Meditation Mondays: Punishment of Sin
Lamentations 3:39 (NKJV)
Why should a living man complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?
There are consequences for our sins. And those consequences may vary because some sins are crimes. For example, a man may go to prison or even receive the death penalty for the sin/crime of murder. This is just. This is a consequence for his sin/crime. Another person may experience a fractured relationship because she has murder in her heart and spoke angrily with her neighbor (Matthew 5:21-26). This is a consequnce for a sin that is not a crime.
As Christians we must willfully submit to the consequences of our sinful actions and heart posture. We must not complain. We must not view ourselves as victims when we are culprits. To do so is dangerous. The Apostle John warns of those who complain as if they have no sin.
8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10 NKJV)
Now thankfully there is also a promise contained in John's warning. Although we may experience earthly consequences for sin, in Christ our eternal consequence has been paid for in full measure. Christ Jesus bore the consequence for our sins on the cross- every last one of them. In Christ we are cleansed from all of our sins, all of our crimes, and we stand reconciled to the God who created us and rules over us. So believer, take your earthly punishment for your sin as a Christian should (without complaining), and persevere knowing that Christ died for that particular sin and took the consequence (the wrath of God) on Himself and you will spend an eternity with Him.