Does God still punish people for their sins in the New Covenant?
The short answer is “No”!
14 For it is by his Son alone that we have been redeemed and have had our sins forgiven.
Colossians 1:14, J.B. Phillips New Testament
You were not forgiven of your sins because of something you have done. You were forgiven because of what Christ had done for you. He took the punishment for your sins at the Cross to free you from the guilt and condemnation of your sins.
On the account of His Son, God gives you a receipt of pardon instead of an invoice of penalty. You no longer need to fear punishment for your sins because Christ had already paid for them all—past, present, and future. This is God’s grace at work.
Unfortunately, there are those who think too much teaching of grace will cause people to sin. The truth is, grace actually keeps you from sin. It never empowers anyone to sin. As such, we sin, not because of grace, but because we didn’t take advantage of grace to save us from sin.
Some believers are taught to dredge up their sins for them to get right with God. This is not what the gospel says. To make people feel bad about themselves is to contradict the good work God has begun in them. Counting your sins instead of your blessings will cause you to accuse yourself of something which God had already forgiven and forgotten. Every time you recall your past sin, you are actually re-enacting your shameful past. This will tear away your identity and derail your purpose, and may even lead to self-loathing and personal rejection.
God’s approach is to forgive and remember your sins no more (Hebrews 10:17). He no longer looks at you with a pair of judgmental eyes, but with eyes of love. It is not how much God loves you that matters if you don’t know how much He loves you. The more you know God loves you, the better you live for Him.
Stay focused on His love, not in the past and not in fear. Rejoice that Jesus satisfactorily paid for your sins when He died on the Cross. There is no longer a debt for you to settle. Instead, there is a new life to live.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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