The Good News is “God’s not counting.”
The other day a church sign caught my attention as I passed by. It said “Don’t make me come down there!” At first I chuckled as I remembered my father yelling at my brother and me at bedtime, “Don’t make me come up there.” The fear of what punishment might befall us if that happened usually quieted us down. I also remembered how I yelled at my children at bedtime, “Don’t make me come down there,” with the hope that my threat would somehow subdue them. As I laughed at those thoughts I was suddenly saddened by the realization that most of us view God that very way. We see Him sitting in heaven shaking His finger at us in a threatening way to warn us and correct us for our bad behavior.
It is representative of the crisis in the church today. As a church we are steeped in a performance, works mentality, continually trying to be good enough to receive God’s acceptance and favor. We think that if we behave better God will love us more and be more favorably inclined to bless us. How contrary that thinking is to the Good News of what God has done for us. When I was yet a sinner Jesus Christ died for me. When I was as far from God as I could get, with no interest in getting any closer, He died for me. No greater love hath any man than this. Before I was saved, He loved me as much as it is possible to love. Why do I constantly think He will love me more if I behave better? I find it hard to believe that God loves me even when I sin and that He accepts me even when I feel unacceptable to Him. The Good News is that He loves me and accepts me in spite of who I am and what I do. Contrary to what I think, He is not counting my sin and holding it against me.
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was in Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and has put the word of reconciliation in us.” God is not counting our sins. The King James version says “imputing” which means to keep an accounting or to record in an accountant’s journal. The Good News is that He is not keeping track of everything that we do wrong. Jesus already paid the price for sin so that He no longer has to keep track of it. We, not Him, are the ones who keep track of sin. We are the sin accountants, recording ours and others sin. It is satan, the accuser of the brethren, that is tracking our sin and using it to defeat us with fear, guilt, shame and control. Jesus our Advocate has already settled our sin problem once and for all and is no longer keeping track of it. He is not focused on our sin, why should we be? In fact, Paul says that what we focus on we gravitate toward. What we try not to do, we do. That is why Hebrews 10:2 exhorts us that we should now, since Jesus’ sacrifice, have no consciousness of sin. Our sin has been purged and has been dealt with and we should not be thinking about it. We are free now to live focused on Him, on His victory over sin for us.