How do you see yourself when you sin, Christian? Are you quick to apply God’s grace to your situation? What about other believers? Do you see them the same way when they sin, under grace and not under the law? I hope so, for that is what we are called to do. We are called to build up and encourage God’s promise of grace and salvation by grace through faith alone that has been planted in our hearts and minds.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 NAS
We are not called to question God’s promise in John 3:16, or to tear down and create doubt that ourselves or others are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. If we create doubt for ourselves or others, we are doing the enemy’s work. From the very beginning, this has been his method of operation. We are called to believe God and qualified to encourage ourselves and others in Christ, to bring life to all and not condemnation and death.
who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 NAS
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Eph 4:29 NAS
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thess 5:11 NAS
Let the Holy Spirit Teach Us Grace
Our dead flesh is programmed since we were born to judge. This could very well be what came with the original sin. Adam’s sin was unbelief in what God had told him. Thus, he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge, that God warned Adam to not partake of, in the less than capable hands of man, has led us to lean heavily towards the judgment of ourselves our entire life and thus to judge others as well. Much of this comes from our desire to justify our own sins. Being just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to sin, we are not qualified to be a judge. It is impossible for one of the accused to be impartial. This truth does not change once we are born-again. Therefore, we are to be a witness and not to be a judge.
We need to have our minds renewed from judging ourselves and others to viewing all believers in the Spirit, in Christ, showing the same grace Jesus showed to the sinner and the believer still weak in conscience and in the faith.
We are called to see everyone who receives and believes God’s promise in John 3:16, as born-again in the Spirit, in Christ, not just ourselves. We are also called to see our sinful flesh and theirs, as dead, crucified with Christ. We have all been forgiven and placed under grace where God is not counting our sins.
for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. Rom 4:15 NAS
This means that even when they sin right in front of us, we see them under grace, their flesh as dead like ours and their Spirit as sanctified, holy, righteous and perfected by the blood of Jesus. No believer is any less righteous when they sin, because our righteousness is not our own, it is a gift from God. It is His righteousness we rely on.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isa 54:17 KJV
Do we ignore the sin of other believers? Not necessarily. But just like we do not place ourselves back under the law and judge, condemn and doubt our salvation when we fail, we do not do this to other believers. We do as Paul did and remind them of who they are in Christ and encourage them in to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. We encourage them to believe, remind them they are a Saint just like those who fell into sin in the Corinthian church, and they are saved because God always keeps His promises. The burden of our promised salvation is on God, and we encourage them to believe and trust. We encourage them to look away from themselves and the law unto Jesus, His finished work on the cross and His righteousness that is ours as a gift. We remind them of who they are, and why they are here, so they will live for who they really are, a child of God, an ambassador for Christ. We remind them that the world is watching and as a believer, we do not want our failures to be an obstacle or excuse for anyone to come to Christ.
We do not want to be charged with hypocrisy by other believers or the world in general. This creates doubt for the other believer and an obstacle to Christ for the unbeliever.
If I am judgmental and critical of another believer’s sins and question if they are right with God bringing doubt to their mind, am I not doing the work of the enemy, the father of lies and doubt? If I do not consider them as under grace just like I am, am I not acting like a hypocrite by applying the law to their lives while applying grace to my own? If I think I am well versed in the law, do I ever break the law myself when no one is looking? Does this not make me a hypocrite like the Pharisee’s?
Do my sins, no matter how small I see them in comparison, do any less to grieve the Holy Spirit? If I say yes, am I not being dishonest and justifying myself as the Pharisee did with the tax collector at the altar? Is it not only one sin that separated me from a Holy God? If I commit even one sin and apply grace to myself but judge others by the law for their sins, am I not a hypocrite?
This is where the warning comes in scripture; there will be no hypocrites in heaven. The warning is not for the believer who sins; the warning is for the self-righteous who judge others to justify even one sin in their own life.
In the New Testament, Jesus and the disciples never called a person who stated they believed the gospel a hypocrite when they failed and fell into sin. The only time it was ever inferred that a believer was acting hypocritically, was Paul’s charge against Peter. This was not when Peter denied Jesus three times or any other sin you might think. It was when Peter was acting like a Gentile, who never had the law, and pulled away from the Gentiles acting like a Jew under the law when the legalistic Jews showed up to the party. The legalistic Jews were very judgmental and doubted that the Gentiles were even saved. These are the guys who tried to place the Gentiles under the law of Moses in addition to believing the gospel and had their proposal shot down in Acts 15 by Paul and the other Apostles. These are the same Jews Paul stated should be accursed who infiltrated the Galatian church to add the law as a false burden to those believers.
The testimony of a Christian should be: “I realized I needed Jesus when I saw myself in truth compared to God’s standard in the law. Therefore, I placed my faith and trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Today, as a believer, I still cannot keep God’s perfect standard. I still need Jesus just as much now as when I first came to love Him.”
That is the whole testimony of a believer. We never see a believer in the Bible called a hypocrite. In this honest and truthful testimony, there is no way a believer can be charged with being a hypocrite.
Where we risk becoming a hypocrite is when we start to boast in our own strength, our own ability to keep the law now and judge others in and out of the church we see as more sinful. Then we get them to live their lives in the same way, passing on this false idea of Christianity. This is an error much of the church has made and why the world often calls Christians hypocrites. This is why the world believes Christianity is all about rule keeping to appease an angry God and why so many refuse to come. They think it is about being strong and keeping the law and from experience they know they cannot keep the law. We have sent them the wrong message and have made them stumble. If we say we can keep the law, we automatically become hypocrites.
Paul never boasted in his ability to keep the law. He boasted in the truth that he was still unable to keep the law to God’s standard. Paul only boasted in his weakness and Christ crucified.
Like Paul, I am not saying we should sin because we are under grace and not under the law. However, we no longer avoid sin for fear of punishment. We avoid sin because God so loved us and He sent His only Son to save us. Now we love God, and He knows and loves us, we walk by the Spirit, which is love. Love is the only thing that fulfills the law – Rom 13:8-10.
New Covenant Bible Studies that apply:
If You Believe You Have Been Saved
Leave the Burden on God
Paul's Method for Talking to Christians Caught in Sin
Is There Such Thing as a Violent Christian Drunkard?
Sins Are NOT Counted Under Grace
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
Holy Spirit Does Not Convict a Believer of Their Sins
Can We Lose Our Salvation For Not Confessing Our Sin 1 John,
Can a Christian Lose their Salvation by Sinning? NO,
Believers are Never Called Sinners in the New Testament
God Sees A Believers Faith Not Their Sins
Your Flesh is Dead Christian, Not in School
Jesus Never Called a Believer a Hypocrite
Be Like Paul, Stop Acting Like You Can Keep the Law, Christian – Paul only boasted in His weakness and Christ crucified.
God Said a Believer Can Never be Considered UnholyQuestioning Another's Salvation, Creates Doubt, Does Satans Work
What is the One Unforgivable Sin?
God WILL NOT Erase Your Names from of the Book of Life Christian
Who is Jesus Talking to with Depart from Me I Never Knew You?
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20