God Counts Sins Against No One
"God the Father was in Christ on the cross making relationship with Himself available to the world by no longer counting people's sins against them. God has given us this message of relationship to tell others. We speak on behalf of Christ when we plead, 'Come to God!'" (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)
2 Corinthians 5:19 is the true Gospel but it goes against almost everything modern Christianity teaches! God made relationship with Himself available by not counting people's sins against them. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross God counts no sins against anyone. God is serious about sin but He is more serious about His love for you. That is why He sent His Son to die, to take away the sins of the world. If God counts your sin against Jesus and you, then Jesus died for nothing. Salvation comes from trusting in Jesus. When you first trust Jesus you are aware that you have sinned but you don't have to do anything about it. You merely trust that Jesus has taken care of your sins on the cross and you receive His forgiveness, His righteousness, and His very life.
God is not counting people's sins against them therefore sin does not separate us from being able to know God. Everything now is simply a matter of choosing to trust Jesus and trusting what He has done for us. Jesus changed things when He died on the cross, if not He died for nothing. Our sins were dealt with on the cross we simply need to receive the forgiveness that is already there. Sin was what Jesus took care of on the cross so now sin is not the issue in salvation, trust is.
"God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. Whoever trusts in him is not condemned, but whoever does not trust stands condemned already because he has not trusted in the name of God’s one and only Son" (Jesus, in John 3:17-18).
Jesus said that people are condemned because they do not trust in Him. They are not condemned because "they have sinned" it is because "they haven't trusted in Jesus." We see also that John 3:36 doesn't even mention sin. "The one who trusts in the Son has eternal life. The one who does not trust the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath waits on him."
Salvation has to do with relationship. Salvation/eternal life is, in the words of Jesus in John 17:3, to "know God." Eternal life is "knowing God." It is a reality that begins when you first trust Jesus.
Christians Are Not Able to Sin
Romans 10:4 tells us, "Jesus Christ is the end of the law to everyone who trusts Him." Romans 4:15 says, "Where there is no law there is no transgression/sin." Romans 5:13 says, "Sin is not charged when there is no law"
These scriptures tell us that sin is only sin if there is a measure that defines what it is. That measure was the law and it has come to an end. Where there is no law, no sins or transgressions are charged as ours. Romans 4:8 says, "Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin." God doesn't charge His children with sin at all, meaning He calls nothing His children do "sin," He doesn't call it "sin" or even consider it to be sin. Christianity goes crazy with labeling things as "sin." God doesn't label anything His children do as sin, it is impossible for them to sin because they are born of God and God lives in them.
"Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. Everyone who has been born of God does not practice sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God. We know that no one who is born of God sins; but Jesus who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him." (1 John 3:5-6,9; 5:18)
1 John 5:18 says, "No one who is born of God sins." A child of God is someone who is born of God, someone who was born again. If you are a child of God you are not a sinner. You are a saint. Saint means "holy one." Your sin is taken away forever and you are given God's holiness. Holiness comes by birth not by behavior.
1 John 3:9 again says, "Everyone who has been born of God (whoever is a child of God) is not able to sin." I've only seen this scripture to be interpreted as meaning, "Everyone who has been born of God does not lead a sinful lifestyle." But that isn't just an outright addition, it is a total departure from the text. Those who say this believe that Christians can and do sin everyday. If I am "not able" to ride a bike that doesn't mean I can and do ride a bike several times a day. Sure it means that I don't live the lifestyle of a cyclist but that is because I can't ride a bike at all. There is double emphasis in this text. Someone born of God does not practice sin and is not able to sin.
1 John 2:25 says, "This is the promise which God Himself made to us: eternal life." Jesus said in John 17:3 Eternal life is "to know God the Father and Jesus Christ." 1 John 3:6 says, "Everyone who sins has not known God." The Greek tense of the verb "known" indicates a meaning of "Everyone who sins has never once known God." It is clear that this statement does not mean "if you sin you don't know God in the midst of your sin" or anything like that. If you sin you have never once known God. Every Christian knows God. Remember "Jesus was revealed to take away sins" because of Him the possibility of a child of God being credited with sin is zero. I am not saying a Christian cannot live destructively and harm others. I am saying you are free from even being accredited with sin by God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross.
In John 8:34 Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin." Romans 6 tells us that "You were slaves of sin but have been freed from sin." 1 John 3:9 says, "Anyone who is born of God is not able to sin." Jesus freed us from sin by removing our ability to sin. We cannot commit sin thus we are not able to be enslaved to it again. If we believe we can commit sin then we must believe that we are slaves to sin. There is abundant truth found in the New Testament telling us that we are free from being slaves to sin.
Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned" past tense. If you read the context you will find that it is saying that all people have the equal opportunity and need to be made right with God through Christ Jesus. Once they are right with Him, through Christ alone mind you, that "sinned" is truly past tense as we see 1 John 3 is in agreement with.
Sin means "to miss the mark" but Jesus has taken away sin. He has taken away the mark to hit, the target is no longer there. All that is left is knowing God. Life isn't about achievement or morals. Life is about relationship with God and with others. Follow God's loving lead and you won't be worried about passing a now imaginary archery test. You get to enjoy God, enjoy relationships with others, and enjoy life.
Christians can still yield to sin. "It is not I that sins but sin living in me that sins" (Romans 7:17). Yielding to sin is harmful but God loves me no less and He does not count even that against me. I still reap what I sow but God is pleased with me based on what Jesus did on my behalf not based on my behavior. The Spirit of God in you will never justify doing harm, He will displace it with love.
If you did not have the pre-conceived notion that Christians sin and you read the new covenant scriptures concerning sin you would not question the idea that Christians can sin and that sin still has power.
Scripture uses language like: we are saved from sin, we are forgiven of sin, sin is taken away, sin is wiped away, sin is washed away, sin is not taken into account, we are freed from sin, sin is not charged, sin is done away with, we are not in our sins, sin is not counted against anyone, we are rescued from sin, we are cleansed and purified from sin, sin is not remembered, we are released from our sins, and we are not able to sin. [Visit this link for scripture references].
Jesus Christ paid the price of sin, death! The wages of sin is death and Christ paid it! On the cross Jesus said, "It is finished" which means "paid in full!"
Letting go of the sin monitor in your head is a huge step toward freedom. God is not counting anything against you and neither should you. Being right with God (righteous) comes by trust not by keeping commands. If you are a child of God you are irrevocably righteous, you are right with God for eternity. Nothing plucks you from His hand. Nothing separates you from his love. He doesn't leave you or forsake you. You always have His favor.
A Christian Cannot Sin Against God Alone
You cannot sin against God. There is no mark to hit to earn God's love, favor, or approval. There is no mark to hit to be righteous, holy, clean, or pure. God gives all of those things freely. They are inherited by birth not earned by behavior.
While God does not label or hold anything His children do as sin, He understands that we still have destructive behaviors and perceptions. He is not blind to our well-being or needs. Although these things are no longer counted as sin you could say that these "miss the mark" of what is best for you, your life, and those around you. Even with that understand that God will never condemn, curse, or convict you (declare you guilty) because of these things but neither does He condone (turn a blind eye to) things that harm you and others. God wants to walk you out of harmful behavior and perceptions.
Because you cannot sin against God nothing stands between you and His healing love. Fear, shame, and guilt, all obstacles to seeing, trusting, and receiving God's love, are removed when you understand that sin is truly taken away and never charged to you again. God is able to work in you and with you not on the basis of rules or rule breaking but on the basis of relationship.
Relationship is the most effective way for God to heal your hurts, untwist your twisted perceptions, and repair your destructive behaviors. When you think you have sinned against God you assume that you have broken your relationship with Him by your offense. You think that He is dissatisfied with you. You think this partly because you have never been taught otherwise but also because that is how every other relationship in your life works. Understand that God is different, He has perfectly selfless love.
When you know that being a Christian makes you sinless you trust God to always be there for you. You know that He loves you without condition and that He is unoffendable because He cares foremost about the well-being of His children. Our destructive actions don't anger God, they bring Him to our rescue. We need to look no further than how Jesus treated people to see how this is true of Him.
Christians Do Not Need to Be Conscious of Sin
Hebrews 10:1-2 says that when we know we are cleansed, we lose consciousness of sins.
"The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt and consciousness of sin would have disappeared." (Hebrews 10:1-2)
There are many Christians living in bondage with a consciousness of sin. They are living as if this whole life is meant to be just focused on sin, overcoming sin, and trying to do our best for God. They never get to the life of Jesus Christ in them and the freedom He has set us free for. A constant focus on sin only breeds guilt, shame, blame, yielding to sin, etc. The blood of Jesus was meant to do away with us having a consciousness of sin so that we could live free, with a focus on the life of Christ and not a focus on trying to overcome sin.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). We do not have to live with a consciousness that worries about sin and evil.
Philippians 4:8 says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Is what we would call sin any of these things?
If the focus remains on "I need to change. I need to change what I am doing. I need to stop the bad things I am doing and start doing good" we will lose our actual focus on Christ. We will think that our behavior change means we are focused on Christ but it does not. We need to focus on the actual person of Jesus Christ. We get caught up on trying to resist things all the time. Instead of just living freely and letting Christ live through us we are always trying not to do the wrong thing. That is not what Christ has called us to do. The more we focus on behavior, ours or others, the less we focus on Christ and what He has done for us. The way our life in Christ works is by us resting, by us ceasing to strive, by us putting our focus on Christ the person rather than our efforts. When we rest the life of Christ in us will rise up and spring into action in ways we never would have imagined.
So How Do We Live If Not By The Consciousness of Sin?
Romans 7:6 says, "We have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit."
We no longer serve God by obeying the law (laws, rules, regulation, obligations, responsibilities). We serve Him by the Spirit, which is walking with God and communicating with Him. Jesus did this very thing. Jesus worked with the Father on whatever He saw Him doing. [See my other posts about working with God here].
God gives us wisdom and instruction through the Spirit and the scriptures. Here are two relational truths Jesus said in scripture that give us an idea of how to love and treat people.
Jesus said, "Love one another just as I have loved you" (John 13:34).
In order to love we have to know God's love for us because God is love. In the new way of living in the Spirit we love by being loved. Our love flows out of God's love for us. We don't have to muster up motivation we simply recognize God's love for us and remember how God has shown love to us. His tender compassion and kindness towards us causes us to live in a loving way towards others. While this was a command it can only be lived by experiencing the Spirit of God loving you. We love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19).
"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. Because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
If you don't see His love ask Him to show it to you and to help you realize His love where it is and has always been in your life. Remind yourself that every good thing is from God (James 1:17, John 3:27, 1 Chronicles 29:14).
Jesus said, "In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you" (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31).
This gives you a simple relational instruction. If you wouldn't want to be treated a certain way don't treat others that way. With this it is truly the thought that counts. Love is not a sterile set of rules. Love is thoughtful, considerate, compassionate, and kind. Jesus modeled this in His life on earth and certainly still models it as He loves us here and now.
In short we live relationally. In our relationship with God we receive love. In our relationship with others we give love based on how God has loved us and how we would like to be treated. There is no scripture, doctrine, or anything else that excuses cruelty. Love is kind. Unkindness is unloving. This may seem obvious but for all of history mankind has made cruelty in the name of God something to be called loving because they have judged others based on their own knowledge of good and evil instead of their knowledge of God and one another.
The Spirit of God will often lead us to what seem like obvious acts of simple love, because they are. The law falsely makes love out to be a comparison of behavior that says "this person, who behaves well, is worthy of my love but that person, who does not behave well, is not worthy of my love." Jesus died for His enemies. He didn't just turn the other cheek, He willingly laid down His own life for them. He no longer counts people's sins against them. Likewise it benefits no one to count other people's sins against them. We still live by the Spirit and His wisdom to avoid harm but we know that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and we are in Christ Jesus so we are not to condemn others based on what they do nor are we to accept condemnation on ourselves based on what we do. God sees all Christians the same. God doesn't see them as dirty but instead wants to repair their damage. He sees them not as sinful servants but as sinless sons and daughters.
To those who are free from sin and guilt all things are unstained with guilt.
They are blameless, both their mind and their conscience are pure.
They are blameless, both their mind and their conscience are pure.
(Titus 1:15, Definition paraphrase)