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Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day

My Sin, God’s Grace

God’s love is astounding. The more I think on God’s love the more I don’t understand it. One of the verses in scripture that so profoundly captures the abundance of God’s love is Romans 5:8. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I memorized this verse when I was a child. I understood that it means God loves me even though I do wrong things. But it wasn’t until more recently—as I have come face-to-face with how much sin permeates my actions, words and thoughts—that I began to grasp the power of this verse.

The Bible teaches that we are born with a sinful nature—a desire to do the things which go against God.

Every time we sin we put our own desires above God. We say that we, not God, should have the final say. My outward action may not be wrong but if I am inwardly doing it for my own glory, I am in a state of rebellion against God.

When I was younger, my dad and I watched old black-and-white war movies and westerns. In those movies it was always easy to differentiate between the good guy and the bad. Of course, I like to think of myself as the good guy but when I sin, the reality is, I’m siding with the bad guy.

I don’t like to think of myself as the bad guy. I don’t like to think about the reality of my sin. I try to pretend it away and put on a false facade. I put on a white cowboy hat and hope no one looks deeper. But deep down, under all my pretense, I know God sees the truth.

And that’s the beauty of the Gospel! God knows all about us—our deepest thoughts, our hidden sins, our consuming self-worship—and He still redeems us. While I was still a black-hat-wearing bad guy, Christ died for me. I didn’t do something to earn Christ’s sacrifice. I didn’t (and couldn’t) change my hat to a white ten-gallon cowboy hat shining in the sun for Him to look down and say, “Oh I like how she looks. I think I’ll save her.” No, it was while I was still in rebellion against God that He sent Christ to die. Not just to die, but to bear the wrath for all that sin I try to pretend away. It is through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection that I, a great sinner, am redeemed!

God doesn’t redeem us then say, “Oh my, I didn’t realize just how bad you are. Now I’m stuck with you.” No! God knows our sin. He knows exactly who and what we are—even more than we know ourselves. In full knowledge of our sinful state and as we continued to rebel against Him, Christ died for us. He redeemed us and He draws us to Himself.

Do not let the realization of your sin lead you to despair. Let it lead you to the cross—to the beauty of God’s astounding love and Christ’s amazing sacrifice. There may you cling evermore to the abundant grace of God.