Does God forget our sins?

I searched the forums for this but couldn't find anyting. I couldn't find anything on line either that helped. If there is a thread that I missed please redirect me. Or if there is an article out there please direct me to that.

I need some clarification on the concept that God forgets our sins once we repent and ask for forgiveness. Hebrews 8:12 says "I know that Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more"

There have been times that while I have taken sins to confession and received absolution I occasionally wrestle with regret and sorrow for the sin and its consequences. I do understand that I am forgiven and I accept the grace that Jesus is offering. The St. Faustina's diary and the message of Divine Mercy have opened my heart to His grace.

The need for clarification comes up because a friend told me that since God forgets our sins it is wrong to think about them in any way. That doesn't make sense to me in terms of the need to be sorrowful, make reparation and if God forgets then what is the particular judgement about? I thought we were judged according to our life in its entirety.

Thanks for any references or insights.

God bless.

This is purely my opinion, based on what good, solid theology I have learned. I have not found any official pronouncement on your question.

Two things we know about God are that He is all-knowing and unchangeable. To say that He literally forgets our sins would mean that He changes from the state of knowing them to the state of not knowing them. This contradicts both of the things we know.

Time does not apply to God. He lives in eternity, which can be described as an "eternal present." It's always "now" for God. The creation is now, the Garden of Eden is now, the parting of the Red Sea is now, the Nativity is now, the Crucifixion is now, the Resurrection is now, and all of our sins are now. Our repentance is now. The forgiveness of our sins is now. Forgetting is not compatible with this.

However, God is all love and all mercy, so it is quite possible that He treats us as if He has forgotten our sins. As we live in time, He wants us to remember always His love and mercy, which are always existing in His eternity.

I'm sure we've all heard stories of the saints who ask God something about their sins, which have been confessed and forgiven, and He says, "What sins?" It seems to me that those are pious illustrations of the mercy of God, and not literally true.

It's hard to twist one's mind around this mystery. I choose to accept the mercy and forgiveness without asking too many questions! :)

Betsy

I would read Psalm 103: Not by our sins does he deal with us, nor by our crimes does he requite us. As far as east is to west so far have our sins been removed from us.

I have taken sins to confession and received absolution I occasionally wrestle with regret and sorrow for the sin and its consequences.

You know it sometimes like falling down and scrapping your knees on the the rough pavement. You go inside and clean up the wounds but they still hurt afterwords and they may hurt for days, especially if you are a little older like me. Then a scab forms and you may remember how all this happened. Eventually though the scrapes will go away, the scabs will fall off and you'll forget all about it. You see forgiveness is one thing, it's immediate, healing is another, it takes time to heal. :)

[quote="Annc, post:1, topic:183315"]
I searched the forums for this but couldn't find anyting. I couldn't find anything on line either that helped. If there is a thread that I missed please redirect me. Or if there is an article out there please direct me to that.

I need some clarification on the concept that God forgets our sins once we repent and ask for forgiveness. Hebrews 8:12 says "I know that Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more"

There have been times that while I have taken sins to confession and received absolution I occasionally wrestle with regret and sorrow for the sin and its consequences. I do understand that I am forgiven and I accept the grace that Jesus is offering. The St. Faustina's diary and the message of Divine Mercy have opened my heart to His grace.

Thanks for any references or insights.

God bless.

[/quote]

This is one of my favorite verses about God forgiving our sins....

Psalm 103:12----

  • "As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us...." * CC

Betsy,

Thanks for you thoughts. This is my understanding as well. I think the quote is bold is important for my question.

Amen, to accepting the mystery and not asking too many questions. It is a gift and we should just say “thank you”.

Thank you to the posters who referenced PS 103. I will meditate on that later today.

God bless.

Ann

There’s a popular song by “Casting Crowns” that uses Psalm 103:12 in its refrain; it begins with the words, “Here I am Lord, and I’m drowning in Your sea of forgetfulness.” That concept seems to come from Micah 7:19: “He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” But that doesn’t say that God will forget the sins, just that He will remove them from us.

On the other hand, there are prayers that God will “not remember” our sins, such as “Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let thy compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.” (Ps 79:8)

And there are these verses from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah:

“Lo, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but thou hast held back my life from the pit of destruction, for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” (Isa 38:17)

“I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isa 43:25)

I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isa 44:22)

“And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:34)

The word for “remember” here is the Hebrew word zakar. A zikkaron is a “remembrance” like the Greek word anamnesis. It means more than simply to “remember”; or rather, to the Jews, “remember” meant more than it means to us. To “remember” to the Jews means to bring to the present, to make present. So God does not “make present” any sins He has forgiven; a forgiven sin cannot be un-forgiven.

It is not that God forgets our sins and doesn’t know we’ve committed them; indeed, it shows God all the more powerful when He can be merciful to us, knowing the sins we have committed even though He has forgiven them. God forgives our sins and treats us as though we had never committed them.

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[quote="japhy, post:6, topic:183315"]
:

The word for "remember" here is the Hebrew word zakar. A zikkaron is a "remembrance" like the Greek word anamnesis. It means more than simply to "remember"; or rather, to the Jews, "remember" meant more than it means to us. To "remember" to the Jews means to bring to the present, to make present. So God does not "make present" any sins He has forgiven; a forgiven sin cannot be un-forgiven.

[/quote]

Thank you very much. I believe that this word is used to explain the re-presentation of Jesus's sacrifice in the Mass. This clarifies the issue very well.

God bless.

I used to have a little picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the bottom it said: When I forgive, I forget.

God is always light and sin is always darkness. When we repent we move from the darkness into the light. The idea that God remembers our sins no more is an analogy to the reality that we are the ones who change. God cannot change so it is us who determines our relationship with God. If we stay in the light then God would not see our rebellion and He would only see a reflection of Himself in that love. In other words, God is an unchangeable light that we either move towards or away from. If we are standing in His light then He can never see our sins since the darkness is gone.......... teachccd

[quote="Annc, post:7, topic:183315"]
Thank you very much. I believe that this word is used to explain the re-presentation of Jesus's sacrifice in the Mass. This clarifies the issue very well.

[/quote]

Exactly. Glad to be of help! :)

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