Links Daily Devotional

Our Sin, His Forgiveness

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace… (Ephesians 1:7, NIV)

We all have our favorite local track, a golf course with as many faults as features but loveable as a mutt. And we have all gone elsewhere—even if only across town—and played the lush, shot-demanding eighteen everyone can’t stop talking about.

It’s a treat, maybe a gift, to play such a course, and it changes your perspective completely about the game of golf. Or does it?

Sometimes the very things that should capture our attention for the new and drive out the old do not. We return to the old middling course. More than that, we insist that this course is better than the excellence we have seen elsewhere.

There is a potential danger in this regard when it comes to sin and salvation. For however long (into our teens? our twenties? our fifties?), we play the games of sin, sure that the self-governance that comes with that way of living is the best course of action we have as earthly creatures.

Then Jesus comes—into our ears, into our minds, and into our hearts. His salvation is rich and free. It washes over and washes out our sin, providing the way to eternity. This is the Good News: sinners to saved saints, all in the hands of Jesus.

The doctrine of salvation makes no sense without the doctrine of sin. The well do not need a doctor.

But here’s the problem: neither does it make sense to dwell on the depth of our sin when Christ’s loving forgiveness is so much deeper still. Who stays in bed after the sickness is gone? To keep speaking of our sin as though it is unconquerable is to give it a power it does not have; the power of Christ’s work on the cross, through which our sin has been forgiven, blows away any power we might think our sin possesses.

We might also find ourselves given to thinking that Christ’s forgiveness has only a future power. We return to sins, however “small,” telling ourselves all the while that this isn’t so bad and, besides, it cannot be beaten until Jesus returns or we are taken to him in death. Bunk! Christ’s forgiveness applies now. And the full message of that forgiveness is this, “You simply don’t need to sin anymore. What good is it to sin when sin’s purpose—be it self-gratification or peer satisfaction or the management of physical or emotional pain—has been overwhelmed by the blood-bought, grace-driven forgiveness of God?”

This is a strong move we are speaking of. It requires determination. But so does securing a round at that special golf course. And we sure don’t hesitant at that!

Jeff Hopper
October 7, 2014
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