I was reading a devotional the other night and one question stuck with me:
Can we truly be thankful to God for forgiveness unless we are willing to acknowledge the sins that the Lord has forgiven?There’s more to that thought than being aware where we are sinning. Oh, the author referred to “sin” as being an “ugly word.” Do we think it is?
We find in the Bible that we all have sinned, and there are consequences:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)
That’s not a thought confined to the New Testament, either:
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. (Psalms 119:176 KJV)
Isaiah used that analogy, too:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6 KJV)
Why, then, do we have such a problem admitting we’ve strayed when for millennia, it is obvious? Why, as Christians, do we depend on a small verse to cover our own lives:
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 KJV)
As a side note, how often do we even think about the second half of that sentence, much less consider what our debts are? What do we consider our debts, or as Luke puts it:
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. (Luke 11:4 KJV)
Yep – Luke uses that “ugly word”, sin. We’re forced to confront what sin is. The Bible lays out in detail stories of people who sinned, along with consequences. We appear eager to look at theirs and say, “Not me! I didn’t do any of that.” But, consider the source of their actions, from Eve through succeeding generations to this very hour, and we find that sin is going against God’s will.
We sin daily. Jesus brought it down to two categories, sin against God and man:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
In the last twenty-four hours, what have I put ahead of my love for God? What have I held against my fellow man? To deny that I have done this would be a lie. Thanks be to God for His mercy and His grace, for as I acknowledge my failures, He hears and cleanses:
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalms 32:5 KJV)
That is truth – and we’ve been promised that the truth will set us free.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32 KJV)