“IN JESUS CHRIST YOU ARE FORGIVEN”. In many churches, here in America and around the world, people hear or declare this during the assurance of pardon, after the prayer of confession. Forgiven is represented in the Gospel Bracelet by the color white.
The idea is probably taken from the text of Isaiah: “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18.” It represents purity, cleanness, but most of all, a new beginning. Jesus says that when we believe we are born again. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that we are a new creation. So, the white does not only represent the purity that we receive in Christ, but it represents a new page and a new chance.
Forgiveness is totally based on the grace and mercy of God. It is all in God. We cannot cleanup ourselves. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot. Period. Not only in salvation, but also in our whole Christian life, God is the one who controls, transforms, and accepts us. This is what the psalmist declared: “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5.” Daniel has this to say: “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; Dan. 9:9.” Forgiveness depends in its entirety on God’s mercy, grace, and love.
We also learn that forgiveness is acquired by the sacrifice of Christ. This is how the apostle Paul put: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace Ephesians 1:7” We do not do anything to deserve that forgiveness. We cannot do anything to obtain forgiveness from God. As the beautiful hymn from Elvina M. Hall states:
“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”
Another thing that is connect with the mercy, grace, and love of God and the works of Christ is that forgiveness is complete. God forgave all of our sins. We learn about this beautiful news with Jeremiah: “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34.” And later God will emphasize this: “I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Jer. 33:8” A few words that should stick in our minds: “I will remember their sins no more” and “I will forgive all their sins.” This is good news.
Finally we need to know that forgiveness is maintained by confession e restoration. Because we are forgiven it does not mean that we will not sin again. Every time that we sin our relationship with God is damaged and broken. It is for these circumstances that we have confession. We recognize our sins through the instrumentality of His Word and His Spirit, and we agree with God that He is right and we are wrong. This is what the apostle John wrote: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9”
As you can see, forgiveness is not something that happens only in the beginning of our Christian life. It is something that will follow us our whole life on earth.
So, every time that I look to the bracelet and see the white part, I thank God for His forgiveness, I confess my sins, and by faith I receive a fresh and renewed breathe of new life.
Have a blessed week,