By Clay Hallmark
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lexington
Focal Passage: Matthew 12:22-32
What about the math of sin? How many sins is too many? How many can you commit before forgiveness doesn’t apply to you? Can you count one sin as larger and worse than another sin?
God, by His very nature, is forgiving. We see that clearly here in these verses. Jesus claims that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven”. Obviously, that promise is conditional upon that person repenting of his or her sin. But the fact is that God’s nature is to forgive. This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and taught incorrectly.
There are many “holy rumors” as to what this passage means for us. Yet, what we learn here is that no matter what sin you have committed, the Lord stands ready to forgive your sin when you humbly confess and repent of that sin. Let me just quickly list several passages that confirm that.
“The Lord — the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the fathers’ iniquity on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7).”
“For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abounding in faithful love to all who call on you (Psalm 86:5).”
“My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits. He forgives all your iniquity; He heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:2-3).”
“Who is a God like you, forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not hold on to his anger forever because he delights in faithful love (Micah 7:18).”
Jesus said in John 3:17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
What we learn is that the Lord delights in forgiving our sins, so certainly He has not created or defined some obscure sin which we could accidently commit and which is incapable of being forgiven by God.
Let me give you two quick thoughts:
First, all of your sin can be forgiven! In other words, there is no quality or quantity of sin that is unforgivable. It is not possible for us to commit some quantity of sin that is incapable of being forgiven by God. God never indicates that He’ll forgive 99 sins, but that 100 is one too many.
Nor is there some sin that is just so heinous or horrific that God can’t or won’t forgive it. I can’t think of any sin that would be more offensive to God than crucifying His Son, can you? But what did Jesus pray for those who did that while He hung on the cross? “Father forgive them … (Luke 23:34).” So, whatever your sin, you need to confess it to the Lord right now!
Second, there is a warning that cannot be forgotten! We are told by Jesus not to commit “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”
This “unforgiveable sin” is the absolute and deliberate rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and only way to salvation after you have heard and understood the truth of who Jesus really is. We learn in this that you can have your sins forgiven and you can be secure in your salvation if you choose to receive, rather than reject Jesus! B&R