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God Is Faithful and Just

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Revealing Our Hearts

There is one thing God has continually been teaching me over the last few weeks, and it is this: I am a far worse sinner than I could have ever imagined, and that God is far more gracious than I believed Him to be. There is something about changing our daily rhythms that reveals what is in our hearts.

As a creature of habit, I have felt off and disoriented at times. This, combined with new challenges, seminary classes, and being stuck inside my home, has revealed how sinful my heart actually is. Sins that I thought were put to death have started to appear but in different and varied ways. My patience and tone towards my wife Camille have not been what I’d like it to be. In all honesty, I’ve had to repent and ask my wife for forgiveness more often these past few weeks than I have had to in the last two to three months.

God Is Faithful and Just

It would be easy for me to excuse these behaviors as circumstantial, but if I am honest, I know that is a cop-out. These sinful tendencies have always been in my heart and I have just been effective at hiding them from other people. But God in his grace and love has begun to reveal the parts of my heart that I didn’t want to see. The parts that I have chosen to be blind to. Maybe he has done the same thing for you. Maybe the changes to your schedule and stress of instability have brought sin to the surface that you haven’t seen in a while. If this is you, then let me share with you a verse that has been an anchor for me during times like this:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

One of the great comforts of having a relationship with Jesus is knowing that he functions as my advocate to the Father when I sin. He pleads my case before God the Father. But notice what John tells us to plead for in 1 John 1:9. He doesn’t tell us to plead for leniency or even mercy. He tells us to plead for God to be faithful and just. God forgives our sins, not because he is lenient but because he is just, and this is why we can have confidence when we confess our sins. 

The Good News 

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus fully absorbed God’s punishment for my sin, and because the penalty has been paid, it would be unjust for God to demand two penalties for the same sin. This is our assurance, that we serve a God who is perfectly just, and his justice should give us great comfort because we know that Jesus fully paid the price for our sin. As a result, confession doesn’t become a scary or dreadful exercise. It becomes a life-giving practice that results in us being cleansed from all unrighteousness, and this is good news for all of us who have come face to face with our sinful hearts these past few weeks.

I want to end with the words from the great hymn, Before The Throne of God Above. Read these words and think about how wonderful it is that God is faithful and just!

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above 
I have a strong and perfect plea 
A great High Priest whose name is love 
Who ever lives and pleads for me 
My name is graven on His hands 
My name is written on His heart 
I know that while in heaven He stands 
No tongue can bid me thence depart 
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair 
And tells me of the guilt within 
Upward I look and see Him there 
Who made an end of all my sin 
Because the sinless Savior died 
My sinful soul is counted free 
For God the Just is satisfied 
To look on Him and pardon me 
To look on Him and pardon me

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