From Jim McGuiggan... Jesus forgiving our sin

Jesus forgiving our sin

A letter to a very shy and sensitive friend:

I'm happy that you want to come to terms with your sin but I would caution you against giving it too important a place. It's bad enough that we sin but it's part of the effect of sin that its paralyses us or diverts us from righteousness. It's too easy to reflect again and again and again on sins committed or attitudes adopted. A firm renunciation of them in the name of Christ and his cross and move on—this is smartest and most like Paul. You'll remember he said, "One thing I do...I forget the past...and move on." I talked to a young preacher—weeping bitterly he told me he had watched porn on the computer several days earlier. His first time. I asked him how long it took him, I forget, maybe fifteen minutes. I said, fifteen minutes to sin and now three days of paralysis. The time in weeping isn't "wasted"—nothing is wasted for those who are God's. But the time can be better spent. I put my hands on him (I judged he needed the physical touch) and in God's name said that his sins were forgiven in Christ and prayed with him, telling him he must now go on, made modest by his shortcomings, more understanding and patient toward sinners, more grateful for God's protection.

So must you. No one in Christ needs to feel frozen in his or her sin. There in your own little space, in God's name and through Christ I speak the forgiveness of your sins and tell you now to go on in righteousness. (I'm prfoundly aware that I'm a fellow sinner but I'm also aware that I minister the gospel of God in Christ.)

Be fevered by nothing because in Christ, as the poet said, "fought the fight, the victory won." He was speaking of Christ as you well know. Someone carried the colours of our human nature all the way to hell and back and it's in him that we have the victory (1 John 5:1-5).

No events in your life should be isolated and viewed as standing alone. There is a single precious package that is you and it's that whole package that Christ has taken as his own—there's nothing unknown to him, nothing that repulses him or would keep him away from you. What he sees as unlike himself only drives him to rescue you. Your sin is no threat to him, it is a threat to you and without him it would become Apollyon, the destroyer of souls; but Christ will not have it.

Yes, part of your shyness is almost certainly a sense of unworthiness. That need not be bad unless you’re fooled into thinking that you must focus on that. If you were a thousand times better than you are, in his presence you'd be unworthy, though he would never tell you that. You never hear or see Jesus act or speak that way. As well as you know him, can you imagine him with a curled lip speaking to some sinner and saying, "You understand you're not worthy to be in my presence"? Can you imagine that? If you heard someone say he was like that, for all your shyness you'd jump up and protest and you wouldn't care how many people heard you. You mustn't think that about him yourself. And if you think it—in any shape or form—you should stand up and protest against yourself. Let your repentance be one that gives him his due and come to him as one that said, "I have come to seek and save the lost." Come to him as one that has said, "I have come that you might have life and have it to the full." Let that be your deepest thought of him and let that inspire your righteousness.