The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

“For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.”— Psalm 38:4 (NKJV)

Here’s the bad news: Everyone sins. Paul echoed David when he wrote, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Psalm 53:3; Romans 3:10 NKJV). From the Old Testament to the New, the Holy Spirit reveals sin as an inevitable condition with a terminal diagnosis. Yet, God, in His mercy and grace, has offered us this truth: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NKJV). That’s the good news!

More bad news: Everyone feels the conviction of sin (John 16:8). We all have a moral compass, a conscience that tells us when we’ve done something wrong. No one is immune, for it is the Holy Spirit’s desire to reprove and convince the world of the need for a Savior, who is Jesus Christ. Again, the good news!

Once we realize our need and receive Jesus into our hearts, a remarkable thing happens: Sin becomes loathsome. As our hearts align with the Lord, sin isn’t something we are simply aware of or fearful about; it causes us to feel its burden. I think this saying sums it up nicely: The closer I grow to Jesus, the less I sin and the more I repent.

True conviction and repentance is what we see in today’s verse. David is crying out to the Lord. If you read the Psalm in its entirety, you see the suffering of sin (verses 1–8), the loneliness of sin (9–14), and the confession of sin (15–22). When our hearts are right with God, conviction of sin will lead us on this path to repentance.

I’d like to think that the men who were willing to stone the adulterous woman felt true conviction after Jesus challenged them. John tells us they were “convicted by their conscience” (John 8:9 NKJV) and left the scene one by one. Did they go home and, as David did, cry out to the Lord? Or was their moral compass merely piqued and later hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Hebrews 3:13)? We don’t know.

For now, we know this: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NASB). This is an invitation God paid a high price to give. For at the cross, Jesus suffered the most agonizing suffering of sin–a weight none of us could ever bear, so He bore it for us.

Dig: What does “freedom in Christ” mean? Read Romans 6.

Discover: What sinful areas in your life is the Holy Spirit revealing to you?

Display: Partner with God in prayer and obedience to free you from those sins and use the fruit of that freedom as a testimony of His power and grace. 

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.