What Sin?

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.                                             
          Psalm 103:12  
 
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
                                                                       Hebrews 10:16-17  
 
There’s the story of a little girl telling her pastor that Jesus came to her in a dream the night before. She was quite excited as she described Him to the pastor. The pastor smiled and patted her on the head, telling her that he was happy for her but that Jesus didn’t tend to visit people in their dreams. She was quite insistent that it was Jesus. The pastor told her the next time Jesus came to visit her, she was to ask him about the last sin he had committed. She enthusiastically agreed. The following Sunday morning the young girl spotted the pastor across the crowded narthex and shouted, “Pastor, Pastor! Jesus came to visit me last night so I did what you told me to do and asked Him about your sin!” A hush fell over the crowd as all eyes were drawn to the slightly distraught pastor whose composure was slipping away as quickly as the blood was from his face. “Oh? What did He say?” the pastor asked begrudgingly, anticipating the worst. The little girl replied, “He said He forgot!”
 
The concept of the Lord forgetting my sins has always puzzled my matter-of-fact and quite literal mind. I know that Jesus died for my sins, and I praise Him for that fact almost daily. I understand that He paid the price on the cross for the sins I have committed, commit, and will commit – the judgment that should have been upon me was thrust upon Him. His atoning sacrifice gave me the gift of salvation and grace. He took the punishment I so richly deserve, gifting me with the robe of righteousness that enables me to be in communion with our Heavenly Father when I pray. Jesus paid it all, and He did it for me and for you.
But the Nicodemus-like quality in me can’t fully wrap my mind around the concept of God’s forgetting, as He is omniscient—all knowing. I’m fairly certain that if the Lord were standing in front of me explaining this to me, I’d stare at Him for a while, mouth unable to fully close and my gaze powerless to make eye contact until He says, “Laura, bless your heart. God doesn’t literally forget your sin.. He just chooses not to judge you for it because of My work on the cross.” To which I’d probably sheepishly reply, “Ohhh. I get it. D’urh.” (then I’d wonder whether it was okay to say “D’urh” to the second Person of the Trinity and my Lord and Savior. I’d overanalyze and agonize until His twinkling and loving eyes would smile at me, and all semblance of self-judgment and discomfort would fade).
 
You see, it’s kind of like the phrase we learned when we were young (but may not fully understand): “forgive and forget”. When someone does something that is less than Christian to us, we can find it difficult to blot that occurrence out of our minds. By all means, we can forgive them, especially if they ask for it, but human nature tends to catalogue the event in our minds, drawing it into our consciousness at those times where it looks as if the perpetrator will commit the same offense, or something similar.
 
Our Holy Father is not capable of forgetting something that we are not in forgetting, but He is capable of doing what we find virtually impossible: not counting our sin against us. What an amazing gift grace is, yes? All glory and honor to the One who became sin for our sake, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)!  
 

Prayer Requests

  • For those struggling with seemingly unending health issues
  • For travel mercies this holiday season
  • For us to seek His will for the upcoming year of exciting change and growth
  • For us to be instruments of His love and hope

I greatly caution those who tend to hold onto their sins even after the Almighty has forgiven you. You see, the enemy has a way of reminding us of those sins at key moments in our life, pulling us back into a quagmire of self-loathing and doubt. You may begin to wonder however it could be that the Lord can love and forgive when you can’t even forgive yourself. The more you think that, the less you will want to be in His presence, because of your perceived unworthiness. Don’t let the enemy win! Don’t presume to be more intelligent or wiser than the Lord. He chose to forgive you—you should forgive yourself! No, you don’t deserve it, but His forgiveness is a gift. Open it up and wear it—let that robe of righteousness engulf and protect you! Stand up to the enemy and flaunt it if you have to, but make sure that he knows that you know Whose you are!  

Quotes

“Satan knows your name but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin but calls you by your name.”
 
“God was at work on Good Friday, doing His greatest good in man’s most horrible evil.”   — David Mathis