The Futility of Nitpicking Sins

Religion is a major nemesis to humanity, and the church is not immune to religion’s wicked ways. Religion, at its heart, is godless. Whether religion is promoting ethics or morality, glorifying God is not on religion’s to-do list.

Men speak of their sins, even boasting of them, at times. If a man is confronted with sin, not sins, he becomes agitated. Sin is the lord of a sinner’s life (Rom 6:6). The nature of this ungodly lord dominates the sinner (Eph 2:3). It is rather vain to speak of one receiving a character assassination, for the character of man is sin (Eph 2:1). Man thinks sinful thoughts (Eph 4:17). He speaks sinful words (Mt 12:34; 15:18). Man does sinful works (Is 64:6). The only one whose character was ever assassinated was the Lord Jesus Christ. The rest of humanity is desperately flawed in character (Gen 6:5), which earns every man the title, “son of disobedience (Eph 2:2).”

The sins of some people are obvious. The sins of others are hidden. The fact that all have sinned should be acknowledged (Rom 3:23). This began in the Garden of Eden when Adam committed his ungodly act (Gen 3). Allowing the slander of God’s character, invited the temptation to unbelief, which was then acted upon. Sin was crouching at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The meaninglessness of judging one’s neighbor for her sins is the work of religion. Men are ungodly and unrighteous (Rom 1:18). With only one singular sin warranting eternal damnation in fiery hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7), why do people waste their time criticizing particular sins? The reason is that God has been forgotten.

People sin against one another, in unrighteousness. This is the result of ungodliness. Whether a person sins against God (ungodliness) or sins against her neighbor (unrighteousness), the wrath of God is directed against her (Rom 1:18).

Following the Garden pattern, the devil tempts men in every generation to ignore, deny, or denigrate God. God made man to glorify God, and godliness glorifies God. Religion denies God and His primacy in everything.

One judges another for her particular sins, “She is not living to my particular interpretation of godly living. With the beam in my eye, and stone in my hand, I feel confident I can see her misguided Christian life better than she can. My spiritual gift is being judgmental.” Why? The accuser of the brethren has forgotten that she, herself, must stand before the judgment bar of God (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11).

We should be confident that it is a sincere desire of every Spirit-filled, born-again believer to want to please his Lord Jesus (2 Cor 5:9). It is the indwelling Spirit that puts the desire for holiness, hence, godliness, in the believer’s heart and mind (Ezek 36:26–27; Rom 8:9, 11).

The unbeliever may hear of morality, from religion, but without hearing the Gospel, a right relationship with God will not even cross the sinner’s mind. Preaching the Law of God will only entice men to see their sins and remedy them by working hard at the requirements of religion (Rom 5:20). This way, they successfully avoid Almighty God, the one and only Savior (Titus 2:13; 3:4–6). It is the Gospel that confronts man’s avoidance of God (Rom 3:10–12), by causing him or her to look at the standard, who is Jesus Christ, when He is faithfully preached (1 Cor 1:18; 2:2).

The Gospel exposes the entirety of the corruption of man. The Gospel reveals the total depravity of man. The Gospel destroys the notion of man’s free will. Man is a slave to sin. This, of course, is an affront to the pride of man, who vehemently objects to the Gospel probe.

The religious man works all day long at being righteous. His religion of human potential is stimulated by the challenge to overcome man’s “shortcomings.” The Gospel declares that what man really needs is a Savior from all his sins. In sin, man agrees to a partnership with religion’s god, regarding salvation. It is sin because the one true God is not offering man a partnership. He does not offer man salvation, nor does He invite man to enter into covenant with any conditional terms. God saves a man, or He does not save a man, according to His own will (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:15–16) and grace (Rom 11:5).

Christians would be wise to leave out the alluring practice of nitpicking particular sins in others. Those who do so are merely being busybodies and spreading gossip to the harm of their brethren and the church as a whole. We have a complete Savior and a complete salvation. It is all a work of God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), so your judgment of your neighbor’s particular sins is either shortsighted for the unbeliever (who needs the whole package), or a judgment against the sure work of the Spirit in the saint’s sanctification. Judging another saint is actually judging the Holy Spirit in His own work zone. Not wise.

Sin must be seen as a whole package, which can only be remedied by a wholistic salvation, which can only be successfully accomplished by God. This is why Paul insisted on preaching one subject — Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2).

If you have one sin, you desperately need a Savior. If you have the Savior, then all your sins are forgiven (Rom 8:1; Eph 1:7). Religion loathes the simplicity of Christianity; and Christians are warned to avoid the vanity of judging the particular sins they see in others. There are too many sins to account for and there is only one solution — the blood of Christ, our Savior (Mt 26:28; Rom 3:25; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:19). You either have that…or you don’t (sound of a gavel dropping).

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 14, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher