We all have that sin. The one we thought was long conquered, long forgotten, and long paid for by Christ's precious blood. Then one day it emerges, reminding us that we are not yet perfected, and riddling us with guilt. It's the sin we don't speak of. It's the sin that we are certain would cause friends to shun us, strangers to mock us, and God to turn his back on us. Everyone's is different, but the effects on us are the same. And when it rears its ugly head we are undone.
I don't know what your forgotten, unspeakable sin is. But I know mine. I know that even after years of victory it can come back without any warning, reminding me that I am still in need of a great Savior. It's good for me, really. This sin, in all its heinousness, is a reminder to my ever prideful heart that the respectable sins I live with are just as ugly as the one that I don't utter out loud. Everyone needs to be knocked down a few rungs on the ladder of our own perceived righteousness. I am no different.
In the moments of despair over the reappearance of this sin, I have been comforted by the fact that it has been paid for by Christ's atoning work at the cross. There is no more condemnation for me because Christ took all of it for me (Rom. 8:1). But practically speaking, I've learned that I need the same guttural response to my every day sins as I have to the one I hate the most. I should weep tears of brokenness with every act of rebellion against my God, and yet, I don't. I've created a hierarchy of sinfulness, stacking some at the very top of the "do not do this again" list.
In God's eyes, sin is sin. No amount of human ordering changes that for him. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). This sin is the great equalizer before him. There are no sins that are beyond his reach for cleansing and there are no sins that make us any better or worse in his eyes. Without Christ, the verdict is the same—guilty.
Oh, but the story doesn't end there. With Christ the verdict is the same—righteous. My sin (respectable and otherwise) says that there is no hope for me, and that is true. But in Christ I have a righteousness that is not my own (Phil. 3:9). I can stand free from condemnation over all of my sins, even the one that I feel is too unworthy to bring to the throne of grace. The same is true for you. We are all in this together. Look to Christ and trust in his perfect work on your behalf. Repent, yes. But then cling to the one who paid for all our sins—even the ones we can't speak of.
(Adapted from a post previously published here.)