Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word…—Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'”
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.—But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.
Hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation. He Himself will free Israel [and me] from every kind of sin.
Ps.130:3-5 NLT; Ps. 19:12-13 ESV; Acts 13:38-41 ESV; Acts 16:31 KJV; Gal. 3:22 NLT; Ps.130:7-8 NLT
It’s too good to be true, and yet, it is so because God has said so. We are forgiven through faith in Jesus. We are saved from ourselves by reliance on the Son. And this salvation goes on and on uncovering the depths of our depravity—our helplesslesss to live this life only Jesus has lived perfectly, our proneness to wander into paths that end in death, our bereft condition without Jesus… But as each failing is uncovered, there is an abundant salvation that covers this too. And we are called to keep believing that this salvation that is ours through faith in Jesus, covers all our sin, past, present and future.
I’ve been freshly struck this week by the hazard of being born and reared to be ‘good’. With this privilege comes the risk of depending on a moral upbringing and a relative ‘righteousness’ rather than on the righteousness of Christ. There are after all greater sins than murder, theft and adultery… This has been brought home to me in the character of the ‘pious woman’ in Graham Greene’s novel: The Power and the Glory. The main character is a bedraggled priest whose moral failure has humbled him not only to acknowledge how depraved he is apart from the mercy of God, but to begin to truly love other sinners with God’s love and care. In contrast is the pious woman imprisoned with him. Thinking herself good she exudes merciless scorn for the sinners around her all the while oblivious to her own condition. It is a soul-searching story well penned, that points me back to the Word–“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?” and to the only One I can count on to save my soul!
“I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him.”
May we be found in Him, blameless when He comes again!
If you haven’t read Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, I’ve offered some thoughts and quotes at my Quotes and Notes blog here, in hopes you’ll give it a read!