Love Is In The House

Posted: October 15, 2014 in From Me To You, Theology
Tags: , , ,

Love HouseIn our recent church staff meetings, our pastor has brought a somewhat new topic to our table. Some of you may have heard the idea before, but most of you have probably heard it more in the context that I have — more of a cousin context than a different form of the idea.

Do you remember the old saying “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Do you remember that one guy who once said that we as Christians should be “in the world but not of it”? These are related concepts, with the difference being an internal, personal screening of sorts versus an external, relational screening.

The problem is that we have focused too much on the second part of each respective phrase rather than the first part. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is the nuance through which you view the world. Do you view the world as a place that is trying to contaminate us with its ways, or do you view the world as a mission field? Do you consider being in the world as a necessary evil or an opportunity to reflect God’s love and compassion to those around you?

See, viewing the world as a contaminant or a hassle will taint your witness, no matter what you may say to the contrary. It is a subtle difference, but it can make or break your ability to function as God’s ambassador. And if you think that you are not God’s ambassador, I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 5:16-21. In this passage, we see that we are God’s ambassadors.

But what does this mean, exactly? Notice that in verse 20, the principle is that we should have the heart of God, because it is as if He is making the appeal through us. We are not making the appeal on our own, but God is the one doing it! Does the God of the Bible put His focus on being not of this world and on hating the sin? No? God’s message is not one of condemnation and separation, but a message of love and redemption!

We see a God who sent His own Son to take on a weak form, to teach, and ultimately to take the consequences due us for our misconduct and our fallen condition. This God reached into the world, shouldering aside all the pain, suffering, and the other reasons why not to rescue these wretched creatures from the destruction of their own doing!

So the next time you reach to one of these sayings, think rather the inverse: Hate the sin BUT still love the sinner! Be not of this world BUT still be in it! Let us follow the example of our God — receiving His appointment as ambassadors — and pass by the premises of hatred and segregation, reaching instead for the Christlike goal of loving and restoring this broken world to its almighty creator!

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