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When You Sin By Accident

Leviticus 4:13-14 (NIV)

13 "'If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty.  14 When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting.

Leviticus 4:1-21 talks about what happens when a Jew sins against God unintentionally.  For example, maybe that person did something that was against God's laws but they were not aware that they did it, or maybe they didn't know it was something God's laws prohibited.  

Verse 13 shows us that just because we don't know we sinned doesn't mean we haven't sinned.  Sin is sin, whether we do it intentionally or not.  One of the lessons of Leviticus 4 is that when we sin, even if it is by accident, it is still necessary to pay for that sin.  That's why David would write, "Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may that not rule over me." (Psalm 19:12-13)

What should you do when you realized you sinned unintentionally?  As soon as we become aware that we have sinned against God or another person, we should look to God for forgiveness and where necessary make things right with the person we sinned against.

Praise God that just as He made provision for unintentional sins in Leviticus 4, God made provision for our unintentional sins by sending Jesus Christ as a sin offering to die for all our sins (see Romans 8:3).  

In fact, in Jesus Christ we have an even greater provision than the Jews had in Leviticus 4.  While a sin offering in Leviticus 4 was good to cover only one unintentional sin, Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was good enough to cover ALL our sins -- intentional, unintentional, past, present and future.

Let's thank God that through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus made once and for all, ALL our sins are totally forgiven.   We don't need to live in constant fear that we are sinning against God unintentionally.  Instead, we live under the all-sufficient umbrella of God's mercy and grace, fully protected and fully forgiven.

Thank You, Lord, for loving me and forgiving me through Jesus Christ even when I unintentionally sin against You.

Reverend Pastor J.B. Lim of Thrive Church in Vancouver, BC

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