ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Of Saints And Sinners

Updated on April 22, 2011
“For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.  You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance”  (Ps 90:7-9).
“For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance” (Ps 90:7-9).

The Closer We Come To God, The Greater Our Awareness Of Sin

In Psalm 90:7-9, Moses brings up a blatant thought that sinners struggle with: “For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance” (Ps 90:7-9). God, not Moses, keeps a track record of all our sins. According to Bernhard Anderson, “Human life is lived under the judgment (wrath) of God, from whose penetrating scrutiny there is no escape even in the innermost secrets of one’s life.” (Out of the Depths, 228-29) David acknowledges God’s disclosure of His ways to Moses inclusive of how, in His mercy, deals with our sins. “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities…as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:10-11).


God's Forgiveness Of Sin

Under the Old Covenant, so far, so good. But when we arrive at the New Testament, the letter to the Hebrews goes even further. What the writer is doing is choosing passages from the Old Testament and saying, in effect: what we have is good, but God is doing something better. We may know what is true, but we haven’t the whole truth. Why so? Under the Old Covenant, sins were never completely forgiven because they were never truly forgotten. The sentence was held in divine suspension. In the interim period, sins were covered and lying in wait for true forgiveness through Christ’s death. What’s interesting is that the Judge of all the earth never forgets anything. In fact, He cannot forget unless He wills to do so. For any sin entered in His book must be punished. Sin cannot dwell in His holy presence. And when sins are not remembered, F. F. Bruce notes, “it is because His grace has determined to forgive them—not in spite of His holiness, but in harmony with it.” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, 175, 176) Through Jesus Christ, our superior high priest, He establishes a New Covenant and brings total forgiveness. Therefore, God does not just forget our sins. Christ’s death and shed blood on the cross makes it impossible for Him to remember: “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins” (Heb 9:22). In light of this ultimate sacrifice God says, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb 8:12). It’s one thing for God to forgive and forget our sins, it’s quite another for sinful men and women to do the same. Only God can wipe sin away in His written will.


Paul's Struggle With Sin

Isn’t it true, that through the years of communing with God, the closer one gets to Him, the greater is one’s awareness of his or her own sinfulness. Paul’s struggle with the law and the sin that dwells in him is telling (Rom 7:14-25). In the New Testament, Paul declared in his letter to the Corinthians that he was “the least of the apostles” (1 Cor 15:9) and that he did not deserve to be numbered among them because he says, “I persecuted the church of God” (15:9). Yes, Paul was considered to be an apostle and a saint, and yet at times, he could not conceive himself as such for his iniquities were set before him. His sin of persecuting Jesus and his church scarred his memory for life (Ac 26:10-11). In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians Paul writes that he never ceases to be amazed that one so unworthy of so high a task would be chosen by God. He not only declared that he was the least of the apostles, but now declares that he is “the very least of the saints” (3:8). And several more epistles in this downward spiral, Paul reminds young Timothy that in ignorance and unbelief he was once “a blasphemer, a persecutor and a man of violence” (1 Tim 13). Yet rest assured, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom 5:20) in this man’s life. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners“ and for that very reason he being the least of the apostles, the very least of the saints, and now, “the foremost,” was shown the overflowing grace of the Lord (1 Tim 1:14-15).


Moses Humbled By Sin

Moses lived to the ripe old age of 120 years. One could only imagine how he carried the wayward weight of his “secret sin” (90:8) for so long—the murder of that Egyptian who beat one of his people. In the book of Exodus, we read the account of how Moses looked over his shoulder to check and see if the coast was clear. He then dealt this Egyptian a deathblow and hid the body in the sand (2:11-12). We can only wonder how he walked around the desert dragging that hidden skeleton in his closet. How that memory must have crushed him. It served as a weary reminder. The hiddenness of his sin completely exposed in the light of the Lord’s presence. It comes as no surprise to read the book of Numbers that “the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth” (12:3).


Today, it takes great courage and honesty for the saints of God to call a spade, a spade or better still, “to call sin, sin.” Our personal testimonies of how we came to know the Lord attests to this fact. Every time we are given the opportunity to share the story of how God called, forgave and cleansed us of all our sins, we can’t help but remind the hearer, and ourselves, that we were once sinners saved by God. Sin validates the reason of why Jesus’ died on the cross. We can’t conceal that most humbling fact. Our lifelong awareness or confession of sin is in no way a flagellant act that must be put to rest, but rather an act of faith that God uses to help people find rest in Him. Granted God sees us as cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and numbered among a multitude of His saints, while we have both feet planted firmly in this fallen world, we will continue to sin, sin-less maybe, but sin nevertheless.

It’s encouraging to know that as “former sinners, latter saints,” we find ourselves in good company. From the likes of divinely pardoned murderers like Moses and David, to a known persecutor like Paul, we come away forgiven, humbled, enriched and abounding in God’s grace that He alone has willed for Himself that our sins he will remember no more. One day, and that day is coming quickly, when we will finally enter into the heavenly throne room and stand before the Lamb, God will make good on His promise to wash our sinful robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb as well as wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev 7:14,17). Only then will the sinners, or saints if you like, be free from the sinful struggle.

Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

Recommended Reading:

Psalms: Psalms 90-150 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)
Psalms: Psalms 90-150 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms)

John Goldingay's three-volume commentary on the book of Psalms is now complete with this third volume. This work combines literary, historical, grammatical, and theological insights in a widely accessible manner. One of today's foremost experts on biblical theology, Goldingay covers Psalms 90-150 with his own translation of each passage, followed by interpretive comments and discussion of the theological implications. "The book of Psalms is the literary sanctuary; a holy place where humans share their joys and struggles with brutal honesty in God's presence," writes Tremper Longman III, editor of the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series. Pastors, seminary students, scholars, and Bible study leaders will enjoy this enriching volume. Goldingay's Psalms commentary is also available as a three-volume set.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      yeboyes 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for this meaningful hub. To think, in spite of Moshe's murder and hit of the Rock instead of talk, he still spoke to YHVH face to face and even vindicated by YHVH against Aaron and Mriam. There is much hope for every person on this planet if they just realize it. Shalom

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Glad to have been used by the Lord to shed some light on sin and forgiveness. Thank you for your warm welcome James. I look forward to interacting and growing with the HubPages community. All blessings then.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Absolute, unvarnished Truth. The closer was gets to God those little nooks and crannies of sin have a light shined on them: and there they are! Big as day.

      This is fine work, excellent writing. God Bless your service to the Kingdom. And welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 

      9 years ago

      I second that Amen. In the words of Joshua Chamberlin "Oh how great it is to be forgiven" Wonderfully written hub. thanks

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Amen ABR. Grace to you!

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      Excellent Hub!

      1 Corinthians 15:10

      But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

      In Christ

      ABR

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)