2-12-3 Sins Of Ignorance
2. Because of God's abhorrence of sin, sins
of ignorance were still counted as offences against God,
requiring atonement. This should really humble us- if we are
sensitive to this fact. It therefore follows that we should
lift up our voice for understanding of God's ways, for ignorant
sin is still sin to Him- even though His judgment of us may possibly
take into account our level of appreciation. In this context we
should also be aware that God remembers unforgiven sin. Over time
we can forget that we cursed our wife on 6.6.96 or whenever and
never bowed down in repentance. But He doesn’t. The haziness of
our memories can work as a kind of pseudo-atonement for us. With
Him there is no distinction between past and present and future.
The sin remains before Him. By the law comes the knowledge of sin
to men, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t culpable for
those sins before God (Rom. 3:20; 7:7)- for sins of ignorance still
needed atonement. “Sin is not imputed when there is no law” (Rom.
3:13) most likely means, in this light, that it is not imputed by
those who do the sin. But God still notices… We only have
to consider the passion of Peter's appeal to Israel in Acts 3:17-19:
" I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did your rulers...
repent ye therefore" . His Jewish hearers would immediately
have spotted the allusion back to the Mosaic protocol about what
to do when you and your rulers realized you'd committed sins of
ignorance. But the sacrifice required was now not an animal- it
was the sacrifice of a broken heart and a baptism into Jesus.