30th November 2010

Does God Keep A List Of Our Sins?

“No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 8:11-12 (NIV)

Many people mistrust God. They see him as a bookkeeper, a judge, a spy; They see him as someone who spends lots of time making lists of our sins and shortcomings in order to dole out the punishment we deserve. Is that the way you look at our Heavenly Father? Do you really believe that God is Love?

Notice the example of King David as he pens Psalm 103, and I would urge you to read the whole Psalm in several translations, but let me just highlight a couple of verses here from the NLT—Verse  8; “The Lord is merciful and gracious; He is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.” Verse 10; “He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does He deal with us as we deserve,” and verse 13; “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”

The New King James Version translates verse 12 this way: “As far as the east is from the west, so has He removed our transgressions from us.” Have you any idea just how far the east is from the west? If you travel around the earth in an easterly direction you will never, ever be heading west, and if you travel west you will always be going west. So, infinity—that’s how far!

In Isaiah 38:17, King Hezekiah was on his deathbed, and in his mercy God extended his life for fifteen years (verse 5). From verse 10 to verse 20 Hezekiah writes a song praising God for his mercy, and in verse 17 he says, “For you have cast all my sins behind your back!” In other words, totally and completely out of his sight.

Micah chapter 7 and verse 19 tells us that “God will tread our sins underfoot and will cast all our iniquities into the depths of the sea,” and as someone once said, “He puts up a notice which says, ‘No Fishing!’” Does that sound like God is making lists?

And finally, in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” The Hebrew word translated ‘blots out’,means totally destroyed; so when God forgives, He forgets totally!

For me, that’s good news!

Prayer
Thank you so very much heavenly Father, that your forgiveness and your love are always there for us. Help us realise that nothing that we have done or will ever do can ever separate us from you or your amazing and inexhaustible grace.”
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill 

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