“But I didn’t mean to.” “That wasn’t my intention.” These are words often used to excuse, gloss over, or at least soften our sin.
Now it’s true that we can sin unintentionally. We are unaware of so many things. The question is…does being unaware or unintentional in our sin lessen sin’s impact or consequences? According to Leviticus chapter 4, the answer is “no.”
Leviticus chapter 4 specifically addresses unintentional sin in verses 2, 13, 22, and 27. This chapter repeatedly states that those who commit unintentional sin are still guilty. Not only are they guilty, they must follow specific steps to have that sin atoned for.
Offering a sacrifice for the atonement of unintentional sin requires an individual to:
- Become aware of their sin. (Lev.4:14, 23, 28)
- Take ownership of their sin and confess it. (Lev. 4:3-4,14-15, 28-29)
- Realize that blood must be shed if the sin is to be atoned for. (Lev. 4:4-7,15-18, 24-25, 29-30)
God does not allow us to gloss over our sin; even unintentional sin. All sin must be recognized and dealt with through the payment of a life…ours or someone else’s.
When we treat unintentional sin lightly, we treat the shed blood of Christ (The Lamb of God) lightly. When we’re made aware of our sin, may we own it, confess it, apply the blood of Christ’s sacrifice to it, and turn from it.
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.