Never Feel Condemned

1/17/2008

Psalm 103:12 "...as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."

Several years ago I took a trip with my family across the United States, starting in my hometown of Indiana, PA and ending up somewhere in the middle of Colorado. I learned several things on this trip. First, Kansas is the most boring state in the United States, hands down. If you are from Kansas, I'm deeply sorry. If I had to characterize Kansas in one word it would be "flat". If I was given a few other words I might add "mind-numbing", "more boring than watching C-SPAN", and "if I see one more wheat field I'm going to scream". The highlight of our trip through Kansas was when we came to a bend in the highway. You get my drift.

I also learned that the United States is a huge country (we could probably beat up Canada). It took us two days of all day driving just to get out to Colorado. We drove thousands of miles west to get from Pennsylvania to Colorado, and at that point we were only 2/3 of the way across the country. The distance between the east coast and the west coast is absolutely enormous.

I think this is a small picture of how far God removes our sins from us when we come to Him for salvation. Listen to the words of Jerry Bridges commenting on Psalm 103:

What is the significance of the expression "as far as the east is from the west"? Probably it was a cultural idiom signifying as great a distance as human vocabulary can express. Practically, it expresses an infinite distance. This is what God has done with our sin. Jesus not only bore our sins on the cross, He carried them away an infinite distance. He removed them from the presence of God and from us forever. The Gospel For Real Life

Do you feel the glorious truths of Psalm 103? God has taken all of our sins away from us, as far as the east is from the west. Think of the worst sin you have committed. That sin is completely and totally removed from you by the blood of Christ. Think of the great number of sins that you have committed in your life. All those sins are removed an infinite distance from you by the blood of Jesus Christ.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because Jesus has taken our sins upon his back and carried them away an infinite distance. If you have trusted in Christ then your sins are gone, completely, totally, and forever, never to be seen again. God doesn't remember them, because he took them away. And if God doesn't remember them, then neither should you.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM  

11 comments:

Dear Stephen,

I would like to comment on three items in your post.

1. I totally agree with your theological point that forgiveness by God has in “infinite nature” to it. This is something we cannot ponder enough and one of those truths we must learn to consistently preach to our own hearts.

2. No matter what anyone else says, you are absolutely right about Kansas. As one who used to drive a few times per year across the U.S.A., I believe I can quite fairly affirm your opinion.

3. Where your post miserably fails however, is in your off-handed comment that “we could probably beat up Canada.” For proof of the fallacy of this statement I refer you to the War of 1812 wherein Canada easily rebuffed invading, Manifest Destiny, American soldiers – even going so far as the razing of the White House. This, combined with the massive size of Canada (more places to hide) and the fact that all our boys grow up playing hockey (so they can fight bare-fisted) means that you would more than likely return home whipped puppies.

Humbly... and in your service....

Paul :-)

kerux said...
January 17, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

I'm awed and so thankful when I consider the truth that, indeed, God has removed my sin so thoroughly away from me! Thanks for the well-written reminder.

Doug

doug-selph said...
January 17, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

Paul, Paul, Paul,

Whenever Canadians feel their manhood challenged they always gotta be bringing up something that happened approximately two hundred years ago. What has Canada done since then?

Paul, our movies feature guys like Jason Bourne and Rambo. You're action heroes are called "mounties". We have Hulk Hogan, you guys have Tim Challies (sorry Tim, not even you could compete with the Hulk).

We have a show called "American Gladiator"...and when was the last time a Canadian team won anything other than hockey? 1993 if my memory serves me correctly.

I will admit though, you guys have good bacon.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek,

Stephen

January 17, 2008 at 10:19 AM  

Doug,

I'm glad you were encouraged by the post. God is kind to remove our sins, isn't he?

January 17, 2008 at 10:19 AM  

Now Stephen...

I would take Tim Challies over Hulk Hogan any day. Few people know of his Ninja skills.

Now THAT'S discernment!

kerux said...
January 17, 2008 at 11:23 AM  

Stephen, this is for your friend kerux: my family spends time each year in Canada on "holidays". I must agreee with you, not just about the hockey thing, but in general there are some burly folks up that way; loggers, Hydro workers, nuns... Sorry Stephen. Heh heh.
Also, why the beautiful horse in the pic and no mention of the equine anywhere in your blog bio?
Sandy Kimmel

Sandy said...
January 17, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

Amen. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!!!

January 17, 2008 at 12:16 PM  

Sandy,
Thank you for that glowing description of our Canadian women. And the horse? Well, it was formerly in the service of the RCMP. After service time in an undisclosed location, I bought it for security purposes. That is all I can say...
;-)

kerux said...
January 17, 2008 at 1:29 PM  

Hmmm,

I may have to put together a "10 Reasons Why America Could Beat Up Canada" list...

January 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM  

Ahhhhh, Kansas. I must say, Stephen, that your categorization of Kansas is about right. However, I would describe Kansas with three words. 1. Flat. 2. Wheat. 3. Cows. There were a lot of cows, and they were all the same.

Brando said...
January 17, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

Thank you for the reminder of the great and awesome gift that is ours forever and ever-no more condemnation!

Mind-blowing, but I accept it in faith.

sheep wanderer said...
January 17, 2008 at 5:53 PM  

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