Is It Possible to Commit One Sin Too Many?

onesintoomanybeing justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; – Romans 3:24-25

One of the biggest problems that I have in living my life as a Christ follower is really coming to grasp with what forgiveness truly means. The concept that though I continue to sin (oftentimes intentionally),  but that God continuously forgives me is beyond my comprehension. Even after almost two years of having Jesus in my life, I still can’t fully understand this. Perhaps it is a matter of self worth or maybe it is the understanding that I do not even come close to deserving forgiveness for all my sins, but the idea that the gift of salvation has been granted to me seems too good to be true. In my head I know that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to cover any sin and the bible states this time and time again, but every time I do something that I know I shouldn’t, something in my mind always fears that it is one sin too many.

Academically, I understand what justification means and what forgiveness for sins by the substitutive atonement of Christ on the cross means for those who are saved. I understand that Christ came down to earth to serve as a sacrificial offering for those who would believe, but the idea that he would die for me is just something that makes me weep with gratitude. I know how wretched I am and the fact that God would choose me out of the world make the words, “thank you” seem so pitifully insufficient. Even when I willfully and intentionally ignore the commands given to me through the bible, God still opens his arms and embraces me when I come to him begging for forgiveness. Everyday I am renewed.  Ultimately, for those of us who are in Christ, I think that we all struggle with the concept that the punishment meant for us has been inflicted on another. Even though we all fall short of the glory of God, Jesus paid it all on the hill in Calvary. Many of us have a hard time accepting a compliment let alone the idea that God Himself would send His Son, a literal part of Himself, to accept the punishment we deserve. Even as I type these words, it is beyond amazing.

MiraclesIf we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

The concept of forgiveness for any sin is one of the biggest issues that I had before I was a believer. The idea that rapists and murderers, child molesters and thieves, can all find acceptance and forgiveness if they simply believe that God has granted this to them and repent seems counter the idea of justice. I believed that deep in my heart that I was somehow better than those who had committed murder or had stolen things that do not belong to them. I had not committed sins that are on those scales which made me believe that I was somehow superior to the “real sinners”.  With my conversion came the understanding that God’s requirements of us are so great and that no one who has been infected by sin (all of us) can fully meet those expectations. Through the lens of the Holy Spirit I became aware that we are all wretched and that we are all broken and there is a one size fits all punishment that we all deserve. I also realized that with this understanding that Christ is the only way to be made right with the Father.  Ever since I received Christ in my life, I realize that the small sins pain the Spirit as much as the big ones. I realize that the same sacrifice that was given to atone for horrible sins, also cover my own.

I can write this and I can pray about it, but I’m human. Just like you, I can know something but to fully grasp the magnitude of what I have been given is beyond me. I know that I am forgiven for the sins that I have committed and the sins that I will commit. I know that when I fall short that God is there looking over my shoulder, waiting for me to pick myself back up and to turn back to Him. I know that the sins that I wrestle with are not new to God and that nothing shocks Him. I believe and understand in my head and in my heart that I have been forgiven.  At the end of the day, even though my insufficient mind can’t comprehend the gift that Christ gave me, I just need to be joyful and accept it.  The best way that I have learned to deal with my feelings of inadequacy is to simply shut up and say thank you. God is love and God is mercy. Thank you lord.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.