"...the forgiveness of our trespasses..."
*I recall a story I came across years ago, where a group of Christian men went camping. As they sat around the fire that night, the conversation turned to spiritual things. One posed, "What is the most beautiful word in the Bible?" One said, "grace", another, "love"... and another, "hope." There was some reflective silence, until one of the group whose past was filled with much rebellion and sin said with tear-filled eyes, "For me, the most precious word in all the Bible is 'forgiven.'
Though painful, it is a wondrous work that the Holy Spirit of God does when He reveals to someone his sin. Since our hearts are more deceitful than all else (Jeremiah17:9), and desperately sick, how else could we understand that we have transgressed God's standard of holiness, unless the Spirit reveals the truth?
When He does confront one with the enormity of his sin and the deserved consequences that will ensue, there is great grief and inner turmoil. It is the cry of Isaiah catching a glimpse of God's absolute holiness: "Woe is me, for I am ruined!" (Isaiah 6:5).
The more intense this awareness of sin, the deeper the relief and gratitude for the forgiveness given by the Lord Jesus. The greater the agreement with the Spirit that we have sinned, and sinned mightily, the more precious are verses such as: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, " (Romans 8:1), and "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (I John 1:9).
And the word "forgiven" is so cherished by the believer because of what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary.