God Has Dealt With the Problem of Sin
Sin used to be a problem with God. He hated sin so much that anyone who guilty of it was damned for condemnation. But He is not this way anymore. Due to his immense love for mankind, He provided a way that we can escape judgment by allowing Jesus take our punishment for us, thereby redeeming us from eternal condemnation.
Jesus is like the close relative who sees you have a debt you cannot pay, so He pays the debt instead of you. That's exactly what he did. However, the issue of sin still seems to be a problem to many believers. They hold wrong impressions about God and how he regards sin. Some believe God is surprised at their sins and so He's terribly mad at them.
Others believe God is still so concerned about sin as though Jesus hadn't done anything to deal with it. Some others hold the idea that God hates sinners as much as he hates sin, hence, He invariably plunges into hell all who fail to please him. Certainly, there's no use being finicky as to whether or not a man would enter into heaven with his sins; he won't! He simply has no place in heaven as Paul rightly pointed out: "...no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Ephesians 5:5).
However, due to the common cognitive content that because sin is abominable to God, then that means He's mad at any Christian who sins, and there's no point seeking redress let alone believing in His willingness to accept a sinner without any punishment. These kind of thinking about God has caused many to forget about trying to stay holy.
Many even neglect salvation because they believe with sin you can lose your salvation. They believe God is out there to get them for the littlest amount of sin they could commit so they give up hopes of ever being able to get along well with God as a Christian, deeming it impossible. These wrong ideas seem to paint God in the wrong color.
It personifies God as a revengeful tyrant who derives satisfaction from seeing people writhe and shriek in eternal flames, not considering reconciliation but condemnation. Cruelty is satanic. God is love. Satan is the enemy who tempts man to sin and then destroys him if he can. These wrong sentiments are just a reflection of rationalistic views of God whose love is beyond the confines of mental assent.
God Isn't Surprised at Your Sins
The way God regards sin has been fabricated mentally by many. However, it's only the word of God that can accurately reveal the mind of God, not some unscriptural, religious view. God isn't surprised at your faults. What's more, he knew about them ever before you did. Now, because God saw man in a dilemma of invariably sinning continually, and he knew the end result of such; in his love for man, He prepared a means for its eradication by sending Jesus.
He Loves You
God loves you, but he hates sin. The Bible tells us how that God so loved the world of sinners that He didn't even spare his only begotten Son to be laid up as a sacrifice for them (John 3:16). If he didn't love sinners, he certainly wouldn't send anyone to die for them, let alone his only Son. How much more will he regard a saved fellow, even though he's inclined to sin?
Why You Sin: Spiritual Immaturity
You see, the spiritually immature is always expected to sin because he's not a spiritual adult. There's a direct link between a physical baby and a spiritual baby in terms of how they behave.
There's a natural tendency for a child to make mistakes; a child is prone to doing things that an adult normally wouldn't do. So it is with the spiritual child (i.e., the spiritually immature). They seamlessly display immaturity. A baby wouldn't mind putting almost anything he sees into his mouth.
He'll even go ahead to place his hands on a hot iron because he lacks adequate knowledge to know it's not a mere toy. In the same way, a spiritual child is expected to display imperfections because he lacks adequate knowledge about spiritual things.
The Bible proves that spiritual children are devoid of adequate knowledge of God and his Word. In 1 Peter 2:2 they're given an admonition: "desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" ; also, in 1 John 2:3-4, it says, "we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
You see as John pointed out, no one with an adequate knowledge of God will fail to keep his commandments; therefore, in the immediate preceding verse of both scripture references above, sin is associated with the spiritual babes. This is because when knowledge is inadequate, growth is stalled and sin is inevitable.
The verse preceding 1 Peter 2:2 which is 1 Peter 2:1 reads, "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings." Also, the first verse in 1 John chapter 2 says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
Having this knowledge, would you expect flawlessness from a child. Sure not! And God, in His infinite wisdom, wouldn't, too. God knew beforehand that man will always be subject to sin if he hadn't reached the level of maturity. In view of that, He sent Jesus to deal with sin forever.
Jesus Has Settled It
Sin isn't a problem anymore. It was settled by Jesus. God sent Jesus to deal with it and we are now to live in his finished works. God provided a way by which we can escape eternal damnation by allowing Jesus take our punishment for us. However, the significance of the death of Christ on the cross still seems to be faintly grasped in the minds of many. The understanding of this makes plain how God dealt with sin forever through Jesus. Let us examine what he did.
Death Befell Us
Every sinner was condemned to die. The Bible enunciates this in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death."
This was something that didn't please God because He loved sinners. He loved them so much that he had to give his only begotten Son, Jesus, to die in their place (John 3:16). It couldn't be escaped; death was the penalty for everyone who sinned. The Bible declares in Ezekiel 18:4:"...the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Accordingly, Jesus had to die for the whole world to redeem them back to God.
Jesus Came to Take Sins Away
John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ was walking down the street one day with two of his disciples, he saw Jesus afar off and told them who he was, he identified Jesus as "...the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Now, it behooves us to notice something quite important in John's statement. He didn't typify Jesus as a lamb that covers sins instead he describes Jesus as a lamb that takes away sins. This wasn't something the children of Israel were initially acquainted with; they never had their sins taken way. As a matter of fact, nowhere in the Old Testament is it ever claimed that sins were "taken away," i.e., completely removed.
The root of the Hebrew word translated "atonement" in the Old Testament is kaphar, which has the idea of "covering," not total removal. This word is also used to refer to how Noah's ark was to be covered with pitch: "Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch" (Genesis 6:14).
So their sins were never taken away, instead, it was covered and even for a limited period of time. This is because "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Hebrew 10:4). Apparently, John the Baptist, who claimed that Jesus was manifested to take away the sins of the world, knew who Jesus was, if not he would have been tending to describe him as one who "covers sin." He knew he was the only One who could take sins away. He knew he was God's own lamb without blemish and not man's lamb; hence his ability to take sin away. So Jesus didn't come to cover our sins, he came to take them away.
He came to wash them away completely as recorded in Revelation 1:5: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Jesus was able to take sins away seeing that he was the spotless lamb without sin. John said: "...he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin" (1 John 3:5).
Furthermore, not only could his blood take sins away, it was made to be an everlasting cleanser. The Bible attests to this, in Hebrews 13:20 when it declared it to be "the blood of the everlasting covenant." That means no matter how long people still sin, the provision for cleansing will always be available. He fulfilled this on the cross of Calvary when he said "it is finished" (John 19:30).
Forgiveness in Christ
Jesus has settled the problem of sin. What matters now is that we walk in his finished work. One way to do this is to have a complete grasp of forgiveness and how to appropriate it to our lives.
He has provided everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3), including forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 says, "...we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Nevertheless, many Christians are ignorant of this verse of scripture; they think, for one reason or the other, that God is withholding forgiveness from them.
However, the scripture is clear concerning what He's provided for us: forgiveness. Ephesians 1:3 says, how that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings there is, forgiveness is one of those blessings. So the availability is not the problem, it's the willingness to appropriate it that is.
Is He Willing to Forgive?
God is very much willing to forgive his children. His willingness to forgive is so much that he wants everyone with a fault to repent. This is enunciated in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God's willingness to forgive is so intense that he wants all to take advantage of it. It's His joy to see no one perish, hence the provision of forgiveness for all Therefore, what remains is to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). It's by God's grace that our sins can be forgiven in its immensity. We've got to take advantage of it. Apostle John tells us that: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Henceforth, if you're hit by sin, instead of wallowing in grieve and the blighting effect of sin consciousness, just go ahead and make your confession. He's ready, with open arms to accept you back. Just say, "Dear Father, I'm sorry I sinned. I’m so glad that you made provision for my sins by making forgiveness available in Christ Jesus, hence, I receive your forgiveness in the name of Jesus."
The New Creation—End Result of the Redemptive Work
God made a promise in Ezekiel 36:26-27, in that promise he said, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
For me, this is the best way to curb sin and settle it forever. And boy, God did it! He's fulfilled the promise. I mean, if you want someone to do something, simply cause him to do it if you can. You see, as a Christian you are no more in bondage to sin. This doesn't mean you might not sin, but you were not fashioned to continue in sin.
As a matter of fact, you have a cannot-sin nature, and anytime you sin your cannot-sin nature begins to manifest, your heart starts ‘weeping’ and you just wish you never did it. All of this should tell you that you now have a new nature that just can't continue in sin. Ephesians 2:10 explains all of this: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Look at that verse again, it says "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" that means he crafted or fashioned us to conform to his will, not our bodies because the body doesn't undergo a recreation or regeneration process in Christ Jesus but the spirit does. And He did it in such a way that we are programmed to do good only, and not evil.
This is the nature of anyone who is born again—the cannot-sin nature; anyone who is in Christ has this new nature. No wonder the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." What else is the problem! God has done it, He's settled the problem of sin forever. We're no more under the bondage of sin, we are now under a new configuration (Rom 6:14).
Dear reader, live with this consciousness—the consciousness of being free from the old sin nature, and forgive you when you miss it so you can get back on track—the path of righteousness, and continue your growth in Christ unto maturity. What we need to do now in this new setting is to strive to put on perfection.
This is our common destination in Christianity—the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). This can only be achieved through the spiritual training you give yourself based on the Word of God. Do this till God's Word impacts your thinking and mindset; giving you a new mental structural pattern, hence a new way of life that transcends the hold of sin. Remember this, your maturity as a Christian and your apathy towards sinful acts is a direct function of the amount of God's Word in you. So keep living in, and growing by the Word, and you'll live to your highest potentials in life—far from the hold of sin.
© 2017 Matthew Joseph