Have you given your life to Christ, but sometimes feel overburdened by the weight of sin? As in, "I know I am a born again believer, but someday I have a lot to answer for when I stand before God."
Why is it that many Christians still seem to feel condemned? Satan is called the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). Who is Satan accusing? God’s people! And sadly, too many of God’s people listen to the accusations of who Satan says we are, and do not listen to the declaration of who God says we are.
That’s why Christians say things like, “I am just a sinner.” Wrong! You are a pronounced-holy-by-the-blood-of-Christ child of the living God! But when we dwell on the bondage of our sin, we aren’t dwelling on the freedom of our imputed righteousness. This holds us back from serving God with confidence!
The first way the grace of God strengthens you is by releasing you from your sin. This isn’t the end of the story, it is really only the first half. But before we look at the rest of it, let’s make sure we have this part down: Your forgiveness from sin in Christ is thorough.
WHAT GOD’S GRACE HAS DONE TO MY SIN
- My sin is cleansed (Isaiah 1:18) - Do you know a shirt can get “permanent stink”? Gross, Pastor Jeff, right? Well, I just recently had to throw a shirt away that I used to love to work out in, but even after several washings, Tide couldn’t even do the job. After some mourning, the shirt and I parted. My wife rejoiced. We are “dirty” in sin before we receive Christ, but the washing He gives doesn’t just fade a stain, it removes it. Whiter than snow. Not even “as white as snow” - but whiter! Cleaner than new. That’s what God says about your sin being cleansed.
- My sin is removed (Psalm 103:12) - Here is another way God describes our sin. Removed. Far removed. Infinitely far removed. As far as East is from West. How far is that? Infinite. Grab a globe. You do have a globe laying around, I hope. Notice God doesn’t say “as far as North is from the South”, because if you go South far enough, eventually you are heading North. Trace it with your finger. But if you go East, you will never head West. Catch that? Your sin is gone. That’s what God says about your sin being removed.
- My sin is lost (Micah 7:19) - Imagine I am on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I am leaning on the rail, overlooking the water, and I am foolishly tossing my wedding ring up and down, catching it until… whoops, I dropped it! And it fell into the ocean! What are my chances of ever seeing that ring again? Zero. Even if I got back to shore and hired the best divers in the world, they are never going to find that ring. And if some sneaky fish grabs it, takes it to the ocean floor and it… it is loster than lost. That’s where God has put my sin - lost forever. No chance of it coming back. Cleansed and removed and lost. That’s what God says about your sin being lost.
- My sin is forgotten (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12) - Since He says it again in Hebrews 10:17, God must really want to make a point here. A friend of mine once told me he believes when he dies, God will show him a movie of his life and point out all the times he, my friend, blew it. This doesn’t line up with what God already pronounced. He is willing to forget. Forget. As in, “God, don’t you remember the time I really let you down? The time I really dishonored you?” And God’s reply, “No, I don’t remember that at all.” That’s what God says about your sin being forgotten.
- My sin is pardoned (Romans 8:1) - This is courtroom language. We are guilty of sin. When we receive Christ, we are pronounced not guilty. Is someone going to run into the courtroom and try to overturn the Judge’s decision? Not this Judge. He has all knowledge, all power, and all grace. And He says, “Not condemned” and slams the gavel down. Case over. That’s what God says about your sin being pardoned.
Christians, go forward with God in confidence. Your sin is cleansed, removed, lost, forgotten, and pardoned. If it isn’t an issue with God, why is it an issue with you? God’s grace makes us strong. Be strong.
p.s. - amazed at the depths of grace!