Rev. Mike Mack
Worship service Sunday mornings 9:30 a.m.
There’s a common misconception among Christian people that God’s people do not sin. I’m not really sure how we came to that conclusion. It’s not biblical. It’s not historical. It’s not empirical. In fact, there is really no evidence to suggest that Christian people do not sin.
In the Bible we see countless examples of godly people choosing to behave in ungodly ways. It all started with Adam and Eve, continued in their offspring, followed down through generations, and continues to this day. God’s people are not exempt from this general propensity toward rebellion and sin.
When we think about Biblical characters or talk about sinners who have been redeemed, we are able to excuse the sin of those people because we are not personally affected by their sin. However, when the sin of someone touches our lives or the life of someone we love it becomes personal. Somehow, we think it’s different when it is personal, but it is not.
Humankind has been on this self-destructive path since shortly after our creation and will continue on this path until Jesus comes again. When I say “humankind”, I mean all of us. This is not an excuse, a rationalization, or simply resigning ourselves to the fact that we are going to sin. As Christians, we are supposed to be resisting sin. Make no mistake, the sin we’re supposed to resist is primarily our own.
You would think that two millennia after God took decisive action against our sinfulness through Jesus Christ, God’s people would have their act together. Well, I don’t. You don’t. And, our brothers and sisters in Christ don’t either.
2 Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:2-4)
What’s a Christian to do? Well as you would expect, I have some suggestions. First, we need to accept that God has no rating system for sin. Either it is sin or it is not sin. There are only two categories: Sin and Righteousness. Every single one of us constantly travels between those categories.
Second, focus upon alleviating your own sin. Instruction of the Bible is consistent. It promotes the importance of working to alleviate our own sin. Focus upon that.
Third, refuse to take sides when people are sinning against one another. When people are sinning against one another there are two sides of the story, and two different perspectives from which people are operating. Choosing sides does not diminish sin—sin is empowered. If you’ve got to choose a side, choose the side of reconciliation and restoration of all concerned.
Fourth, we need to remember that promoting disunity, taking sides, creating factions, and being judgmental and unforgiving are all sins too. God wants the body to be unified, even though God’s people sometimes sin against one another.
Finally, remember what Jesus told those who were caught in sin, “Go and sin no more.”
In saying this Jesus emphasizes the importance of not getting stuck in sin either as a victim or as a perpetrator. If we can manage to do that, it will go a long way toward fostering reconciliation and healing, and peace and unity.
Blessings, Pastor Mike