“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Ps. 19:12-13).
People do not usually just up and commit adultery or murder. Usually, there’s a long period of relatively secret sins festering under the surface. Then, if those secret sins are not dealt with, presumptuous sins begin to go unchecked. They may be respectable at first or barely noticeable, but God sees them. These are angry outbursts, lies, a foul mouth, seeking out opportunities for lust. But you cannot sow secret sins or presumptuous sins without eventually reaping great transgressions. The principle here is: if you don’t want an overgrown garden, pull the weeds when they are small.
But sin is not just morally wrong and harmful to you and others, sin is also taking you out play, taking you out of the action. Every Christian is on the field of battle. You do not have the option of opting out of this war. But through sin, you can certainly help the enemy and make a lot of trouble for your fellow soldiers. Then, one of the Devil’s favorite schemes is to get Christians to wallow around in their guilt and shame, furthering the mess.
But here at this table, Jesus offers His body and blood shed for sins. That’s what this bread and wine mean. They mean that you can be clean. They mean that if you hate your sin, God hates it more and He’s glad you’re here. These gifts are for sinners. This bread and wine is not for soldiers who have perfect records. There are no perfect records in this room.
Here, at this table, God offers to put you back in the game. And don’t misunderstand, this offer is available to you all week long. You don’t need to wait until Sunday to get back in the game: confess your sins and get clean right away. But if you’ve been laying on the field holding your knee for the last three days because you really blew it. I am authorized to tell you that your sins are forgiven. Get up and get back into the fray.
When David prayed that God would create a clean heart in him and restore the joy of His salvation, he immediately added, “Then I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will be converted to You.” We have work to do, and a big part of that work is telling all our fellow sinners that there is forgiveness for every sin. And we know this because it has happened to us. So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.