“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Two Sides of Remembrance, by Randall D. Kittle

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance …” — Isaiah 43:24–25

In these verses we are given a glimpse of the two sides of remembrance we should possess as believers in Jesus Christ. The first verse looks at God’s miraculous forgiveness. He has blotted out our sins! Though the record books in Heaven had every sin that I had committed written in them, the power of the blood of Jesus has blotted out the record, and I have been given a clean slate! No wonder the message of Jesus is considered “Good News.”

The Place of No Return
Then the Lord goes on to say that not only is there no record of our sins, but that He will remember them no more. This is one of the most amazing verses in all of the Bible. The infinite, all-knowing God does not remember our sins. Now, it’s important to realize that this verse doesn’t say God cannot remember our sins. It says He does not. God is not a doting Father who overlooks our sins … but neither is He a feeble Grandpa with memory problems who can’t remember our sins. Nowhere in the Scriptures does it say that God has forgotten our sins. The forgiveness of God is much greater, much grander than that. God hasn’t forgotten the sins forgiven by the precious blood of the Lamb of God; He has chosen not to remember them. It is not a passive thing — “I guess I’ve forgotten.” It is an active thing — “I choose to never again remember your sin!” Nothing can “jar God’s memory” and get Him to remember our sins, because He has chosen to never remember them again.

Micah 7:18–19 says this about the Lord,
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity … You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” What a wonderful promise. But the truth of Isaiah 43:24 goes farther. We need to understand that no one and nothing can dredge up your old sins and bring them before the Lord. Old “friends” may remind you of your failings, and Satan will certainly try to hold you accountable for past sins, but the Lord has declared that if they are under the blood of Jesus Christ He will never remember them again. We have His word that they will be remembered no more. They have been sealed in an unretrievable place … the will of God!

Colossians 3:13 instructs us,
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This verse doesn’t say that we should forgive “because” the Lord forgave us, or “since” the Lord forgave us. The word here is “as”; meaning “like, in a similar matter.” We are not merely to forgive others because we have been forgiven. We are to forgive them just as the Lord has forgiven us, which means we, too, must choose to remember their sins no more. Now some may be thinking, “But Randy, even if I manage to forgive them, there’s no way I could ever forget what they’ve done.” The Bible isn’t calling us to forget, but to choose not to remember. This means exercising your will when thoughts come up of the wrongs others have done against us, and declaring, “I will remember their sin no more.” You don’t have to feel guilty when you remember the sins of others that you have forgiven because forgiving like God forgives isn’t about getting amnesia, it is about not allowing our minds to think about the forgiven past of others. It is a higher way.

The Other Side of the Coin
How can we do this? The next verse in Isaiah gives us the key to having the power of living a forgiving life. It says “Put Me in remembrance …” (Isaiah 43:25). As we remember the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, and the promises of God we will be able to not only accept fully His forgiveness, but also extend forgiveness of the same fullness to others. The Bible tells us that those who have been forgiven much should love much. And every born-again believer has been forgiven much! If we will choose to daily bring the Lord to remembrance, meditating on His goodness to us, thanking Him for His unswerving devotion to us, and remembering the debt of sins He has blotted out in our lives; we will be strengthened to begin to walk as He walked — not only forgiving those who have sinned against us, but choosing to remember their sins no more!

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