For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. (Psalm 38:18)
A Contrite View Of Personal Sin
The fundamental flaw of man is found in his daily struggle with sin. Most men have no idea what sin is and disregard any accountability to recognize a law of righteousness. When a person obeys the gospel of Christ they understand the nature of transgressing the law of God and convicted in their hearts of the penalty of sin, obey the will of the Lord receiving the forgiveness of sin. It is easy to lose the significance of that moment of reality when the soul is pricked with the consciousness of sin and its horrible price. Sin can be viewed as a ‘mistake’ or a ‘misstep’ or accepted as the normal failings of man without any emotional attachments. Often in prayers forgiveness is sought for ‘many sins’ as if there is an acceptable reality that all men sin and it’s just the way things are. Somehow God is supposed to understand this and allow man his deficiencies. An almost cavalier attitude is created when sin is accepted as the normal part of humanity with little effort to examine closely the cause and effect of sin. Public confession is almost non-existent because no one desires to be embarrassed. Acknowledgement of sin can be as frank and cold as ordering a hamburger and fries. A man approaches God, demands forgiveness and walks away confident he is vindicated as a sinner and the Lord will automatically forgive because that is the legal requirement of the law. Nothing is further from the truth.
In the purest sense of justification, the penalty for a crime must fit the nature of the judgment. In other words stealing a pack of gum does not carry the same weight as murder. The penalties and consequences are dissimilar because of the seriousness of the crime merits the adjudication of the judgment pronounced upon the person. Justice would require a fair and just handling of the charges with appropriate consequences for each crime. What was the price for sin to be taken away and offered to man as an avenue of grace? How much money was paid to take away the blight of sin? Which animal had to be sacrificed and how many animals gave their lives so that man could stand justified before a holy God and be free from the wages of sin? The true character of sin can only be understood when the price for sin is viewed at a place called Golgotha. Sin could not be taken away by thirty pieces of silver or all the money in the world. The blood of bulls and goats can never take away the putridity of sin and make a man whole. When God looked upon the world ripe with sin there was only one way the nature of sin could be declared to all men and that came from the sacrifice of the Son of God. Jesus did not die for a ‘mistake’ or an ‘oops’ or a ‘misstep.’ The Son of God died on a miserable cross because the price for redemption required His suffering and His death to pay the price for sin. There is nothing man could do and there is nothing man can do that will justify himself to pay the penalty of sin. It took the blood of God’s beloved Son to die on a Roman cross and the hands of the Jewish nation to bring all men under the umbrella of God’s love. The greatest of the cross shows the horrific nature of sin. That is the price that had to be paid. Sin cost God His Son and cost the Son His life.
Long before Jesus came, the prophet David understood the true nature of sin. He did not look at his sin as mere fleshly failings expected in the nature of man. The son of Jesse anguished over his sin. He felt sorrow and grief because of his sin. Viewing the true nature of sin, David pleaded with the Lord for forgiveness. He was not casual about his pleading and he was not indifferent to his sin. Clearly sin was attached to the wrath of God, the hot displeasure of the Lord’s anger and the penalty of sin weighed heavily upon the heart of David. The greater his awareness of how terrible sin was the deeper his love for the kind hand of God to forgive. It begins with seeing sin for what it is. He was in anguish over his sin. The more he struggled with sin the less he desired to sin. His life was filled with the grace of God as he confessed his sins before a righteous and just God. For the Christian today who takes for granted the forgiveness of sins; it is imperative to remember the price paid to attain redemption. There is a great need for all those who name the name of Christ to anguish over sin and see the horrific price paid for salvation. Seeing the cross of Jesus is not a golden emblem of beauty but a horrifying piece of wood which the Son of God was nailed. Jesus died because of my sin and because of your sin. Take a fresh look at sin. Let the anguish of the heart be filled with the knowledge of what God did to redeem man from the horrible consequence of sin. A penitent view of sin helps the soul draw closer to a loving God willing to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west.