Does God Have a Book that Lists All Our Sins?

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Does God Have a Book that Lists All Our Sins?

Many of us subconsciously live with the idea that God keeps a record of our sins. We all have a sense that we are accountable to someone—but is this true (Romans 2:15)? Does God have a book that lists our sin?

If we flip in our Bibles to the book of Revelation, we will learn about some of the “books” God keeps.

And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:11-12 NLT)

This passage talks about the final judgment, when the world as we know it has ended and we all stand before God. This verse says that books are opened, and that those books have a record of what people have done.

We know from other parts of the Bible that God sees everything and knows everything. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV). So of course, God doesn’t need a book to remember our sins. He doesn’t tell us he has a book because he’s liable to forget our sins. God knows and remembers all our deeds—good and bad. When he tells us that the books will be opened on judgment day, this helps us understand that God knows us, and the sins we have committed—our sins are measurable and remembered by God.

So to answer the question, “Does God have a book that lists all our sins,” the Bible says, “Yes”!

If God Does Have a Book that Lists All Our Sins…

If we are honest with ourselves, this is at first very frightening—to think that God remembers every sin we have ever committed. We know that we have sinned against God and wronged other people in our thoughts, actions, and attitudes in so many ways (Psalm 51:3-4). We agree with the biblical author who wrote, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3 NIV).

It is appropriate to feel afraid of God’s judgment. God is just, so he must punish sin. If you met a criminal with a long list of crimes he had done, you would hope the judge condemned him according to what is on that list. Otherwise, justice would not be served. In the same way, we know that our own sins deserve God’s judgment, because God is good and just (Exodus 34:6-7). The Bible paints a very scary and serious picture of judgment. Because we sin against an eternal God, our punishment is eternal—it is suffering God’s wrath, or his anger and justice, against our sin in what the Bible calls hell for all eternity (Matthew 13:41-42; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).

What Will God Do with Your List of Sins?

But the Bible doesn’t just tell us about judgment! It also tells us about Jesus:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)

God loves us so much that he doesn’t want to see us suffer for all eternity for the sins we have committed. So God—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—made a plan. Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth and lived a perfect life. That means written in God’s books are all the things Jesus ever did right, and there is not one sin listed under Jesus’ name (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus’ record is perfect.

Jesus chose to make a trade with anyone who is willing. Jesus suffered and died on a cross, accepting the punishment from God that we deserve for our sins. He traded our punishment for his perfect record (2 Corinthians 5:21). Do you want to hear the awesome news the Bible gives us about what God has done about your record of sin, if you believe in Jesus?

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NLT, emphasis added)

When Jesus died on the cross, God took that long record of sins you have committed and nailed it there. When God opens the books on judgment day, if you have put your faith in Jesus, he will not stand looking at your record of sins. That has been nailed to the cross. Instead, he will remember Jesus’ righteous record, which Jesus gave to you as a gift when you believed in him.

In other words,

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. (Romans 3:22-26 NLT)

So friend, yes, God knows all of your sins. One day God will hold every person accountable for their deeds. Without Jesus, we will have to pay the just penalty for every wrong we have ever done.

But if you have put your faith in Jesus, who loves you and died for your sins, then God’s promise to you is this: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25 NIV). God does not see you based on your sinfulness anymore (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). Hear God’s Word about how God treats those who have put their faith in Jesus:

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:10-12 ESV)

If you have put your trust in Jesus, then you can look forward to judgment day without fear of condemnation (Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:18). God knows all of your sins. They are not overlooked or forgotten. But if you have put your faith in Jesus, he nailed your record of debt to the cross long ago. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you will not be condemned.

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