The young couple takes their baby to the front of the church, a little nervous and a little excited. With a few words and a little water, this new child is about to be welcomed into the church as a child of God, forgiven of sins and freed from death.
But it is still just a human baby; it will still sin. The old Adam, our sinful self, was drowned and done away with at the baptismal font, and Jesus can take his place. Baptized into Christ's death, salvation is ours (Romans 6:3), and we need not worry about sin having power over us anymore. It does not, however, mean that we are immune to sin.
It's a hard thing to wrap your mind around. We die, yet we live (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45). I struggle with it, too, especially as I write this post. I am forgiven; I know that. I am a perpetually sinful being; I know that, too. But how can such sin and depravity exist in the same heart as forgiveness and the light of Christ?
Even though we carry such ugly death in our bodies, we know also that Christ lives in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17, 1 John 4:12), and it's just one of those things we have to take on faith. I wish there were an easier answer for it, but I'm no theologian and am often at a loss for words in explaining things.
Psalm 103 : 12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
I heard a great explanation of Psalm 103:12 when I was in college. When you think about east being the complete opposite of west, your first think automatically that they're so far away from each other. After all, California is nowhere near Maryland. However, at what point does east become west and west turn to east? How far separated are they, really? All you have to do is turn around and you're heading the other direction. East and west are always so close as to be touching—yet they are headed in different directions. The back of your hand and the front of your hand are still on the same hand.
It's the same way with our sins. Even though God has forgotten them (meaning he doesn't hold them against us) and we try as hard as humanly possible to be and do good, we remain stuck in sin and free from sin at the same time. It doesn't make sense, does it? Leave it to God, though; your sins affect you as little as if they were eons away from you even though they are as close as the back of your hand is to the front.
We live our faith “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), not because we are afraid, but because we have a reverent fear of God and love him and want to do his will. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose” (v. 13).
Take heart in 1 Peter 1 : 3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”