Sin and Repentance
But I Was Unaware
(#280 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
If the whole Israylite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of Yahweh’s commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realize their guilt and the sin they committed becomes known, the assembly must… (Leviticus 4:13-14)
When they realize their guilt? Were they guilty while they were still unaware they had sinned? The answer is obvious and atonement was demanded; “the assembly must…” Yes, even for their unintentional sins that they were unaware of, they had to make an offering. For you, whose sins have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, how do you respond? Do you defend your actions? “If I did not know, how can I be punished for it?” Or, do you repent?
The mature ones know the correct response. “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man…”(Romans 2:1) They are the ones who come into agreement and say, “No sin is acceptable, even in my own ignorance.” They would rather query themselves than deflect responsibility. “‘Why did I not know?’ rather than, ‘It’s not my fault.’” Herein lies so much of the problem deeply ingrained inside the body of the Messiah. Why don’t we know and what can be done about it?
Shaul’s humble expression might hold the key to unlock the answer we are looking for. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of the Almighty in the Messiah Yahshua. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, the Almighty will reveal even this to you.” (Philippians 3:13-15) If you stop at, “I do not count myself to have apprehended…,” then you will ride this excuse indefinitely. Sadly, this ignorance has become the acceptable infestation inside the body. The cure is to humbly admit where you are and to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call.”
The maturity it takes to press toward this high calling—do you think it is exclusive, or is it a choice? Are you willing to sit quietly and allow the Spirit to reveal how your approach to sin answers this question? The word says “Press on,” so it would seem that it entails some personal responsibility and effort. You can agree with it, “As many as are mature, have this mind;” or you can argue, “If in anything you think otherwise, the Almighty will reveal even this to you.” But be warned, the revealing won’t be pretty!
Ultimately, maturity brings peace and resolution. If you are truthful with yourself, you will admit that even if you were unaware, you are still responsible for your actions. The mature stop questioning Yahweh in vain. This is the mindset of the mature; if Yahweh says the unaware are still guilty, then guilty they are. If this is you, the only questions remaining are, “Will you repent and what will you do to guard against doing it again?” Do not be the “vain man” who will suffer sharp rebuke. All that you need to know is available if you press on. The “Him” inside of you guarantees it. For those who repent and take responsibility, the blood of the Lamb has dealt with all guilt and sin; woe to the man who continues in his guilt.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is available, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of the Mighty One. (Hebrews 10:26-27)