I sigh and let my head fall into my hands. I've done it–again. I've let the frustrations of the day and the stress of the moment push me over the edge. I gave vent to my anger, and the undeserved recipients of it are, once more, my children. As my white-hot temper cools, I feel other emotions rising up in me.
I'm disappointed that my immaturity is showing. I'm embarrassed that I don't have this problem under control yet. I'm saddened by the pain I've caused to those around me. I'm desperate to make better choices. I'm hopeless that I could ever change.
At that moment, I usually feel like I am the only one who can't seem to overcome my vices. But, in reality, I know that every believer struggles with sin. I've sat in vulnerable circles with friends who dared to share their inner battles enough times to know that we all struggle. Whether it is jealousy, lust, pride, faithlessness, bitterness, or anything else–everyone wrestles with sin. And almost all of us wonder about these close-clinging sins that beg for an answer: I keep messing up. Will God really keep forgiving me?
I want to assure you that for all those in Christ, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!" Yes, God will forgive all of your sins. Even the ones that have plagued you the longest and consumed you the most. God's forgiveness does not depend in the slightest degree on what you do or not do. It depends wholly, completely, and to the fullest degree on Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:18–21 gives us all the reassurance we need to believe that all sins are forgiven in Christ. This passage is included at the bottom of this blog for you to slowly read and contemplate. But, if we were to sum it up, it would say:
Your sin condemns you, but God declares you justified in Christ.
Your disobedience labels you as a sinner, but through Christ's obedience, you are labeled righteous.
Where your sin multiplies, God's grace multiplies even more.
Sin once reigned in you, but through Jesus, grace now reigns.
Jesus's sacrifice is enough. At every moment of your life, whether you are at your best or your very worst, the grace of God covers all your mistakes. It is not logical. You will not make sense of it. Grace covers, in great excess, all the sins of those who have found salvation in Christ. What an overwhelmingly beautiful truth for all of us who struggle with sin. So, what do we do in response to God's grace? Because it is one thing to understand this truth and another thing to believe it and live according to it.
According to Scripture, we should confess our sins in response to God's grace. First John 1:9 explains this as it says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Confessing your sins can sound like this: "Lord, I've messed up again. Please, forgive me for..." This is something we should pray daily. We should also remember that God's grace extends beyond forgiveness. In His grace, He also teaches us how to deny godlessness and live in a godly way (Titus 2:11–12). I've heard it said that God's grace is a grace that doesn't leave us where we are, but it calls us up to maturity. We should pursue the path to maturity that grace lays out for us. That path is long. The travel along it is often slow. There are setbacks. We will need camaraderie and accountability. It requires prayer and the transforming of our minds through Scripture. But, on that path we are never alone. And the steps we take on it do not affect our standing before God. Our standing with God does not depend on what we do. It depends only on what Jesus has done.
In Christ, all of our sins are forgiven. God gives great grace to every sinner who repents. It is grace that abounds; grace that cannot be outmatched or outrun; grace that Jesus freely gives. When we wonder, can He really forgive me still? We can choose to let grace and not sin reign in our hearts, minds, and thoughts. God says that grace reigns. Praise God! May we receive and respond to it like the outrageous gift it is.
So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone. 19 For just as through one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.