I usually have my devotional time during breakfast and this is what I opened to:
"On the cross Christ paid the debt for every selfish desire, thought, word, or deed to which you will ever give yourself. You no longer have to be afraid to own up to your selfishness. You do not have to whitewash your thoughts and motives. You do not have to cover your sin by blaming others or by self-atoning logic. You do not have to give yourself to acts of penance (self-atonement) that make you feel better about yourself. You do not have to search for biblical passages that will give ease to your conscience. No, your debt has been fully paid. Your punishment has been borne by Another. There is One who has taken your place and been condemned instead of you. Paul says, "He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross: (Colossians 2:13b-14). As God's child, you have been forgiven for every act of self-focused independence and rebellion. You have been freed from the debt of your every failure to love God above all else and your neighbor as yourself. You no longer need to live in hiding. Forgiving grace welcomes you out of the darkness to lift the burden of refusal, guilt, fear, and shame off of your shoulders. You have been invited to confess and receive the forgiveness that is yours." Paul David Tripp from Heart of the Matter
How freeing are those words!
And Scripture also says He remembers my sin no more!
How powerful is that!
I grew up believing I had to be punished for my sin; at the very least, make atonement by reciting selected prayers and then, and only then, would I be forgiven. I know now that is not true, but how hard it is to walk away from that mindset. I still feel sometimes that unless I carry around the guilt and weight of my sin for awhile, that I am really not truly sorry! I feel that I still have to do penance.
This is why Scripture tells me to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2) I need to constantly "marinate" in the Word to allow for that transformation to take place. The transformation from the place of doing penance to the place of accepting forgiveness.
What a loving God we have to do what He did! I know no other like Him!
He, and He alone, absolves me of all sin. Others may grant me forgiveness, but they don't always forget, and some times future interaction is colored by past deeds, even though purposefully forgiven. But with the Lord, all is forgiven and forgotten and He deals with me from that viewpoint. After all these years of being a Christian, I am still amazed by that!
His forgiveness covers not only my actions, but my inactions, my thoughts, attitudes and carnal nature. His grace covers it all!
What measure of freedom is available to me when I walk in complete awareness of this truth!
When I confess, I need only to receive the forgiveness that is mine because of the cross. I then walk in complete and total freedom knowing my sin is covered by His blood. My awareness and belief of that truth enables me to walk away from the guilt and accusations that will come against me. I walk in total legal standing with the Lord against the enemy of my soul who will continue to throw accusations hoping to bind me in guilt again.
My debt to sin has been paid in full and I am completely and unequivocally forgiven!!