If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-10
There are many animals on the endangered species list. I think sinners ought to be at the top of that list.
Think about it. We live in an age when nobody is guilty. When mom asks her kids, "Who tracked this mud onto my clean floor?" her children with straight faces will reply, "Not me." They were innocent. When dad asks, "Who left my saw outside to rust in the rain?" That question is met with profound silence. The saw must have gotten to the yard because it answered some unknown call to migrate.
You see, we live in an age when nobody is guilty and everybody is innocent.
Not so long ago, a California man sued two Las Vegas hotels because they allowed him to gamble away more than a million dollars while he was drunk. In his mind he wasn't responsible for going into a place that exists solely for the purpose of separating a person from his money. He wasn't responsible for drinking like a fish. He wasn't responsible for gambling. He wasn't responsible for any of it.
Should I go on? I could mention the 270-lb., five-foot, ten-inch maintenance worker who sued four fast food chains for endangering his health with their greasy, salty food. He wasn't at fault for eating the stuff. Then there's the woman who sued the theme park in Orlando because the park's Halloween haunted house was too scary and caused her distress. She's not at fault for going to the fright fest, the park is.
High on my you're guilty, and I'm-not list is the lady who was awarded $14 million after she was hit by a subway train. It wouldn't be so bad except for -- at the time -- she was trying to commit suicide and had been lying on the tracks waiting for a train to do her in.
Now we shouldn't be surprised at humankind's lack of guilt. Look at the first sin committed by our original ancestors, Adam and Eve. When God asked, "Adam, are you guilty?" Adam passed the buck to his wife. When the Lord talked to Eve, she pointed to the snake which had tempted her. At one point Adam even tried to shift the blame to God when He said, "Nope, I'm not guilty. I sinned because I was tempted by the woman You gave me" (see Genesis 3).
Today, with God being out of favor and sin being a four-letter-word, we don't blame them any longer. Instead, we say, "We did this because of genetics" or "We aren't responsible; it was our environment."
You would think that with nobody being guilty of anything this world would be a pretty happy place. You would think so, but you would be wrong. That is because no matter what we say or think sin is real, and our hearts and thoughts are filled with the damnable stuff. We can maintain our innocence as long as we like, but the day will come when, "I'm not responsible!" just isn't going to cut it. The soul which sins will die is what the Bible says (see Ezekiel 18:20).
Thankfully, the Bible also tells us that if we confess our sins, the Lord will, because of His Son's sacrifice, forgive those sins and make us good as new. Well, actually better than new. When Jesus works His forgiving wonder upon us, we will eventually be what God wanted us to be.
On that day we will be His forgiven, beloved, adopted children.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. Each day I do and say that which violates Your will for me. May I gladly rejoice in the forgiveness my Savior has won for me upon Calvary's cross. May I rejoice and try to live a life which honors Him. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"