The most beautiful Bible verse ever…

Whoever comes to church hears the word “grace” a lot. That word “grace” falls under the “church language” for me. In other words, words that you do hear in church, but never or seldom outside the church. Because let’s be honest… when was the last time you heard that word “grace” outside of church? How many decades back?

They are also often the words that you can dream (if you grew up in a church), but when an outsider asks: what does that mean? Then we have the greatest difficulty in explaining that succinctly(!) and we quickly get bogged down in whole stories… after which the listener quickly gives up…sigh.

The word “Grace” doesn’t mean much to me. When I used to be beaten up again in the school yard, you had to shout mercy (when lying on the floor) and then the “rule of the game” was that they stop. Strange “game”. And with the bruises on my body, stopping punching didn’t really feel like grace, to be honest.

So “grace,” what does that look like in God’s eyes? “God is merciful”…. Yes… uhh….. Please explain?!

A little further and another such word is: “Forgiveness”. You hear that so much in a church. And to be honest, that doesn’t mean much to me either…. We also know this saying:

You know, if I was beaten up again in the schoolyard, and cried “mercy”… do you think I’d ever forget those moments? Nope. Maybe you have had those moments yourself, and you have suffered hard blows in your life. VERY maybe you can forget the person who did it to you (wow!), but forgetting it? No… that is often a bridge too far…

Perhaps you have done something to other people…. Would they have forgiven you? Could they forget? Mmm…..

But now God… “God has mercy on you, and he forgives you.”

That does very poorly with the target groups we speak to. They don’t get that. And that brings us to the most beautiful Bible verse ever…

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:12

When we show this verse to our target audience, we ask: what are you reading there? The answer is then 90% of the time:

God is merciful (full stop).

And yes, that’s right. But there is more. Way more. So, we’re going to push harder: read on….

And even then… they don’t come out on their own 50% of the time. And that’s funny. As if they read: God is mercy, blah, blah, I have heard that more than enough, blah blah. And then the thinking stops as if it were an old vinyl record… Really “funny”.

So then we read them again, the 2nd part:

And will remember their sins no more.

What does it say there? “Will remember no more”! What?

And then it comes…. if you believe what Jesus has done for you, and you have asked Him for forgiveness… then God doesn’t think about it any more. To forget. No more memories. Nothing. Don’t think about it anymore, never again.

If you believe what Jesus has done for you, and you have asked Him for forgiveness, then God is wearing Jesus sunglasses. Then, when God looks at you, He sees Jesus. And since Jesus is perfect, you are perfect. And Jesus has NEVER done anything wrong, so how does God look at you now?

Without sin, literally as white as snow. Without your past. Without spots. Without… anything… a blank page…..

God doesn’t “just” forgive what you’ve been up to… He forgets. That is THE ultimate “grace” / “forgiveness”. God goes beyond that… He forgets.

Wow… If you get that… then there really is a new beginning for you. So that means “to be born again”! A new life, without a past.

And now to the present day… suppose… you have really done something VERY terrible…. Then you might also know this thought:

Yes, I understand that I am not doing so well because I have done such bad things, God would be crazy if He still helps me with something.

I will never find that good job again because I entirely ruined the old one, so why would God help me to find another(!) new job when I screwed up the old one like that?

And yes, that’s right. If God sees what you have done… He would indeed be mad to ever help you again. You really messed it up a lot.

But…..if God doesn’t remember what you’ve done? When He says He doesn’t even think about it anymore?! And so He looks at you like a blank page? Without a black past? How then can He withhold things from you as punishment? Punishment for what? Because He doesn’t know anything about it anymore?! God cannot punish you for something He knows nothing more about….

Do you now understand what “grace” is? Or “forgive”? So, that’s it. Forgive and forget. Start as new today. Without past. Reborn.

Picture: W.Van Doeselaar

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