Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What about sin 2


 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NLT

    We have been answering some of the critics of grace as of late. In my last few post I've been addressing the question what about sin? How does a person, who has received the message of the fullness of His grace, respond to sin? 

   First I've answered this issue from the point of view of Christian leadership and mentors and the atmosphere needed to properly deal with sin in our midsts. I felt it imperative that a proper atmosphere must be in place to properly address the sin issue. It is established that condemnation kills. Condemnation causes many to shrink back not come forward and receive the fullness of God's love. So an atmosphere free from condemnation is of necessity. 

   You know many in the Body of Christ have been wounded by leadership who have based their "governing" of the people on legalism, not love.  Too many have been wounded by this approach and now are left fallen by the wayside. Discarded by callous leaders who simply sum it up that they "walked away" from the faith. They have "quit" Jesus. They have "abandoned" the faith. These "casualties" of legalism vs acceptance grace tend to reinforce the claim traditional religion boast that men can lose their salvation after placing faith in Christ and His finished work. They point to them and declare "look these have walked away." 

   The reality is these haven't quit Jesus they have quit tradition. They have refused control. They have let go of legalism. Now let me give a word of encouragement to those on the wayside. God's grace is enough. Grace is the unearned, unmerited favor and love of Almighty God. In this love is complete restoration and healing from all wounds. Complete wholeness! Don't stay on the wayside. Don't allow the enemy to take advantage of your wounds and create a bitterness to the Family of God. Don't allow the enemy to rob you of receiving of God's gifts to the Body of Christ. 

  I would never align myself with a legalistic controlling church body. I get that. However, it doesn't mean I don't align myself with a good church body. I purposely stated a good church body. Notice I didn't state a perfect church body. No one church has it all "figured" out. Don't be a legalist about becoming legalistic! Don't judge every church. It is about healthy relationships. Find a good church based on relationships. Its foundation rooted on the Word of God and Jesus Christ. This will help bring wholeness to your life. Allow God to heal your fragmented past. Don't wallow in the past and say woe to me. Shake that past off through His grace. Be totally free!

  Now lets address one other part of a healthy atmosphere in dealing with sin. Before we actually deal with how to overcome sin in our own life we need to see a proper environment where we all can overcome and walk in the fullness of God. 

  As I have said in my last post in dealing with the sin question the Lord led me in setting the proper atmosphere leaders need to create.    So we have established condemnation will never accomplish anything but succeed in running people off. What we also need is an atmosphere of restoration.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.  If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:1-3 NLT

 Other translations use the word restoration in this passage. I chose this translation because in reality we all desire to be on the right path. When one falls into or even dives into sin a graceful environment will bring full restoration. 

  This idea of "sitting" minister's down for a season sounds noble. In reality the practice over the years has become just a means to make some "pay" for their sin. No one can actually "pay" for their sin. Only the Blood was the price accepted for full payment.

  Am I saying a person in leadership or any fellow believer need not take some time apart to mature in an area they need victory in? It may very well be an option the Lord may lead someone into. Some may require taking some time apart so they can get refocused.  My point is that the motive should never be to just punish the offender. Then we who are "spiritual" have left the place of being ministers of reconciliation to "punishers". 

  Now what about sins that affects others directly? In other words what about those in our midsts who have actually victimized someone? Like the youth Minister who got involved sexually with one of the youth? Or the Church board member who embezzled the funds? We can put our heads in the sand and pretend this never happens but it happens far to often. 

  There may very well be natural consequence for these sins. It could include serving time in a Correctional Facility. What about these sins? Again no matter how wicked the sin, His grace and finished work has paid the full price. The truth is the natural consequences of sin will have to run its course. What our response should be is one of love and restoration. We don't gloss over the transgression and say it isn't sin. We don't water down the standard and say it isn't wrong. We acknowledge it is wrong. We agree with God's Word. The harming of any of the Sheep in our midst is not to be tolerated. What is our response then? 

   What we do is work with the person if they are willing and bring about restoration. How is that possible? By ensuring they are truly born again. Next get them to see who they already are on the inside and walk that out. It takes mentors and accountability in love to help them partake of the victory Christ already purchased!

  I am endeavoring to offer a loving view of how to eradicate sin in our midsts. I know we aren't perfect. Legalist with all their codes, and rules haven't brought about change. I believe when we know how much we are loved, and how much we have been forgiven, we will see Him for who He is and sin will lose all its appeal. I have done my best to paint a picture of the optimal atmosphere in how leaders and mentors should address sin. Now in my next few posts I want to deal with how do we address sin personally. 

  I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog. I pray it is a blessing an encouragement with your walk with the Lord. I appreciate your feedback.

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