Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Nothing in the vast universe is so joyous to receive than God's forgiveness. King David let himself be lured into horrible sin--adultery and murder. For a year or more he was able to repress the painful guilt and keep it covered up. He bluffed and smiled his way through his royal appointments of state; but when the guilt finally caught up with him when he was alone, his devastation of soul was horrendous.
When God's forgiveness came, he wrote: "Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the man ... who is free from all deceit. ... I was worn out from crying all day long. Day and night You punished me, Lord; my strength was completely drained, as moisture is dried up by the summer heat" (Psalm 32:1-4, Good News Bible).
Forgiveness is great, but there is another dimension involved: the blotting out of sins. It is simultaneous with God's giving (and the church's receiving) the latter rain, which prepares them for the final issues of earth's history: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). When He forgives us He takes the sin away and dumps it in the depths of the ocean where no one can retrieve it--not even Himself. But we can dig it up again like Judas Iscariot did (he had been baptized and ordained and even had worked miracles). We can "crucify Christ again" (Heb. 6:6).
The "blotting out of sins" concerns the sanctuary itself. It's the meaning of Daniel 8:14, "Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." The forgiveness of our sins sets us free; the blotting out of sins sets God free. The accumulated burden of the sins of God's people is guilt He has taken upon Himself in the great controversy with Satan. It's for us a deep work of heart-cleansing that is done on the Day of Atonement.
When sin is totally eradicated from the hearts of His people, the gospel is demonstrated to be at last effective, "the power of God to salvation." Christ's sacrifice is fully rewarded. God is relieved of the burden He has carried all this long while.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 10, 2003.
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