"her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."
Have you ever felt like you've done too much for God to forgive? That your sins are just too great? That there is no way Jesus could forgive you? I used to feel this way.
Scripture tells us that the good news of the Gospel is that we don't have to clean ourselves up before we come to the Lord, for “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God paid the price for our sins on the cross and declared, “it is finished (John 19:30).” This means that no sin is too great for Him to forgive. God, in His great love and mercy, sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to drink the cup of God’s wrath that should have been poured out on us. Therefore, when we place our faith in Christ we are forever forgiven of all our sin: past, present and future.
“[In Christ] even if our sins were as great in number as all mankind’s put together, still God would not count them against us, but would have as much confidence in us as if we never sinned.” – The Knowledge of Holy, A.W. Tozer
We cannot work our way to God. All of our works are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). God forgives us in Christ because of what Christ has done on our behalf, not because of anything we have done or could do.
THE SINFUL WOMAN
Let's look at Luke 7:36-50.
The context: Jesus was eating at the house of a Pharisee, when a woman in the city (who was known as a sinner) heard about it and came to see Jesus. When the woman saw Jesus “she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume (Luke 7:37-38).” This display of worship and affection was contrasted with the Pharisee's attitude towards Christ–he gave Jesus no kiss of greeting or water for His feet. The sinful woman loved Jesus and realized her own sinfulness and was broken over it, whereas the Pharisee did not see His own sinfulness and was built up in self-righteousness.
Jesus goes on to explain the two heart attitudes to the Pharisee and offers the sinful woman the sweetest words ever uttered:
“‘For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’ Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins?’ And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’" Luke 7:47-50
So how should we think of our sin? The fact is our sin is great, but not too great for the Lord to forgive. Next time you think that your sins are too great for God to forgive, take your sins to the feet of Jesus, repent of them and lean into His marvelous love and forgiveness.
7 years ago, as a brand new Christian, a friend wrote me a letter that brought tears to my eyes. She wrote: “please know that no past sin should still rule over you or keep you from walking closely with Him.” Sister, do not let any past sin hinder you from coming to the feet of Jesus, come to Him as you are, for in Him is forgiveness (Romans 8:1).
Spend some time prayerfully reading Luke 7:36-50. Bring your sins to the feet of Jesus and rest in His forgiveness. Remember that "your faith [in Christ] has saved you."