Unringing the Bell


So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:62

Expungement is a legal term that means “to remove from general review.” It means that an offense against the law is sealed in a court record and therefore not viewable in the future. In short, the record of the offense is removed from a person’s legal record. For practical purposes, expungement erases the record of legal offense—except for one thing: the consequences of the act. Removing the guilt and punishment of an offense is one thing; removing the consequences is another.

Such is the case with our sins before God. The guilt and punishment for our sins has been removed; Christ has taken upon Himself our sins; Christ has died in our place. But the consequences of our sins remain. To use another legal expression, you can’t “unring the bell.” Once something is said, heard, or done, it cannot be undone. That happened in the case of David’s sin of adultery. A loyal soldier lost his life, a woman and a king lost their honor, and they both lost their child. All were consequences of David’s sins. God forgave David his sins but did not take away the consequences (Psalm 51).

Instead of hoping you can ring the bell of sin and then unring it, better not to ring it at all.

We are born in sin and spend our lives coping with the consequences.
John Blanchard

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