7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven (Romans 4).
In 1936, Margaret Mitchell wrote a novel attempting to depict the North’s utter and complete victory in the Civil War, a triumph which caused the utter and complete disappearance of the Southern way of life. She entitled her book, “Gone With the Wind”.
The word “forgiven” here comes from yet another word in the Greek with a root and a preposition before it — “apo”, designating any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed, and “hiemi”, meaning “to send”. Thus, to be forgiven is to have our lawless deeds — our wicked and contemptuous violations of God’s Laws — sent completely away, so that any union or connection between us and them is utterly destroyed.
To be forgiven by God is to have our sins sent completely away, so that they are gone with the wind, never to be found again. To be forgiven by God is to have our old sinful way of life utterly and completely destroyed — gone forever. Sure, there are still vestiges of sin in our lives, just as sweet tea reminds us that there have remained vestiges or pockets of Southern living. But, slavery in the South is gone with the wind — it has been separated from it — and sin’s separation from us is no less true for any believer. We are forgiven.
Thank You, Lord, for this wondrous forgiveness — that all our lawless deeds are gone with the wind, never again to be connected with us. Help us This Day to forgive others in the same way — to count their lawless deeds against us also gone with the wind. Amen.