Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nothing New

Sin is a big deal.
Sin is scary and ugly and messy. And it's definitely a big deal.
It leaves us scarred and afraid. It leaves us hurt. It leaves us broken. It leaves us uncertain and confused.
Maybe it's someone else's sin -- maybe you grew up being broken by a family that didn't work.
Maybe it's your own sin -- maybe it's something you've hidden from every eye that might spot you and hurt you because you messed up.

But get this:

It's nothing new.

You heard me.

Sin is nothing new.

There is no such thing as a "new sin." God does not look down from heaven at the eighteen-year-old single mom and clap His hands over His mouth because He's never seen that before.

He does not look down at a divorced family in confusion because it's never happened before.

He does not see an abusive parent or an affair or a baby-pre-wedlock as something new.

Your sin is nothing new.

Your sin is not new to God. He's seen it. Trust me, He's seen it all.

Your sin does not surprise Him. It does not throw a wrench in His plans. It does not shock Him.

He is beyond shock. Not only has He seen six or seven thousand years of people committing sin just like you, He saw you doing it before you were around to do it. He knew you would sin and He forgave you for it before it happened. We are blessed to live in 2016, the twenty-first century, two thousand years after God took care of our sin problems. He already made a way. He saw your sin an eternity before you were even alive, and He chose to make a way to forgive that sin.

But it hurts us. Sin hurts. Sin leaves us reeling in broken cycles without forgiveness. We hide it from our parents and pastors and spouses because it hurts. We feel dirty and exposed, but it hurts more to confess.

I heard an analogy this morning in church that compared healing to the pain of dethawing your fingers. Remember being outside in the snow at Christmastime, and snow would fill your boots and your gloves and your snowpants and eventually everything was just numb? And then Mom would call you inside just before frostbite set in, and you'd clutch a mug of hot cocoa or crouch near the heaters to warm up. But warming up hurt! Didn't it? As the blood rushed back to your hands and feet, that was when they hurt the most. Warming up hurt more than being cold. Healing hurts more than living in sin.

But here's the million-dollar-question: if it hurts more to be healed, why not just keep hiding? Isn't that better?

Well, would you rather just stay outside in the snow, waiting for frostbite, waiting for the exhaustion to set in and claim you forever? Or would you like to go inside, and warm up and live, even though it might hurt fiercely for a few moments?

It hurts to confess our sin. We hide it from God, fearing that somehow we will shock Him or ruin His plan for us, or throw Him for a loop and leave Him just as baffled as we are. We fear that He won't be enough to fix us.

What kind of god would that be? A god who is surprised, who can't fix us- honey, that's not God. That's an idol. I can promise you this: He will not be surprised. He will never be unable to fix you.

So how arrogant is that on our part- to think that we can outsin God? To think that we have broken through His grace, that we have used up all of His forgiveness. To think thus is to deny Who He truly is- the God of forgiveness. The God of grace upon grace upon grace upon grace. We are merely mortals, we are small and insignificant. How could we think that we could ever outrun His grace or forgiveness? I would dare to say that that is a bigger hurt against God that whatever sin you could have committed.

Sin may be ugly. Sin may hurt. Sin may leave us spinning out of control and afraid.

But it will never, ever surprise God. No sin is new to Him.

He already knows. He's already been there. He's already made a Way to fix it.

Rest in that.