Dear Cobham Park Church Family,
After days of hard work, the December newsletter was finally in the mail. It had been written, edited, arranged, and proofread—but obviously not enough. The following day, I was feeling pleased with myself. But my mood changed when a glaring typo was brought to my attention by friends in the church office. I’d meant to entitle an announcement page “Upcoming Events in 2023,” but had typed the year as “2003” instead. Although I was disgusted, it was too late to do anything about it, and the newsletters soon arrived in mailboxes everywhere. I then began receiving snarky texts about time travel and going “Back to the Future.” Just add this to my long list of bloopers. We all make mistakes, right?
Sins, if acknowledged at all, are usually rebranded as “mistakes” these days. Listen closely to public apologies, and you’ll see what I mean. From the mouths of those who are guilty of shameful wrongs, we commonly hear things like, “I see now that what I did was a mistake,” “I made an error in judgment,” or “I regret that I may have caused offense.” But a mistake isn’t the same thing as a sin. While mistakes are usually unintentional, sin is chosen at some point (this is the difference between making a typo and holding a grudge). Excluding cases of irresponsible negligence, mistakes are morally neutral, while sin is morally wrong. Honest mistakes don’t make a person unfaithful, but sin can. Mistakes are made outside the heart, but sin comes from within. Mistakes can’t separate people from God or send them to hell—only sin can do that.
Jesus didn’t come to save us from our mistakes. And contrary to what many seem to believe, He didn’t come to save us from sin’s consequences. No, our Lord came to save us from sin itself—the root cause of all that is wrong in us and the world. Joseph was told, “…you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21, ESV).” Sin infects us with prideful hearts, selfish thinking, unloving actions, and unbelief. We may try to deny, excuse, or fix sins on our own, but that only ends up making things worse. Meanwhile, Jesus will bring our sins into the light, forgive, and remove them! If you are ready to admit your specific sins and entrust yourself to Jesus, His cure can take effect. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things (Romans 8:31-32, ESV)?” God has given us something far better than a new year; He’s given new life!
In His Love,