All sin separates us from God.
This means a few things (well, a few that I want to touch on. You don’t have all day. I count myself lucky you’ve read this far).
First, it means that no one person has better standing than another in front of God. If we are without Christ, we stand guilty and condemned, no matter how great or little we’ve sinned. If we are saved, we are clothed in Christ’s perfect righteousness and accepted because of his impeccable record, not our own (thank God!).
This is great news on a couple of fronts: it means no one is too sinful or far gone to receive the grace and forgiveness of God. It also means that we don’t have to be perfect to earn salvation! No matter how good you’ve been or how terribly you’ve messed things up, we all come as guilty sinners to the foot of the cross and receive the free gift of life found in the costly death of our Savior.
Second, it is imperative not to use this salvation as a “free pass” to sin after we come to Christ. Will we still sin? Yes. Until we die. I see evidence of that in my own life and I hate it! But if the Holy Spirit is in us, we should see evidence of the power that defeats sin and death at work in our lives. All of Romans 6 is a good read on this subject, but even in these first couple verses we see that the Christian is not to continue in the same sinful lifestyle they had before they came to faith:
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”
That’s pretty clear. We will still sin, but we are now aware of our sin against God and we can repent and turn away from it. We are to be moving closer and closer to Christ and further and further away from our old, sinful self.
How do we know what sin is? We can find what God calls sin in the Bible. And we don’t get to change it! We trust what God says; not our feelings; not our preferences; and certainly not anyone who teaches in contradiction to Scripture. As Paul says in Romans 3:4, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Nothing we say or do nullifies the truth of who God is and what he tells us.
There has been a movement lately that is trying hard to remove the label of “sin” from certain culturally acceptable practices in our post-Christian society. This is not helpful or loving; in fact, it is designed to keep people in bondage to the very sin that destroys them. God gave us boundaries for a reason: sin hurts us. Who are we to call good what God calls evil? This is deception straight from the father of all deception, and we should have no part in it.
We are not meant to justify sin. We are meant to kill it.
Let’s start by asking God to reveal our own sin; to bring to light the damaging things we aren’t quite ready to let go of. Then, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us be free of them.
This desire to live as God has called us to live isn’t a way to keep earning his forgiveness. We are already forgiven. It is proof of our faith in God that we trust him when he says certain things are good for us and others aren’t. It stems from knowing our God is good and he is for us, not against us!
Let’s live in a way that showcases the beauty of life lived the way the Creator designed. Let our homes be filled with the goodness, love, hope, and peace that belong to those who belong to Christ. And let those outside of Christ see how wonderful he is and fall at his feet in worship and surrender.
He is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.