The List

Monday, March 17, 2008
Listen to this devotional:

2 Corinthians 5:21 – For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NRSV)

Long ago, I began the habit of keeping a record of ailments and illnesses that had come to visit me. The list is long, including measles, mumps as an adult, viral infections, surgery, and pneumonia.

I also began to keep a list of medications, highlighting those I showed sensitivity to.

Generally, my list has been found helpful in the event of illness. Handing it to the doctors instead of trying to remember everything, I save myself time and trouble. On occasion, it has also helped the doctors to find an appropriate treatment.

Looking at the list, however, I see no mention of a sin-sickness. Medical terms do not point to such an ailment, but they do provide a helpful analogy. The Bible reveals that we are born sinful. The sin-sickness is engraved into us from conception.

The list is long and accurate in every detail, and our spiritual DNA reveals us to be unholy, fallen, marked for sin, utterly erroneous, and utterly helpless.

The last thing we would want would be to have our sin list readily available for all to see. But the list is not hidden from God. If we admit and confess our sins before God, He forgives us our sins, both those we know and those we do not know. The lack of a deep examination of our condition before God leaves us bankrupt, without antitoxins, without hope.

God convicts all whom He calls. Sin is the wall that separates us from His grace. Sin comes in many forms: unbelief, spiritual blindness, ungodliness.

We are broken, crushed, and powerless in our self-sufficiency. We all need the power of God for our salvation. God so loved the world. It is evident that He loves to work in hopeless situations. He knew that the human race was heading to deadly peril. God knew that He had to come down to earth, die on the cross, rise to life, and live and reign forever, and that many would hear His gospel of deliverance, believe, and own it through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus is our only resource to turn to.

Come, all ye faithful, who have witnessed the gospel thriving in the face of our naked sin. It is fatal not to recognize our wretched blindness and our need of salvation.

1 John 1:8 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (NIV)

Revelation 3:17-20 – For you say, "I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing." You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (NRSV)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we come, handing You our list of sins. Empower us with Your grace to know our poverty and sin so that we might receive Your true riches, which You came to give us by becoming poor for us on the cross. Amen.

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Kirsti Sipila <>
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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