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What Is Forgiveness? (Psalm 32:1)

Introductory Thoughts

The subject of forgiveness would fill volumes yet never exhaust the depths of its meaning. The study for the next two weeks will provide the reader with a deeper understanding and greater appreciation concerning the necessity for faith in the Christian life. We embark on this study by offering a basic meaning for the word forgiveness. Three scripture passages reveal the association of forgiveness to covering (Psalm 32:1; Psalm 85:2; Romans 4:7). The first passage further reveals that the covering of sin is directly connected to forgiving of transgression. The second two verses connect the covering of sin to the forgiving of iniquity. With these truths in mind, the act of forgiving someone involves the act of cancelling the penalty for wrongdoing. As the wrongdoing is forgiven, whether it be sin, transgression, or iniquity, the offense is covered as it is forgiven. This covering does not suggest placing a covering over the wrongdoing to hide it, but the act of taking care of its penalty.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Read Psalm 38:18. When we are truly sorry for the wrong things that we do and ask God to forgive us, He forgives. He chooses to forget them. We should react the same way toward those who have done us wrong by forgiving them.
  • (For everyone): What does it mean to you when you really think about the fact that God has forgiven you of your sins? Did you deserve to be forgiven? Meditate on the goodness of God for forgiving you.
  • How ready are you to forgive others who have hurt you? Ask the Lord to teach you more about the wonders of His forgiveness and how you can and should forgive others.

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to continue working on your heart about forgiving others.
  • Take time to thank God for His complete forgiveness through Christ and the continual daily forgiveness.