This series of blog posts is taken from a chapter I wrote for the book, To You and Your Children: Examining the Biblical Doctrine of Covenant Succession, Canon Press, © 2005.
Sin always inflicts damage to ourselves and to others—it hurts. Biblical love provides the only environment for dealing with the damage. It does not ignore the sinner or his sin: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). God loves us even though He is the offended party. Despite the offense, He provides a way for reconciliation: "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled us in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight" (Col. 1:21-22). The Bible lays out the way, telling us, "If we will confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 2:9). God may not take away the consequences of our sin, but He will take away the guilt of our sin along with its shame. Forgiveness clears the ground of past offense so that a new relationship may be built in its place. Reconciliation is the goal.