I've started reading through the Pauline letters (the letters written by Paul). This morning, I'm in Romans.
You may know the passages in the first two chapters. They're often quoted to justify condemnation toward certain lifestyles. Lest you misunderstand, I'm not embracing immoral lifestyles, just noting that "being filled with all unrighteousness" includes a lot more than sexuality.
I may have oversimplified Paul's writing, but it seems to boil down to this: If what we say we believe and what we do don't line up, it's sin, and dishonors God. There will be consequences for it.
If we condemn someone for their sin, but we have sin in our own lives, we're judging. That's God job and He hasn't assigned it to us, so beware.
In chapter 3 of Romans, Paul clarifies the issue. We're all sinners, whether we think we are or not. No matter how "good" we look to the world, we're still sinners in God's eyes.
None of us have enough righteousness to saves ourselves. Only the sacrificial blood of Jesus can redeem us, and then only if we put our faith in Jesus and the work He did on the cross. It's that simple.
Now comes the heart of the matter for those of us who call ourselves Christians:
If we say we follow Jesus, we're accountable for living the way He wants us to live. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love our neighbor in the same way we love ourselves. If we're disciples of Jesus, we'll love in this way because it's what He wants. If we don't love this way, it's sin.
I know. It's an ouch for me, too.
Today, let's do a little soul-search for the oft-unrecognized sin of lovelessness. How completely do we love our Lord? How completely do we love our neighbors? Can the world see God in us because of the love we display? if not, what do we need to change?
If we want the world to see Jesus in us (and we do, right?) then we need to live so that He is evident. At all times. I have some work to do if that's going to happen. I guess we all do.
Why not let go of our sin and start loving BIG? Let's get started today.
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;" Romans 3:23-24 nasb
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