If somebody asks you one of these questions:
“What kind of sin can God tolerate?” or “Which sin can I do without severing my relationship with the Holy Spirit?”
I mean, do you run to your Bible to give to the person a lists of sins which God tolerates or sins a person can do without grieving the Holy Spirit who lives in them?
No brainer, right?
You’ll be shocked first. Then you pause and try to read the person’s face to see if they are serious or joking. Before you come out of your shock, the person asks:
“Is kissing a sin? I slept with my boyfriend the other day but we didn’t have sex, but we’ve kissed. Do you think that is considered as a sin?”
Do you think I am making up stories here? No, I am not. These are few examples of the kind of questions I receive from young Christians today: “How far can I go with sin without really sinning against God?”
How do I suppose to address such kinds of questions?
I think I need to start from the basic truth of God and work my way up to the truth of God.
Let’s settle something here. Sin reflects the condition of our heart! It is not whether unmarried people decide to sleep together or not; rather whether those people love God more than they love each other.
We ask such a question when we get drunk with the lust of our flesh and decide to follow a written code of conduct rather than the Spirit of God. When we start checking stuff off of the list of things we should do and list of things we should not do, we fall into legalism and fall short of the grace of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus.
You see, we deny God in our hearts first. While we deny God and His word, we may still come to church, sit in a pew or stand behind the pulpit to preach/teach, sing or lead worship or all of the above. Then our actions slowly but surely reveal what had been in our hearts for so long.
By the time we start to ask “how far is too far” kind of questions, we already started to play with sin. Then we inform God by our action that we are okay to do life without Him.
When we follow Christ closer, we don’t ask such kind of a question. Instead, we ask: “How can I be closer to Jesus than I am now?” And, regarding sin, we ask God in prayer: “Lord, take the center of my heart, my soul, and my life so I will only be Yours.”
After all, sin is nothing but disbelief; sin is an expression of worship which is offered up to gods other than the true God – which is idolatry!
When we start a discussion about how to do sex or kiss our girl/boyfriend without sinning against God, we are already in darkness, and we can’t ask the enemy not to influence us or our actions with his moral values since we are standing in his territory. The moment we start a discussion with our flesh and the devil, we lose the battle.
Eve already lost the battle when she started a discussion with the devil to know “how far is too far” (Genesis 3).
You see, Eve first started wondering if there was a way to go against the word of God and still keep on living. She questioned the goodness of God. Disbelief and doubt took over her heart. She put God to a test to see if He after all was holding something good away from her. She doubted Him if He indeed had her best in mind. Eve lost the battle and sinned against God when she started to question the goodness of God and came closer to the forbidden tree.
My friend, do you ask questions such as: “How far can I go with sex without sinning against God?” Or, “How much can my boyfriend touch and kiss me without us sinning against God”?
If you do, my dearest, you are already out of the grace of God. You’re lost!
I know there are only a few people who can bluntly tell us as it is: “Beloved, you are lost”.
Well, let me be one of those few people in your life and say this to you as a couple people said that to me a few years ago! If you start a discussion on how to do sin nicely and beautifully without offending God, you are already lost!
At this point, don’t worry about doing and not doing anything from your list of things. Rather, concentrate on renewing your fellowship and covenant with Christ. Come back to your first love so that you can clearly see and understand beyond the shadow of any doubt that God is good for you all the time!
Of course you need one or two Christians to come to rescue you from yourself but you also need to seek the face of God in prayer; open your Bible as if you’ve never done that before and sit down and study the word. Let me leave you with this passage:
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Revelation 3:17-18 NIV
Do you know what “salve” is? In olden days, they used salve to treat eye infections. When you have an infection in your eyes, you can’t see clearly.
So, for you and me, our salve is the revealed word of God. It is “salve” to our sin-inflicted and infected eyes. It is the word of God, my dear, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105) so we can see where we’re heading. Don’t wander around trying to find if there is any other way than the Way of God. Silence your soul with the word of God. ///