Saturday, June 11, 2016
A couple of scenarios, if you will:
A child deliberately disobeys a parent, expresses remorse, promises to do better and the parent forgives them – but the child continues to disobey. Does this mean the same error is permitted in the future?
A spouse cheats outside of marriage, is found out, apologizes, promises to maintain vows in the future and their spouse forgives them and does not file for divorce. Does that mean the cheating can continue?
Yet we all know of people and situations where errors – sin, if you will – continue. What’s our viewpoint on the repetition? Should what was forgiven as an error be repeated? How often? For how long?
Society has called for freedom to do as we please though it is shown not to be God’s will. How do we know what to do? How are we to act as Christians?
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. (Acts 11:25-26 KJV)
Do you see the cause and effect here? Barnabas and Saul went to Antioch, joined the local church and taught people what they knew about Christ. What the people saw and heard were all they knew about Christ, but they called these people by His name, acknowledging them as His followers.
When people come to Him in contrition, confession and acceptance of the grace He provides, we become His. However, if we continue in error, in willfully sinning, and He cannot be seen in us, why would anyone call us Christians? How do we show we are His followers, doing as He commanded?
Jesus taught love – God’s love. God is also judgment, tempered with mercy and grace – the grace that offered Himself as the bridge between our errors and His judgment. Love does forgive.
Consequences, however, cannot be erased. Continued sin cannot be condoned. God is the judge of our sin – and the definer of what is sin.
Many quote from Luke 6 to call Christians judgmental:
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luke 6:37 KJV)
. . . while Christians – in that same chapter after instructing verses – believe Jesus’ instructions are to be of help:
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. (Luke 6:42 KJV)
We’re instructed to first be certain our lives reflect Christ’s, not the sins that separate from Him, and then help others, perhaps with similar problems simply because we’re experienced. Christ did not preach approval of sin.
Why else would Jesus say:
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (John 5:14 KJV)
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11 KJV)