Archive for April, 2013


This may be one of the most misused verses in the Bible. It is used mainly to beat Christians over the head, when we have an opinion of some sinful act or behavior.  First, let’s define what standard we judge someone on. If we are going to judge, I should think we would use sin as our base line. Sin as defined by the Bible.

So let’s define “sin”, as in John 1:29.  What is this “Sin” (not sins of the world. Singular NOT plural) because, after all, what are we judging?  If we judge others “sin” against what we do/believe, aren’t we setting ourselves up as the ultimate Judge?

We live in a culture where the concept of sin has become entangled in legalistic arguments over right and wrong. When many of us consider “What is sin?” we think of violations of the Ten Commandments. Even then, we tend to think of murder and adultery as “major” sins compared with lying, cursing, or idolatry. 
The truth is that sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means, “to miss the mark.” The mark, in this case, is the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus. Viewed in that light, it is clear that we are all sinners. 

As we see in Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Often it seems as if sin is simply the violation of any of God’s laws, including the Ten Commandments. 
Paul, however, puts this in perspective in Romans 3:20, when he says, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

We say that someone is sinful because of the actions, but I say that does not define “sin”. The actions/behaviors we see and do, are a direct result of the sin.

The “Unpardonable Sin” is listed in Matt. 12:30-32. This equates to NOT believing Jesus Christ is who he say he is. Either we side with Jesus, or we are against him.  Again in Luke 12: 8-10, Jesus says to “speak” against him is forgivable, but to speak against the Holy Spirit is not.  This sin is made manifest in our Self-Righteous attitude. We are putting ourselves in a position above God.

Author Dr. Henry Morris insightfully clarifies the true nature of Pharisees’ sin:

“The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said long ago (Genesis 6:3).

…In the context of this particular passage (Matthew 12:22-32), Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit, and to the deity and saving Gospel of Christ”

I also believe that this is one of the largest issues in the dialogue within the Church on this subject, as one group will define “Sin” with reference to action, and another with reference to desire.

I would like to use an example in order to support my definition. Let’s say I am a man who struggles a lot with lust. Jesus said that if a man lusts after a woman he has already committed adultery (Matthew 5:28). If I have these intense desires to do so, does it make me an adulterer? I view (homosexuality, murder, adultery, stealing, etc.) as no different; your desire to commit sinful behavior (acts) would then make you sinful even if we didn’t act on it.

On the surface, this difference in definition seems trivial, but it becomes much more important when you realize just how much damage it has done. A man calls himself gay because he desires to sleep with another man, the world tells him that being gay is just part of who he is. The Church condemns homosexuality, in accordance with the things they find in scripture, and we define homosexuality by action. Neither party clarifies their definition, and the man feels condemned by the Church because what he has been lead to believe is just a part of who he is.

Before dialogue can continue on this subject, both parties need to make their definitions clear, or people will just keep walking away from the Church under a false belief that the Church condemns who they are at their very core.

Romans 3:23 says: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Now the question is: “Condemned” and “Not Condemned”.  John 3:18, Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

Using that verse, the church has no part in condemning. That is something that happens on a higher level. In this context, it would seem that being condemned and committing sin is the same thing.

Now that we have an understanding of “sin”, we will look at Judging.  Since the Christian is told to judge, what and how are we to judge?

Next we will talk about “Judging”.