Growing up, one of my favorite hymns was #604-I’m The One. This song carries such a beautiful message of what sin feels like to the faithful Christian. The song does so by making ﬁrst person statements such as, “I was not in the garden when He knelt to God and prayed, I did not kiss Him on the cheek when Jesus was betrayed … I was not on the hillside when He gave His life that day, I did not nail His precious hands or take His robe away …” This is very true; none of us today are capable of being present there when Jesus prayed on the mountain, or when He was put on the cross, but then the song takes a turn in the prechorus, and continuing into the chorus by saying, “… But every time I sin on earth I feel that I’m the one. I’m the one who shouted crucify; I’m the one who made His cross so high; I’m the one who stood and watched him die; What have I done? I’m the one.” The one speaking in this song describes the guilt he (or she) feels when they transgress the law of God. Do we feel the same way? Do the lyrics of this song apply to us? How do you feel when you sin?
Consider the Lord’s servant David. David, despite being called a man after God’s own heart, fell short many times in his life. And every time he still had the same type of remorse. David describes how it felt to have sin in his life in Psalm 32:3-4, when he says, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” Does sin tear me apart from the same way? Do I feel my body wasting away with what I have done? For Christians, transgressing the law of God should be devastating! It should hurt, not only because of breaking law but also tossing aside all that has been done for us. We read passages such as Romans 5, that while we were an enemy, Christ died for us; that sin and death were brought into the world by our decisions, but through Christ life and grace exist and are given to us. There is so much that has been done for us, and as Christians, we should have a love for God because of all that He has done; but as we choose to sin, we tell our Father that we don’t care or that He hasn’t done enough to make us feel the need to obey.
More than that, not feeling true remorse reveals that there is a much greater issue going on inside of me. There is an issue with my heart. First John talks about the character of a Christian. The word character is deﬁned as “inscribe; engrave.” When applied to this letter, it implies that Christ is engraved in our hearts. That just as you engrave a stone, or metal, or leather, there is a permanent mark that cannot be removed unless the piece of the material with the inscription is cut oﬀ and removed from the rest. When I sin, if I do not feel remorse, if I have become numb to my actions, then I have begun to cut God’s words out of my heart. I have taken Christ, who should be engraved in my heart, and cut Him oﬀ and removed Him from me.
Moving forward, we need to reﬂect on our lives to ensure that our hearts have Christ engraved within them. We need to examine ourselves to know whether or not it weighs us down greatly when we stand against God. As the song says, we should be the kind of people that when we live contrary to God’s law, we feel as though we are the very ones who stood in front of Pilate and demanded Jesus be cruciﬁed; that we are the ones who took the nails and drove them through His hands. Don’t lose your love for Christ, because He loves you and wants you to be with Him. Remember what the writer of Hebrews says in 3:12: “Take care, brethren that there not be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.”