Mercy!

Sunday, Oct. 26 “As soon as you understand what the Bible says, the ball is in your court.” James 4:17 supports this view. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” That seems clear enough for me. Another way to put it is that truth demands a response. There is no such thing as no response. If you don’t want to respond, you have already responded. So, if I know I need to do something and choose not to, it’s sin. This happens with me more than I like to admit. It makes me realize why I can’t possibly live up to God’s standard. We normally think of this kind of sin as a sin of omission. Not that it makes a whole lot of difference, but this is a sin of commission. We are making a rational choice not to do something that we know we should. We have committed ourselves to it—so it’s a sin of commission. This is kind of “heavy” but the good news is that all sin—past, present, and future—is already taken care of in terms of salvation and our eternal destiny. But it doesn’t suggest that we should ignore the sin. There’s a reason for 1 John 1:9. The ball IS in your court—and mine. If nothing else, this concept makes me more aware of God’s mercy. The burden of sin is great, but God’s mercy is greater. If I were to apply 1 John 1:9 to every sin I commit, I would spend a good chunk of my day confessing sin. Not a pleasant scenario. I think that every night when I go to bed, I need to confess that I’m a sinner and seek forgiveness. I think God is able to accept a package deal like that. And I need to latch on to Rom. 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” How marvelous His mercy!

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