It would be nice to think that becoming a Christian suddenly made me totally unable to sin. It didn’t. There are a lot of verses that point this out quite clearly and give instructions that are sometimes hard to follow. Here are a few:
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 is the second Bible verse I memorized as a child. It didn’t make a lot of sense at eight but at fifty it does. There’s no qualifying statement in this verse. It doesn’t say “For all nonChristians have sinned…” All means I am included. I have sinned. I will sin. This verse is personal, not by religion or denomination.
Faith, without works it is quite dead. James 2:17 has often been misinterpreted. It does not say that you have to work to be saved. If that was the requirement why did Jesus have to die? No, it doesn’t say that. It says that if you have faith works will necessarily follow. You will *want* to work in whatever way God wants. Questioning another’s faith because you don’t see them do what you think they should be doing is wrong.
The least of these, My brethren: Matthew 25:40 sounds easy enough. If you show kindness to others you are showing kindness to God Himself. That is only part of what this verse means. If you are kind to people who can be kind back have you really done something unusual? I believe Jesus was referring not to those of the same rank but the outcasts.
You might think we don’t have that problem…but we do. There are all kinds of people we simply don’t see because if we did we’d have to do something about it. What about the homeless? A cold drink on a hot day will mean a lot more to them than you may think. Look around you for the people that can’t pay you back and then you will find Jesus’ brethren.
Love Thy Enemy: Matthew 5:4. As with finding Jesus’ brethren, this takes work. We don’t necessarily have the kind of enemies that existed during the time Jesus was on Earth. On the other hand we do have people that we don’t like. There are those we disagree with and there are a few that we might feel we could do without entirely. These are also enemies in a way. They stand between us and Jesus second command; “love thy neighbor.”
It’s easy to love some of our neighbors. They return the affection and that’s great. There are others it’s not so easy to love. Maybe they play loud music half the night. Perhaps they got the promotion you wanted and felt you deserved. They might even spread untrue gossip around about you. These are people we all need to love.
As mentioned earlier there are a lot of verses that are tough to work into our minds and our lives. It’s hard to love our enemies, help those who are in real need and remember that we are still sinners. That doesn’t mean we get to have a free ride on them. We have to study them and then follow through in a way that allows Jesus greet us with “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”