Do you ever ask yourself:
• Can I ever be free of the weight of my sin and guilt?
• Will God forgive my every sin?
I have good news for you! Your loving, heavenly Father will forgive you of all your sins. You can be released today from your sins if you will do what God says.
The apostle Paul dealt with an instance of gross sexual immorality in the Corinthian church: a man was sexually involved with his stepmother. Against that backdrop, Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9–11).
This passage holds three great messages for us.
First, it tells us that sin is sin. God doesn’t differentiate between one type of sin and another. Most of us wouldn’t consider slanderers in the same “sin boat” as thieves, but sin is sin. There are, however, some sins that I believe are tremendously ensnaring. The effect of sexual sin reaches deep into the soul. It is so ensnaring that many find it difficult to shake free, but God’s love and ability to rescue, forgive, and restore is greater still. There is mercy at the Cross, and it is available to all who draw near to Christ.
Second, it tells us that sin is a lifestyle, a state of being. Paul declared that sin had been the identity of the Corinthians. Sin had been their all- consuming character. Paul called them former thieves—people who had stolen as a way of life. He didn’t say, “Some of you had one too many drinks on occasion.” He said some in the Corinthian church were drunkards. Sin isn’t just something you do. Rather, sinful is what you are.
Third, it tells us that all types of sin can be forgiven. Paul declared, “Such were some of you.” And then Paul reminded them that they were no longer who they had been, but they had been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. The Corinthians found a new life and a new identity in Christ Jesus. You can as well.
Nothing is beyond God’s forgiveness. No sin is too great or too awful for God to forgive. No person is so deep in sin, so ingrained in a wicked lifestyle, or so steeped in evil that he or she cannot be saved. The only requirement is that you accept His forgiveness. Will you?
Adapted from "The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible," 2008.