Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How do we love those in open sin?

The two greatest commandments Jesus left us with “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

How do we love God? Again Jesus says in John 14:21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.” 
1 John 5:3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 
1 John 2:3-4 And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 

So to love God first is to put His commands first. Not just the famous 10, but all of them. We know that it's impossible to keep them all, and we praise Jesus that He offered us His Life that through faith by grace we can be saved (Ephesians 2:8)! However our freedom doesn't mean we are to continue living a life of sin (Romans 6).We are to fight, wage war against our sins, not embrace them. (Romans 7)

The second commandment Jesus gave us was to love others. Scripture tells us love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), but in loving others we are not to condone their sins, we are to go to them in love (Galatians 6:1-2).

So how do we show love to those living in open sin? Live our lives as Christ. He loved them, was kind and yet He called them to repent. To go and sin no more. We cannot truly love those who live in open sin if we do not share the truth of God's Word and lead them to repentance. This is a tricky thing because we are human and we all sin and we get our feelings hurt when someone disagrees with us or criticizes us. 

The Bible is clear that living a life of homosexuality is a sin as is any sexual sin outside the constutes of Biblical marriage which is one man and one woman. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

We cannot live in open sin as if it's completely acceptable and be in right standing with God. If we know a person is an alcoholic it would be unloving to buy the person alcohol and not help them see their sin and offer them help and deliverance through Christ. So how is it loving to tell a gay person their lifestyle is is ok and they should be able to marry someone of the same sex? We can't tell them these things and show them the love of Christ because we would be going against the Word and Commands of God. We are to love them by telling the truth of God's Word, share with them the love of Christ that while we were deep in sin He loved us, died for us, He bought our freedom so we don't have to go on sinning, but can be born again! A new creation! (Romans 5)

In John 8 Jesus showed great love for the adulterous woman by saving her from being stoned, but He didn't tell her that her sin of adultery was ok, He told her to go and sin no more. As the Body of Christ we are to love everyone, be compassionate, and kind, but we are never to tolerate sin! We should hunger to see people set free from the sins that bind them, to see them delivered, and sinning no more.

When I confessed my abortion and abuse of alcohol to my pastor he didn't tell me my sins were alright because God loves me. Instead he showed me love by telling me that Jesus loved me and died for my sins and to be forgiven I had to repent. And I did! I gave my life to Christ, but once I moved away and no longer had fellow Christians to hold me accountable I turned right back to alcohol to cope with my pain from abortion instead of turning to God. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was deeply entangled in my sins. After many years of wrestling with them I surrendered my life to Christ and began pursuing Him for healing. 

I still struggle with food addiction, but I have accountability partners that I can turn to. Would it be loving of them to offer me cheeseburgers and pizzas when I go to them? Of course not! They would be sinning by feeding my sin! Instead they speak life to me, give me Scripture, encourage me, and pray for me. That is LOVE!

Theres a huge misconception that if you disagree with the gay lifestyle, you hate gay people. That's simply not true. You can love people without condoning their sins. It is possible to stand on the truth of Scripture and not be condemning. 

Romans 8 tells us that IF we are in Christ there is no condemnation in Him because He frees us from our sins. It goes on to say we have an obligation to live by the Spirit not by our flesh. We cannot truly love people if we don't share the Truth of Scripture and Scripture is clear on the sin of homosexuality. We cannot love God first or most if we give into a worldview of marriage instead of a God view. We must look at this as any other sin with our spiritual eyes, not our fleshly eyes. 1 Corinthians 5 gives us clear instructions on how to deal with all sexual immorality in the Church. Paul clearly talks about it in Romans 1.

So what happens if we give our lives to Christ and yet keep on sinning?

Hebrews 10:26-30 says, "Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 
Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the Blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us."

Continue in reading all of 1 Corinthians 6 and the book of 1 John. Study the Scriptures, pray, and discern. We cannot love this world to salvation if we don't first love God. We cannot love God if we ignore the commands we don't like. We can't make this world understand their need for Jesus if they first don't understand their sins. 

I plead with you my brothers and sisters in Christ stand firm on the Holy Word of God! Love Him first and He will show us how to love others without caving into the sins of the world.

Much love and many blessings to you all!!