
Crimson stains indelible have all been washed away!
By His blood and righteousness my heart has been restored;
Just as if I never sinned; had always been the Lord!
Justifi ed means all my sin is blotted out by grace;
All the righteousness of God is written in its place!
I shall ever be amazed at what the Lord has done!
Just as if I never sinned; had always been God’s Son!