Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Many Times Will God Forgive Me?

Have you ever wondered how many times God will forgive you for the same stupid sin?

If you call yourself a Christian, a Christ follower, you know you’re supposed to live a holy life. Yet you still stumble. Even worse, you seem to trip over the same temptations time and again. How long will God put up with that?

None of us should ever take lightly the sin in our lives, or presume upon the grace of God, as if since we “prayed a prayer” or “walked an aisle,” the state of our soul doesn’t matter.

But God’s grace is revealed in part by our tenderness to our own sin, not our callousness to it. If you’re troubled, good. God is at work. Your sensitive soul is in good company with godly men and women of old who agonized over their sin. “Wretched man that I am!” said one of them.

But still the question: how many times will God forgive us for the same stupid sin? Won’t He eventually just run out of patience and give up on us?

It’s easy for our stubborn sins to loom ever larger in our sight. But our hope of divine forgiveness, ongoing favor and eternal life has never rested in our self-improvement. It has always been and will always be in the infinite value of Jesus’ sacrifice in our place. Hebrews 10:14 says it this way: For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

How can a single offering, the death of just one man, produce such an astounding result? Why would this one sacrifice count so completely (perfected), permanently (for all time) and for such a multitude throughout history (those who are being sanctified)?

There is only one answer: the offering is infinitely precious and immeasurably worthy. Christ’s value is beyond calculation. His perfect obedience in life, His impeccable sacrifice in death, the inestimable power of His resurrection overweigh the sin of a million sinners. It’s not even close.

When, disgusted by our sin, we recoil from our God’s kindness and blessing and forgiveness, we are saying, “Surely Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough any longer to count for me. He’s not worthy enough to atone for all my sin. Unless I prove myself better, the Lord will not accept me.” We probably don’t think of it this way, but that’s what it amounts to.

But the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." The ransom of His life is infinitely precious and infinitely worthy for time and eternity.

O how we love Christ, and depend wholly on Him. Charitie Bancroft can be our teacher here: