I Received Pardon (Ephesians 1:7)
We use common phrases like, "pardon me," or "excuse me," all the time. We
do this as a polite civility to one another in our day to day dealings. Usually
we use these phrases in regard to perceived transgression where either party
could be at fault. For example, the innocent bump at the mall is common and
usually both parties will respond with, "sorry." There is very little in
common in the pardon we seek in such innocent exchanges with the pardon we
seek and receive from God.
In seeking a pardon from God we come as the offending party because of our
transgressions. There is nothing innocent. There is no doubt who has caused
the transgression. The men of Beth-shemesh got it right when they said in
1 Samuel 6:20, "Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God?" We
come to God unable to stand on our own righteousness.
But salvation in the atonement of Christ allows us to stand before God clothed
in the righteousness of Christ. The great message of the New Testament is
that Christ is our propitiation (Romans 3:25). This means that Christ has
made an acceptable sacrifice for our sin. He acts as our advocate and in
the free offer of the gospel offers us pardon and forgiveness for our sin.
Pardon is another wonderful blessing that the Christian receives when he
or she comes to faith in Christ. There are some who wonder if Christ can
really pardon particular sins that haunt their conscience. But the Word of
God makes it clear that there is no sin, besides the sin against the Holy
Spirit, which Christ can not forgive. Colossians 2:13 tells us, "...He made
you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions."
It is easy to beat ourselves up because of past sins. However, the Bible
does not encourage us to do this. Scripture speaks of pardon, forgiveness,
and mercy. 1 Peter 3:18 reminds us that, "Christ also died for sins once
for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God..."
Christ died for the unjust, and that is us. He offers pardon to those who
are not perfect. This is the wonder of receiving pardon for sins: we come
to God with imperfections, and notwithstanding, we are forgiven through the
atonement of Christ.