The last few words of Romans 14 clearly define sin as "everything that does not come from faith." Well. If that's sin, then I probably do it upwards of 100 times a day. I go my own way, choose my path, distrust and wonder if God really knows what He's doing.
Still, my sin list continues:
Curse words, those can slip right out of my mouth without me even batting an eyelash. I feel envy somewhat often. I say "Oh, my God" to convey shock, surprise. I gossip. I assume. I think angry thoughts when I'm angry, sad thoughts when I'm sad. And, once in a while, I allow food to be the god of my life again, forgetting all that is true and noble and right. I could go on.
I sin. We all do. As long as we walk this earth and live in these bodies, we will be sinning. But "sinner" is not my identity. I'm completely redeemed, set free by Christ's death and resurrection. In one sweeping moment, He forgave me for my sins, once and for all.
Once and for all.
I've heard so many sermons and services about how we need to repent, to confess, to beg for mercy, to ask for forgiveness. This hurts my heart and makes it heavy. What a sad, sorrowful way to live, constantly wondering if we are pure enough or clean enough. This isn't what Christ wants for us. When He died for us on the cross, it was final. Consider Hebrews 9:23-29: "Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him."
Then, Paul continues through Hebrews 10:11-14: "Because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are 'the holy ones.'"
This is truth. It is fact.
Hebrews 10:17-18: "Then He adds, 'Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.' And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin."
Christ did away with the sin issue by becoming sin for us. He died for all of it - past, present and future. Though we still sin, we don't live under a constant limbo of "am I good enough for Him yet?" Freedom isn't found in that mindset; freedom is found when we understand that we are no longer defined by our sinful behavior, no longer bound by any set of laws.
Freedom is Christ.
Under the law, people confess their sins. But under grace, Jesus died for our sins. Our response should be an attitude of thanksgiving, grateful for His all-encompassing mercy.
My very next sin might be in a few minutes, or maybe it'll happen in an hour or so. I do know, though, that I won't be asking for forgiveness or confessing a long list of shortfalls as I fall asleep tonight. I will be thanking Jesus for His sweet, sweet sacrifice. For dying on that cross. For forgiving us completely and making us holy, once and for all.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them."
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us, and that stood opposed to us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross."