This is from a sermon I preached in 2005, after a man in our church asked some questions about God’s forgiveness.
What Did Christ do to My Sin?
A. Paid for it — Redeemed Me.
I Peter 1:18-19
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
I was a slave to sin, and He paid the price to buy me back to Himself.
B. Paid for it — Judged and Condemned It.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
He condemned my sin to death, and carried out that death penalty, paying that price Himself.
C. Paid for it — Took and Destroyed Its Curse.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Sin brought the curse of the law on me. He paid the price to break that curse.
D. Paid for it — Satisfied God’s Justice and Wrath.
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
“Propitiation” is a payment that satisfies a debt and turns away wrath. There has to be a payment for justice to be done.
In verses 25&26, we see that God is declared righteous, and yet forgives.
- There can be righteousness without forgiveness (if the wrong is made right but the wronged person doesn’t forgive). The wrongdoer is free of wrong, and righteous when the debt is paid, even if there is no forgiveness. But there is no fellowship.
- There can be forgiveness without righteousness (if the wronged person forgives even if the wrong is never made right). The wrongdoer has not made things right, and knows it. There is no true fellowship.
- There CANNOT be both forgiveness and righteousness together unless the wrong is made right — a payment to satisfy justice. When payment is made, and forgiveness takes place, fellowship is truly restored.
Because Christ became the propitiation (payment) for my sin, God is both “just and justifier”, both Judge and Advocate, both righteous and forgiving.
E. Hid it — Blotted it Out.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
F. Hid it — Covered it.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
The word “atone” used repeatedly in the Old Testament is a Hebrew word meaning “cover”.
G. Hid it — It Can’t be Found.
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.
When God hides sin, there’s no point in looking for it any longer.
H. Hid it — In the Depths of the Sea.
He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
The hymnwriter, travelling across the ocean, wrote, “They are buried in the depths of the deepest sea, my sins are blotted out, I know.”
I. Removed it — Carried it Away. When God gave Israel instructions for the Day of Atonement, He told them to use two goats. One goat was to be killed. The priest would lay his hand on the other goat, the scapegoat, and the sins of the people would be laid upon it. It would then be taken into the wilderness, bearing the sins of the people away. Jesus was “the Lamb of God” who took away, not just the sins of Israel, but of all who believe on Him.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
J. Removed it — An Infinite Distance.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
No matter how far west you go, you can always go farther west. You will never arrive at “west”, though you travel an infinite distance. Nor can you ever arrive at “east”. “West” and “east” are both an infinite distance from here, so they are two times infinity apart. Two times infinity may be a mathematical impossibility, that is how far from me He has removed my sin.
K. Removed it — Where Even He Can’t See It.
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
He threw all my sins behind His back. Obviously God is a spirit, and does not have a back, so this is what is known as an anthropomorphism — using human terms figuratively. When we put something behind our back, we are putting it where we cannot see it. The idea is that God has put my sin where He cannot see it — and God sees everything! If it boggles your mind that the God who can see everything can’t see your sin, it is SUPPOSED to boggle your mind. We are supposed to be amazed at what He has done to our sin.
L. Removed it — Washed it Away With His Blood.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
I John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
M. Removed it — He Even Replaced the Heart that Did It.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
He replaced my sinful heart, creating a clean one within me. The old heart that was controlled by sin is gone. Not only did my sin get washed away, the wicked heart that was responsible for it is gone. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus!
N. Forgot it — Told us to Ask Him to Forget.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
These Scriptures give patterns of the way God wants us to talk to Him about our sin, and they include requests for Him to forget.
O. Forgot it — Promised not to Remember.
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
P. Forgot it — Included His Promise not to Remember in the New Covenant.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the great promise of the new covenant that God made after Israel had repeatedly broken His covenant with them. He said that He would make a new covenant with them — and He closed it with a promise to remember sin no more.
Q. Forgot it — Confirmed His New Covenant Promise in Christ
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
See also Hebrews 10:16-17. This new covenant, in which He remembers my sins no more, is confirmed in Christ.
R. Forgot it — But Look at What He Doesn’t Forget.
He Doesn’t Forget the Iniquity of the Wicked
4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.
He Doesn’t Forget One Sparrow
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
He Doesn’t Forget the People He Loves
13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
He Doesn’t Forget Our Work and Labour of Love
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
In the immense magnitude of all that God does remember, this one thing stands out: He doesn’t call our sin to remembrance.
I particularly like that last verse, Hebrews 6:10. If I sin against you, and confess my sin, and you forgive me, does God remember what happened? Well, He no longer calls my sin to remembrance, but He does remember your love in forgiving me. His grace is sufficient for even that.
He Makes All Things New
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
In that thrilling list of “no mores” in verse four, sin is missing. Did you notice? It doesn’t even rate a mention! It has been paid for, hidden, removed, and forgotten. In the new heaven and the new earth, sin is gone, and so are these things that sin brought into this world.
A man in our church once preached a sermon in which he told a story of a farmer’s son who seemed totally unconcerned about his sin. The farmer finally came up with an idea — every time the son sinned, his father went to the barn door and put a nail in it. The son asked about the nails, and his father explained their meaning.
After a time, the son trusted Christ, and asked his father about the nails. They went out, and the father pulled all the nails out of the door, and threw them away. The son said, “But Dad, what about the holes?” The father looked at the son and said sadly, “Son, the nails are gone, but the holes stay. God forgives the sin, but we often have to live with the consequences.”
That is so true, the consequences last – but He says, “Behold, I make all things new.” In the new heaven and new earth, even the consequences of sin are banished. The barn door is replaced, the holes are gone. No more weeping, no more sorrow, no more pain — all the tragic things that sin brought are gone. He makes ALL things new.
What did Christ do to my sin? This sermon was NOT a traditional three-point sermon. It couldn’t be — there were too many things that Christ did to my sin for that to be possible. He did absolutely everything that needed to be done to set me free from it forever.