Verse of the Day

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How about we just love ...

Has the church failed in teaching people about hating sin and loving the sinner? Does it just end up being, hate the sinner, once out the front door? "Hate the sin, love the sinner." If you have been in church for any amount of time or lived in the Bible belt as I have, you no doubt have heard that saying. I don't think it makes sense. I mean, if we say that to a sinner, couldn't the sinner say in return, "I love Christians but hate Christianity?"

First we should cover the fact that this saying, "Hate the sin, love the sinner." isn't found in the Bible. The nearest idea could be found in Jude 1:22-23. According to these verses we are to live in such a way that mercy be our character towards the sinner, then a healthy hatred of the results of sin. The following is from the Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the New Testament on these verses.

We can be kept in the perpetual consciousness of God’s love only as we depend upon the mercy of the Lord Jesus—that is—His mercy, not our merit being our constant plea. He has merited for us what we could never, otherwise, lay claim to. The only way to stand before Him flawless is to rest in His merits and walk in His love. (Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the New Testament)

So, as Mark Lowry said in his quote, "hate your own sin!" Resting in Jesus' merits and walking in his love will be the only way I will ever stand before him flawless. Yes, Mr. Lowry, hating my sin is indeed a full-time job.

I know for myself, that when I finally decide that Jesus is more important than my sin, then only can I start to see the "new man" (Ephesians 4:22-24).  From the most devout believer to the most virulent atheist, we all have the same need - Christ. While we may all take different roads in life, we all still end up at the same place at some point. Needing Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." "Christ and Him crucified," is the substance of the Gospel. For me to display that banner of the cross and to invite people to rest in the shadow of the cross should be my message. For if Jesus is lifted up, he will draw all people to Him (John 12:22).   I want people to see Christ as their main identity and when they acknowledge him as such, then there is room in their heart for a discussion of holy living.

Pray (1 Timothy 2:1) for people, respect (1 Peter 2:17) people, and love them for God is love (1 John 4:8-9) and he has gifted us with grace. James 1:15 tells us that sin leads to death. It is not hateful to want to help someone become free from sin - in fact, speaking the truth to them IS loving them (Ephesians 4:15). Don't buy into the lie of today's culture by thinking it is wrong, hateful, or bigoted if we don't condone a life style, ignore, or excuse it. Don't be afraid to stand under The banner, for the Lord is my Jehova-nissi, banner. (Exodus 17:15)