In the book of Exodus, Pharaoh's heart became hardened and did not let his slaves free as Moses pleaded with him to do so. After the many plagues, Pharaoh had enough of it and let the slaves go. But the slaves became so comfortable in the abuse, they did not want to go. Finally he made it so hard on them that they made the decision to go. When the people were set free, Moses went to Mt. Sinai and spoke with God. Aaron told the Israelite's that it was a golden calf that set them free, not God. So they all partied, got drunk and performed sexual perversions with each other and did not recognize that is what GOD who set them free. Can you imagine?? God would still forgive them.
1. God forgives - His ultimate expression of love is forgiveness. Forgiveness is defined as releasing someone from their wrongs fully, freely and forever. God forgives us for our iniquities, transgressions and sins. He has love everlasting!!
iniquity - it is a pre-meditated sin. For example: you laid in bed and thought about how you were going to murder someone. You have it planned out. FORGIVEN!
transgressions - willingly to disobey - in the heat of the moment God is convicting you that what you are about to do is wrong but you go ahead and do it anyway. FORGIVEN!
sin - to do wrong. Failing to do something you know is right. FORGIVEN!
The key to BEING forgiven is this: you must REPENT of your sins and return to them no more. Yes, God will forgive you if you have a true, repentant heart. Jesus dying on the cross for our sins is not to be made a mockery of.
2. People of God - Forgive one another. We must forgive each other as God forgave you. We must never think we are self-righteous to where we don't think we did anything wrong and that we are better than someone else. We must see how broken we really are and give the same compassion to others. We must be authentic about confessing our sins because we have been forgiven by our father in Heaven. Forgiving others is a command; God instructs us to forgive. The more we forget what we have been forgiven for, the more self-righteous we become.
The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is a great example of forgiving someone. The son ran away with his fathers inheritance and spent it on prostitutes, gambling and drinking. When the son lost everything and ended up feeding with pigs in mud and slop, he knew what he did was wrong and decided to go home. When he ran to his father to beg for his forgiveness, he displayed a repentant heart, wanting to truly be forgiven and taken back into the family. His father forgave him and they had a celebration for his son who came back home.
God wants you to come as you are: broken, in shambles, filthy and ready to give up. That is when He takes something broken and turns it into something beautiful.