Failing To Do What Is Right = Guilty

February 23, 2014

Friends,
“Therefore, anyone who knows what is right but fails to do it, is guilty of sin.” (Ja. 4:17)

Many people think that they are not guilty of sin because they are not committing those sins which they deem terrible –those things specified as prohibitions in the Ten Commandments. “I don’t commit murder,” they say. But they murder with their tongues and harbor hate in their hearts. “I don’t commit adultery,” they say. But in their hearts they lust after anyone they wish who they see on T.V., in the mall, or at work. “I don’t steal,” they say. But they cheat others out of promotions, swindle in sales, and through their lies, steal the truth from others. Would these sinners want to be treated as they treat so many others? Of course not. How they want others to treat them is the correct behavior they know everyone should be allowed to expect and receive. In other words, they are not ignorant about what is right. But, even while knowing what is right –the right way to act and the good they ought to do– they fail to do it. Such people are guilty of sin.

If a person is guilty of sin, he must repent. If he does not repent (which means to renounce the evil he is doing, turn from it, and live a changed life), Jesus says that that person will perish. (Luke 13:5) Repentance is a must.

But it’s not just about repenting from doing what is blatantly wrong. We must repent of failing to do what is right, righteous, and holy, and of not being proactive in these. We cannot just sit idle and think that we’re doing okay in God’s eyes. For in the same context of warning the unrepentant that they will perish, Jesus goes on to teach about the impending destruction of those trees (people) in His vineyard who, even after receiving much care, are still failing to produce fruit. (Luke 13:6-9)

Therefore, not only is repentance a necessity, but so is fruit. Good fruit. Fruit that is righteous and holy. Otherwise a person is guilty of sin. Those who remain guilty of sin remain guilty before God, which means they will not be given an inheritance in His holy Kingdom. (Heb. 12:14 // Rev. 21:27)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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