What if God is not counting our sins against us?
This seems like a silly question, because if you are reading this, there is a good chance you are a Christian, and you would know to say to me, “Of course He is not counting our sins against us!” However, if an adulterer was sitting in front of you, would you say, “Good news! God does not count your sins against you!” Perhaps you may not be so sure that He is not counting in such a situation? He is only not counting the sins of those who have first showed some sign of sadness for their sins, right? Only then does God stop counting, right?
I have certainly thought I believed that He is not counting, but I have acted as though He is (i.e. not really believed it). What can we learn about this from what Paul writes in II Corinthians 5?
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
It seems that God has done the forgiving and the system by which keeping tally of our good deeds vs. bad is truly finished. God loved the world so much that the Father, Son and Spirit conspired to pay the ultimate price to save us. The Good News is that God is not counting! This world’s system is full of guilt and shame and is certainly making us all believe that God is counting and we are all so guilty and unworthy that we are entitled to be mad at God for keeping tabs! This should not be so.
We can turn from this world system and receive God’s love and forgiveness! Be reconciled to Him, is what Paul encourages. Just like the Father who didn’t count His son’s sins against Him when He allowed his rebellious one to take and squander his inheritance, He stands waiting for you on the porch to come home so He can celebrate! He is not mad at you. He is not glancing over your sin tally sheet shaking his head in disgust as He thinks of you.
We are to be ambassadors of Him and this great news, urging all to be reconciled to the Father! Receive the forgiveness that He has already made possible and given!
What do you think?
Below is a great teaching on this topic, that has encouraged me to reconsider how I view the cross, from Wayne Jacobson, the author of “Finding Church” and contributor to “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore?” This is Part Four of a seven-part series that you can also find on podcast here. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.