We are sinful and God is holy. Sin can no more exist in the presence of God than darkness can exist in the presence of light. To stand before Him in self-righteousness would be to invite our destruction. The psalmist wrote, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3).
In a cemetery not far from New York City is a headstone engraved with a single word: Forgiven. The message is simple and unembellished. There is no date of birth, no date of death, no epitaph. There is only a name and the solitary word forgiven. But that is the greatest word that could ever be applied to any man or woman, or that could be written on any gravestone.
The songwriter said, “There is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (v.4). That refrain echoes in both the Old and New Testaments. God is honored and worshiped because He alone can clear our record.
If God could not forgive us, we could only flee from Him in terror. Yet the God whose holiness threatens us is the God who through Christ redeems us. God offers forgiveness for all our sins. We only need to ask Him. Are you forgiven?
How blest is he whose trespass
Has freely been forgiven,
Whose sin is wholly covered
Before the sight of heaven. —Psalter
Sin invites judgment; confession ensures forgiveness
Article by Haddon W. Robinson, Our Daily Bread, Copyright 2012 by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from RBC Ministries