How I see it sin is not the problem. Through Jesus, in His Sacrifice, sin has been dealt with. The punishment for sin has been delivered. Sin is dead, buried, and it will not be resurrected! The real problem is how we treat each other.
Jesus said of the righteous, “When I was naked you clothed me, when I was hungry you fed me, when I was in prison you visited me” (my paraphrase). His brother, James, said that true, undefiled religion is to care for widows and orphans. We have to understand that we need to learn how to treat each other. That’s how Jesus said that they would know us – by our love for each other. That’s how outsiders are supposed to be able to identify Christians! Not by our bumper stickers. Not by our catchy slogans. Not by our music. They would know us by our love for each other.
Did you know that the top three things that non-believers know Christians for are hypocrisy, gossip, and being judgmental.
The thing that’s even harder to swallow is the reason why we don’t treat each other with love, respect and honor – we don’t know who we are. We don’t know our identity in Christ. We can’t love each other because we don’t love ourselves. It’s that simple! As soon as we learn who we are and how much we matter, we realize the same about those around us – they matter too! They are important. God loves them! That’s when we start caring for each other, and that’s when we start turning the world upside down.
One of the reasons we have this problem is that we’ve been taught wrong. Let this sink in for a minute: a lot of the problem has come from the pulpit, preaching “sin consciousness.” We end up walking around all day trying not to be bad. In doing so we focus completely on ourselves. We don’t have time and energy to focus on anyone else while we’re doing this. Day to day, we focus inward – “I can’t do this. I can’t do that.” Instead of doing what we’re actually supposed to do (in this New Covenant) we can’t stop focusing on ourselves. It’s time to start focusing on others!
Jesus came to show us how horribly wrong we were. Yes, Jesus was sinless. Yes, He’s our example, we should try to be like Him. But look at some of the things He actually did: He broke the Sabbath to allow his disciples to to pluck the heads off grain (harvesting) so they could eat, and He would heal people (in the temple even) on the Sabbath (working). He was more concerned with the well-being of others than anything else. He was living breathing compassion! He would never follow the Law to the point where it would cause harm to another.
Paul assures us in Galatians that we are not under the Law, and to put ourselves under the Law is to fall from Grace.
We’ve been given a much better Covenant. A new, vibrant Covenant, full of life and love. In this New Covenant, we are 100% free to care for each other… and there are no loopholes as to why we can’t (or shouldn’t). That’s our mandate: love. Anything less is a perversion of the Gospel.