Psalm 103:8-12. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
How do you relate to God? When your with God, what do you spend most of your time thinking, meditating, and praying about? If you’re like a lot of Christians, the answer is your sin. Do you deal with God according to your list of sins? Do you believe that is how God will deal with you today?
Here in Psalm 103 we find the most glorious of truths and the foundation for all growth in Christ: God does not deal with us according to our sin. God keeps no record of our wrongs. God holds no grudges. God is done chiding us. God will never repay us for our offenses. God’s not keeping score.
Why? Because Jesus Christ has carried our sins far away. Like in the movies when the superhero swoops in and carries the bomb that is about to explode off into space, this is what Jesus has done for us. He has carried the bomb of our guilt far, far away. As far as the east is from the west. That’s infinite removal. Because of your forgiveness in Christ, your sins will never be held against you by God. Not today. Not on judgement day. Never.
Hebrews 9:28. so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
So if my relationship with God is not all about dealing with my sin, then how do I relate to God today? What does God want to talk about when we’re together (which is always)?
Have you ever stopped to think that when you spend time with God and are constantly reviewing all your sins with him, that he is probably thinking, “I don’t want to talk about those; I already died for those. Let’s talk about me instead.”
God wants to talk to you about his mercy and grace. His slow anger and steadfast love. He wants you to know that he loves you to the universe and back again. He wants to relate to you as a compassionate father. He wants you to know that he has given his life for you and to you. He wants to talk about your life being hidden with Christ. That you have everything that Jesus has.
This all sounds great, but if God doesn’t deal with me according to my sins, does that mean he doesn’t care if I sin?
No, he cares deeply. He knows how much pride and self-righteousness are tearing you apart. He knows how your mistakes and rebellions bring so much pain and sadness to yourself and others. He wants you to live in freedom from sin. But he wants to deal with your indwelling sin, not your individual sins.
Most of us think God is dealing with us individual sin by individual sin. And so we start to attribute our daily trials to our daily sins. We assume God won’t hear our prayer today because we sinned yesterday. We try to keep “short accounts of sins” so that we don’t fall out of fellowship with God. But none of this thinking reflects the freedom of the cross. Instead it’s the bondage of guilt and shame. What’s the common “christian” solution? The cycle of sin, then beg for forgiveness, then sin again, then beg for forgiveness again, over and over and over until Jesus comes back.
But when we live trapped in this cycle we are asking God to do what his word says he does not do – deal with us according to our sins. You see to live in the sin-beg for forgiveness-sin-beg for forgiveness cycle over and over again is to forget that Christ has been offered ONCE to bear the sins of many.
So how does God deal with our specific individual sins? By dealing with the source of those sins, the force of indwelling sin within us, on the cross. And the only way to deal with the force of sin in us is to apply God’s gracious and steadfast love in Christ to it. Because only when we trust that we are fully loved will the power of sin in us slowly fade away.
“To live is Christ” means that by faith in the death of Christ every individual sin has been dealt with forever. And by our union with Christ, God’s indwelling infinite love and forgiveness remove the indwelling force of sin in our hearts little by little, as we deal with God, not according to our sins, but according to his grace that has already dealt with all our sins.
How do you relate to God? As sinner, or as his child?
You in Christ
Praise God for the removal of all your sin in Christ Jesus!
Christ in you
What might guilt free living look like for you today?
Playlist: East From West
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