The Gospel we preach is that God through Christ forgives sins. Man is accustomed to dealing with his sin in one of two ways. Either he covers it up with his excuses & evasions convincing himself that his sin isn’t indeed sinful. Or else he slavishly labors to atone for his sin through works of righteousness. But the Gospel proclaims the only way to rightly deal with sin in God’s sight: forgiveness. This is offensive. Man’s pride wants to earn his way into God’s good graces. Man’s folly is thinking that God will wink at his lame attempts to redefine sin. But God looks directly at your sin and forgives you for Christ’s sake.
Have you come to Jesus? God forgives your sin. Have you sinned this week? God forgives your sin. Have you sinned badly this week? God forgives your sin. Will you sin next week? God’s forgiveness will cover even that. While we must not sin so that grace abounds, we must never forget the stunning goodness of this good news. If you’ve trusted in Christ, and been baptized into him by water & true faith, then all your sins are forgiven.
God promises to not remember your sins against you. God casts them into the sea. God reckons you as righteous. Every last bloody sin of the saint has been forgiven by the bloody Christ. This, of course, should compel us to walk in grateful holiness. We forsake our sins because we’re forgiven. We resist the temptations which beset us because we’ve been forgiven. We labor, according to the Spirit at work in us, to subdue the inner corruption which still remains in us, because God has forgiven our sins. But don’t graduate beyond this simple Gospel truth which is declared here weekly: your sins are forgiven; the only right response is a joyful: “thanks be to God”.
The promise of God’s word is to forgive us our sins when we confess them to Him. This good news is not a way to circumvent God’s justice, but this is how His mercy satisfies His justice. Too often we stand unmoved by the glory of this great forgiveness which the Father gives to us through the redemptive work of His Son, our Lord Jesus. Both when we hide our sin or grovel for our sin we are forgetting this simple Gospel truth that the Lord is merciful and gracious to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. May God grant that we would walk continually in the glory and joy of sins forgiven, and give us steadfastness to walk in grateful holiness.
The Gospel summons you to be reconciled to God, not on the basis of your merit, or deserving, or because you’ve been on best behavior, but because God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on your behalf that you might be the righteousness of God. That is the good news that we declare.