This message is for Christians — for believers in Jesus Christ

try this.  Say this to yourself five times.

             God is not counting our sins against us. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

And try this one (five times).

  He is:
            “not counting our sins against me”.

Does that do something for you?  I know we are not supposed to go by our feelings — we live by faith.  But feelings are okay if we believe the truth.

He is:
            “not counting our sins against me”.

The original Greek word in this verse means God is not estimating, accounting, imputing, laying, or reckoning our sins against us.  It also means he is not taking an inventory of them or numbering them; and that he is not thinking on them or despising us because of them.

Do you realize what that means?

More than anyone in heaven or in earth, God could count our sins against us.  He certainly knows them.  And he has the right to count our sins against us.  After all, it is we who have failed.  We are the ones who have done wrong.  Compared to his holiness (which no one could fully imagine), we are pretty dark.  We have failed in not being able to do right even when we wanted to.  And for all of us there have been times when we didn’t want to.  Sometimes our failure is by inability, sometimes by choice.

So why does God not count our sins against us?  Why isn’t he calling us to account for the things we have done wrong?  He has the right.  He has the ability.  So why isn’t he doing it?

Beats me.  Something in God is a lot different than I am.  A lot different than I have thought he was.  Why would he pardon us?  Even more, after we are pardoned, why would he — from that time to forever — not count our sins against us?  Not enter them into the account between us and him?  

I heard a story of a well-known Christian professor who was teaching at a seminary.  One of his students asked him, “Dr. so-and-so, what is the deepest truth you have ever learned?”  The renowned professor replied,

            “Jesus loves me, this I know — for the Bible tells me so.”

I am getting the same way.  I don’t understand his love.  And why he would not count our wrongs against us, that clearly should be counted.

I know we have been taught the means by which he does not count them against us.  It is amazing.  The Father and Jesus agreed together before the world was created.  Jesus came to earth.  And then, he died a substitutionary death for us.  That means, he died in our place.  Jesus took the place of us sinners on the cross; he became guilty for us.  We get to take his place as a son of God.  The innocent one became guilty; and we guilty ones become innocent.  He took the wrath and punishment of God that we deserved; we get the goodness, credit, and acceptance that Jesus deserved.  A truly amazing exchange.  No one would have thought of it, or even asked God to do it. 

But this was God’s plan, not ours.  God both thought of it and did it.  So we understand, at least in our minds, the method by which God declared us not guilty.  But do we understand the degree to which he declares us not guilty?  How not guilty are we?  And can this “not guilty”, this degree of acceptance, be diminished?  How about when we fail; are bad; choose the wrong? 

Well, I don’t understand it.  But God’s acceptance — his “not guilty”, his “you are totally righteous before me” — cannot be changed.  It cannot be decreased.  It cannot and will not be reduced to any degree, in any way, from the moment you trusted Christ through all eternity.  It does not depend on your behavior.  It does not depend on your character.  It does not depend on you.  It depends on God alone.

When does this apply?  It applies at all times.  This includes today — you are “not guilty” and “completely accepted”.  It includes tomorrow — you are “not guilty” and “totally accepted”.  It covers your best moments (when you think you are good, but even that is still not good enough to be accepted).  And it covers your worst moments (when you know you are not good enough).  In short, it’s permanent.  It cannot change.  It is always “not guilty”, “completely accepted”.  It will not change because God cannot change.

Let me ask you a question.  Did any one of you ever buy something, and were delighted with the purchase?  But later, something happened.  It broke; it was a lemon; it was poorly made; it came apart.  You were disappointed.  You wished you hadn’t bought it.  Your elation in your purchase was gone.  You regretted it.  You wanted to return it.

Does God ever feel that way about us?  Like a wedding — vows made, the honeymoon is a delight.  We were born again.  We experienced his forgiveness.  But later, he (or we) found out that we were not what we should have been.  We were a defective bride.  Our dedication (to Jesus) was not what it should have been.  We were not that faithful companion to Jesus that we knew we should be.

Does he feel disappointment?  Has he regretted the relationship which he initiated?  Was he set back by our lack of performance?  Wished he picked a different bride?

NO!  NO!  A thousand times no!

He is:
            “not counting our sins against us”.

In terms of his acceptance, our sins, failures, and shortcomings do not appear on his radar screen.  They are not counted against us.  Not posted to our account.  They do not come between us and God.  It does not enter into the basis of our relationship with him.  He is not counting them against us.  No running calculation of our wrongs.

It is not that he does not see them.  It is not that he is ignorant of our sinful natures.  It is not even that God does not want us to live better lives.  No — it is this:  Jesus bore all that on the cross.  That transaction was settled.  It is a completed matter.  We were cleared of all guilt; it was completely and forever done on the cross and happened the moment you believed.

He is:
            “not counting our sins against us”.

So why would he do this?

It is one amazing thing that God would do this.  A totally amazing exchange.  But why would he want to? I don’t know. It must be a love that I cannot comprehend.  Something that goes beyond myself or anything I could otherwise experience.  A love that is in him and him alone — and finds nothing of its source in me, in what I am, or in anything I do.

Why is that in him?  No one knows.  But it is.  And we can be glad it is.

If this is true, shouldn’t we believe it?  If God has completely accepted us, why don’t we accept it?  Why don’t we accept the fact that he has completely accepted us?  Why should we feel condemned?  Why should we labor under a sense of guilt and failure when he has freed us from that?

He is:
            “not counting our sins against us”.

Do you really know, and take to heart, and experience this level of acceptance?  Well, if you are like me, the answer is “partly”.  If it is in part that we believe this truth, God grant us the experience of making it more.  I think we should ask him to make it more real to us.  If we come to fully understand this, we will be filled with joy. 

 He is:
            “not counting our sins against us”.

Some verses for your further consideration:

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”  Isaiah 43:25

 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."  Hebrews 8:12

“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."  Isaiah 44:22

He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  Micah 7:19

"No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."  Jeremiah 31:34

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Psalm 103:12

“I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.”  Jeremiah 33:8

Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.  Psalm 65:3

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.” Hosea 14:4

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  Hebrews 9:12

. . . how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  Hebrews 9:14

. . . and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood . . .  Revelation 1:5

 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.  1 Peter 3:18 

. . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.  1 Peter 2:24

 . . .and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.  Acts 13:39

 “For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”  Romans 11:27

 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  Ephesians 1:7 

. . . in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:14

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  1 John 2:2

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10

. . . whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood . . .  Romans 3:25a

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ . . .  2 Corinthians 5:18a 

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:21 

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity Psalm 32:1-2a

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.  Romans 4:7-8

You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.  Psalm 85:2

If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.  Psalm 130:3-4

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.  Micah 7:18

. . . that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:19

. . . for He shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11b

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  Romans 5:9

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:31-39

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16


For The Glory Of His Name
Whether By Life Or Death