You And Your Sinful Past

You are sinful.  Your past is sinful.  But your sins are forgiven.  And your sinful past is erased.  Your sinful past is not too sinful for God.  Nothing in your past could ever separate you from the love of God.  “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).”  Your sinful past is implicitly included in Paul’s list of things that can’t separate you from the love of God.  Paul should know.  He was just like you: only worse.

Do you actually believe that your past is too sinful for God?  If yes, then you are mistaken.  Consider Paul’s sinful past.  He assisted in the stoning of one of God’s messengers.  “But filled with the Holy Spirit, [Stephen] gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’  But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.  Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul [a.k.a.: Paul].  While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’  Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.  When he had said this, he died.  And Saul approved of their killing him” (Acts 7:55-8:1a).  Paul held the people’s coats so that they could stone Stephen!  Then, he voiced his approval after Stephen was dead!  How bad is that?  Very bad.  Yet, Paul’s sinful past was forgiven.  And so is yours.

How sinful was Paul’s past?  It was so sinful that he was considered anti-Christian by Christ, Himself.  “Meanwhile Saul [a.k.a.: Paul], still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ He asked, ‘Who are You, Lord?’  The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting’ ” (Acts 9:1-5).  Yet, Paul was forgiven in the name of Jesus.  Paul’s past was so sinful that he considered himself to be the world’s worst sinner.  “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15).  But, notice what Paul says: he is a ‘saved sinner’ because of Jesus Christ.  And so are you.

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for the forgiveness of the world’s sins.  Your sins are included.  Jesus dies and your sins are forgiven.  Jesus dies and your sinful past is erased.  There is nothing in your past that could ever separate you from the love of God that is found in Jesus Christ.  In the Name of Jesus, your sins are forgiven.