Jeremias 17: 8
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Why should we not sin, if Jesus has already died for us?
Romans 5: 1,2, 8-10
1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through which we also have an entrance by faith to this grace, in which we stand; and we glory in the hope of God’s glory.
8But God proves his love for us in that Christ died for us, while we are still sinners. 9So much more now, being justified by his blood, we will be saved from wrath by him. 10For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled already, we will be saved by his life.
Brothers, there are mysteries in our faith. These are not unsolved mysteries or things that should not be revealed. Remember that God is light, it is true. But there are aspects about God that we simply cannot understand. It is important to know that these mysteries exist and that they are and must remain mysteries.
It is important to know and be firm to affirm that these mysteries, despite being misunderstood, remain true.
One of these mysteries is justification in Christ. Justification is God’s grace in accepting us. And in verse 1 above we read: “justified by faith”.
If we are accepted by faith, then what happens when we sin? Have we lost our salvation? Do we stop being accepted by God? Was salvation, then, a sufficient reason for us not to sin?
In order not to lose focus, our message today is not about being able or not to sin, but about: “What is our motivation for not sinning?”
And so that this question is not blocking our thinking, here is the answer: “to please God, not to save us!”
It seems easy, but also contradictory: if the “wages of sin is death”, then I will die if I sin, that is, I lose eternal life, salvation!
This statement is not true. This does not mean that “we” can sin without consequences, but this is the doctrine of fear, domination and manipulation used to force innocent people to do what manipulators want. This is one of those mysteries that we don’t understand, yet it remains true. I am not the one who says this, but the word of God.
23for the wages of sin is death, but God’s free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Brothers, our faith is spiritual, it is not logical. God is not limited to the principle of “action and reaction”, He is greater than that. Otherwise, we would have only one man in heaven: Jesus. For Jesus alone never committed sins!
To illustrate, let’s look at an example that is not spiritual:
Speed limit on the road: if you exceed the speed limit, what happens?
1. You are fined.
2. You crash and damage your vehicle.
3. You get hurt badly.
4. You die.
5. You hurt someone badly.
6. You kill someone.
All of these alternatives are possibilities. It is possible that the limit is often exceeded and nothing happens. Now examine your conscience and answer for yourself: why not break the speed limit?
If you are obeying the law because of items 1 and 2, your motivations are purely material; if you think about items 3 and 4 you have gone beyond the material, but you still have purely personal and selfish motivations; only in items 5 and 6 do you begin to have more noble motivations to respect a law.
So we can compare it with our motivation to not sin. Not to sin in order to be saved is selfish, it is a thought limited to what happens to you only. In Romans 13:14 Paul is explaining to Christians questions about what is lawful and what is not lawful. In this context he writes “On the contrary, each of you decide not to do anything that will cause your brother to stumble or fall into sin.”
A little further on, in verse 20 he writes: “All food can be eaten, but it is wrong to eat something when it causes another person to fall into sin.”
These verses serve to open our mind, which is always looking for the logic of things, to think more deeply about what is sin. To sin is to displease God, and God is displeased when we do harm to our brothers. Therefore everything that does harm to others displeases God, and is therefore sin.
The Jews did not understand this when Jesus came to Earth. Remember that they repeatedly criticized the good works of Christ simply because they were done on the Sabbath! That is, for them, sin was only what was described in the law. And in the law it was written “keep the Sabbaths”. So it was a sin to heal a blind man from birth on Saturday!
Knowing this now, think of the speed limit example. The law says: “if you exceed the limit you will be fined”. But is it really just that? Of course not, we have already seen that it is not.
Brothers, we know that God sees and is interested in what is in our hearts. So we conclude that we must avoid sin to please God, not to save us!
We can go a little deeper by remembering the story of Job. Job was not without sin, but he tried not to do anything that was wrong and offered sacrifices to God not for his own salvation, but for his children.
Even so, God allowed Satan to tempt him. God doesn’t tell Job why he allowed it, probably because neither Job nor we can understand God’s motivation. Since Job did not seek to save himself, he did not curse God even under severe trial! He never wanted to displease the Lord! And God approved him for that, despite his sins.
Let us pray together!
Father, I thank you for your message and even more thank you for accepting us as we are. I wish that his Holy Spirit would dwell in each one of us, his children. Purifying our hearts and filling us with the same love that overflowed in Jesus Christ. Let us avoid the sin that displeases him without the guilt that the enemy seeks to impose on us. Lord, may your name be glorified forever. Amen.