In spite of Israel’s sin at Ai God tells Joshua “Do not fear and do not be dismayed.” Those are great words for those of us in dark days of failure. We cannot ignore that fact that sin must be judged by God. He will not let any sin go unpunished. His righteousness demands justice. But to the repentant heart, there is always hope. John tells us that “if we confess our sin, God is faithful and (this last part is important) AND JUST to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

How can God be just to forgive us if we confess? Because Jesus took God’s judgment for us. You and I need but confess and God always forgives once and for all. And he is “just” to do so, because of what Jesus has done for us.

There are five kinds of forgiveness in the bible; this kind is called Judicial forgiveness. It is the eternal forgiveness of all sins of the one who has trusted Christ. This goes with the doctrine of justification and has to do with the believer’s relationship with God. It is once for all, eternal, and conditioned only on faith in Christ. This is what the Psalmist is referring to when he says, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,” and also, “As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us”

You can say right now, “As I have trusted Christ, all my sins past, present, and future are forgiven. God remembers my sin no more.”

That is still the Good News of Christmas.

“Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7