Friday, November 30, 2018

We Are Not Sinners

In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant” (Jeremiah 50:20, ESV).

All my life I have heard people say, and I have said myself, “We are all sinners.” In one sense the statement is true to the point of being a truism. But in another very important sense it is quite false.

After spending 49 chapters rebuking the sin of his nation, Jeremiah says that there shall be no iniquity or sin found in Israel or sin in Judah. Huh? How so? “For I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.”

Someday the redeemed will stand before God and be found not guilty. God will find no sin in his remnant. It is not that you or I or any of us are perfect; it is not that we will be (of ourselves) sinless. But no sin will be found, because God’s pardon, enabled by Christ’s sacrifice, will have been granted.

In one sense, yes, we are sinners. In another sense we are sinless, no sin is found in us.

Sometimes I fear that we use the “of course we are all sinners” line as an excuse, so that we do not have to try. Let us say instead, “We are sinless, perfect in God’s sight, due to the pardon granted in Christ. Let us do our best to maintain this incredible status he has granted us.”

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:12-14, ESV).

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