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Does God See A Christian's Sin?


A little girl asked her mother if she knew what God can't see.  Being a bit curious her mother asked her daughter; "What can God not see?"  The little girl replied.  "He can't see my sin because it's covered by the blood of Jesus." 


In the hope of inspiring those in his television and church audience to feel good about their position in Christ, a TV preacher recently related the above short story.  It was meant to illustrate the idea that God does not, even cannot, see a Christian's sin.  Those in his church audience seemed quite pleased, and probably relieved, to know the sins they commit every day could not be seen by God.  That would be something to be pleased about if in fact it was true.


If the blood of Jesus hides the believer's sin from God's sight, why were Ananias and Sapphira slain for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:5 and 10)?  Why does Jesus rebuke and discipline His people (Revelation 3:19)?  Why does Jesus tell the Ephesian believers to repent lest He come to fight them (Revelation 2:5)?  Why did Paul hand an immoral believer over to satan so his body would be destroyed but his soul saved (1 Corinthians 5:5)?  Why did Paul rebuke Peter for his hypocrisy (Galatians 2:14)?  


God does see our sin.  There is, however, something He does not see as explained by the Apostle Paul in his legal style defense of the gospel that he penned to the Roman Christians.  I know that as soon as I interject the word "legal" into this discussion, I turn some people off.  Despite the disdain for all things legal these days, the Biblical fact is that the shedding of Jesus' blood is just as much a legal matter as it is a matter of love.  The book of Romans portrays God as being a loving judge who demands justice.  Because God is just, sin must be accounted for, judged, and punished.  Because God is love, Jesus became accountable for our sin, was judged for our sin, and was sentenced to death on our behalf.  The cross of Christ is both a demonstration of God's justice and His love.  These two divine attributes cannot be divorced from each other.  If you overemphasize God's love to the exclusion of His justice, as many do, you massacre and misrepresent the true nature of God. 


In the process of building his case for the cross of Christ Paul explained that everyone has sinned.  Both Jews and Gentiles have fallen short of God's holy standards (Romans 3:23).  Paul stated that neither God's Law, nor any human law, can effectively deal with humanity's sin problem (Romans 3:21 - 25).  He said that the solution is found solely in trusting God's grace that was enacted by the sacrificial death of Jesus.  Paul asserted that we are justified freely by God's grace that came through the redemptive blood sacrifice of Jesus (Romans 5:24).  Simply put, those of us who embrace the heavenly court's decision to punish Jesus for our sin now stand before God's court of justice guilt free and innocent, despite the fact that we still struggle with sin.  The shed blood of Jesus doesn't prevent Christians from sinningand neither does it prevent God from seeing our sin.  What Jesus' blood did do, and, what God doesn't see, is the designation of us being guilty sinners that had placed us on death row.  Instead, what God does see is the designation of innocent saints that has placed us on the road to paradise.


I don't blame the little girl for believing that God cannot see her sin.  I blame the TV preacher for teaching such a thing.  I blame the Christianized motivational movements that prefer to motivate and inspire us instead of educating us.  I blame a secular influenced church that prefers feeling good instead of thinking good.  I blame a dumbed-down theology that differentiates between inspirational preaching and educational teaching, something the New Testament doesn't support.  For Paul, Peter, and the rest, there was no distinction between preaching and teaching.  For them, preaching was teaching.  They instructed the believers in the Word of God and left the inspiring and the motivating to the Holy Spirit because that's His role in the proclamation of the gospel.  It was the disciples who preached, or taught, the gospel.  It was Jesus through His Spirit who confirmed their words (Mark 16:20), who inspired and motivated.  Allow me to be blunt and straight forward when I suggest that if the instruction of God's Word doesn't inspire and motivate you, there's either something wrong with you or something wrong with what is being taught.    


We should be overwhelmed with thanksgiving because of God's demonstration of justice and love.  Jesus suffered an insanely humiliating and excruciating execution on our behalf.  So, despite the fact that we as Christians still struggle with sin, and despite the fact that God still sees our sin, we stand before Him guilt free and innocent.  Our names have been deleted from the book of the guilty and have been transferred to the book of the innocent, otherwise known as the Lamb's Book of Life.  God does see our sin.  What He does not see is the designation of guilty sinner that once placed us on death row.  


Personally speaking, my vocabulary is pathetically inept to properly express my appreciation for our Lord Jesus Christ.  When I stand before the judgment seat of Christ and any good works I may have done are tested with fire (1 Corinthians 3:13), I envision myself shriveling up into a ball beneath His feet.  I'll be speechless.  I'll have no defense other than His blood.  I'll be eternally grateful when He takes my hand, lifts me from the floor, and embraces me with a hug that's beyond my present comprehension.   

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