At the end of the service a lady who had been listening intently came to the pastor to ask a question about the sermon. “Are you saying that if you get rid of one sin in your life another one will try to take it’s place?” “Yes, sister,” the pastor replied. The lady thought about it and nodded, “I think then it would be better to pick a few sins and settle in instead of trying to fight them all the time.”
As human beings, we live in a condition of sin – separation from God. That sin, leads to sins – acts of rebellion against the rule of God in our lives. I know, it’s a fine distinction, but an important one. So many people think that they can get rid of the sins in their lives and be right with God. They follow a list of rules and regulations and hope they get it right. Usually those rules and regulations make allowance for their own sins and come down strong on the sins of others. In truth, though, when we try to become right with God through our own efforts, we fail. The only way to become right with God is grace. “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)
Life would be so much easier if everyone shared my sins. There would be no judging of anyone because we would all agree on what the “right” sins were. We wouldn’t even call them “sins” because we all would agree that those activities or beliefs were the right way to go. We might even recognize them as interesting personality traits. But not everyone shares my sins. Some of you have different sins in your lives. You battle your own demons, and perhaps look at my sins, which are different, and wonder how it is that God could love someone who sins like me. I look back at you and wonder how God could love someone who sins like you. The cure for our sins is not living the right lifestyle. The cure for our sins is the grace of God as exhibited when Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross.
When we make people try to follow our rules and regulations for righteous living we have a problem; we set aside the grace of God. The only cure for sin is God’s grace and we can do nothing to earn it. Grace is a free gift from God for all who turn to Him. When you turn to God and accept His grace in your life, you will find that He will lead you in getting rid of sins in your life. You can’t “clean up” enough to make God love you; but once you recognize God’s love and grace in your life, He will lead you in the process of becoming like Him. If it’s God’s grace that covers our sin, then I should continue to proclaim the grace of God to others for forgiveness of their sin rather than focusing on their sins. Thanks be to God for His Amazing Grace!
Lord, forgive me when I stray from the message of grace and condemn others. I pray for my friends who need to experience Your grace. Reveal Yourself to them. Let them experience Your grace for themselves. Let them know how much You love them.