Written by: Kord Hilbert
In today’s culture, judgement is everywhere. Accusations are tossed left and right with no repercussions and sin is rampant. Responsibility is thrown to the curb and we see recklessness take its place. My heart has been so weary lately as I hear news of the riots, devastation, and division that has ravaged our country. The “fix” is to place the blame on our government, politicians, president, neighbors, country’s past history, and systems, rather than identifying the true reason: Sin. We are told to approve of every lifestyle and avoid judging anyone. The popular verse people use for this (which Garrett touched on) is Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged”. Today, the very meaning of this verse has been twistedto push the idea that Christians should be unconditionally loving but also unconditionally approving. When Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, He wasn’t giving us a commandment to universally accept any and every lifestyle.
Christians today are told to accept violence and destruction of cities in our nation. We are told to accept abortions because they represent a “woman’s right to her own body.” We are told to accept homosexuality because if we don’t, we are bigoted. We are told to accept other religions because “all religions lead to the same God.” This all-encompassing acceptance is a dangerous thing for both the Christian and the Church.
As Christians, we are called to live differently than the world. This, however, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have compassion for those who are trapped in sin. The truth is this:“for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Jesus came to fulfill the law and constantly quotes this law during His time on Earth. However, He constantly digs deeper and looks inward at the heart.
When we see someone living in sin, we are typically quick to judge, easily overlooking the sin within our own lives.Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”. When we see others living in sin, we should be slow to judge and quick to check our own hearts and lives. “Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood our of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ attacks the very core of our sin and brings it to light, revealing our true fallen nature. Instead of being one in communion with God (how the Lord intended), sin has separated us from being in the presence of God. Sacrifices were necessary for us to be made right with God and only the cleansed, appointed, and set-apart could enter his dwelling place. The Ten Commandments show us the reality of our sin and prove our imperfection.
Scripture says, “Whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). God is loving, yet He is also righteous in judgement of our sin. We deserve to be eternally separated from God because of thissin. But God, being rich in mercy and grace, chose to love us enough to send His Son to pay for our transgressions. Jesus came to Earth, fully human and fully God, paying the price of sin for everyone for all eternity by dying on the cross. Here, He opened a way for anyone and everyone to believe in Him and to be made right in God’s sight. The blood that Jesus shed has covered us and made us white as snow, a new creation.
Let us always remember that we too were once sinners, but now have been given a new identity through our Lord Jesus, not through our good works, but solely through trusting in Jesus. May we be bold to preach the full Gospel and not waver from the foundational principles that Jesus established. May we not conform to this world but be transformed by renewing our minds in Scripture and by resting in our Lord. May we all look within at our own hearts and examine personal sin before judging a brother or sister who is dealing with something else. Amen.