Before I dive into the Verse of the Day today, I feel that I need to address sin. For so long the church defined sin in such a way that it seemed that some sins were worse than others. For example, homosexuality was treated as something wicked and evil, but gluttony was readily accepted. Obese preachers had no problem condemning the gay community while overeating after every church meeting. This is an unBiblical perspective. The Bible teaches us that all sin is sin. Experience teaches us there are different consequences. Let me give you an example.
If the speed limit is 65mph, that limit has been set by my governing authority. And I am commanded to obey my governing authority (Romans 13:1). If I drive 66mph, then I have broken that law and I am a lawbreaker. Am I going to get pulled over? Probably not. But if I am going 105mph, I most likely will get pulled over and arrested. I am not more of a lawbreaker, but in this case, there would be a greater consequence. Whether we gossip or murder someone, we are lawbreakers all the same. We are either lawbreakers or not. But murder has a much higher consequence than gossip.
So sin is acting in any way that is to any degree less than the high standard set forth by the teachings in Scripture. The reality of this means that for most of us, we are experiencing much of the goodness of God, but we remain susceptible to sin which can steal away some of the blessings of God to a degree and temporarily until we are restored. No one is perfect and therefore, no one can be completely evil and wicked either because we all have the breath of God in us and no one is beyond the possibility of turning back to God.
However, there are times in Scripture, when very direct language is used and creates a sense that there are no degrees, but only absolutes meaning we either have to be perfect or we are not even Christians. But this narrative does not fit within the context of Scripture that teaches us that since we have been credited with righteousness (Romans 4:3), we now put forth the effort to actually be righteous by resisting sin and repenting when we fail (2 Peter 1:5). We cannot fall into the trap of looking at one Scripture and assigning meaning to it that negates the rest of Scripture. But this language is in our Verse of the Day:
1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
So, how do we interpret this? The passage goes on to define of the things of the world as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Lust is coveting which is going after that which is forbidden in order to possess it. In the moment that we start devising a way to possess those things God forbids, the love of God is not what is controlling us, but the love for the world. We live in this world and we are going to experience this world and Jesus did not pray that we would be taken out of this world. This means there will be temptations. But He prayed that we would have the power to not fall into the temptations. When we start working to possess those things that are overtly sinful or those things which are only sinful if we are over-indulgent such as food, the love of God is not the active agent within us at that moment. It does not mean we are suddenly and forever separated from God.
When the love of God is the active agent in our mind, we will not love those things that work to diminish or destroy the things of God. If we always operated in the love of God, we would never sin, but Scripture is clear that we all have sinned (Romans 3:23). We strive to live more and more in the love of God and God is patient with us in this attempt. He does not condemn us when we fail (Romans 8:1), but we make every effort to live according to the Holy Spirit we have been given (Galatians 5:22-25).
Was this helpful to anyone who has been overwhelmed with guilt for not being perfect? Leave me a comment so I know how to pray and so we can learn from one another.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Jeanette RodgersFebruary 21, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Pastor LeeFebruary 21, 2020 at 4:37 pm
Thank you Jeanette!