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Long For Truth: 4 Things To Do When You've Blown It

Monday, July 14, 2014

4 Things To Do When You've Blown It

How many times have you seen the bumper sticker that says "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven?" I understand what the first part of that phrase "Christians aren't perfect" is trying to say, but the second part, "just forgiven" really bothers me. "Just forgiven?" As if forgiveness is thrown in as an, "Oh, and by the way." Forgiveness is a big deal, not an afterthought. It’s how the believer stands before God. Our sins have been taken away through the death of Christ. We stand perfectly righteous before God because we have been given the righteousness of Christ. That being said, we aren't perfect. We do blow it. We sin everyday, multiple times a day. This can bring guilt, shame and doubt into our lives and can often times cause us to despair. So what should we do when we've blown it? Here are four things.


1. Confess


1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once we have been born again God is no longer our Judge but our Father. So John is speaking of parental forgiveness not judicial forgiveness. Judgement for all our sins is past tense. It has already taken place at the cross. Through faith we have been adopted into the family as sons and daughters of God. Now when we sin we go to God our Father and ask for forgiveness, not because if we don't we will be judged by Him, but because sin hinders our fellowship with Him.


2. Repent


Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Holding on to sin brings chastening. After David sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband Uriah to cover it up (2Samuel 11-12) he describes how the heavy chastening hand of God was upon him sapping his strength:

Psalms 32:3-4 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted awaythrough my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.Selah

But after he confessed and repented of his sin he found forgiveness (yes, even for adultery and murder) and the joy of his salvation returned:

Psalms 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

3. Remember

I believe this is the most crucial point. Because we are fallen creatures we tend to go back to our default mode of trying to make up for our mistakes. Guess what? We can't. One sin is enough to condemn us to eternal judgement in hell. This is why remembering is so important. Christ was our Worker. He did all of the work that God requires of us. We need perfection in order to be saved and Christ was perfect for us. There must be a penalty for every sin we commit and Christ paid the penalty, absorbing the wrath of God for every time we've sinned. All of our sins have been dealt with at the cross our past, present, and future sins have been punished.

4. Preach

In his book The Gospel for Every Day Life Jerry Bridges speaks of the importance of preaching the Gospel to ourselves every day. He reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus is not just good news for the unbeliever, but for the believer as well. Because we blow it every day the Gospel must be preached everyday, to ourselves. This is why it is so important to know the Gospel. Start by reading the epistle of Romans. It's only 16 chapters so it can be read straight through in a about an hot and a half. Make it your goal to read Romans every day, even if it's only 3 or 4 chapters a day. Know the Gospel and know it well. This way you will have the content to preach to yourself.

In this video John Piper speaks of the importance of preChing the Gospel to yourself:



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