I have sinned, what next?
Most Christian’s face this question sometime in their life – ” I have sinned, what next?”. What should I do to get back on track? What should I do to appease God? Should I read my Bible more? Should I pray more? Or is it that I sinned (even better – God allowed me to sin) because of not praying or reading the Bible etc.,? The the other extreme of I have sinned and God is a Holy God who hates sin, so I cannot go back to God! Or I need to be better in the coming days just so that I can pick up the Bible!
I don’t know where these ideologies come from but one thing I am sure of – The Bible does not teach these things!!
The Bible teaches us about a God who created man – Male and female (Adam and Eve). Chief end of man being to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Man sinned by disobeying God’s command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God’s wrath burned against man. God in His mercy clothed Adam and Eve and sent them out of the Garden (where they were made to be in constant fellowship with God), out of His presence. God also promised a savior, one who would redeem God’s children.
In all this we see that man sinned against God. Man could not do anything by His might to restore the relationship with God as the wrath of a just God burned against sinful man. We see, God in His mercy promises to restore the broken relationship by sending His son, the redeemer. From History, we know that Jesus came, died on the cross and rose up on the third day and is now interceding at the right hand of God for the sake of His children. So it is clear from this that God initiates the relationship healing process and God completes it. I wonder, why is that a christian who has fallen in sin suddenly thinks that He/she has to so anything to get back to God?!
No, nothing we do can help us get closer to God. God does not desire our sacrifices and burnt offering!
What are we actually saying when we think that we need to do something in order to win God’s favor?
- We say that in the first place I did something to restore this relationship with God (To attain salvation).
- We say that the work of Jesus on the cross is not enough for me to get back to God.
- We say that God’s plan does not make sense and I am more smarter that God!
- We say that we do not know this God whom we serve! Ouch!
So do we do when we sin?
We simply recognize that our primary sin is towards God and we repent of it. We ask God to help us through this phase of struggle. With the help of the Holy spirit, the word of God and the local church, we align ourselves to scripture and live a life that will glorify God.
Our Bible readings, tell us more about the God we serve. His standards, His plan, His statues, His faithfulness, His Justice, His mercy, His love, His adoption etc., So in order to live a life to glorify God we read the Bible because in it are laid plain what God expects of us. So we read the Bible not because it is a ritual, an offering to the Lord but so that we can know God more and thus align our lives to God for the glory of God.
We pray not because it pleases God and He will give us all things that we want and keep us from Sin but we pray because God asked us to and we are in a sinful world trying to live a life that will please God and each day we ask God for grace to live out the life that He has called us to.
It’s not our Bible reading, prayer, good works towards the poor, orphans and the widows or any such offering that the Lord expects of us when we sin, but a heart that is humble and that will turn to Him in repentance with full confidence on the finished work of Christ, a heart that will hide God’s word in its heart so that it will not sin against Him.