There are two things in a Christian’s life that have to hold together; strangely neither can be abandoned. And as a Christian we give empirical evidence to the existence of both. What are they? That we still have sin living inside of us and that God is abundant in mercy. You and I must stand on these truths. Letting go of either one leads us into danger. It’s not that we want to sin, but the one who claims they have no sin, makes God out to be a liar (1 John 1:10). So, we are left with this truth, I am a sinner, and I need mercy. But we also have the wonderful truth that God is merciful, and because of that, we can face the reality of our sin.
Nehemiah 9:29 says, “They … did not obey your commands, and sinned against your rules”. Maybe it’s a thoughtless word, a selfish act, a prideful thought, a moment of envy, a flash of lust, a willing act of disobedience, an attitude of vengeance, a minor moment of stealing, failing to give grace where grace is needed, failing to grant forgiveness, bending the truth, giving in to addiction or working to make these things in your life, look not as bad as they actually are. None of us is sin free. We all continue to fail in word, thought, desire and deed.
This can be crushing. However we aren’t left in our sins! Nehemiah continues 9:31, “Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God”. Friends, listen to these words. You can be courageous in admitting your sin precisely because God is rich in his mercy. And he comes to you in mercy, not because you are good but he comes to you in mercy because you are a sinner. Trapped in your sin. He knows what you need. So, since it’s impossible for you to run away from yourself, and therefore run from your sin, there is only one hope. That someone with power, wisdom, and mercy will invade our life, forgive our sins, and progressively delivers us from the hold that sin has had over us.
So, through Jesus, his life, death, resurrection and accession we live in the tension of sinful forgiveness. There is not a day without sin rearing it’s ugly head, but there is not a day in which God’s mercies aren’t new. Wow! We praise you LORD God Almighty. Chris