Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Although one rarely “pines” anymore, when I read this line, I feel hopelessness and helplessness pressing in. In Paul’s letter to the Roman church, he said: And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin…(Romans 7:18-19, 24-25) Sounds pretty hopeless. But then comes Romans 8:1 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
That’s where the hope comes in, and the thrill of it, allowing us to rejoice, because we belong to Jesus.
God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God’s glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? (Psalm 130:3)
Have you ever noticed that the Bible asks some pretty tough questions? And I see this verse within the context of another verse from the Psalms: For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. (Psalm 40:12) Yeah. There are days like that, when my sins pile up so high around me I can’t see my way out.
Please understand, we’re not talking about sins which are committed by those who do not love the LORD. They wouldn’t even recognize them as sins, let alone even know what sin is. Psalm 40 is about a soul who is vexed by and overwhelmed by his sins. And being in such a state, you see no way through, no way out. Paul felt this:
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? (Romans 7:18-24)
Now he good news is that Paul does not leave us waiting. The answer comes immediately in verse 25: Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 7:25-8:2)
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. So when Christ died for our sins, and we accepted His sacrifice and His salvation, the Father stopped keeping records.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” (Isaiah 44:22)
“You have put all my sins behind your back.” (Isa8ah 38:17)
“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)
“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
Once our sins are forgiven, they are forgotten. The problem is WE keep remembering them. And that’s where we need to learn a lesson in Divine forgiveness. If He has buried our sins in the sea, scattered them like the mist, and removed them as far as the east is form the west, don’t you think we should forget them as well. Otherwise we could be saying that His forgiveness isn’t good enough, and that’s terrible and scary position to take.
In lovehe predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s gracethat he lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:5-8)
Who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked… (Psalm 1:1b)
The Hebrew word for walk also means to come and go, depart, proceed, to move and go away. It can also be translated as your manner or way of life (i.e.—your walk).
Wicked also means ungodly and criminal, and specifically are those hostile to God.
If you want to be blessed, do not walk in the advice of those who are hostile to God; do not make it a part of your life. Another way to put it, while you are coming and going, do not accompany the wicked.
… or stand in the way of sinners. (Psalm 1:1c)
The Hebrew word for stand means as to remain, endure; to take one’s stand, to persist, and become a servant of such.
Here you’re no longer walking, but are taking a stand, not against sinners, but with sinners. You could also say that you have become a slave to sin.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (John 8:34)
…or sit in the seat of mockers. (Psalm 1:1d)
The Hebrew word for sit also means dwell, remain, and abide. It also has a meaning as to be set (in one’s ways).
Seat has similar meanings to sit: dwell, dwelling, assembly. Mockers means scorner, scoffer, and interpreter, one who should translate but instead of bringing understanding, makes it a mockery.
Finally our dwelling place is no longer with the godly, but the ungodly. With whom do you live?
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10)
Note the downward spiral, the devolution as it were in our actions: from walking to standing to sitting with the ungodly.
Even though this part of the verse has dealt with that which we are NOT to do, the following verse shows us what we are to do: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” May God give you the wisdom to know the difference between what to do, and what not to do.