Forgiven or Unforgiven

Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. (Romans 4:7-8 NIV)

A generation ago when the deity of Christ was under attack from several directions at once and was being stoutly defended by Bible-believing Christians everywhere, a little aphorism was often heard uttered with emphatic finality: "It's not the sin question, itís the Son question!"

This was a short way of saying that the great problem before the human race was not its sin but its opinion of Jesus Christ, and that the disposition of the individual soul on the final day would be based not upon its relation to sin but upon its having accepted the deity of Christ as an article of faith.

If we take into consideration that this saying was a blunt sword forged for the heat of theological battle we can understand its popularity and sympathize with those who swung it so boldly against the enemies of truth; nevertheless we need not overlook its weakness nor accept it as a complete truth, which it certainly is not.

One count against this aphorism is that it is an aphorism. If great truth could be compressed into an epigram we have several hundred pages of Scripture to account for that need never have been written. I shy away from every effort to expound difficult doctrine by means of a pious quip; itís just too neat and at best can present only one facet of the truth, leaving the other two or ten or fifty facets hidden from view.

Weíll pass over the alliteration, which is of course wholly artificial and only one degree removed from a pun, and state simply that the whole thing is false to the facts. Granted that solid truth might once in a rare while get itself crammed into an epigram, and even that the epigram might conceivably contain a pun, this ìnot the sin question but the Son questionî is still not true. It dismisses too lightly something that God takes mighty seriously; viz., the fact of human sin and the solemn responsibility of every man for the sins he has committed.

Spirit of God, how faithful You have been in exposing my sin to me. May I quickly confess and abandon it and know the blessing of forgiveness.

How blessed is the person whose sin is forgiven and will never count against him or her. But what about unconfessed, unforgiven sin - ours?

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