Monday, May 07, 2012

Does God Deal With Us According to Our Sins?

A question that comes up from time to time has to do with whether or not God relates to us based upon our sins.  Do our actions cause God to judge us, think less of us, or even punish us?  Does God measure out a portion of wrath or punishment on us when our behavior doesn't hold up to a certain standard?

The good news is that while there was a sin problem in the world, from the time of Adam, God dealt with the sin problem once and for all.  And He didn't just "cover" our sins for a year at a time, as was the case with the Old Covenant animal sacrifices.  God did much more than that, and the fullness of what God did should not be taken lightly!

Far greater than merely covering our sins, God took them away!  "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."  Also not to be taken lightly is that "(God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  Jesus became sin and we became the righteousness of God!  The problem of sin between us and God has been taken care of forever.

Our heavenly Father is not dealing with us or relating to us based upon our sins.  Think again about how God, in His great wisdom and grace, dealt with our sins in the first place.  Did He deal directly with us and punish us for our sins?  No, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, and He made us righteous!  There is no way we would ever have been able to bear the weight and burden of our sins, so Christ Himself bore the weight and burden of our sins.  And He did it once and for all... not multiple times.  Once was completely sufficient for all our sins.

If God was dealing with us and relating to us based upon our individual sins today, again I must say that there is no way we would ever be able to bear the weight and burden of it all.  If our individual sins still needed to be dealt with by God today, Christ would have to come as a man and go upon the cross time and time again!

But He did it once, and it was sufficient for all time.  God isn't relating to you based upon your sins.  He has freed you from sin and has made you righteous - as a gift!  There is nothing you can do to earn this righteousness and there is nothing you can do to maintain it.  It's only received as a gift.

Do we mess up sometimes, and do things that are contrary to godliness and righteousness?  Sure we do.  But God isn't dealing with us as slaves of sin.  He is dealing with us as righteous sons, and He lovingly teaches and disciplines us.  This is quite different from judgment and punishment, and this is absolutely nothing compared to how He once and for all dealt with our sins through the finished work of Christ!

We can rest assured that our sins have been dealt with and that we have a loving Father who relates to us according to our sonship and not according to our sins!


  1. Joel, what if we have a gray area that we're not sure if it's sin or not, but worry that we displease God by repeating it. As a single man. Rf

  2. Hi Rf,

    That's a great question, as it's true that not everything is black and white when it comes to this topic.

    I think Paul said it well when he said, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." (see 1 Cor 6:12). Later in the same epistle he also wrote, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being" (see 1 Cor 10:23-24).

    The point isn't so much trying to figure out what is sinful and what isn't. It's more about growing into maturity in the union that we already have with God, and knowing His heart for us in various given situations as we seek Him, and rest in Him. We won't always have a definitive understanding, but we can always rely upon His life in us to carry us through.

    Our conscience can also be our friend in these matters, as long as we don't bog ourselves down with trying to analyze every little detail. Often we simply have an overall "sense" that what we're doing is either 'of God' or 'not of God.'

    The beauty of it all is that there is no condemnation for us, so even if we get it 'wrong' or if we don't follow what we believe our conscience is telling us, we still stand in God's high favor, since it's not based upon our behavior but based upon His grace. We can trust Him as our loving Father to lead us and guide us in all truth and understanding.

  3. I read Hebrews 9 through 10 both chapters slowly digesting it and see what you say Joel is very true and it is all in context here in Hebrews enjoy

  4. Joel,

    To answer your question frankly: NO!

    Anyone claiming to be a child of God who says otherwise has not understood the reason for Christs finished work of His life crucifixion, and resurrection

  5. Thanks Howard.

    Aussie John... amen! It's amazing that so many people come to Christ not knowing that that means that their sins have been dealt with once and for all!

  6. Joel,religious people will hate you always.They are expecting God's judgement on me for stopping to attend church services and you are saying all these????? One thing about religious people is they believe any bad thing that happens to non church goer must be a judgement from God.Religion produces wicked wishes for others and its grossly ungodly

  7. That's so true, Fadeke (and so sad, as well). I'm saddened that people understand God as an angry taskmaster, always judging people for their wrongdoings (or even simply what people perceive as wrongdoings) and that they don't know Him as loving, kind, merciful and full of grace.

  8. God is not angry...yes, He sees us in Christ.

  9. I only see God as a taskmaster right now. I asked him for mercy and all I got was more pain amd misery and caused a real nice girl to have mental breakdown. I can only only assume am being punished for my sin. God could have told me remarriage is adultery before i got involved with this girl. I can only assume he waited to reveal it to me after i was almost engaged because i have some sin I struggle with or something. I dont know what to do to appease Him.

  10. Hildafunk,

    There is only one Person who ever appeased God, and it's not you or me. :) It's nothing that you or I ever did, but only the finished work of Jesus.

    "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation (appeasement) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
    Rom 3:23-26

    If you have faith in Jesus, you've been redeemed, justified and made righteous... freely by His grace. He's not punishing you.

    If God were punishing you for your sins, then the Blood of Jesus was not enough for Him.

    If God needed you to do something to appease Him, then the Blood of Jesus was not the propitiation for our sins.

  11. you say that God " lovingly teaches and disciplines us". i see "discipline" as punishment. don't you?

  12. No! :) Discipline is not punishment. The word "discipline," much like the word "disciple," is a word that is rooted in "teaching."

    "But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was bruised for our iniquities;
    The chastisement for our peace was upon Him..."
    (Isaiah 53:5)

    Christ took everything upon Himself. God is not out to punish us, but rather to build us up. Our sins have been taken away, so there's nothing left to punish! God has forgiven us and removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.

    So when we do things that aren't "expedient" or "helpful," or that don't "edify" (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23), God's not out to punish us, but rather to teach us - to build us up and to help us walk in ways that are expedient, helpful and edifying. It's not punishment that lead to that, but it's loving discipline --- teaching and guidance --- from our Heavenly Father who loves us so dearly.