Updated: Mar 12
Being called a sinner brings up a diversity of feelings and reactions amongst people, both Christians and non-Christians. For some it's guilt and shame because of the conviction of this truth. Some Christians will argue that Jesus Christ died for our sins ONCE and FOR ALL and we don't need to repent again. Jesus died ONCE for ALL of us, He never told us that because He'd died for us that we will never be made unrighteous again if we sin. For others it's anger, because "how dare you label and judge me by calling me a sinner?!" Those living from a new age worldview will flat-out reject us being sinners because they believe, like I once did when I was an avid practicing new ager, that if you're a good person, kind, loving and generous to people you're not a sinner, and then there's my favourite kind - the ones who fully embrace the truth about sin and accept we often sin, if not daily, sometimes without much provocation due to our human nature.
The 10 Commandments were given to us so that we are convicted of what sin is, in other words become aware/knowledgeable of what sin is and when we are committing it. Romans 3:20 says " Therefore no one will will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law, rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." These commandments are meant to manifest God's righteousness as we see in Romans 7:17 "As it is, it is no longer I who do it, but it is the sin living in me that does it." And it's meant to lead us to Christ as stated in Galatians 3:24-25 "So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian." These two verses are by no means saying we are no longer accountable to the laws that God put in place in the form of the 10 commandments. Jesus Christ now judges, defends, and redeems us by our faith in Him and by REPENTANCE. Repentance is NOT a ONCE OFF thing, it's a daily process because we sin if not everyday, most days!
How is this possible? Firstly, we must understand and accept that God doesn't just judge us by our actions alone. He also judges us by our thoughts and what's truly in our hearts, which He knows the truth about. He knows what we truly desire! We cannot hide anything from Him. Psalm 139 is a perfect example of this. I am quoting verses 1-8 here, however, I strongly suggest you read the whole chapter. "Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away. You know when I go out to work and when I come back home. You know exactly how I live. Lord, even before I speak a word, you know all about it. You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me. You hold me in your power. I'm amazed at how well you know me. It's more than I can understand. How can I get away from your Spirit? Where can I go to escape from you? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the deepest parts of the earth, you are also there." According to Matthew 5:28 is another clear example where Jesus says: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Matthew 5:22 also makes it clear that if we are angry with someone and call them a fool (raka), we will be judged. How many times in a day or a week do you experience anger arise in your heart against another? It might be simple like someone turning in front of you in traffic, your kids or spouse pushing your buttons, or someone simply getting under your skin for whatever reason. In God's eyes it's murder. How many times do both men and women look at other men and women with lustful thoughts in a day or a week? How often have you criticized and judged others because they don't agree with your opinion or live up to your expectations? Matthew 7:1-5 points out that we will be judged in the same way and instead we need to look at ourselves before pointing fingers at others. Have you at any point recently looked at others and wished you were in their shoes - better house, more money, more time, better looks, better body shape, better job than you? This is coveting your neighbours possessions. A sin in God's eyes. Do you make time for your job, gym, kids, pets, friends, TV, movies, yet spend a few minutes a day with God, or maybe only once a week at church, if at all? Do you tell yourself that you are so busy there's no time to get into daily prayer and bible study? This is called idolatry and is a sin in God's eyes because everything else has been put ahead of Him. Have you made up an excuse to get out of a meeting, visit or gathering, or made up an excuse as to why you're late or what you've been doing, or how much money you've spent to your spouse? In God's eyes this is lying and a sin. Have you taken stationery from work, made phone calls on your company's time or at their expense? Have you jimmied your tax returns? This is called stealing and a sin in God's eyes.
None of us are sinless and no Christian lives day in and day out never experiencing some of what I'm writing about here. Can you see now why it is so easy for us to sin without even realizing it because we accept it as normal or don't even give it weight as being sinful? Can you see why awareness of this by knowing God's word leads to regular repentance and a concerted effort with the help of the Holy Spirit to change these ways of living, thinking, and behaving?
In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus said: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
We will never not sin entirely, which is why we need the Lord, His mercy, grace and forgiveness which we receive by faith in what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and by repenting of the sins we fall into regularly. In Jesus Christ we become alive and dead to sin. Freedom is attained in the intimate relationship we form with the Lord and by knowing what His word says and expects from us. This is not a jail sentence but rather freedom from bondage and captivity. Denying God's laws and living in sin is an everlasting prison sentence that comes with no "get out of jail card." It's an eternal sentence.
God bless you,