God maintains my innocence. My history or past is God’s story of me, His-story in Genesis I. Only how God thinks about me matters because there is only one Mind, and it’s divine. God’s thoughts about me, as with all of His ideas, are of peace and love, to give us a future, great hope, and an expected end.
My sins have been forgiven just as the prodigal son’s sins were forgiven. After his riotous living, the son went back home, ashamed, filthy, and destitute, but regardless of his past behavior and choices, his father ran to him and kissed him on his neck and all over his face. He then cleaned him up and put a robe on him in remembrance of his true spiritual identity, intact, unblemished, and royal! All the past vanished in the presence of divine Love which covers all sin.
“Your sins are so gone that they cannot be laid to your charge,” said Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon. “Are you a believer and afraid of your old sins? You are afraid of foes which do not exist. Your sins are so gone that they cannot be laid to your charge. . . . You are not only pardoned, but you are a child of God. Go to your Father with joy and thankfulness, and bless him for all his love to you. Wipe those tears away, smooth those wrinkles from your brow: take up the song of joy and gladness.”1
If everyone were to be judged, and this includes self-judgment, based upon their so-called material record, then no one would ever have a chance of entering the kingdom of glory, for no man is without sin. In the first letter of John 1:8, he wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (ESV). In Romans 3:23, it is written, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Do those citations mean that man has no chance of being forgiven? Absolutely not!
In 1 John 1:9, we are told, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (ESV). To go before the throne of grace and ask to be forgiven is a step, but to repent, to forsake iniquity, is the most vital step. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Only those, who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil.”2
To truly accept that you have been forgiven takes much consecrated thought and though the waves of shame may surge upon your mind, divine Truth will calm the flux. The prophet Isaiah wrote “Don’t be afraid, for there is no one to shame you. Don’t fear humiliation, for there is no one to disgrace you. The shame of your younger years and the sorrow of your widowhood are over. You’ll forget those days as if they never happened.” (The Voice)
The precious blood of Jesus the Christ thoroughly cleanses all of man’s past errors, marks, and stains; relieves man of the burdens of aberrations, fault, and ignorance; and just like the father draped his son in the royal robe so does our Father drape us in white linen by the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, so that we exude original innocence.
To only perceive man as mortal and material would omit the best part of the man, God’s image and likeness. To judge image and likeness would be like judging God, and that is absurd! But what if man were to judge solely on one’s spiritual identity? Then it would be a scientific and accurate judgment with no stones necessary. For there would be no need for stones because there would be no sin to cast out.
To drop the stone of judgment and self-condemnation and instead choose the gift of grace from God, and an awesome gift it is that you will receive grace, as the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no man may boast” (ESV).
We need the gift of grace to sanctify and renew us from the shadows of past sins, for they are but foreboding memorizations of experiences better left and buried with times gone by. Those dreadful flashbacks will only delay forward movement and spiritual progress unless they are met with and annihilated forever by the power of God’s grace and divine Truth. Mary Baker Eddy said, “Grace and Truth are potent beyond all other means and methods.”3
It isn’t easy for one to forgive oneself for the evil done or the error demonstrated, but rather than replay the past, repeat the truth: I am forgiven. As Charles Spurgeon said, “I am forgiven, I am forgiven, I am forgiven!”
“I need not walk through the earth fearful of every shadow, and afraid of every man I meet, for sin is washed away; my spirit is no more guilty; it is pure, it is holy. The frown of God no longer resteth upon me; but my Father smiles, I see his eyes,—they are glancing love: I hear his voice,—it is full of sweetness. I am forgiven, I am forgiven, I am forgiven!” (Spurgeon: Autobiography 1:110)
“I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34)
Bye-bye, past! Hello now!
1 Charles, S. (2019). Plenary Absolution, Sermon #1108. [ebook] Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England. Available at: https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols19-21/chs1108.pdf [Accessed 29 Mar. 2019]
2 Eddy, Mary Baker. 1930. Science and health: with key to the Scriptures. Boston: Published by the Christian Science Pub. Society, for the Trustees under the will of Mary Baker G. Eddy.