Sin

Hallelujah


Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance. David prayed this prayer when the prophet Nathan went to him, after he had gone into Bathsheba.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your loving-kindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Without Jesus all is for naught


Lance Armstrong at the 2005 Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong at the 2005 Tour de France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lance Armstrong has finally decided to come clean. After years of passionate denial, the man had backed himself into a corner where he had no other alternative but to come clean. He admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Still, I would like to think Armstrong’s confession was not news to most Americans. Many of us have long suspected that Lance was on the juice, yet we cheered every time he won. After all, he is one of us. He is a winner, and we love him.

So, instead of self pity and isolation, poor Lance has embarked on an apology and reconciliation tour, to repair his tattered image. No doubt, this must be the toughest time in his life. However, shameful this might appears, I Applaud him, and I pray for him. I just wish he had done this sooner. My only hope is he will use this experience to turn his life over to the true and living God. Because even though, his actions were despicable and disgraceful, he is not different from anyone of us. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23).

Sin is the reason Lance Armstrong cheated, and sin is the reason Jesus died. There is a way out for all of us (sinners). Jesus says, “I am the Way the truth and the Life. No one come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Further, Jesus also directs us to, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

It is a fact that lightening travels the path of least resistance. Similarly, it is not a secret that humans like to get things the easy way. Like many of us, Lance Armstrong chose the wide gate and the broad way. It brought him much success, fame and fortune, but in the end all was for naught.

The reason for the Cross


Jesus Christ Crucifix

Image via Wikipedia

“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:1-10)

Man by himself cannot deal with his own guilt or sin problem. He must have help from the outside.

In order to forgive himself, he must have forgiveness from the one he has offended. Yet man is unworthy to ask God for forgiveness.

That then is the reason for the cross. The cross did what sacrificed lambs could not do. It erased our sins, not for a year, but for eternity. The cross did what man could not do. It granted us the right to talk with, love, and even live with God.

You can’t do that by yourself. I don’t care how many worship services you attended or good deeds you do. Your goodness is insufficient. You can’t be good enough to deserve forgiveness. Not me, not you, not anyone! The Bible states in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

And that is why you and I need a savior in Jesus Christ. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).