February 16 - The Authority to Forgive Sins

David asks the Lord for vindication, stating his effort in living a blameless life in the 26th Psalm. His goal in life is to be at the house where God lives and where His glory dwells. In order to do that, he must get rid of all the sins in his life, to wash his hands in innocence and walk around the altar of the Lord. The water of purification and the blood of atonement are both on his mind when he makes his plea with the Lord. He knows how important it is for his sins to be covered and forgiven and so he asks the Lord to test and try him, to examine his heart and mind so that no sin would escape God’s notice.

The decision to do away with sinning is very obvious in what David does. He trusts in the Lord, has always been mindful of God’s unfailing love and he lives in reliance on God’s faithfulness. He does not sit with the deceitful, nor does he associate with hypocrites. He abhors the assembly of evildoers and refuses to sit with the wicked. He keep on praising God and telling of His wonderful deeds. He makes every effort to lead a blameless life and that is very admirable.

When the Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, He showed the way for His people to lead a life that was acceptable to Him. It was by acceptable atonement that sins could be forgiven. Only God has the power to forgive sins and whatever we do, God must be pleased with what we offer to Him. The many requirements for the different types of offering such as without blemish, without defect, without yeast, seasoned with salt of the covenant, are to make the offerings acceptable in God’s sight so that sins might be atoned for.

Jesus began His earthly ministry not only with the power to heal and cast out demons, He also declared that the Son of Man had authority on earth to forgive sins. If He alone can forgive sins, then all sins are sinning against Him. Only the offended may extend forgiveness! When we sin, we may hurt ourselves or others but ultimately we are sinning against God and only He may have the authority to forgive us of our sins. All the different parts of the Old Testament sacrificial system are to please Him who has the power to forgive. When Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven!” He was bestowing the greatest blessing a person could ever receive.

Sin is horrible, it hurts not only the sinner but also other people. More importantly, sin offends God’s holiness and is rebellion against the demands and laws of God. We must have a full resolve to overcome sin and not let sin come into our lives. Sanctification is to set ourselves apart from the world and from sinning so as to give ourselves totally to God and His purpose. Have you made a resolution not to sin and ask God’s help in overcoming sin in your life?

Ps 26:1-12 Lev 1:1-3:17 Mark 1:29-2:12 Prov 9:13-18

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