“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Psa. 130:3, 4).
We Are Guilty
It is a manifest fact that we all sin (Rom. 3:9-23). None of us is righteous in-and-of ourselves. We rebel against God at some point in time and cross that barrier from being innocent to being guilty…and there is nothing that we can do purely by our own power to get out of it. This is abundantly clear from the life of Abraham, as Paul argues in Romans 4:1-4.
We cannot do enough “good works,” even religious ones, to have our sins overlooked by the Lord. Many people do things for the Lord, but will be turned away by Him (Matt. 7:21-23).
Too, our physical and spiritual heritage cannot justify us (Rom. 2:28, 29). The Jews could not claim the blood of Abraham nor the centuries of Judaism as their grounds for righteousness.
The cold, hard fact is that if God “marks” our iniquities, we are doomed (Rom. 6:23).
God Makes Us Innocent
Thankfully, we need not remain in a guilty condition. God is merciful. Right after the Spirit convicted all men of sin, He revealed the compassion of God (Rom. 3:24-26). It is extended through His Son, our Savior (Eph. 1:7). His blood is the basis for forgiveness. And, take note, the only basis of forgiveness; all other ways are false (Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Forgiveness in the Son is extended to us through the Word of God. The gospel leads us to know and understand God’s mercy in Jesus (2 Thes. 2:13, 14). It is His power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Without the Word, we remain in darkness and ignorance; without faith or hope.
When we receive the Word, we have faith in Christ. This faith is submissive, not self-willed. It is obedient faith (Heb. 11). Peter said, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit” (1 Pet. 1:22). The Spirit revealed all truth, and when we obey it, our souls are purified; they are pardoned (Jn. 16:13).
Let us rejoice that though we are guilty of sin, we can appeal to God for pardon and peace (1 Pet. 3:21; Phil. 4:6, 7).