Periodically, various Christian leaders or supposedly moral celebrities have been in the news for the wrong reasons and their sin is celebrated by the media. There is nothing quite so comforting to the sinner than the sins of another exposed. Even Christians can find themselves joining the onlookers who are piling on via social media with their not so silent judgement.
Whether public or private, sin can be devastating. The community aspect can either help or hinder someone’s response to sin. If it is our sin, we want people to be understanding and encouraging, pushing us towards God’s forgiveness. If it is another’s, we should act the same way towards them. This passage addresses the full impact of sin as well as it’s restoration. It has the picture of the guilt of sin, the blindness of sin and the goodness of God. There are three lies represented here that can keep us from that goodness if we are not grounded in the truth.
First, we are often blind to our sin, stumbling in the darkness. This is how sin begins. In the small dark corners of our life, where things are seemingly innocent and easily justified to an all to willing heart. “There’s nothing wrong with…” Is probably true in isolation, but when you take the specific context into account, it can be the incidental un-premeditated murder of our soul. This is where sin becomes a step by step process, farther away from God and Truth. People love to point to the big, bold sins that make the headlines, but the path into darkness starts with steps that seem innocent enough, but lead us away from the Truth.
This is when we find ourselves in guilt and that is where Satan tells His next lie. “Your hands are dripping with blood, so God can’t hear you“. Our sin becomes our shame when we finally realize what has been born of our innocent dallying. In our shame, we separate ourselves further from God and our community of faith. It creates an atmosphere of denial where we believe the worst thing in the world would be the revelation of our sin. This path can lead us to despair over our condition, it can lead us to publicly despise the sins of others. It can lead us towards bitterness towards the church and God, who we feel have rejected us, even when it is our own choice to live in separation.
And this is because of the third lie that we believe, “God’s reach is too short to save us. God’s ears are too deaf to hear us.” This is the lie that leaves us trapped in the pit described by Isaiah. This is the biggest of all lies, because it is the lie about God. It is in this lie that we live in our sin, without hope. But it is a lie.
Regardless, of my sin. Regardless of your sin, God is big enough, His reach is long enough, His love is great enough. Sin doesn’t have to be a life sentence to a tomb of devastating darkness, God has made a way out.
John was honest about sin and honest about God. Sin is awful, it is destructive, we are sinners. All of those things are true, but the greater truths are these: God is faithful, He is just. He will forgive us. He will purify us. There is no doubt in these statements. He is. He will. Believe in Jesus, that He was God’s son, that He came to this earth and died for our sins and that He was resurrected, triumphing over death. In Christ, we find salvation and forgiveness for our sins.