God is not interested in your sin

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Sometimes the thought goes through our minds, “How could God love me when I sin like this?” But God’s attitude towards our sin is different to what we often think.

You can tell what God’s attitude towards our sin is by what he does with it. He forgets it (Jeremiah 31:34), takes it away (Hebrews 9:28), blots it out (Isaiah 43:25), removes it as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and hurls it into the sea (Micah 7:19). He just wants to get rid of that thing, wipe it out and destroy all memory of it.

When the prodigal son came home covered in dirt and filth from the pig sty, the father wouldn’t listen to his speech – he interrupted him and clothed him with his own robes (Luke 15:21-22). When the older brother started to list his sins (vs 30), the father just said, “Who cares? He’s my son! My son was dead and gone, and now I have him back again!”

God is so quick to reassure people that they are forgiven the moment they turn to him. Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5-7) and Peter (Luke 5:8-10) are two good examples. He does not put them on probation to see if they really mean it. He just lifts off their shame, encourages them not to be afraid and entrusts them with something new to do for him.

It can be confusing sometimes because God is often quite persistent at convicting us and pointing out our sins when we have done something wrong. The reason why is just because he wants to get rid of it. He is not interested in accusing you or rubbing your nose in your sin; it’s just that his kid has got something wrong, and he wants to take it away from him.

The Christian life is not all about grieving and mourning over your sin and how to get all these sins out of your life – it is about intimacy and relationship with God, enjoying his love and grace, participating with God in what he is doing and bringing others into the same love and joy and freedom that he has given you. Sin is a side issue that needs to be dealt with as it comes up, but it is not the focus of our lives.

Fix your eyes on your own sin and you’ll just get depressed. Fix your eyes on Jesus and his beauty and glory and you will experience the joy it keeps on talking about in the New Testament, and as a side effect it will also change you to be more like him (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

For reflection:

The reason the early church was so full of joy was because they knew they were forgiven. If they were going well, that was great – and if they stumbled, God’s abundant grace and mercy and love was there, so that was great too. Either way they won! Grace means that even your failures can be an opportunity to experience joy.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9)

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