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Throwing the First Stone



As Christians we miss God’s best when we allow the mindset and sin of this world come into our lives and take root. We become a sort of creation that is a monstrosity. One becomes a creation that neither enjoys the best a Christian life has to offer, nor the best a life the world has to offer. The cause of this is simple. The cause is guilt.

Guilt is something that occurs internally when our mind condemns us for our actions. One may feel guilty in one’s mind about a great many things, some sinful in nature and some not. Guilt is also something that occurs in the soul between God and man when sin enters one’s life. This is the guilt we must be most concerned about. As one aligns his mind to the mind of God through the revealed will of God in scripture, then that man or woman experiences no guilt where none remains.

Contrariwise, when one who lays claim to the name of Christ pursues the things of the world and allows them to take root, that man or woman experiences a great and abiding guilt of both the mind and the soul. Thusly we see a cycle that begins with guilt born in the mind, as one pursues things of the world; then allowing that to take root culminates in guiltiness within the soul once sin takes full root. As we know there no longer remains a sacrifice to cover the guiltiness of the soul for the willful sinner, which of course only compounds the guiltiness of the mind with this actualization.

Most rational people will see and realize this cycle throughout their lifetime, and will learn to break the cycle before sin takes root if they are sincere followers of Christ. They will certainly take notice of the chain or cycle as described by James where they are carried away by their very own lusts as they are tempted.

My point is not so much the cycle, but the wretchedness of the guilt associated with the cycle. When the Christian is caught in this perpetual cycle of flirting with the world, then that person is caught in a wretched cycle of self inflicted guilt. This guilt can be debilitating in nature. It becomes a guilt that causes one to stop working in the kingdom as that individual can no longer carry the burden of seeing the wretchedness. This same person becomes lethargic, and eventually atrophies into a weak and miserable sort of creature. Unfortunately, one can go on for a very long time as a weak and miserable creature. Death is not always instant. Instead that person suffers for years in a state of missing God’s best, only to finally die on the vine. What wretchedness to flirt with the world, never to become consumed by it totally, but always live in a perpetual state of guiltiness of the mind that causes one to miss God’s best. Even worse is the idea of the one with the seared conscience, but guilty in the soul where a sacrifice does not remain.

 Two questions arise out of this, as we consider the title of this article. As you might recall or reference in John 8:1-11, John gives an accounting of the woman caught in adultery that the Scribes and Pharisees wished to put to death. Why did the Lord seemingly pardon the adulterous woman’s sin, and why did the people at first ready to stone her walk away?

Answering the first question is a little easier than the second. The short answer is that the Lord did not excuse the sin. He instructed her to go her way and sin no more. His refusal to set himself as judge in the matter is only in accordance with his purpose of coming in the flesh. John 12:47 signifies his purpose was to bring salvation rather than Judgment in his first coming. It is the second return that is for Judgment as described in Matt 25:31-46. The Scribes and Pharisees came with intent to trap Jesus, but in the end left having accused themselves.

Answering the second question I believe finds its roots in the formerly discussed guilt. Each man ready to convict and “do the work of God” as the old law prescribed suddenly became impotent when faced with inward thoughts of his own sin.

Are we not the same people? Are we not made ineffectual as we feel laden with guilt for flirtations with the world, and even our sin? Do we not miss God’s best as we shy back from the work of spreading the gospel, and doing the work that is described in Matthew 25:31-46.

God’s best is wrapped up in working through love to serve others. God’s best cannot be experienced except that we turn from the enticements of the world, and quit flirting with her.

That overwhelming guilt from such flirtations and sin causes one to atrophy and shy back just as the Scribes and Pharisees did. Christ gave us a new law wrapped in God’s best. It is not the avoidance of stoning another we miss when we allow sin to bring guilt into our lives. We miss his very best.

                But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Let it be said that we who laid claim to the name Christian enjoyed the best God had to offer.