The scriptures clearly tell us, "There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:22-24). Therefore, we know that Jesus did not die in vain, but instead He died to set all of mankind free from their sins! "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10). Consequently, if we go before the Lord and truly confess our sins from the heart, He is faithful to forgive us. Yet, there are many who believe that once we are spiritually reborn (born-again) we are no longer considered sinners. Not true, James wrote, "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body." (James 3:2). And who is perfect among you? No one except for the Lord Himself.
There is little doubt that during his ministry the Apostle Paul lived his life for the Lord. Yet he wrote, "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I admit that the law is good. In that case, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Romans 7:14-17). This, by the way, was after his conversion to Christ. He continues, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Romans 7:18-20). Paul clearly tells us that even as followers of Christ we remain sinners.
Thus, Paul makes his point stating, "So this is the principle I have discovered: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." (Romans 7:21-25). Jesus taught us that as we pray each day, we should ask the Father to forgive our sins just as we forgive those who sin against us. This is two-fold process, and yet many times we will forget to forgive others before coming before the Father for our own forgiveness. Remember, we are not here to judge one another, but instead we are here to love one another.
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on his opinions. For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not belittle the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God." (Romans 14:1-6).
We need to tend to the things the Master levies on us and concern ourselves less with the things He levies on others. This is the opposite of the legalistic practice of far too many who claim to be Christians and yet have no understanding of what it means to walk as Jesus walked. " Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked." (1 John 2:6). We must learn to forgive one another and live in peace together as children of God. We are His servants and are all equal in His eyes. "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail." (James 5:16).
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