hands formed together with red heart paint

Does it Matter How I Live as Long as I don’t “hurt” Others?

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. – Jude 1:4

You’ve heard “Love is Love.” “Jesus doesn’t Judge.” “The Law doesn’t matter, it’s all Grace.”  Its attractive. It seems tolerant.  Its damning.  The Bible speaks of this, saying “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Let’s look at what Scripture says about how our behavior relates to faith, love, obedience, and the new birth.  We’ll  particularly look at the New Testament since those who make these false claims often discount the Old Testament.  First, we acknowledge the Gospel, for it is indeed a remarkable thing that

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

However, Christ doesn’t leave us as sinners.  Just a few verses later Paul goes on to make these comments:

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? – Romans 6:1-2

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (v. 12) and

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (v. 14)

Praise God!  The Gospel is indeed “the power of God for salvation for all who believe” (Romans 1:16).

John writes of those who believe and their connection to love and obedience in this way:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. (1 John 5:1-3a, cf.  John 14:15)

This clearly challenges “love is love” theology. Love of others and love of God is defined by God not by our desires. It flows from a new heart received in faith.  Faith and its fruit are defined by God, not us. Do you believe?

You have heard that “Jesus did not come to judge/condemn the world.”  Have you read the context?

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.  (John 12:47-48, cf. John 3:17-21)

Jesus Christ later goes on to tell his disciples the same thing that was in the Old Testament Law:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”- Jesus (John 14:15, cf. Deuteronomy 7:9, 11:1, 11:13)

Admittedly, this can be difficult to hear and impossible to do on our own, but thank God that Christ does not tell us to do this on our own. Instead, in the very next verses, (v. 16-17) he says he gives us the Holy Spirit as our helper in this. Praise God for the power to love and obey by faith as we are empowered by the indwelling Spirit:

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  (Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5 says desires, Romans 6:12 says passions)

It is incredibly good news that the same Christ who calls all of us to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” gives us new hearts to want that (Ezekiel 36:26) and a new power in the person of the Holy Spirit to do that (John 14-16) and his Word to guide us in that (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He makes us his children (Galatians 4:4-7)!

The PCA’s 2019-2020 Report on Human Sexuality, Statement 12 offers this great hope in our sin struggles:

Most importantly, we give thanks for the gospel that can save and transform the worst of sinners—older brothers and younger brothers, tax collectors and Pharisees, insiders and outsiders. We rejoice in ten thousand spiritual blessings that are ours when we turn from sin by the power of the Spirit, trust in the promises of God, and rest upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life (WCF 14.2). (p.12, https://pcaga.org/aicreport/)

In closing, I’d like us to consider Ephesians 5:

1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saintsLet there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with themfor at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 

11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, & arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

AMEN.

George Sayour
George Sayour

George is Senior Pastor of Meadowview Reformed Presbyterian
Church (PCA) in Lexington, NC. When he's not pastoring or writing, he's fishing, kayaking and spending time with his family.

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