Godís kindness does not depend on our goodness. That is because kindness is an act of love. It is not an act of love to pay someone the wages that he has earned. However when God forgives us, that is an act of love.
Of course we do not deserve for God to forgive us. We need him to forgive us because we have done wrong things (3:23) and not right things. What we deserve for our wrong behaviour is the punishment of death (6:23).
So when we ask God to forgive us, we are asking him to show great kindness to us. We are not trying to convince him that we deserve it. Rather, we accept that we do not deserve it. We are not trying to pay him by some good deed that we have done. Instead, we recognise that we can never pay him to forgive us. Therefore, we do not ask God to forgive us because of our goodness, but because of his goodness.
We must not think that we can force God to accept us. That is a very proud attitude. However, there is something that we can and must do. We must believe God. He has promised to forgive those people who turn to him (Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 55:6-7). He has promised to help and to give rest to those people who come to him (Matthew 11:28-29). He has promised to accept everyone who receives him into their life (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20).
When we believe Godís promises, that is called faith. Faith is Godís gift to us (Ephesians 2:8), so that we can receive the benefit of his promises. So, when we believe God, God forgives us. He gives us a right relationship with himself.
Next part: Whom does God help? (Romans 4:5)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.