Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Conversation about Sin, Forgiveness and Grace

I was reminded recently of the conversation I had once had with a friend of mine.
She was looking a little worse for wear, tears were streaming down her soft pink cheeks and it was obvious that she had a lot on her mind.
I made my way up to where she sat; half curled up into a ball in the corner of the youth hall.

"Is everything okay?" I asked as I sat beside her.
"I guess so-" came the reply.
"I don't buy it...speak to me..."
"Ah, it's nothing, Brogan. Really-"
"It can't be nothing, can it? I mean, why would you be so bothered about nothing?"
She sighed deeply and lowered her head to her knees, hiding her face from my view.

"Is God judging me? Is He angry with me?"

I sat up. It really was not the response I was expecting. I thought her sadness may be rooted in "boyfriend" trouble or even a problem at school. After all, those were the replies I was most used to...

"Why would you ask that-" I replied dumbly.
"Because I am not perfect...because I fail...because I sin..."
"And now you fear Gods judgement?"
"What did you do?" (Again a dumb question)
"Sin is sin, right? So it really doesn't matter what I did...the Law is a composite whole. You taught me that! If we have broken one commandment then we have broken the entire law. Surely, if God is just, He would punish me for my law-breaking, even if it were accidental?"

I was stunned. She was really thinking. She was asking the important questions. I could not help but smile proudly at her reply.

"I don't think this is funny," she protested.
I cleared my throat and nodded in agreement, "NO I don’t think it is funny either. I am smiling because you have asked such a clever question-"
She grinned, "-and the answer is?"
"WELL, before I answer your question, let me ask you one. Do you believe that Jesus died for you?"
"Of Course-"
"...to forgive me of my sin...to pay the price...to save me from the punishment that was due by quenching Gods anger..."

Suddenly a light went on!

"Brogan, surely not! Are you saying that God won't punish me now for my sin, because he has already punished Jesus for my sin (in my place)?"
I nodded gently, "but you said it, not me!"
"But...what if I sin now after being saved? What if I fail as a believer?"
"Lisa, we all fail, that is why we need grace. But let me ask you this: how many of your sins were covered by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross? One sin? Two sins…"
"No, not just one or two...ALL OF THEM SILLY..."

Suddenly another light went on!
Suddenly she began to laugh hysterically!
Suddenly she brightened up!
And without even thinking twice she said aloud:
"WHOA! That is amazing! Is that the gospel? It all makes sense now! How did I miss it? And to think, I have been living in fear all this time when I could have been living by faith!"

Friends, Jesus died for all of your sins. YOU ARE FORGIVEN. God is not about to punish you. yes, he does discipline his children but it is always in love and through love. Gods discipline is not punishment or judgement. You can walk with your head held high and enter Gods Throne Room of Grace with confidence because you are THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. FOREVER.

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