Sin and Sinners

This was a reply to something someone wrote me on Facebook. But I thought it brought up some interesting issues and I decided to do just a little bit of editing and post it here.

So, you searched the internet for an answer? Someone who speaks, as you did to me, I would hope, would know their Bible better than that. Interesting that you didn’t turn to the Bible. But let’s go with what you found. I found it on the net as well. I do not believe that A. Gene Veal, the author of this article, would agree with the use of it in relation to homosexuality. Especially after I read his previous article, which he referenced in this one you used, titled ‘GRACE’. He says,

My natural tendency is to sin more and more, but by His GRACE I am being conformed to the image of Christ and being transformed from glory to glory. (“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Cor. 3:18)

This grace is found only in a person, the Lord Jesus. It is the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, it is accessible only through an ongoing personal relationship with Him

I think you tend to blur the lines between the SIN and the SINNER, as well as the lines between the SINNER and the CHRIST FOLLOWER. Grace, mercy, love, they are all applied to the SINNER, and never to the SIN. And that Grace, mercy, and love is only applied to a REPENTANT SINNER, not an active sinner. A CHRIST FOLLOWER is someone who has repented, given everything up for Christ to follow him and his ways. Not someone who says it with his mouth, but someone who says it with his life. The key to all that is repentance, which means to change ways, turn back. There are times when a Christ follower may slip up here and there, but they will not walk in their sin. You are not a true Christ follower if you are not continually trying to follow God’s ways. Anyway, let’s explore this, starting with the scriptures you borrowed.

7In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,

7He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

8To me, though I am the very least of all the saints (God’s consecrated people), this grace (favor, privilege) was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaustless) riches of Christ [wealth which no human being could have searched out],

Let’s look at it the way it was emphasized by Mr. Veal.

In Him we have our redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . . that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus . . . To me, who am less than the least of all saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable (unfathomable) riches of Christ.”

You have missed SEVERAL key words in this passage. And I am surprised that you did as Mr. Veal was very careful to underline and bold them.

Most students of the Bible would understand that Ephesians was written to Christ followers. We know this from the very first verse,

1PAUL, AN apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) [a]at Ephesus who are also faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus:

I use the Amplified version because it usually makes clear any part that could be misread or misinterpreted. such as this, it clearly points out that ‘the saints’ are the “consecrated, set-apart ones), which means a Christ follower. Because it is written to Christ Followers, it would not be used to apply toward anyone who was living in any type of sin on a habitual basis. This passage would only apply to a homosexual that had turned from their homosexual tendency. So that in its self would end the conversation in regards to using this passage. But we will continue anyway.

The next thing we see is that the words, “In Him,” are bold and underlined. The reason for this is that if you are not IN HIM, this passage does not apply to you. So what, or whom, does this refer? For that, we have to look back to the previous verses,

5For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[b]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]–6[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Therefore, everything listed in verse 7, redemption, remission of our offenses, and gracious favor of God can only be gotten IN HIM, or as verses 5 and 6 indicate, is in the Beloved, or Jesus Christ. In other words, to be a Christ Follower. If you are not a Christ Follower, you do not get redemption, remission of offenses, nor gracious favor of God, period.

On to the next verse.

7He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

He did this, did what? Again, we have to look back to see what this is, which we find just a couple verses back,

5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

So what he did was made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ. He made us alive because we were dead. If we look back over the verses before this, clear back to verse 1 of the Second chapter, we can find out more about us being dead.

1AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins

2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

As we look at these verses we can learn a lot.

  • Our trespasses and sins are what made us dead. So we can never be alive AND be in trespasses and sins.
    • We can not be “Christians” and be “Homosexuals.” (I listed several in my previous post)
    • We can not be a “Christian” and be a “Sexual Immoral” (cohabitation with sex- 1 Peter 2:1).
    • We can not be a “Christian” and be “Effeminate” ( A man having behavior or mannerisms considered typical of a woman or girl; feminine; figuratively a catamite, (a male who submits to a sexual relationship with a male) – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
  • When we walked (habitually) in our sins, we were following satan, and in disobedience to God.
  • In verse three, we can not miss the words, ‘once lived and conducted’, that is past tense. That means no longer live and conduct. And it is also clear what the consequence is of continuing to live and conduct ourselves in sin, “children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation.”

As we read the rest of Chapter two, we’re reminded in verse 12,

12[Remember] that you were at that time separated (living apart) from Christ [excluded from all part in Him], utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the [Messianic] promise [with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants]. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.

That while we were dead, we were separated from Christ. If we are separated from Christ, we are separated from God. And on judgement day, we have no one to pay our penalty and we will go to hell. And in verse 10, we see that we are recreated in Christ Jesus, walking in his ways.

10For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Again, nothing in verse 7 is available to us unless we are IN HIM, recreated in Christ Jesus, therefore grace is not available to us if we are still walking in SIN.

Let’s look at the next verse,

8To me, though I am the very least of all the saints (God’s consecrated people), this grace (favor, privilege) was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaustless) riches of Christ [wealth which no human being could have searched out],

Paul counts himself least of all the SAINTS, which are CHRIST FOLLOWERS. Nothing in verse 3:8 is available to one who is walking in sin, which means the riches of Christ are not available to continuing sinners. For more information see this post.

If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, he restores us as 1 John 3 goes onto explain:

“6No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].   7Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.   8[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].  9No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.   10By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow [i]believer in Christ).”

Now to address some of the things you, David, have said:

“God knows all our hearts, n loves us all, n he is our true judge of us all… not one of us shall cast the first stone against one another!!”

Yes, God does know our hearts and he does love us all. But very few will actually be in His presence for eternity because of his judgements. There are many who say they are Christians, who are going to be shocked when God rejects them, passes judgment on them, and sends them into the lake of fire. Any homosexual who says they are a Christian and is still in a homosexual relationship, will be one of those. (See this posting for more details on that.)

God also says in Matthew 12,

33Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit.

34You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the [p]superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.

35The good man from his inner good treasure [q]flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse [r]flings forth evil things.

So, God knows are hearts (inner storehouses) and those around us know our hearts as well. Good hearts produce good things.  The tree is known, recognized, and JUDGED.

Regarding casting the first stone you are right. Casting a stone implies carrying out a penalty. Although, God did give commandments in the OT regarding people who were instructed to carry out the judgement. But, we are not supposed to now. The judgement is for God to carry out. However, we ARE supposed to confront people in sin and rebuke them. For more details on this, see this posting.

“Religion plays a key role in all of our wars as man,”

No, man uses religion as an excuse for war. Religion has done nothing, it’s a thing. It isn’t any different than the guns used, the tanks used, the planes used. None of them are to blame for the wars, only the men using them are.

“god says love, forgive, n have faith…, n god jus says love everyone,”  What I don’t understand about all this is that you have called me several names, and you n very rudely to me … screaming love, grace, and forgiveness. Who exactly is being hateful and not loving? Who exactly is being judgemental and not giving grace? Who exactly is attacking and not forgiving? I wonder, would you address the inspired writes of the Bible in such a manner? After all, they were much more harsh than I have been. All I did was state what the City Counsel’s actions at a meeting were.  Would you have written them and said the things you have said to me? If you would, then you would be saying them to God, since he is who inspired those writers.

1 Timothy 1 would be a good read for you. In it we see listed several sins,

9Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,

10[For] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men {Homosexuals}, kidnapers, liars, perjurers–and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine

11As laid down by the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

In the last few scriptures of this chapter, Paul tells Timothy what to do with these sinners,

18This charge and admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son, [b]in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and aided by them you may wage the good warfare,

19Holding fast to faith ([c]that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.

20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan in order that they may be disciplined [by punishment and learn] not to blaspheme.

Paul says they have made a shipwreck of their faith and to deliver them to Satan. Interesting isn’t it. In the next chapter he adds,

1FIRST OF all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,

So therefore, in order to love a homosexual, we should praying on their behalf, which would include giving them up to Satain.

There is not one person listed in any of my writings. I HATE homosexuality. I HATE lying. I HATE stealing. I HATE murdering. I can not like, nor love, anything that God does not like or love. And he does not like or love homosexuality.You know what, he doesn’t like or love what you are doing by living with a woman who is not your wife either. Maybe that is why you are so defensive of what other’s are doing. Because if you recognize it as wrong, then you would have to recognize what you are doing as wrong. But then again, I could be wrong, I could be reaching.

With all that said, I will let Paul have the last word to you.

1 Timonthy 1:

6But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk.

7They are ambitious to be doctors of the Law (teachers of the Mosaic ritual), but they have no understanding either of the words and terms they use or of the subjects about which they make [such] dogmatic assertions.


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