While teaching through 2 Corinthians, Pastor Chuck Smith reminds of us of the great and glorious forgiveness that only comes from God. Our sin is first and foremost against God, so we ask for His forgiveness. Sometimes condemnation can be so heavy, it is easy to think God would forgive everyone buy you. It’s not true. Be encouraged:

Now the Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  So if a person comes and they confess that I have sinned, and I want to ask Jesus to forgive me my sin, and if they pray and in their prayer they say, Lord, I’m sorry I have sinned.  I was wrong.  I shouldn’t have done that.  But I’m sorry God, please forgive me. 

Sometime Satan comes along and he says, oh come on, you can’t expect God to forgive you.  You knew what you were doing.  Do you think that forgiveness is that easy?  Just ask God, and He is going to forgive you?  You can’t expect God to do that.  But as a servant of God and minister of God, when a person thus prays and confesses, I can say to them that God has forgiven you sins!  Or I can just say, your sins are forgiven on the authority of the promise of the Word of God, because the Word of God (1 John 1:9) declared if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  And where Satan may be hassling them, saying your sins are really forgiven, I can declare to them, yes, God has forgiven your sins on the basis of the fact that you’ve confessed it and you have asked for forgiveness. 

Now on the same token, if I’m witnessing to a person, a person who is living in sin and I say to that person, you need to repent and to ask Jesus to forgive you.  If the person says I don’t want to repent.  I like doing what I’m doing.  I don’t want to give it up.  Then on the authority of the Word of God, I can say to them, you will have to answer to God for your sins.  Your sins are retained.  You are going to be responsible to God to answer for your sins.  But you see, I don’t have power to just go around and say, well you’re forgiven, and well, you are not forgiven.  I don’t have that power.  I can only declare to you what God’s Word has said in response to what you have done.  And I can assure you, I can confirm to you the Word of God that if you confess your sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.   And I can make that declaration, God has forgiven your sins because you have repented.  And you’ve confessed. 

— Pastor Chuck Smith