“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Hebrews. 10:17-18
Heavenly Father, what a heart-pounding, spirit-lifting, and whole-person-encouraging joy it is to begin this day by remembering your forgetfulness. You promise never again to remember our sins and lawless acts against us. You will never again deal with us according to our sins or reward us according to our iniquities. For on the cross, you dealt with Jesus according to our sins and rewarded him according to our iniquities on the cross. Hallelujah, many times over!
But that’s not all, gracious Father. Because the gospel is true, you now deal with us according to Jesus’ righteousness and reward us according to his obedience. What an exchange! What a salvation! What a God! You treat us as though every righteous thing Jesus did, we did. You cannot love us more and you will never love us less. You presently find great delight in us and rejoice over us with singing. The saint in heaven may be more happy than us, but they are not more secure, forgiven or beloved.
This is why we can pray back to you today these amazing words of hope and peace, written by German Christians in the sixteenth century:
Question: How are you right with God?
Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart. (Heidelberg Catechism, Question and Answer 60)
Father, thank you for such a legal, lavish, and lively salvation. Rescue us, in those delusional moments, when we forget your forgetfulness, when we act as though Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins wasn’t enough—when we think there is something more we can do to gain your acceptance and enjoy your favor. We pray in Jesus’ exalted name. Amen.