The big deal of sexual sin is for believers

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Paul, A.D. 55, to the Church at Corinth (1 Co. 6:18-20, ESV)

The talk of traditional marriage has taken a back seat these days, apparently from the lack of political conversation on the matter after several legal reversals of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), and the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” military rule on homosexuality. In some ways this a welcome result. It has always been disappointing for me, at least, to see the vitriol with which “Christians” would defame those who were promoting homosexual marriage and the lifestyle of those in that category. While I understand the slippery slope concern; that somehow accepting of homosexual marriage will lead to further sexual sins, that is not really the point here. The point is about the realization that we have never been asked to focus on anyone’s sin except those who are already Christians.

All throughout the New Testament when “sinners” were addressed from Jesus, while the sin was acknowledged, grace was shown consistently. The scripture here from Paul to the Church at Corinth is often used as an example on why these “heathens” need to leave their sin and turn to Jesus. Other verses on this topic come to mind as well obviously; the Bible is full of them. However, only when it comes to Christians is the idea of sexual sin being a much deeper sin discussed, including in this verse above (note how Paul describes his audience as being people with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit). Before a person accepts Christ, there is a consistent treatment of all sin as equal. It is only when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, that sins seem to start going into different categories. Now, I am not trying to say that this is unequivocally the way it is 100% of the time, but in context with all of these verses together it is clear that God does not expect someone who is not a Christian to be holy.

Let me put it another way. The only judgement that comes to a non-believer is just that, they do not have a relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. However, it is with Christians that this issue of each and every sin is called out, judged, and even punished (habitual unrepentant Christian sinners were excommunicated from the Church). The only command that God gives us as believers in reference to our communication with non-Christians is to show love, grace, and mercy in the same way in which God has showed that to us. I am very glad that God did not require me to get my act together before I became a Christian. Most of the time I don’t even have my act together now, after becoming a Christian. I am truly, a work in progress. If I am expected to have grace extended to me as a Christian, who has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (as this verse from Paul describes), then why would not even more grace be extended to those who are outside of the fellowship of the Lord.

In closing, I do not think that our “anger at sin” is geared in the right direction. The world is expected to be sinful. You and I as Christians; we are the ones expected to be holy. I do not know about you, but I fail at that pretty regularly.

Blessings,

Billy J Crocker

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7 thoughts on “The big deal of sexual sin is for believers

  1. Tom

    Excellent point on how God showed grace and mercy to the sinners, rather than just judgment. I know I have been guilty of this very thing myself, wanting to point out the sin and be angry about it, while not being as angry with sin in my own life. May God help me to be more like Him, full of grace, mercy and love. Thanks for sharing.

  2. James Navarrette

    Thank you for sharing this. It gave me a lot to think about. I was raised Catholic, therefore I was baptized as an infant. Years later at the age of 21, I considered myself “saved” and was baptized in a Baptist Church where I joined the congregation.
    I enjoyed the fellowship and I went to services twice on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings. I sang in the choir and I earned a solo as Gabriel, in our production of “The King”. I left that church a couple of years later after attending a Mothers Day service where my mother had accompanied me to. The pastors’ sermon was in praise of mothers and focused on the responsibility of those mothers to teach their children right from wrong. But in one sentence he stated that it was up to them to make us realize that homosexuality is an abomination etc..etc. etc.
    I am a gay man and my family loves and accepts me. I was angry. I felt that he was telling my mother she failed. I hadn’t fully learned their doctrine when I became a baptist and that was lazy on my part to be sure.
    I was on a church/religion hiatus for the next 20 years as I searched for a church home.
    I never stopped believing and maintained my relationship with God alone. I was content with ministering my way which was showing others how my relationship with God affected my life by being grateful, helpful, courteous and vigilant when I saw injustice. I was happily reminded of that today while reading your post:
    The only command that God gives us as believers in reference to our communication with non-Christians is to show love, grace, and mercy in the same way in which God has showed that to us.
    I had forgotten to be that person.
    This past election cycle changed me and I became quite deplorable .
    This was a great reminder to focus on my faith, even though I have struggled with the idea of God being real lately.
    This post was very insightful. I was pleasantly surprised by this part:
    The point is about the realization that we have never been asked to focus on anyone’s sin except those who are already Christians.
    WOW! I had not thought of that at all. Thank you !!

    1. Billy Crocker

      Hi James, thank you for the comment, the follow, and the like. I appreciate your thought out response. I too have, and still do struggle with belief in God. It’s not easy, people, and reality make it hard to believe in God. However, I also get the desire to want to believe in God. It’s a tough balance. At a minimum I hope to inspire people to think beyond what we’re told to believe, and believe what we believe because we personally believe it. My hope is that people will at least not allow something like religion in any form to divide our families, our nation, and our communities.

      1. James Navarrette

        I appreciate you following my blog as well. I am very new to this and I hope to get better. I’m thinking less curse words. That’s what my brother, the minister, suggests. I love your comment about having the desire to believe in God. That’s me for sure. Thanks for your time. I look forward to reading more from you.

      2. Billy Crocker

        Thank you James. We are all searching. I try my hardest to not be rigid. It is a difficult thing, especially with most of Christianity preaching a fundamental teaching. I have no doubt you will find the answers you are looking for, and maybe even some you were not looking for.

  3. James Navarrette

    Reblogged this on Liberal Mis·fit and commented:
    I was raised in a good home where we loved God and I can’t think of a time in my life I did not need him or at least speak to Him.
    I can recall times that I needed Him so badly that it was the only Hope I had and the reason I am still here.
    I am sure I am not alone in being at a place in my life where I question His existence.
    I am not an atheist.
    I figured I had to write that down immedietly, should my mother read this. I don’t want she should have a heart attack.
    I really admire this writer, not only in his skills as a proficient writer, I am bewildered by the very way he can verbally choreograph intricate and in depth thoughts to a dance that I can understand and follow.
    I recommend this blog to anyone who has ever breathed.
    This post in particular made me stop and really think. It was one of the firsts that I had read from Mr. Crocker.

    I was content with ministering my way which was showing others how my relationship with God affected my life by being grateful, helpful, courteous and vigilant when I saw injustice. I was happily reminded of that the day I read the following:

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