I have been a Christian since I was 4 years old. I have grown up in the church and have enjoyed a close walk with God for most of my life. However, there is a fundamental truth to the Christian faith that I have always struggled with, and that is the issue of our sin being separated from us “as far as the east is from the west”. I have been taught that at length all my life through various things, and I knew it in my head, but I didn’t own it for myself. As a result, even though I knew my sins were forgiven, I have been living life weighed down with guilt and self-condemnation. I would read verses like Ephesians 1:3,4 – “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” (emphasis mine) and I would think, well that will be nice one day, but I am not holy or blameless right now. When I sinned, my head knew I was forgiven as soon as I confessed and repented, but I still felt like I had to work my way back into fellowship with God, that there was a series of hoops I had to jump through in order to “make it up” to God for screwing up. As a result, I was always angry with myself, and I could not fully grasp my identity as a child of God and what He has called me to do. I thought I was too messed up to by fully used of God.
However, tonight, at our Sunday night prayer time and Communion, God revealed the truth to me. I finally got it, that my sin was not just “washed away”, but that the blood of Jesus Christ obliterated my sin. It does not exist anymore! The moment I confess my sin, Jesus is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.(I John 1:9) At that instant, I am holy and blameless before Him (Eph.1:4). That lie I told in 2nd grade – washed away; losing my temper with my kids this morning (yes, before church of course) – gone; getting impatient with the slow-poke on the road – doesn’t exist anymore. Hallelujah!
That guilt was a lie of the enemy to hold me back from living a victorious Christian life, and to keep me from fully realizing the call God has on my life. I can now declare that “Therefore there is now (not “someday”, not “maybe”, but “now”) NO condemation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom.8:1 – emphasis mine). It doesn’t mean I will never sin again, it means I no longer have to bear the guilt or condemnation of that sin because Jesus Christ bore my sins on His body on the cross. He paid the penalty, and when He arose from the grave, He took the victory over my sin, and because I believe in Him, that victory over sin – and its guilt and condemnation – is now mine! Praise the Lord!! Hallelujah!!! Glory to God!!!!!