Sunday, October 10, 2010

On the Burden of Sin and Deliverance From Sin


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).

Fear, confusion, weakness, infirmity and darkening of the mind are born of sin.

By sin, a man provokes others against himself, confuses his own conscience, attracts demons to himself, and gives them weapons against himself.

By sin, a man separates himself from God, estranges himself from his guardian angel, and walls himself off from the source of all good.

The committing of sin signifies a declaration of war against God and all godly powers. This is more preposterous than if a withered autumn leaf were to declare war on the wind.

And, indeed, the most preposterous thing of all occurs: a man declares war on God! This declaration alone guarantees ruin and destruction for a man if he does not quickly come to himself, repent and flee to God for mercy.

The great King David was well aware of the terrible predicament of the sinner, and he himself experienced it. He felt inexpressible fear, confusion, weakness and loneliness; he felt the arrows of men and the arrows of demons. But, realizing his horrible situation, David acknowledged his sin, prostrated himself in ashes before God, soaked the ground with tears of repentance and words of anguish that burned like fire, and prayed to the merciful God to forgive him. And, when all was forgiven him, he felt inexpressible blessedness. This blessedness of the forgiven soul he could not express in words. He could only declare, confirm and assure us of the condition of sinfulness and the condition of forgiveness from God, based on his direct experience of both conditions: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).

What is this blessing? Freedom, courage, indescribable joy, power, strength, clarity of thought, peace of conscience, hope in God, hymnody to God, love for one's neighbors, and meaning to one's life! In other words: light, joy and strength are the blessing. This is the blessing that one who is forgiven of sin feels here on earth. If this is so, then what is the blessing that awaits him in heaven, "that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man" (I Corinthians 2:9)?

O Lord our God, forgive us our transgressions by Thine infinite mercy, and cover our sins! To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
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