By Janet Thompson, Crosswalk.com
God hates sin, and we should too! He sent his One and only Son, Jesus Christ, to a bloody cross to offer believers forgiveness for their inevitable sins, not for a free pass to keep on sinning. Yet today, we see sin glorified, accepted, legitimatized, and even legalized in our culture, and sadly, few churches or Christians are horrified by this affront on God or willing to speak out against it. Do you think that might be overstated or not true? How many pastors today are teaching about what the Bible says about condoning sin? Or even what sin is. Some churches and Christians have let the culture normalize sin and have adapted to it themselves.
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What Does it Mean to Condone Sin?
Condoning sin means accepting sin. God doesn’t want Christians condoning sin as it leads to pain, destruction, and separation from him.
The dictionary defines ‘condone’ as regarding or treating something bad or blameworthy as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless. Condoning sin means you accept, allow, and yes approve of that sin in your life and in the lives of others.
Sin is condoned in today’s culture. Many rationalize allowing sin to invade their own lives and the lives of others.
Even Christians are afraid of speaking out against sin for fear of being called names or accused of “judging.” Recognizing sin for what it is--going against God and the Bible--is what Jesus, Peter, the disciples, and Paul spent their life doing to help people repent from a sinful life. No one would call them “judging.” They were trying to open peoples’ eyes to the truth that sin kills and repentance saves. Yes, they all suffered for speaking out against sin, but many lives were saved because of their dedication to love people enough to help them change and turn from their wicked ways.
Silence in the face of sin is condoning. Yes, none are perfect, and we all sin in our humanness, but our goal as Christians is to become aware of our sins, ask forgiveness, and as Jesus said to the woman at the well, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) Jesus wasn’t judging her when he pointed out every sin she had ever done, he was offering her living water, which was himself.
Paul wasn’t judging all the churches he wrote to when he pointed out their sins. He loved them enough to say the life you’re leading now is wrong, and you must repent. Paul, Peter, the disciples, and Jesus never condoned sin, and we, as Jesus’ followers, shouldn’t either! We take a stand for righteous living ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Their very life, both here and in eternity, could depend on it.
We don’t condemn, but we never condone sin, regardless of how many sinful laws are passed! Christians remain steadfast to the truth in the Bible.
What Does the Bible Say about Condoning Sin?
There will always be sin in the world because Satan is the author of sin, and as long as he’s allowed to roam around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, his intent is to entice with sin that opposes God’s ways. That’s exactly what sin is, going against God. You can profess to be a Christian, but if you’re willfully choosing to sin, you’re controlled by Satan, not God. Sometimes we can’t see it in our own lives, and we need other believers to gently, lovingly, and compassionately use scripture to point out to us where we’ve slipped into Satan’s grip and bring us back into the fold.
I once had someone who had been married before ask me to condone her having sex with her boyfriend since neither of them were virgins anymore what did it matter? It mattered because God’s Word says sex is between a husband and wife. Again, like Jesus told the Samaritan woman, the man you’re living with now is not your husband. That’s a sin.
Others want justification to live together for financial reasons. God can’t bless something he condemns for any reason.
The entire Bible addresses not living in or condoning sin but repelling it. Here are a few refresher verses, but there are so many more:
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Prov. 6:16-19
Do you ever feel like God isn’t hearing your prayers? Could it be you’re condoning sin in your own life, the culture, or someone near you?
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isa. 59:2
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 6:23
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Acts 3:19-20
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Heb. 10:26-27
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. Ps. 5:5-6
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What Does the Bible Say about Condoning Sin? Continued
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 1 John 3:6
But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 1 John 3:8-9 NLT
Following is where God through Paul clearly spells out his definition of sin and God’s response. God’s wrath against sinful humanity that we see tolerated today are reflected in these verses. Read them carefully.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Rom. 1:18-32
5 Ways We Can Avoid Condoning Sin
1. Pray for God to Give Us Wisdom to Confront Sin
Many use Matt. 7:1 as an excuse not to confront sin in others because they consider it judging and God will be the final judge. It’s true that God will be the final judge, but we are his hands and feet on earth helping spare others of the final judgement of eternity in hell. We don’t judge by comparing them to ourselves or thinking less of them. We love them enough to want to see them repent, be saved, and live a life pleasing to God.
2. When we see a fellow Christian sinning, maybe cheating on their spouse or at work, using drugs, swearing, mistreating their family, sleeping around, we’re called on to lovingly confront them, pray with them, and encourage them to repent.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Gal. 6:1-2
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ Matt. 18:15-16
3. We don’t condone sin in our family and friends.
In Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter, I shared that my daughter always felt loved, but I never condoned her living with her boyfriend. I didn’t treat them as a couple. Just because it’s our child who’s choosing a sinful lifestyle still makes it a sin and affront to God. We compromise our own faith when we accept or condone wrong behavior. We extend unconditional love but never bend in our beliefs. We pray for them like their life depended on it, because it does.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Eph. 4:15
4. Take action!
It’s easier to look the other way and not want to get involved, but as we watch sin legalized, even codified, in our country, how can we as concerned Christian citizens condone sin? Speak out against it. Vote against it. Support candidates who condemn legalizing sin.
5. Overcome fear.
It can be uncomfortable to take action against sin because you’re taking a chance of being called all sorts of unpleasant a names or rebuffed. But if you live so that everyone knows you’re a righteous follower of Christ, who cares what they call you? Our goal is to please an audience of One, Jesus Christ, not man.
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 1 Pet. 2:1 NLT
Staying Silent Is Condoning Sin
With every law passed condoning sin, it not only affects us, but future generations. Avoiding the confrontation of sin isn’t the way of the Holy Spirit. When you encounter sin, you’ll be convicted to say or do something. God will give you the opportunity and the words. It’s up to us to humbly, but boldly, follow the Lord’s leading. He will put words in our mouth. Yes, God is a God of grace but Paul puts it best.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death [to sin]? Rom. 6:1-3
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