The wonder of complete forgiveness

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005

British scientists recently invented a kind of glass that cleans itself.

Pilkington Active glass is coated with a very thin layer of titanium oxide, which absorbs ultraviolet radiation and reacts with light, a process that breaks down organic dirt.

In addition, when water hits this special coating, the water droplets are attracted to one another and form a sheet that also cleans off dirt; this is called a hydrophilic effect, in other words, the dirt is washed away.

This innovative and environmentally friendly product is only about 15 to 20 percent more expensive than regular window glass, a fact that almost assures wide public demand by all who can see their way clear to afford them.

Windows that stay clean without being washed repeatedly are hard to imagine.

We’re so programmed to continually fight dirt that the thought of anything staying constantly clean seems out of the question. Sometimes this attitude invades every area of our lives.

I once answered the letter of a woman who, in spite of all her efforts to get clean, felt dirty. She explained that during her youth she had committed a sin for which she had never been able to feel forgiven.

At the time of writing her letter, this troubled woman was a grandmother.

Years earlier, she had made a wonderful turnaround in life, repenting of her sins and becoming a believer. Following her choice of faith, she had raised her children to trust God and be faithful in church.

Now she was praying for her grandchildren and doing her best to influence them to do the same.

No one would have guessed that this one who seemed so mature in faith was so miserable. Finally her guilt over this past unnamed but often confessed sin was more than she could bear.

Desperate to feel forgiven, she started thinking about making a public confession of her past moral lapse, hoping this would bring peace; that was when she penned her cry for help, an act that made her problem mine.

What could I tell this guilty one to do?

I concluded there was nothing she could do, and best of all, there was nothing she needed to do!

“Confessed sins are forgiven,” 1 John 1:9.

And, forgiven sins are gone forever.

No cosmic computer contains any record of sins that have been forgiven. Like the dirt that attempts to attach itself to a Pilkington window, it has simply been washed away.

According to the Psalmist, God has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12.

One respected 19th century minister said, “Fly as far as the wings of imagination can bear you and if you journey through space eastward you are farther from the west with every beat of your wings.

“If sin is removed this far, we may be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone.”

The question about guilt then is not how do we feel, but where is our faith.

My responsibility to this worried woman was to help her understand that accepting the fact of full forgiveness would cause feelings of peace to follow.

Recognizing this long ago, Martin Luther wrote:

“Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving.

“My warrant is the word of God; naught else is worth believing.”

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich..

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