January 26, 2024

I Will Remember Their Sins No More

Sinclair Ferguson
I Will Remember Their Sins No More

The one thing that God promises to forget is the sin of His people, for He has blotted it out with the blood of His Son. Today, Sinclair Ferguson marvels at the freedom from guilt that comes with complete forgiveness.


I’m very tempted to remind you that these past few days, we’ve been thinking about things that we tend to forget. But I think it’s a good idea to round out the week by thinking about something that we actually need to forget. Yesterday we were thinking about remembering God’s covenant with us, because He remembers that covenant with us, and He promises that He will never forget it. But I find it intriguing that in that covenant, He actually promises that there is something He will forget.

You remember the promise of the new covenant made in Jeremiah 31:34—and cited in the New Testament in Hebrews 8:12 because it’s fulfilled in Jesus Christ—where God says, in the new covenant, “I will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34). He makes a similar promise in Isaiah 43:25: “I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25). You can think about it this way: the only thing that God says He forgets is your sins. He has blotted them out with the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

That’s a very important promise to remember because some of us—I suspect more of us than might be prepared to admit it certainly in public—many of us are haunted by the memory of our past sins. Remember how that was true of King David. He wrote, you remember, that his sins were ever before him, and obviously he could be paralyzed by the memory of them. Perhaps there were days when he didn’t reflect, and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, the memory of his sins would be like a fiery dart in his mind and paralyze his sense of fellowship with God.

So, he needed to know day by day that his sins were blotted out and that the Lord remembered them no more. In the United Kingdom, people sometimes invest in what are usually called gilts, G-I-L-T-S. Gilt-edged securities are very high-grade government-issued stock. I think they’re called that because originally the paper on which they were printed was actually gilt-edged, like some of the old Bibles. And I sometimes think that the devil, who is described as the accuser of the brethren, I think the devil is also an investor in guilt-edged stock, but not G-I-L-T, G-U-I-L-T.

When he tempts to sin, he tells us, “This isn’t such a big deal.” But then when we fail and fall, he capitalizes on our sin; he emphasizes our guilt. He comes to us, and he almost seems to screw into us our deep incapacity, and as John Calvin once said, seeks to drive us to despair. We can be paralyzed with shame, and it can be a frightening thing to experience. We’re like Joshua the high priest in Zechariah 3, you remember. There we are before God, clothed with filthy garments, and Satan is standing at our side accusing us.

Well, we need to remember what happens next. How the Lord says to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan,” (Zech. 3:2) and how the angel of the Lord took off Joshua’s filthy garments and then said these beautiful, heart-melting words: “Behold, I have taken your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments” (Zech. 3:4). What a picture that is of the believer clothed in the filthy garments of sin, but now through Jesus Christ, clothed in the pure vestments from head to toe.

I wonder if you can see yourself standing before the throne of God and hearing God say, “But I don’t see any sin. I see only purity. I’ve covered your sin with the blood of Christ and clothed you in Christ’s righteousness.” Does God really forget your sin as you trust Him? Yes, indeed. He tells us He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. I wonder if you have forgotten what God says He will forget. God remembers our sins no more.

So, perhaps the thing we need to remember most of all is the one thing the Lord tells us He remembers no more. There is nothing more glorious than to be living a paralysis-free Christian life in the presence of the heavenly Father, knowing that He loves you more than you will ever know. That He’s given His Son to cover your sins. And He says to you, “Your sins I remember no more.” I do hope you know the peace that that brings.