Read: Acts 26:1-18
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18
My back yard is lower than all of my neighbors’ back yards, so when we get hard rains, my yard gets pretty muddy and mucky. Thankfully, I have a pretty large deck attached to the back of my house that my boys can play on. At least they can go outside without fearing the wrath of their mother from tracking mud throughout the house when they come in. However, they pine for the minute when we finally tell them they can go down and play in the yard, “as long as they don’t get too muddy.” Jackson knows what that means, and he stays in the areas that are somewhat drier than the rest of the yard. Alex, on the other hand, has no clue what he is being instructed to do. The first place he goes when he gets off of the deck is straight into the muddiest mud hole he can find. He loves it! Trying to keep a little boy out of the mud is like trying to keep a fish out of water. There is no keeping his clothes or his face clean.
Sinners are to sin as boys are to mud. They are inherently drawn to it; it is an inborn characteristic of those who are simply born. They are not sinners because they sin, they sin because they are sinners. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, the sin nature was cursed upon every human being that would come after them. It is very easy to hate people because they disregard the laws of morality and the principles laid out in the Bible of how we ought to live. It is easy to become angry at them for trying to destroy Christianity and replace it with a modernistic and naturalistic philosophy. However, we must remember the way that Jesus felt toward these types of people when he walked the earth. Jesus saw them as sheep without a shepherd, and He was moved with compassion toward them. He did not hate the sinner, He hated the sin. He proved that when He threw the money changers out of the temple, and in the same chapter in Mark, spoke of the necessity of forgiveness. Jesus certainly did not allow sin to go overlooked, but He came to “seek and to save that which was lost”; He is compassionately loving the wicked sinner all the time. If you are saved, then think about how Jesus loved us, even in our sin, enough to save us.
It is our responsibility, then, to love sinners and to seek to show them the way to the cross, that they may experience the same forgiveness that we have received of Christ. We cannot stand for sin, but we can love, witness to, and pray for the sinner.
Quote of the day: “Think of your own sins, and you will be more understanding of the sins of others.”