Have you ever said, “I will never… I will never ever do that.
If you answered this question and said, “No, I’ve never done something that I said I wouldn’t do. I have kept the law and followed it diligently…,” then I will suggest that you have sinned, and either you don’t realize it or are living in complete denial.
Because we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all bear in our bodies the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve.
So let me begin again, and when we sin, we have the greatest of promises given to us from 1 John 2:1-2,
…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins…
John Snyder writes in his article, A State of Being: Guilt and Shame,
From the Bible’s point of view, guilt, real guilt, is first and foremost not a feeling. It’s a state of being. It’s the position of being out of line with our God by virtue of our sin. It can be fixed only by being placed into a right relationship with him, a solution that’s brought about only by God himself, not by us. It is his specialty to fix this problem. Resorting to our own measures only makes things worse.
God solved our estrangement with him by absorbing all our guilt and shame in the life, sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus his only Son. In humble obedience, Jesus paid the price that we couldn’t pay and paved the way for us to return home to our Creator.
As a pastor’s wife, I hear heartbreaking stories from both women and men who have fallen in some way. For some reason today, it seems that Christians see lying as socially acceptable, gluttony is almost a revered virtue, slander (the violent destruction of someone’s career or life) doesn’t even register much on the Richter scale of sin, but sexual sin is an automatic, total failure. People love to point fingers—forgetting the full-blown sin of pride and superiority.
If we’re judging from a scriptural point of view, then we’ll conclude that all sin is sin. Yes, there are some that are worse and should receive the appropriate consequences for their actions (for example, murder, rape, etc.,), but, and here’s what is difficult for many self-righteous people (some of us can include ourselves) to accept, all sin is pardonable (except one, Matt. 12:32) because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We may not want to forgive someone, and someone may not have asked for our forgiveness, but that is between us, them, and God.
So if you’ve sinned and are continuing to live under the burden of the offense, then know this. We are saved because of grace, not due to our own righteousness, or good works, which the Bible calls “filthy rags.” We are forgiven when we turn to God and confess our sins, and stop doing what causes us to fall.
Dr. Snyder states, “Remember, there is no sin too perverse for our God to forgive or mistake too great for him to fix.”
That doesn’t mean we are never forgiven if/when we fall again, it just means to try not to repeat what we’ve done, to live not in denial, and to try and make restitution wherever and whenever possible. Take the fallenness of what you’ve done and turn it into something positive. It’s one way of becoming a compassionate, caring person. Don’t keep wallowing in your sin, or permit anyone else to hold you captive in your shame. And please don’t blame yourself for being a victim of someone else’s sin. It’s not your fault.
For those of you fortunate ones who have been able to avoid all the sins of the world, ask yourself a few questions. How approachable am I? Do I look down on a “sinner?” Would a sinner have any confidence in my compassion so that I can reach out and help them?
I love the way the ESV renders Matthew 9:10,
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.
The dictionary describes reclined as “leaning back in a relaxed position”—being laid back. Jesus was very relaxed about being around sinners, sharing a meal with them. What a great image! Wouldn’t you much rather be a sinner, sitting around the dinner table with Jesus, being very loved and forgiven, than feeling sinless, self-righteous, and distant from him?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9