Go and Sin No More

It is true that Jesus never condemned anyone. And He still doesn’t. He was actually criticized by the religious elite for hanging around with all kinds of sinners (among them prostitutes and tax collectors who were not held in very high esteem). He was even given the label of being “the friend of sinners”. He still is. It’s a good thing too since, yes, we are all sinners are therefore assured that anyone can come to Him without fear of being rejected. But He did condemn sin, both verbally and in His own body by being crucified in our place for our sins (and the sins of the whole world). He never once minimized sin. He never taught that it was even slightly ok, or that it no one else’s business.

Most folks remember that Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” in response to the incident where they brought an adulterous woman (caught in the very act) to Him demanding she be stoned. Some may remember that Jesus would not condemn her to stoning as the law demanded. But how many remember that He told her clearly, “Go and sin no more.”?

So while we certainly should not be condemning or accusing anyone, the idea that any sin (whether sexual in nature or not) is private matter and no one’s business but God’s is foreign to Jesus’ teachings and what He modeled. It’s actually foreign to the entire Bible. It is also foreign to reality. When a person practices sinful behavior they don’t do it in a vacuum. Even if not at first, if it continues it will eventually affect others. If it continues further it will eventually affect a whole culture. Isn’t this demonstrated in the fact that the push for special rights for those who identify themselves as having same sex attractions has led to civil unions and now a push to redefine marriage? A so called private matter between two consenting adults has had an impact on government, the workplace, economics, the military and even religious institutions. Sin, like a measure of yeast in a lump of dough, eventually affects and permeates the entire lump.

Lest there be any doubt, Jesus said:
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” — Matthew 5:17–20

Blessings,
Neal

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