“In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
You are not too sinful to be forgiven.
John the Baptist’s father prophesied that John would go before the Lord to give His people the ‘knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of all their sins.’ John called Jesus, ‘The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’ Jesus died so that we might be forgiven – and the beloved disciple John wrote that ‘He appeared so that He might take away our sins.’ Therefore,
“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)
Note that John says He will, not that He might! And when Peter asked Him how often he was to forgive a brother who sinned against him Jesus reply indicated that there was no limit. That is the standard that He applies Himself for limits have to do with laws and legalism not with love and grace.
If we have sinned we need to recognise it and confess it to the Lord simply and without excuse. Then we need to open ourselves to accept and be cleansed by His love and forgiveness. Quite often it is at this point that we battle the most. We feel that we do not deserve such love, cleansing and forgiveness and so we wallow in our shame and guilt. Certainly we must not take sin lightly – and the agony of it can remind us of just how deeply it affects us. However, more powerful, more effective and more deeply rooted than sin is the love and forgiveness of the Lord. It is there to set us free, to liberate us to stand up and walk on again – not as shameful sinners but as the blessed redeemed.
It is the focus on self that causes us to sin. We must ensure that the focus on self does not keep us way from receiving God’s forgiveness and cleansing. Now more than ever we need to look away from ourselves to Him – and to walk forward in humble praise of His wonderful love and grace.
Run to the Lord for cleansing – don’t hide in the forest with your fig leaves!
Lord I have sinned and fallen short of Your glory – but You have died and risen again to restore to me the joy of Life. Amen.