Standing with Jesus on Sin

Scripture is our only reliable source of information regarding the nature of Jesus. He is the Son of God and one with God the Father (John 10:30). He became flesh and blood to offer Himself a perfect, sinless sacrifice for our sins, that we might be saved from sin and its power to condemn us eternally (1 John 3:8). He ascended back to the Father, where He is at His right hand, having all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). It is only in Him, then, that we have the promise of eternal life (John 14:6).

It is interesting how deceived so many have become about the nature of Christ and His stand on sin. The prevalent view of Christ is about His love, grace, and mercy for us. Make no mistake that Christ is filled with these qualities on our behalf. This is why He became man and died for us. Do these attributes, however, cause Him to overlook one's sins and allow one to live in sin? No, they do not. Only by ignoring what Scripture teaches can one reach such a conclusion. Christ died that we could be free from sin and its consequences; why then would He justify one to continue living a sinful lifestyle?

It is true that Jesus did associate with sinners, which drew the ire of the religious leaders of His time. However, Jesus did so to bring them out of their sin, not to justify their sin. His remark to the woman taken in adultery reveals His motives; "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11). When Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus, a tax collector condemned by many, Zacchaeus promised to give half his goods to the poor, and restore fourfold to those he may have taken from wrongfully. Jesus responded, "Today is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:9-10). Jesus came to offer forgiveness to those who would repent and seek to do the will of God. As Peter said of Jesus' life, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

The theme of God's calling Israel to be His people in the Old testament was to live for Him, not in sinful conduct like the nations around them. "Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, 'Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2). Christ came that by His vicarious death, this could become a reality. Jesus sought to release people from the power of sin, that they might live faithfully to God's will. He did not condone sin, but rather condemned it (Romans 8:3). Scripture is the word of God (Romans 10:17), and reveals right from wrong, the way that leads from condemnation to eternal life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The grace of God in Christ does not justify living a sinful lifestyle, but calls one to know and live in His righteousness. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2).

Any attempt to appeal to Jesus for approval of sin and living sinfully is misguided and wrong. We need to discern what Jesus taught about sin and about the righteousness of God. We need to stand with Jesus on sin, and promote what is right and good, as He did and still does. He shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28), and came to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:31-32), meaning to turn away from what is sinful and live by the will of God instead. Trying to make Christ teach a sinful life as acceptable to God will only bring eternal condemnation. Living in His example of righteousness, however, will bring eternal blessings. Do you stand with Jesus about sin? "Jesus answered them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:34-36).

Robert Johnson, Longview, TX