Pardon for the Penitent
Isaiah 55:7-9
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him…

We find in the text, —

I. AN EXHORTATION TO REPENTANCE. Here, in few words, we are given plainly to understand in what genuine repentance consists.

II. THE PROMISE OF PARDON ANNEXED TO THE EXHORTATION. If the wicked will forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and return unto the Lord, He will have mercy upon him, and will abundantly pardon him. Repentance is here enjoined as a prerequisite to pardon. And do not other passages of Scripture speak the same language? We must not, however. suppose that there, is anything meritorious, in our repentance. It possesses no virtue or efficacy to expiate our guilt. It Is our bounden duty, but it makes no compensation for past failures; no atonement for past transgressions. It is itself the gift of God, who has exalted His beloved Son to be a Prince and a Saviour, in order to bestow it on the rebellious. It can therefore deserve nothing. Nevertheless, it is to the penitent alone that God extends His pardoning mercy. Why? It would be enough to answer, that such is the good pleasure of His will; but we can also add, that the penitent alone is qualified to receive and appreciate the blessing. But it may be asked, How can God be favour-able to the sinner? For an answer we must turn to the Gospel of His grace, which alone informs us how He can be a just God and yet a Saviour.


1. Some one, perhaps, in the brokenness of his heart may reply, "Yes, I must believe that God is indeed merciful and gracious. I perceive also that He can, in the Son of His love, be a just God and a Saviour. But, alas! my sins have been so numerous that, though He may forgive others, I cannot persuade myself He will extend pardon to me." But what saith God? "My thoughts are not your thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My thoughts higher than your thoughts."

2. " But," says another, "my sins have been not only numerous, but highly aggravated." If you had sinned so often and so heinously against your fellow-creatures, you might well despair of forgiveness. It is too much, alas I our way to retaliate evil for evil. But "your ways are not My ways," etc.

3. I seem to hear a third in anguish of spirit exclaiming, "I am one of those awful characters known in Scripture by the name of backsliders." The words here translated "abundantly pardon," are rendered on the margin "multiply to pardon." The Lord will pardon, not once only, but again, and again, and again. Conclusion: It is painful to think that any one should be so wicked, and so lost to every grateful feeling, as to pervert such a subject. Yet it is a fact that many are guilty of so doing. There are two characters especially who come under this charge. One of them is the hardened and impenitent transgressor, who takes encouragement to proceed in his sinful career from the consideration that God is merciful, and will not fail to pardon him at the last.

2. The other is the antinomian professor of religion, who professes to know God, but in works denies Him, and endeavours to lull conscience to rest by extolling His sovereign and superabounding grace. The grace of God was never meant to embolden us in a course of transgression; nor does it ever produce this effect on those who know it in truth.

(D. Rees.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

WEB: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Mohammedism or Christi-Unity
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