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Finding forgiveness in Christ



How often do you pray for forgiveness? When was the last time you prayed for forgiveness? Or when was the last time you reflected and repented of the sins in your heart?


As Christians, these questions can certainly catch us by surprise. I know I was surprised when I recently reflected upon these questions during my quiet time. And the truth for me, as it turns out, is: shockingly little. Is it mere forgetfulness? Perhaps. After all, I sometimes cannot even remember the meal I had the previous day, unless I check my expenses app on my handphone. Or could the reason be something more than that?


The importance of coming to God in repentance for the forgiveness of our sins cannot be understated. Without forgiveness, we are guilty of our sins and stand condemned before our holy and righteous God and Judge. This is Christianity 101 and it is one of the basic truths that all Christians are taught in the gospel. It is a recognition of our total depravity and our utmost need for God’s grace and mercy in Christ. But if seeking forgiveness is so basic and important, why do we as Christians sometimes fail to regularly do so?


I believe that this is the work of Satan in our lives. At every turn, Satan seeks to weaken and undermine our faith, and to keep us away from Christ. In 1 Peter 5:8, he is referred to as the adversary and like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. One of his many strategies against us is his lies. These are the lies that feed our pride and ego, telling us, “It’s okay. What you did or said was justified”, or, “Well done on being a good Christian today!”. The lies that make it easy to forget our sins, and maybe even continue in them, as they fester and grow in our lives.


Lest we absolve ourselves of any wrongdoing, the desire to sin comes all too naturally to us as well. It has been in our DNA since the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden. In the Old Testament, we read of how God’s people repeatedly turned away from God to serve other gods and their own desires despite God’s deliverances. And we don’t have to look very far to see how history has repeated itself. So often do we become unfaithful because of our selfish desires, forgetting what God has done in our lives.


It is no wonder the Psalmist beseeches God to search for any sin that might be lurking in the depths of his heart in Psalm 139:23-24:


Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!


But here is the good news! God, in his rich mercy and grace, has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, so that all who believe in Him may find forgiveness in His name (Eph 1:7-10). And so we have every reason to be thankful and rejoice and give praise to God! The Psalmist declares in Psalm 32:1 that “blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”


One of the simplest and yet most assuring verses that I have discovered in the Bible is 1 John 1:9: “If I confess my sins, He is faithful and just to forgive.” This means turning to God in repentance and seeking forgiveness, trusting in the cleansing work of the cross, and being confident that the faithfulness of God means he will never reject our repentance. This also means that seeking forgiveness is an ongoing, repeated process, because sinning is unfortunately an ongoing, repeated occurrence in our lives today. Repenting of our sins and seeking forgiveness for them is essential for our sanctification as it reminds us of who we are as sinners and points us to the gospel of Christ.


As we reflect on the topic of forgiveness today, allow me to share three applications for us to consider:


I believe that this is the work of Satan in our lives. At every turn, Satan seeks to weaken and undermine our faith, and to keep us away from Christ. In 1 Peter 5:8, he is referred to as the adversary and like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. One of his many strategies against us is his lies. These are the lies that feed our pride and ego, telling us, “It’s okay. What you did or said was justified”, or, “Well done on being a good Christian today!”. The lies that make it easy to forget


  1. Resolve to spend some quiet moments each day to humbly reflect on the sins that we remember or do not remember committing.

  2. Pray daily (or even multiple times within the day!) in repentance for the forgiveness of these sins.

  3. To be vulnerable and keep yourself accountable by praying together with someone over your sins.


May we learn to mourn our total depravity but rejoice that we have a Saviour who has given us the confidence to humbly come before him to seek forgiveness because of His saving work on the cross.


- Deacon Tan Jiayi

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