How do we not compromise our Christianity, but still act lovingly towards others who are sinning?
Sin is “missing the mark” – so whatever we say, think or do that is not in line with what the Heavenly Father would want is not correct. We are grateful that Jesus works as our advocate, our go-between, using his righteousness to cover up our many imperfections. If everyone who sins was treated poorly in church, there would literally be no one in the pews! (Or to teach the congregation!)
But this does not mean we should continue to sin, taking the covering of Jesus for granted. Romans 5 and 6 is the Apostle Paul talking about sin and the gift of Jesus, and one of his points between the end of 5 and start of 6 is that sin entered but God’s grace is even bigger. The logic would then go, well, should we keep sinning because there is more than enough grace to cover it all? God forbid, he says, because we were baptized into Christ and now walk in newness of life. We are to be “dead to sin” and “alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” “Let not sin therefore reign in our mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
Here’s the point: Christianity is a “come as you are” religion. But it is not a “stay as you are” religion. We are supposed to learn right and wrong, and if we profess to be a follower of Christ, we are supposed to do all within our power to not willfully sin, to not “miss the mark” of what our Father expects of us. This is a constant, sometimes minute-by-minute struggle, but we have many helps along the way.
Professing to follow Christ but living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage would be wrong, but so would lying, stealing and gossiping. All of it would be wrong and are things we need to recognize in ourselves, ask for forgiveness and not continue doing it. We are supposed to be actually repentant and not just give a prayer lip service.
Sins like these are insidious because they don’t usually happen just once and easily become a lifestyle, something we might consider being “not that bad.” A couple living sexually outside of marriage likely isn’t going to stop even when repentant or feeling guilty. Emotions are too strong. To live in a constant state of committing a sin with no real intention to stop it right now is not pleasing to our Heavenly Father, as it is putting our wills before His. In such a case, the couple should be privately encouraged to get married or to live apart. What they choose to do with the scriptures that verify such a choice is between them and the Father. When we became a Christian, we professed to give up our own wills in order to do what He would want us to do.
Our podcast, “The Gay Marriage Law – How Do We Respond?” was a hot topic back in 2015.
It’s worthy listening to because even though it is focused on the issue of homosexuality, it explains that this is not a “special” sin better or worse than others, but that there is a higher living required for those called to follow Christ. True discipleship does not apply to the vast majority of humanity – or even Christians – and we need to live and let live. We aren’t here to judge on the street corner, yelling out everyone’s sins. We are to be respectful, loving and kind – and then look in the mirror to work on our own issues.
To learn more about our discussion of sin listen to, “The Gay Marriage Law – How Do We Respond?”
To learn more about whether or not we should judge others listen to, “Is It Ever Right to Judge Your Brother?”