My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
As you read those lines from the well-known hymn It Is Well, what goes through your mind, heart, and spirit? Your answer may rely on a variety of elements, such as how confidently you believe in God’s assurance of salvation and how deeply you comprehend the true nature of sin.
Many people experience spiritual unrest because they battle with feelings of insecurity regarding God’s complete forgiveness and acceptance. They grapple with how much grace was required to redeem them. They are aware of their level of wickedness and persistent failures, at least to some extent, but they find it difficult to firmly hold onto the knowledge that God has totally and completely pardoned them. They say, “I know that God is forgiving, but I can’t think He can forgive all I have done, and how I keep repeating the same sins.” I can’t tell you how many times individuals who have sought my advice on matters of the spirit have said this to me. They may also say, “I know God is loving, but you have no idea how unlovable I am. He can, in my opinion, adore everyone but me.”
We don’t have enough space to talk about these prevalent deceptions the enemy employs to keep people from the love and fellowship the Lord has promised them in the finished work of Jesus today, we can only say that the word of God reveals that they are untrue. God repeatedly professes His unwavering love and unmerited forgiveness for those who put their faith in Him.
The enemy sows doubt and deception in our minds and spews condemnation in our ears, but God calls us to trust in Him and His Word rather than these things. What we all need to realise is that the Scriptures from which these lyrics are derived contain the truth that all of our sin – not just some of it – has been fully paid for in the crucifixion of our beloved Redeemer, Jesus, and that we are now free. Praise the Lord, O my soul!!
However there’s a second obstacle standing in the way of this glorious idea making you happy. While a portion of us battle with the weight of our unworthiness, the majority of us have probably not given our sins the serious consideration they deserve. We are not aware of how evil we truly are. We think well of ourselves when we compare ourselves to people like Hitler, Ted Bundy, or the neighbour who abuses his wife. We feel like we have lived at least a 51/49 existence (if we’re trying to be modest) so the cross of Christ just makes up the difference for the part of us that doesn’t hit the mark, giving us the boost we need to make it through those pearly gates.
We don’t really realise how lost we were before placing our trust in Him; how deeply our crimes grieve a holy God; or how powerless we are to save ourselves. Anyone on the street will likely respond, “I assume I’ve done more good than bad,” when asked why they believe God will allow them into heaven. “I’ve made an effort to live well.” Unfortunately, many people who identify as Christians have a mental tally system that influences how they evaluate themselves and other people. They probably aren’t aware of it and wouldn’t want to acknowledge it.
However, Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we are spiritually dead, helpless and unable to save ourselves. We aren’t just physically ill and in need of recovery; we are also spiritually dead and in need of resurrection. A dead man cannot help himself. Furthermore, our purity is compared to dirty rags. Our virtuous deeds are compared to menstrual rags and poop in the original language of the Scriptures; we’re not just talking about a little grime or dirt here. I apologise if the simplicity of the language offends you, but the original readers comprehended it that way, and it pales in contrast to the offence that the Holy God feels towards our sin.
What do you consider to be the grossest, worst, and most disagreeable thing? When compared to how abhorrent our transgression is to God, that is a drop in the ocean. Only when we have a clearer understanding of God’s holiness and the dark depravity of our sin can we fully appreciate the magnitude of His grace and the incomprehensible reality of our redemption
We wouldn’t engage in sin to the extent that we do if we even had the slightest idea of how completely offensive it is to God. We would repudiate it, flee from it, guard ourselves from any hint of contagion of it like we would the direst of enemies, pray against it with sweating brow, and repent with tears if we ever succumb to its lure. The fact that this offended Deity would actually pay for our terrible sin Himself should stun us into amazed gratitude and joyous worship.
Those who begin to grasp the peril they were in before salvation, the magnitude of the stench in the nostrils of a Holy God their sin is, and the price that was paid for God to rescue them – will have hearts that burst from their chests at the bliss of this glorious thought of all God has done for them.
Ask the Lord to help you understand more the depth of your sin, the fullness of your salvation, and the wonders of His unfailing love for you so you may be able to worship Him with greater fervour, and walk before Him with greater intensity and purity.