This evil is planted in all human hearts by nature: If God were willing to sell His grace, we would accept it more quickly and gladly than when He offers it for nothing.  ~Martin Luther

So if forgiveness is free and subsequently can’t be purchased for any price—just who is it that  gets the gift of forgiveness?  Do the worthy receive forgiveness?  Certainly not—there’s none of those.  And if there were what would they need forgiveness for?  Forgiveness is for sinners.  That must mean it’s the unworthy who get forgiven.  In many cases it is those most unworthy who get to go free with Jesus after all (a clumsy reading of the New Testament would suffice in making that case).  So, yes, the unworthy  recieve forgiveness.  But does everyone who is unworthy get forgiven?  That would mean we all get pardoned.  If that is the case, can we all just be extra bad and bank on being forgiven—right?  Not hardly. 

If you can be squeaky clean and still not be forgiven don’t think for a mili-second that you can be bad to the bone and slide by (let me  add that the Bible teaches that we are all “bad” in and of ourselves contrary to what 99% of us think about ourselves).  I may be one of a small number re-stating what the Bible says on this but it’s not going to stop me from saying it—God alone is good and any goodness we possess is from him.  End of story.

Just because you desperately need forgiveness doesn’t guarantee your receiving it.  I may need a new liver but just the fact that I need one doesn’t secure my recieving one.  The bible makes it clear that not all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus—not everyone has their sins forgiven.  We will be spared the eternal penalty for our sinbecause we have been forgiven.  Basic I know—but it bears repeating.    This all goes back to the fact that we are forgiven and get to go to heaven based on nothing we did (i.e. the thief on the cross with his mountain of sin the size of Mt. Everest being fully forgiven).  

It all comes down to getting what we don’t deserve, not who sins less.  Not fair! we protest.  Re-consider before you jump off that cliff.

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  ~Psalm 103:8-12, ESV

Just imagine for one brief moment what you’d get if God were fair.  God doesn’t forgive us because he’s fair, he forgives us because he is full of grace.  If God were fair we’d all have a one way bus ticket to an eternal lake of fire.  The bible teaches that God is just, it doesn’t make a case for his fairness.  Are you scratching your head asking questions?  That might be a good thing if it’s not dandruff. 

We haven’t been forgiven by God because the world owes us or because God is fair or because we deserve it.