Do you feel weighed down by the burden of sin? Are you exhausted with fighting your sin only to give in when you promised God and yourself that you would not? Do you wish that you could be free of your burden and live in the peace promised in scripture? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then you are not alone. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides us a way to deal with this burden. Yet, for many followers of Christ the struggle is very real. It can be difficult to see oneself in the forgiveness found in Christ. It is for this reason that we must continually preach the gospel to ourselves and our fellow believers in our Christian community. This is what Pastor Sam Storms discusses in his new book A Dozen Things God Has Done with Your Sin and Three Things He Will Never Do (Crossway 2022).
In the book, Pastor Storms walks through the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. This doctrine is crucial to the Christian faith in that it is the foundation of our salvation and standing before God. In it we see that on the cross Christ stood in our place taking the penalty of our sin and the wrath of God. If this were not the case then no one would have any standing before God other than the right judgment for sin. There has been much ink spilled over this doctrine, and we will not get into those nuances in this review. However, this doctrine is biblical, and essential to a biblical understanding of the work of Christ on the cross .
For the sake of brevity, we will not discuss all twelve ways God has dealt with our sin as discussed in the book, in this review, but will touch on a few to show the author’s pastoral intent. Storms discusses the fact that God has thrown our sin as far as the east is from the west. He has removed them as far away from us as possible. He also reminds us that God has thrown them into the depths of the sea. While the Bible is using a metaphorical device and does not literally throw in the Pacific Ocean. the point is driven home nonetheless. God wants his people to know that he deals with our sin completely and will not bring them back to us. Storms also discusses the fact that God remembers our sins no more and that he hides his face from them. It is true that God cannot truly forget, nor can anything truly be hidden from his sight. But these truths remind us that he chooses not hold our sins against us and chooses not to see our sin because of the work of Jesus on the cross.
As wonderful as the twelve things God has done with our sin are, the three things that he will never do with our sin are even more important to our understanding of the doctrine of salvation. First, God will never deal with us according to our sin. Second, God will never repay us according to our sins. Third, God will never count our sins against us. To be clear, these apply only to those have put their faith and trust in Christ. The beauty of these three ways God will not do with our sin, is that they are found in the book of Psalms. The psalmist, David, did not yet fully understand the work of Jesus on the cross. He could, however, look forward to Jesus, the coming Messiah, who would deal with sin once and for all.
A Dozen Things God Has Done with Your Sin is a beautiful reminder of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only hope for the world. So many times believers can be shortsighted and forget the fundamentals of what God has done for us in Christ on the cross. However, we must never forget the gospel. The cross must be central to our daily lives. This book is an excellent resource for all believers, and even non-believers who are struggling with the weight of sin in their life. In this book, Pastor Storms reminds the reader of their status before God as a forgiven sinner. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides a respite and oasis from the burden of sin. Many believers live in in the fear of God’s judgment and his disapproval. Yet, this is not what we see in the gospel. God has dealt with our sin in the work of Christ on the cross. Through Jesus’ finished work, God has made us right with him forever.
His Mercy is More
Given the subject matter discussed by Pastor Storms in A Dozen Things God Has Done with Your Sin we would be remiss to move on with taking the time ponder the theological implications. Given the fact that Jesus died in our place for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day, this news is life giving. If we trust in this truth by repenting of our sins, we are made right with the Lord. Before we move to the rest of our day, let’s take time to worship the Lord and give him praise that he has made a way of salvation. Take time in this moment to reflect on this truth while listening to His Mercy is More by Keith and Kristyn Getty. If you would like more information about the new life provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, please visit The Gospel page.
Editor’s Note: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.