International Charismatic Bible Church (ICBC), Finland Weekly Newsletter
The Unexplainable Love of God: Jesus welcomes sinners
This edition of our newsletter continues our series on the reckless love of God to mankind. The kind of love that beats the human mind. It was this love of Christ Jesus that made Him most criticized by the Jews. Relationship of Christ with sinners is discussed in this piece.
All have sinned
According to Paul, all human beings became sinners because of the sin of the first man, Adam (Rom 5:12). Sin was imputed to all people who had not even sinned in the manner of Adam. Because of the sin of Adam, death exercised authority over all human race until the time of Moses (Rom 5:14). All people, both Jews, and Gentiles were all under sin (Rom Rom 3:9). It is further written that:
"There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom 3:10-12, Psa 14:1-3).
The above was the condition of man before the incarnation of Christ. Humans were completely sinful, and they were under a curse. But Christ Jesus came at the appointed time and died to redeem those that were under the curse of the law (Gal 4:4-5). It is the Christ who delivered us from so great a death and does deliver. We trust that He will still deliver us (2Co 1:10). He loves sinners unconditionally and non-judgmentally because He was not sent into the world to condemn it but to save it (Joh 3:17).
Jesus eats with sinners
Today, Believers shun sinners because they are seen as unclean people. Jesus never avoided sinners. He welcomed them and sought opportunities to introduce His Kingdom to them. He dined with the rejected, the socially despised and excluded people. When the Scribes and the Pharisees noticed that Christ Jesus was eating with sinners, they asked His disciples why would Jesus eat with them (Mat 2:11, Mar 2:16). They complained and said "..This man receives sinners, and eats with them (Luk 15:2). Are we ready to welcome the despised in our societies and eat with them?
Sinners unto repentance
The truth remains that Christ Jesus does not have a mission on earth without sinners. As the Scribes and Pharisees complained about His positive attitude and love toward sinners, He made them understand that they do not understand the scriptures. He contended with them, that, those who are whole do not need a physician but the sick does (Mat 9:12). He referred them to the Old Testament writings and said:
"But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (Hos 6:6): for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mat 9:13, Mar 2:7).
Jesus did not come to save the righteous but sinners unto repentance (Mar 2:17). The Lord cannot be merciful and still throw away sinners, because He says it emphatically that: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (Joh 6:37). If you do not sin, you may hurry and cast stones at sinners (Joh 6:37).
Stretching hands unto sinners
Many of us who vehemently reject sinners are more sinful than the sinners themselves. The Gentiles (sinners) seek after God while the self-righteous people are furious with Christ for welcoming them. It is evident:
"But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation, I will anger you. "But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people" (Rom 10:19-21).
If you think that you have been abandoned by God because of your sins, then you do not know God. Because of the gracious love of the Lord, we are not destroyed. And His compassion does not fail (Lam 3:22-23). He shall not stop pursuing us in our sins until we return to Him in repentance.
Sin is an abomination to God but He does not despise sinners. He invites and welcomes them to Himself because His mission is to the lost souls but not the righteous.
Prayer: Dear Lord, teach our hearts to learn and to practice the kind of love you demonstrated towards us. In the great name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. AMEN!