Thursday, November 11, 2021

Distinguishing Between The Sin and The Sinner

But I [Jesus] say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” – Luke 6:27-31

You may be familiar with the phrase, “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” It is not a verse in the Bible, but it is a spiritual concept that is probably best summarized by John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

God loved His creation, but rejects sin and so He sent Jesus to reconcile the world through the Cross. Notice the qualification- “that whoever believes in Jesus”. It does not mean that Jesus died and now everyone gets a pass. That whatever they do – loving God or not – God will overlook it – call it good for the purpose of granting eternal life in heaven. As Christians we are to love others like God loves others. Love people and hate sin. 

What do I mean by hate? Hate means to not love – to not embrace – to not say what is wrong is right.  Not to go along to get along.  Now, according to the culture in the United States – hate means to not embrace what the culture says is right – even if it is contrary to what the Bible says is right and wrong.  In other words – if you are not willing to agree that sin is not sin then you are a hater.  The culture does not make a distinction between the sin and the sinner. Putting John 3:16 in another context or phrasing ….

God so loved the mankind that He made a way to undo what Adam did in the Garden, bringing sin into the world. If people would put their faith in Jesus and His death on the cross for their sin, then they could be restored in relationship with God the Father and have eternal life with Him and escape Hell.

And that is our message to the world.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses [sins] to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

That does not say that we are to condone sin – to agree that what the Bible says is sin is not really sin.  That we must say that what others do is just a choice and who are we to say otherwise.

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you!” –  John 15:18-20

Don’t be surprised that our culture accuses Christians of hate. You are an ambassador of Christ. You are salt and light in a very dark culture. Those who love sin do not like the light and they don’t like to be told that what they say is right is wrong. If you fear men and crave their acceptance then you can have it – all you have to do is agree that sin is not sin – simple. Of course you will be enabling their eternal condemnation to hell. Can you live with that?

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” – John 3:18-20

I am not saying to isolate yourself from the Lost. Jesus was condemned for associating with sinners – but He said it is the sick who need healing. Still Jesus did not embrace their sin – He called them to repentance.

Why share this with you? Because I want to remind you of just how miraculous your new life in Christ is. God has committed you and me to a “word of reconciliation” to God by faith in Jesus. In order for sinners to make a life change they first need a heart change. And that can only happen when the Spirit of God brings a holy conviction of their sin and that person puts their faith in Jesus.  And that is what happened to you and to me.  It’s God that changes hearts not us. It’s God that brings understanding that what we call right is wrong and the truth that we are sinners.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Think about it – Pray about it – Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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