2-12-3 Sins of Ignorance

2. Because of God's abhorrence of sin, sins of ignorance were still counted as offences against God, requiring atonement. This should really humble us- if we are sensitive to this fact. It therefore follows that we should lift up our voice for understanding of God's ways, for ignorant sin is still sin to Him- even though His judgment of us may possibly take into account our level of appreciation. In this context we should also be aware that God remembers unforgiven sin. Over time we can forget that we cursed our wife on 6.6.96 or whenever and never bowed down in repentance. But He doesn’t. The haziness of our memories can work as a kind of pseudo-atonement for us. With Him there is no distinction between past and present and future. The sin remains before Him. By the law comes the knowledge of sin to men, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t culpable for those sins before God (Rom. 3:20; 7:7)- for sins of ignorance still needed atonement. “Sin is not imputed when there is no law” (Rom. 3:13) most likely means, in this light, that it is not imputed by those who do the sin. But God still notices…  We only have to consider the passion of Peter's appeal to Israel in Acts 3:17-19: " I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did your rulers... repent ye therefore" . His Jewish hearers would immediately have spotted the allusion back to the Mosaic protocol about what to do when you and your rulers realized you'd committed sins of ignorance. But the sacrifice required was now not an animal- it was the sacrifice of a broken heart and a baptism into Jesus.

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