Don’t Put Yourself in the Penalty Box For Sin
Feeling bad about yourself? Feeling like God can’t possibly love you? I have been prone to doubting God’s love for me when I consider my own past sins. I tend to put myself in the penalty box, like I can somehow pay some part of my crime. What about you? If you, like me, have doubted the love of God, if you feel like you need to penalize yourself, if you doubt his mercy and grace can cover you, just consider how great God’s Love and mercy truly are.
Look to the Bible and consider the depths of depravity stooped to by these “heroes of the faith” :
Abraham was a liar, disbelieved God, and slept with another women to secure a son and obtain for himself God’s promise.
Then there was Lot. Lot offered his daughters to be gang-raped, then he got drunk and slept with them.
Isaac was a deceiver.
Jacob was a deceiver, schemer and a cheater.
Noah got drunk and exposed himself.
Moses murdered a man, abandoned his people for decades, initially refused to accept his calling, and then disobeyed God in his pride and anger.
David, “the man after God’s own heart”, lusted, plotted, had an affair, sent an innocent man to his death, and likely suffered from depression.
Solomon puts Hugh Hefner to shame with his sexual shenanigans. He worshipped pagan Gods and wasted the prime of his life away chasing useless things.
Jonah ran from God and refused to accept his call.
Elijah had a temper, was moody, and had thoughts of suicide.
Isaiah was a man of unclean lips.
Paul, the self proclaimed chief of sinners, was a murderer, an engineer of genocide, and a persecutor of the church.
Peter was a hot -tempered, show-off who succumbed to doubt, and who denied his Lord.
That is quite the list of depravity. Don’t you think? Yet the Bible tells us that each of these men are righteous. That they were forgiven. Not only were they forgiven of their sins, they were leaders in the history of redemption.
What is it you have done that you think God could not forgive you?
When you are feeling down, when you feel the need to put yourself in the penalty box for your sin, please don’t. Stop looking at yourself, stop looking at others, look to Jesus Christ alone. He already went to the penalty box and served your time. For he bore the wrath for all of our sins in His precious body that was nailed to the tree. He defeated death. He rose, and He sits at the right hand of God. For you and for me. We have all sinned. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. But God shows his great mercy to us in his Son, that while we were still sinners, he died for us. Now he desires that we extend the same mercy and grace to those around us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ~Romans 5