Ever sin after becoming a Christian – a devoted follower of Jesus? Come on now, don’t deny it – you have, and you know it! A temptation came your way… a moment of frustration or anger… a bad choice… and you stumbled and fell – You failed your Lord and Savior and sinned! You feel awful about it – you’d like to cover it up (but don’t!) – What you really need to do is acknowledge it (that’s what “confession” is), ask the Lord for forgiveness, and repent (turn from it)!
Have I ever sinned since becoming a Christian? You bet! We’re all in the same boat!
This morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read a wonderful passage that addresses this very issue! Here’s what Apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had to say about it…
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess [acknowledge] our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world!” (from 1 John 1:6 – 2:2 ESV)
Did you notice that big theological word – “propitiation”? Do you know what it means – do you have any idea what’s included in that term? Let me tell you, it’s incredible – it’s wonderful! It’s a term difficult to capture with a single English term. It’s one of those “double-fisted” words in the original language (Greek – “Hilasmos”). First of all, it bears the idea of averting/escaping God’s wrath upon sin. Secondly, it includes God’s provision for cleansing from sin through the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. God’s wrath becomes God’s forgiveness and favor because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! How wonderful is that?!
But there is something even more wonderful! His sacrifice for sin not only cares for our sin when we stumble and fall… The passage declares it is a sin-sacrifice sufficient “not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world!” The sins of all your family, friends, and colleagues who don’t know the Lord yet can be forgiven if they acknowledge their sin, turn from it, and put their trust in Christ!
My response this morning? In the words of an old hymn… “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”