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The Challenger Deep

challenger-deep-smThe deepest part of the ocean is the called the Challenger Deep and it is located beneath the western Pacific Ocean in the southern end of the Mariana Trench, which is southwest of the U.S. territorial island of Guam. The Challenger Deep is approximately 36,000 feet deep, or in other words, just under seven miles.

The Bible tells us that we all have blown it. The word for this is sin. In Romans 3:23 we read these words – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of our sins, we are separated from God. We know that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to restore our broken relationship with God. If you enter into a relationship with Jesus, you get this free gift from God.

The bad news, as we just read, is that we all sin. There are not degrees of sin; sin is sin. There are degrees of punishment for various actions or behaviors but not degrees of sin. Stealing Post-It notes from work is no less sinful than murdering your neighbor in a fit of rage. None of this, “Well, at least I did not…” The good news is that God tells us that He forgives us of our sins and He throws them into the deep sea, never to be remembered again. Psalm 103:12 says this – “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Not only does God forgive us of our sins, He also wipes the slate clean and forgets those sins. In this culture where our past mistakes get brought up again and again, it is hard to believe that someone would actually forgive and forget. But it is true, God does forgive and He does forget. In Isaiah 43:25 we see this promise – “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins no more.” Need more proof? If we stay in the Old Testament we see these words found in Jeremiah 31:34 – “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” The New Testament contains a large number of verses quoted from the Old Testament, helping to give credibility to the Bible being the inspired word of God. Here is one such of those quotes. In Hebrews 8:12, found in the New Testament, we see these familiar words – “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

So today, no matter how “bad” you have sinned (and remember, sin is sin), and no matter what you have done, if you take your sins to God and ask Him for forgiveness, you will be forgiven. Your guilty verdict will be expunged. Expunged is a legal term which means to have a criminal conviction “sealed,” thereby making it unavailable for anyone to see. Basically, your criminal record is wiped clean. If you do your part and admit that you are a sinner, then ask for your sins to be forgiven, God promises to do His part and expunge your record. In 1 John 1:8-9 we see that very promise – “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And in verse 10 we see – “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

In a world filled with bad news on top of bad news, as big and as deep as the ocean is, God says He buries your sins farther away than you can see and deeper than the Challenger Deep, and that is good news!

Dave Garrett

7/20/2015

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