I acknowledged my sin to thee, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Psalm 32:5 (WEB)
The sinfulness of my sin… captivating title right? And I know what you are thinking – two blog posts in two days? What’s gotten into Andy?!
I’m pleased to report that all is well, and I’m not self-isolating with nothing to do. In fact, I am very conscious of how everyone is feeling right now, and hoping that a few extra blog posts will be well received.
A few weeks ago I spoke on Psalm 32. You can listen to that message here. It is a wonderful Psalm and I only had a short time to discuss it. This post covers one of the things I did not have time to explore.
The totality of the Psalm is about sin and repentance. It points out the depth of our wrongdoing, the wonder outs grace of God and our responsibility to confess and acknowledge our sin.
There is an interesting little phrase in verse 5 which says God forgives the “iniquity of our sin.” We might say the “sinfulness of our sin.”
Some translations of the Bible render this as the “guilt of our sin,” but this doesn’t quite cover it in my view.
If God forgives our sin, then what does it mean for Him to forgive the iniquity of our sin?
It is like saying the “saltiness of salt,” or the “chocolatey-ness of chocolate…” What is the psalmist getting at here?
Often when we say “Sorry,” we are not really sorry for what we did, but rather are sorry we got caught. When we see hardened criminals breaking down in tears in the dock of the courtroom, it is often about the loss of their freedom, money or reputation. Being sorry for the consequences of sin is of course very natural, and a great reason not to do it in the first place. But are we sorry for the sin itself? If we never got caught, are we truly repentant for the thing we did?
The sinfulness of our sin is the badness of our sin. It is to recognise that sin is wrong, not because it has terrible consequences, but because it is wrong in the sight of God.
When we are truly repentant, we are sorry to God for falling short of His perfection. We are saying that the thing we did – the things we all do – are very wrong irrespective of consequence and punishment.
God forgives us not just from the punishment of sin through Jesus’ death at the cross, but for sin’s sinfulness also. God forgives us for the wickedness of our sin, and all of its consequences. That is not to say that we are free from any consequence on Earth of course, just rob a bank to see what I mean. God can forgive a robber, but they’ll still go to jail for it.
The point is that we need to recognise that our sin is wrong. It is wrong in and of itself. The consequences are indeed terrible, if facing them without Christ, but the sinfulness alone is wicked before God.
As you reflect on and confess your own sins, ask yourself if you are sorry for what they are, or for their consequence.
Spend some time this week to reflect on where you have fallen short, and on the One who forgives all of your sins and covers all of your iniquity. Come to Jesus at the cross and surrender your whole life to Him. It will be the best decision you ever made!