"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30 HCSB

Jesus has extended a loving invitation to the weary and the sin-burdened.[1] You may feel that you have gone too far, broken too many rules or acquired too many scars to be able to receive forgiveness, but there is hope for you. God forgives and saves all kinds of sinners no matter how bad they are; He changes them.[2] Jesus tells us to pray for forgiveness. He describes sin as a debt that must be paid.[3]

Didn’t Jesus forgive the penitent woman when she humbly demonstrated her sorrow for her sins and placed her trust in Jesus the Messiah?[4] The adulterous Samaritan woman was also saved by Jesus and received living water.[5] Jesus even forgave the murderer on the cross. This is a beautiful example of one saved only by grace. This man could do no good works. He could not be baptized. He could join no church. The only things he did was acknowledge and confess his sin, repent of them, seek God’s forgiveness and publicly acknowledge Jesus’ authority. This was enough to receive forgiveness and a place in Paradise.[6]

Peter, who denied Jesus three times, was forgiven and reinstated in his ministry.[7] Now we must realize that Peter’s sin took place over the course of a couple of hours one night. It was not habitual. Yet he immediately acknowledged his sin, showed tremendous remorse, was willing to step aside from ministry, was willing to take however length of time it took to make restitution and repeatedly demonstrated a humble and contrite spirit. He did not expect to be reinstated. He did not feel as though simply saying “sorry” was enough. People with those expectations have not demonstrated true contrition yet.

Jesus gave us the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector to demonstrate what true repentance and humility can achieve.[8] Repentance and humility will not only wipe away our daily sins, it will actually save our souls!

A person who is not a Christian must believe in who Christ is and what He did, repent, and confess Jesus to be his Lord for the remission of his sins. Then he should immediately and publicly declare this inward act by being baptized.[9]

If troubled sinners cry out for mercy, God will graciously forgive. He is willing to restore them to His love and favor.[10] Sinners are forgiven when they repent and seek to return to right fellowship with God the Father.[11] They can be justified (cleared of all guilt) and their sin debt is paid by faith in Jesus; in Him they will find peace.[12]

[1] Matthew 11:28-30

[2] 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

[3] Matthew 6:12

[4] Luke 7:47-50

[5] John 4:4-26

[6] Luke 23:39-43

[7] John 21:15-19

[8] Luke 18:9-14

[9] Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16; Romans 10:10-13; 1 Peter 3:21

[10] Psalm 130:3-4

[11] Luke 15:11-32

[12] Romans 3:21-25; 8:1-4