In Jeremiah, God calls his people to repent. They had strayed from him and served other gods. They are is likened to a wife who had been unfaithful to her husband, using rather graphic language. For sin in any guise is abhorrent to God, but worshipping other gods was against the first commandment. Yet God is merciful and gracious and is willing to accept his people, if only they repent.
Israel refused to repent of its sin and was subsequently punished by God. Whilst Israel had served other gods, Judah had watched Israel, but learnt nothing, for Judah also served other gods. Similarly, we may watch other people sin, we may even disapprove, but we need to watch ourselves lest we fall into the same sin.
God isn’t after histrionics, for he sees the heart. Repentance is not about looking sorry, but a change of direction to follow God and not ourselves. Repentance is an attitude which doesn’t happen just once, but for the whole time we sin against God. Even as Christians, our attitude should be of continual repentance, asking for forgiveness of our God.
For ultimately, all our sin is against God. Whether it involved our fellow man or not. For if we loved God as we should, we’d love our neighbour as we should.
Yet, salvation is of the Lord. We are not so sinful as to be beyond salvation, if we repent and call upon God. For even though our sin is great, our Saviour is greater. For God is our Saviour. The creator and sustainer of the universe became our sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that we can deal with our sin ourselves, but let us cling to the only one who can deal with it.
Sin is not something to be underestimated, even in the life of the Christian. Even if we are justified by faith in Christ, our old nature still hangs on for life, sin still lingers within. Sin may even be appealing in some guise within the believer. It’ll be subtle and if allowed to continue unchecked may grow and become ever more powerful in the life of the Christian.
The Spirit is our friend and our help though. For
he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Php 1:6
While we may not be perfect in this life, he will one day present us faultless before the Father, for he is God.
He doesn’t work alone though, for we are called to
“put to death the misdeeds of the body” Rom 8:13
that we might live. We have to work, by the Spirit, to put to death the sinful nature. Let us not become complacent, let us not underestimate the power of sin, but let us starve sin, let us fight sin while it is small and in so doing, glorify our Saviour.