Q: I know I haven’t lived a perfect life, but how can I know if God has forgiven me? I’ve tried to repent and ask him for forgiveness, but I’d hate to get to the end and discover I was still guilty. — N.M.
A: Sin is real, and so is our guilt before God — and one of the worst things we can do is deny this or pretend it isn’t true. The Bible says,
“There is no difference … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:22-23)
But an even worse thing is to turn our backs on God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation! We can do this by denying it or refusing it, of course — but we also can do it by doubting God’s promise to forgive us when we truly repent and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. But God’s promise to forgive us is clear, and he does not lie. The Bible says,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9)
How do we know God will forgive us? We know it because of Jesus Christ. He was without sin, but when he died on the cross, all our sins were transferred to him, and he became the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. Think of it: We deserved to die for our sins, but he died in our place!
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”(1 John 3:16)
If you have never put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ — or if you are unsure — commit your life to him today. Then thank him for forgiving you and making you part of his family forever.