In the Bible there are more than fifty different words for “sin”: debt, evil, wickedness, trespass, unrighteousness, guilt, transgressions, disobedience, rebellion, etc., But exposing the sin and naming the sin is not what matters. That’s not what fixes the problem. Keeping score is not the Gospel. Witch-hunting is not the Gospel. Shaming people and punishing people is not the Gospel.

Forgiving sin — that’s the Gospel, because it’s the only thing that works.

If something’s going to be done about sin, it’s not going to be with laws and commands or with judgments and punishments. Do we really think what’s wrong with the world is something we can fix with more rules or more creative ways to practice judgment? No, forgiveness is the only way.

The ancient Apostles’ Creed reminds us that disciples of Jesus believe in and practice forgiveness. We are eternally blessed by God’s merciful forgiveness and we, in turn, bless the world by generously sharing our own forgiveness.

God forgives. And we, his people, are the stage where that divine forgiveness is made visibleĀ and real in the world.