i just finished "the freedom and power of forgiveness" by john macarthur. highly recommend it!
i highlighted quite a bit of this book. here are some of excerpts:
"a sinner's best efforts at good works are always tainted with sin and therefore cannot merit God's holy favor."
"Reconciliation with God can never be accomplished by a sinner's self-efforts, because all such efforts are themselves inherently sinful. That leaves the sinner with only one hope: if reconciliation is to be achieved, God Himself must be the initiator and author of it."
"divine forgiveness has two aspects....judicial forgiveness God grants as Judge. Such pardon is immediately complete and never needs to be sought again....parental forgiveness God grants as our Father. The forgiveness of justification takes care of judicial guilt, but it does not nullify His fatherly displeasure over our sin. So the forgiveness Christians are supposed to seek in their daily walk is not pardon from an angry Judge, but mercy from a grieved Father. This is the forgiveness Christ taught us to pray for in the Lord's Prayer. The opening words of the prayer, 'Our Father,' demonstrate that a parental rather than a judicial relationship is in view. Judicial forgiveness deals with the penalty of our sins. Parental forgiveness deals with sin's consequences."
"justification erases the guilt of our sin in the eternal court of God, but it does not necessarily guarantee an escape from sin's consequences in this life."
"we should forgive in the same manner Christ forgave us--generously, eagerly, magnanimously, and abundantly. How does God treat a repentant sinner? With total, complete instantaneous forgiveness."
"a morose obsession with one's own guilt is not a godly virtue. It is actually a kind of self-righteousness."