Dang, you really believe that God only forgave some of your sins and not all of your sins? Really? Well, what good would that do? And why on earth would you want to know (much less love) a God like that? A god who only forgave some of your sins would be some kind of cruel con-man, promising pardon and making you feel safe and then at the last second, finally bringing the hammer down harder with a maniacal laugh. Dang! Who wants a god like that?
Here’s what’s really going on: you’re willing to believe you’re forgiven for some things and not others because you won’t forgive yourself for some stuff. It’s like you have a line in your mind representing what it means to ‘go too far’ and you’ve crossed that line, so now you’re screwed with God and yourself. Now, whether it’s shame up one side or pride down the other, there’s a huge problem with this thinking and the problem is this: You think some sins are harder for God to swallow than others because they’re harder for you to swallow. What, are you holier than God or something? Here’s the truth: sin is sin. Rebellion against God is rebellion against God. It all cost the Son of God His whole life. We don’t have good sinners and bad sinners here. We have sinners, period. Whether you stole some cigarettes or betrayed your best friend, we’re all sinners. I work with guys in a county jail every week. A few months ago we had a guy in our Bible study who had been busted on a petty theft, while another guy (in the same Bible study) was in jail for murder. Both of these guys have been forgiven by Jesus and they are both clean and righteous in His sight, period.
Okay, so you’ve done some doozies… big deal! We all have! Every single one of us is polluted down in our hearts and we all need something drastic and dramatic to happen for us to be all-the-way forgiven, and DANG! That’s exactly what has happened! Jesus has taken drastic measures! He has dramatically and completely paid for all our wrong! When God says that belief in Jesus makes you forgiven, you are forgiven! All the way! Look, when you jump off a diving board into the pool, you don’t get a little wet… you get soaked, drenched - actually immersed and completely suspended in water. The grace of Jesus is like that. He doesn’t sort-of forgive you. He soaks you in forgiveness, drenches you in mercy and for the rest of eternity, you are completely suspended and surrounded by His grace. And that promise is guaranteed, no matter who you are or how bad you’ve been. When God says He has forgiven you, you are completely, totally, no-questions-asked, no-matter-what, end-of-story, forgiven!
Folks, that’s why we call it Good News.