Drowning in guilt… Sinfulness – whether it’s personal or corporate – creates a deep pit of bondage, despondency, and crisis! It happens to individuals that practice sin, churches that tolerate sin, and nations that ignore or approve of sinful behavior.
I read a passage that addressed the sin issue and its consequences, as well as its solution, during my time of “coffee with the Lord” this morning… Here it is…
“From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help! Hear my cry, O Lord! Pay attention to my prayer! LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear [reverence] you! I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him! I have put my hope in his word! … O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love! His redemption overflows! He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin.” (From Psalm 130 NLT)
This passage declares that the solution to the terrible pit of despair and guilt that sin creates is to acknowledge sin (i.e. confess it] and beg for forgiveness! Here’s the good news… “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)
But this passage also reveals something that is often overlooked… Sin is not simply a personal issue – it can often be a collective or corporate problem… Churches can tolerate sin and incur guilt (read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 and Revelation 2:18-23)! Nations can also be held accountable and experience judgment for the sin they practice, tolerate and legalize. (Notice this passage addresses the sin of Israel! Read the Old Testament prophets and see if God does not hold nations responsible for their sinfulness.) Collective sin – corporate sin – also needs confession and repentance!
But praise the Lord! … “With you there is forgiveness… with you is unfailing love and full redemption! You will redeem us from all our sins!”