Acts 8.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
The account above is referring to Simon the sorcerer who sought to obtain the power of The Holy Ghost for his own use and fame. The point that I want us to see this morning is this: the depth of our sin lies deep within. Unless it is manifested to the natural eye, it is rarely detected. In Genesis 6.5 we read, And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. After Noah left the ark and offered unto God that sweet smelling sacrifice, we once again read in Genesis 8.21, And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
As Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, sin is deeper than the outward manifestation of it. Sin lies in the realm of our thoughts and desires and motives. Scripture states in 1 Kings 8.39, for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men. God knows our hearts. He knows our thoughts, desires and motives, both good and bad. There is no man that does not sin. Sin separates man from God. But God in His mercy and grace has provided an all-satisfying sacrifice for our sin in His Son, Jesus Christ. Oh the depth of God’s forgiveness, beloved. We tend to emphasize the obvious, outward manifestations of sin. But what is often overlooked is the root of that sinful manifestation. The anger in the heart. The greed in the heart. The bitterness in the heart. The lust in the heart or imaginations. Christ has died for all manner of sin, be it visible or invisible.
Dear reader, has the awareness of your sin driven you to Christ? Does the constant awareness of your sinful condition draw you to Christ? The total debt of our sin was borne by Jesus on the cross. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation from sin’s debt. Yes, I am a sinner, but I no longer need to carry out those sinful desires and lusts. Christ has set me free! His sacrifice has atoned for every single one of our sins on the cross. When sin strikes within, look to the cross, beloved.