We read in Ephesians 1:7 that in Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. If you look around the world, redemption is being sought in countless places. It may be fair to deduce that all redemption outside of Christ is nothing less than self-redemption. People are looking to be saved or justified in anything and everything. This is nothing new. But what is new, is a perplexing development within Christianity of where forgiveness must be sought.
Recently within Christian circles (particularly in the counseling world) there has been a lot of talk about forgiving oneself. And the typical phrase that I’ve heard is, “I know that God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself.” When did forgiveness of self ever become a requirement? This is a false, mistaken notion that somehow I need my own forgiveness. Doesn’t this rob God His right to forgive? Do we set ourselves up as gods when we say this? If I have God’s forgiveness, what else do I need?
This is a heresy that well meaning people have allowed to creep into our vocabulary and into the church. And this is always the way it goes with false teaching: it creeps in. When you look at Solomon you’ll notice that he did not abandon the worship of the true God; he just added the worship of his wives’ false gods to the mix. Likewise, we still have Christ’s forgiveness; but somehow, some of us have added the need for our own forgiveness. My friend, you don’t need your forgiveness; you need God’s forgiveness. You don’t need your own abominable sacrifices; you need Christ’s sacrifice. If you have God’s forgiveness, you have all you need. That’s not to say that you’ll always be content with how you act—and that’s a good thing—but you don’t need your own forgiveness; you need Christ’s. You don’t owe it to yourself, you owe to Him. You’ve not sinned against yourself; you’ve sinned against Christ. You’re not God; He is: seek His forgiveness. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. Praise Him for that.