In the past, I attended many a service where we were told that if we do not live a perfect life, if we do not memorize scripture, if we do not look and act a certain way that is pleasing to God, we will surely go to hell. Talk about scaring a little kid to death. I mean who tells a kid, who is just wanting to go out and play with their friends after church, they can’t because it is wrong. “It is wrong” is associated with “against the church” which is linked, in a young child’s mind, as sin and there is a special place in Sheol for those who break the rule. Move forward a few decades and these kids have grown up and away from the church because, as many research papers have deduced, there is no way to live up to the expectations of the church. There was and, in some churches, still is, such a concentration on sin and the consequences of non-compliance, that the truth is not getting the proper billing. In Romans 3 starting at 23, it is noted that:
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
This is a common verse used by many a preacher to throw it out there that none of us is truly worthy of the gift of God, that is Glory. But, as we read on in that chapter:
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Everyone has sinned and fall short but hear me now when I say this is not truly the focus for those who are trying to relay that absolute Truth. The finger that points at the sinner (whom is all of us) in condemnation is doing more harm to the family than building up the community of the Kingdom. Jesus said it best in John 8 starting at 3:
As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd…“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
While mankind looks for ways to point the finger at people’s flaws, Jesus simply wants us to point others to Him. Think of it, Jesus said He did not come into the world to condemn but rather to save. Why would we not point others to Him? Life, love, and grace—this is the perfect message.
This Sunday, we will continue to explore construction of faith, building people up. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.