“Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
Psalm 85:10 (KJV)
If we maintain, as we should, that God is holy, we immediately have the great problem of our sin to deal with. How can sinners approach such a holy God? What allows us access into His presence? This is the problem we face when we wish to draw near to God. Isaiah was so right when he said in Isaiah 59:2,9 (NIV)
“But your iniquities
have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.”
However, when we read the Bible there are two themes that run parallel to each other. On the one hand we read about God’s justice and His judgment on all sin. Then there is the theme of mercy and grace which tells us of the possibility of forgiveness. Justice and mercy are about consequences (justice) and forgiveness (mercy).
Our attitudes, actions and words are often our biggest problem because they are scarred by sin. They are the cause of our greatest failures, (I am my own worst enemy), but while there are always consequences (justice, judgment) there is also the possibility of forgiveness (mercy) through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness gives us new opportunities to start again and do it right the second (or third, fourth, fifth..) time.
Charles Wesley understood well this matter of our repeated sins and the need for forgiveness being applied over and over. He wrote the following lines on the matter of justice and forgiveness.
Time without number have I prayed “This only once forgive”,
Relapsing, when thy hand was stayed, And suffered me to live:
Yet now the kingdom of thy peace, Lord to my heart restore;
Forgive my vain repentance, And bid me sin no more.
—Charles Wesley 1707-1788
Perhaps you have been overtaken once more by some sin and so you know from experience what is written in Hebrews 12:1 where reference is made to the sin that entangles us. You wonder if it is possible to come once more and ask forgiveness for the same sin that you sought forgiveness for a few days ago and a few days before that. Remember that God’s grace is always greater than our need. Only forgiven sinners—but all forgiven sinners—may come before a holy God. So come to the Saviour with humble confidence and come today.