Summary: We all sin, but what do we do with sin?
40. Who is Jesus?
June 12th, 2011
Happy Father’s day to our dads: let’s talk about conflict. If you are alive and have dealings with other people for longer than six minutes, if you have driven down Rangeline, if you are married, if you have kids, unless you were grown in a lab and kept in isolation then you have conflict. When you live in community with other people you are going to have some disagreements. How we handle those conflicts says a lot about who God is and what He is like.
Jesus came to set us free from our sins and from the burden of the law. In Christ we have the freedom to run and play in the park that God has created for us. Sometimes as we run around enjoying the freedoms Jesus gives we can cause problems for other people. Thus our expression of freedom can become a stumbling block to the person next to us.
Take alcohol: religious people say drinking alcohol is a sin. Thinking about drinking: sin, walking down the alcohol isle at Wal-Mart sin, wearing a t-shirt that advertises alcohol: sin. So if you drink you go to hell. If you drink a lot you go to the special hell with people who talk during movies. Is it a sin to drink alcohol? No. The Bible doesn’t say that. The Bible says getting drunk, taking substances of any kind that impair your judgment that is a sin. Non-drowsy allergy medicine has been on the fence for years. Drinking is not a sin. It becomes a sin if you drink too much, too often, or you drink in such a way that damages the faith of someone else. Our freedom ends at the point in which our liberty hinders someone else’s walk with Jesus.
Because we struggle with different things and have different freedoms we are going to have conflict with other people. In Luke 17:1 Jesus lays out some ground rules to deal with that conflict so we can have Godly resolution. Jesus teaches about sin, repentance, and forgiveness.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Lk 17:1-6)
Sin is unavoidable. That doesn’t make it ok it just means we are not perfect so eventually we are going to do something wrong. Even when we are trying to be like Jesus everyday we are not Jesus and that causes problems. Sometimes we do things that lead other people to sin. When we do we are creating a stumbling block for them to trip over. The consequences for causing someone else to sin are severe. So we should be very careful with our behavior to make sure that our actions are not in some way leading others into sin.