For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. PSALM 51:3 (ESV)
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. PSALM 51:3 (NIV)
Read Full Passage HERE
To know one’s transgressions is the first step in repentance. To recognize your sin requires humility and obedience to God. This humility, first given to us by God, separates the believer from the unbeliever. This is why no matter how morally good of a life an unbeliever may live, and there are plenty who live morally “better” lives than Christians, without repentance, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Complete ownership of our rebellion toward God is not an easy concept for the unbeliever to affirm or rationalize. However, without this understanding, Christ’s sacrifice is meaningless. For our sin brings about death, and the way to reconcile our sin has always been by blood. Before Christ’s life on earth, sin was dealt with through animal sacrifice. But this sacrifice didn’t truly take away sin:
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” - Hebrews 10:4-7
Christ came and put an end to sin once and for all. His blood was the only effective vessel through which atonement and reconciliation could be received. So, left on our own, our attempts to be good enough and sufficiently moral so that we may be blessed after death are fruitless and impossible. We diminish Christ’s work on the cross with our attempts to be good enough. Let this be a message to the believer and the unbeliever. For the believer, when we are tempted to work our way back into right-standing with God after we sin, let us remember the sacrifice of Christ alone. For the unbeliever, when they are tempted to believe that in the “off-chance there is a supernatural creator,” they did their best to live a good life and not do wrong to others, so they should be just fine, that this won’t do.
As believers, the most unloving thing you and I could do is keep the truth of the Gospel a secret. With an understanding that no person could ever do enough good to earn their place in Heaven and attempting to do it alone will result in Hell, to keep this a secret is devastating for the unbeliever who must hear the Good News to believe. This is a message to myself as much as anyone. The next time you or I are scared to share the Gospel, let us think on this. In order to know truly the good news of the Gospel, we must first know the bad news, that we are sinners. That we are all sinners in need of a Savior.