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Sin we might Overlook or Misunderstand, but which Separate us from God and one another
A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE SEPARATE US FROM GOD
God warned in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of [real Scriptural] knowledge.” A lack of knowledge concerning the Truth of God’s Word is our greatest obstacle in serving Him. We cannot obey God if we do not understand His Word and thus His will for us, (Rom. 12:1-2.) So, it is no coincidence that a “pastor,” who did satanic rituals to gain demonic power, super riches, and mass-control over believers, now says that they use evil spirits to addict people to church attendance, pastors, [other clergies, and every other unbiblical dogma and church norm and form, such as] giving to be “blessed,” even though the people go hungry. [Grave sucking or laying mostly naked on graves to ‘soak up the anointing’ of so-called “saints” like Katharine Cullman, as Benny Hinn and company, as well as others such as those from Bethel Culture and other Christian organizations did and still do, (not to mention the satanic masonic orders that guide them all,) is just one of the popular occult initiations and witchcraft practices they use.] Shockingly, this guy also revealed that people go to church for the prophesies, signs, and ‘miracles,’ [which they actually see as entertainment - and in traditional churches, to look pious and fit into their main stream ritualism and beliefs,] but if the [truth of the] Word is preached, they fall asleep. [How familiar is this in especially the traditional churches, which even deny the reality of the Holy Spirit in God’s Word!]
While churches do as they please with God’s Word to conform it to their dogmas, Jesus said, "He that rejects Me and receives not My [True] Words, has one that judges him: the Word that I have spoken, shall judge him in the Last Day." Jesus said if we reject His Words we reject Him, and He did not come to condemn anyone, but to save all true believers. Hence, 2 Peter 3:8 teaches, “[...God does not desire] that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance [and serve Him in the knowledge of His Word.]”
· Even the old Israelites realized how important it is to understand the Truth of God’s Word to be able to obey Him, (Rom. 12:1-2.) In Nehemiah 8:1-6,13, the Old Israelites “gathered together as one man… and told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law… And he [read it] before all who could listen with understanding… [Once they understood God’s Word,] all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground… [Then even] the priests and Levites gathered before Ezra to understand the words of the Law...”
· Jesus warned that if we do not understand His Word, the devil steals the truth God sowed in our hearts… But he who receive the seed on the good ground, [the seed is not money as the churches teach; it is God’s Word,] is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed [then] bears fruit and produces: some a hundred-fold, some sixty, and some thirty,” (Mt. 13:18-23.) Without understanding God’s Word, we can never live a fruitful life in the Kingdom of God.
No wonder that the enemy goes to great lengths to keep people away from the truth of God’s Word, as that robs them of The True Jesus, Who Is the Word of God, (Jn. 1:1-14.) When we hear, read, study, and proclaim God’s Word through the Man Jesus’ full atonement in our place, (Isaiah 53:3-5,) we connect directly with God Jesus Himself, Who is Spirit and Life, (Heb. 1:1-14; Jn. 1:12-14; 6:63.) But if we misunderstand, neglect, and reject the Truth of Jesus’ Word, we misunderstand, neglect, and reject our Savior God Himself, (Jn. 12:48.)
This great mystery is revealed when we understand that Jesus is God in both the Old and the New Testament Covenants, (Heb. 1:1-14.) When God met Moses at the burning bush, He called Himself “I Am Who I Am, [and commanded,] say to the Israelites, 'I Am has sent me…'” (Ex. 3:14.)
· During God’s New Testament Covenant ministry through His Word, the Man Jesus, (Who Is “the [human] image [or form] of the invisible God, [God in the flesh of a Man,] in Whom “the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,”) He introduced Himself as “I Am,” the New-Covenant Savior God. He declared, “I Am the Truth. I Am the Life. I Am the Light. I Am the Door of the sheep. I Am the Good Shepherd. I Am the Resurrection and the life. I Am the Living Bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of Me and drink of My blood [or accept Me and My full atonement spiritually and intellectually,] will live forever,” (John 1:1-14.; 6:35, 54,51; 8:12; 10:9-14; 11:25; Col. 1:15; 2:9.)
So, to misunderstand and reject Jesus and the Truth of His Word, cause us to remain or become separated us from our Father in heaven, “so that He hides His face from us and does not hear us,” (Isa. 59:2.) Obedience to Jesus, (God’s True Word or God Himself,) IS our “love” for God – and for other people, (Jam. 2:26.) Neglecting Scriptural obedience will stifle our growth in the knowledge of God, making it impossible to understand God and obey Him, (Rom. 12:1-2.) Because heaven (or hell) is a personal choice, only "those who [sincerely and personally] received [or accepted] Him, He gave the right [or privilege] to become the children of God; to those who believe in His Name, who were not born [again] from... the will of [men who did with God's Word what they wanted...] but of God [Himself through the Truth of His Word,]" (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.)
· This article is not to bring condemnation on anyone, but to hope that God will help all those who “fell asleep” without His Truth, The Living Word. Someone wisely said we must live on a “cash basis” with God, (1 Jn. 1:8-10.) Never ignore or hold on to any kind of sin. “If we say we do not sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [Jn. 13:34.] If we confess our sin [and repent,] God forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness,” (1 Jn. 1:8-10.)
FOLLOWING FALSE DOCTRINE AND MAN MADE CHURCH ORDINANCES SEPARATE US FROM GOD
Don’t let anyone tell you believers cannot be separated from God or lose their salvation. When Paul declared in Romans 8:39, “...Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, (Romans 8:39,) he was not referring to the false once-saved-always-saved doctrine. Neither was he speaking about unrepentant sin against God and other people. He was mentioning Jesus’ assurance that under persecution and other hardship, “nothing can pluck [or snatch] us out of His hand [against our will,]” (John 10:28.) To sin wilfully is the direct opposite of what Jesus promised there. Jesus taught us to pray to “Let God’s will be done,” and unrepentance is to deliberately do our own will. It is clear throughout the Old and New Testament Covenants that unrepentant sin separates us from the Most High and Holy God, (Isa. 59:2.) “He who says, ‘I know Him’ and does not keep His [New Testament, Moral Law] commandments, (John 13:34,) is a liar, and the Truth, [Jesus is The Truth and Word,] is not in him,” (1 Jn. 2:4; Heb. 3:6; Mt. 24:13.) “The [unrepented] cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire… [In heaven] there shall by no means enter anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or lie… Outside are dogs, [lazy sleepers who do not heed God’s Word...] and whoever loves and practices a lie… [like false doctrine,]” (Rev. 21:9; 22:15.) “That Day, [singular,] when “Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, [He will] take vengeance on those who do not [personally] know God, and on those [believers] who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… These shall [all] be punished with everlasting destruction...” (2 Ths. 1:8-12; 2 Pt. 3:10-14.)
Paul warned in Galatians 5:1-4, “Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with [church legalism and returning to Judaism to keep some of the Old Testament’s ceremonial or outward laws to justify yourself.] If you [keep sacraments and ceremonial laws, Heb. 8:13,] Christ will profit you nothing… You are then a debtor, [as you totally reject God’s grace in Christ, and must] keep the whole law, [which is impossible for humans to do.] Then you have become estranged from Christ, [the only human Who could fulfill the entire law in our place,] you who attempt to be justified by the law, [and the same goes for wilfully unrepentant moral sin;] you have fallen from [God’s grace in Christ…]” Now if people think such a state of alienation from God does not separate them from God, they must listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-24, “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven… [for] I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Whoever hears [My Word] and does it, [is like] a man who built his house on the Rock...”
As churches begin to indoctrinate their members from infancy, believers must understand that the so-called ‘saving’ church ‘sacraments’ they submitted themselves and their families to, are nowhere to be found in the contextual truth of the New Testament Covenant. There are no ‘saving spirit baptisms’ or ‘saving born-again water baptisms’ of babies, children, or adults in the Bible, (Mt. 19:13-15; 28:19-20.) There are no teenage confirmations in the Bible, etcetera, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.) All church sacraments were instituted to make church members who either sleep or party in the pews. If clergies were interested in making sincere followers for Jesus, they would have simply obeyed His commission in Matthew 28:19-20 to “Go and [preach God’s true Gospel to] make disciples [or sincerely and personally born again believers who will obey His Word, Ephesians 1:12-14;] baptizing [the believing disciples as per Jesus own example in Mark 1:9-11,] in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; teaching them ALL things that I, [Jesus, not church clergies,] have commanded you. AND LO, [IF YOU OBEY ME,] I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD. [Wow, where is the so-called “rapture” in all this?]” But churches with their false theologies will not teach such obedience to Jesus, as it will not give their clergies control over His believers to glorify themselves. Neither will it super enrich them by supporting their unscriptural church buildings, where they lead millions of blood-redeemed believers astray, (Acts 7:44-50!)
If we harbor these wrong priorities that cause us to sin against God, other people, and ourselves, Proverbs 28:13 brings the solution for being alienated from Him. It states, “He who hides [or overlooks] his sin will not prosper. He who confesses and forsakes his sin [with the motive to obey God’s Word,] will find mercy.” Under all circumstances, God calls us to come clean before His throne. He says, “Come now, and let us reason together… Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow… If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, [like Lucifer did and still does,] you shall be devoured…” (Isa. 1:18-20.)
In combination with dealing with our personal sin on a daily basis like Jesus taught us to pray in the “Lord’s Prayer,” (1 John 1:8-10,) to live in a right standing before God, we must never overlook the corporate sin of believing false dogma and following false church clergies and other deceivers. Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7:15 cannot be overstated, “Beware of those who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You shall know them by their [unrepentant] fruit.” And He warned in Luke 8:18, “Take heed how you hear. [Be certain you understand what I Am saying in the Truth of My Word.] For whoever has [My Truth,] to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even [the little truth] he seems to have will be taken from him.” Mark 4:24, “Take heed what you hear. [Make sure what people and especially preachers tell you is the truth.]” In John 7:17, Jesus also made this most important requirement concerning the discernment of Scriptural Truth, “….If anyone desires to do My will, he will know whether My teaching is from God…” If we “ask, seek, and knock,” it will be opened to us, (Mt. 7:7.) All these are actions. Disobedient believers who do not “love the Truth,” lack spiritual discernment and cannot know the will of God to obey Him, (2 Ths. 2:9-12.) Hence, we witness the mass following of “the doctrines of devils” instead of the truth of Jesus.
Believers can begin to set the record straight with God by “testing the spirits” of those who control the way they interpret the Bible. They simply have to search for the contextual truth of every Scripture that clergies use, to repent from all their lies, (1 Jn. 4:1-4; 1 Ths. 5:21-22.) But because believers disobey Jesus’ commandments concerning our personal responsibility to be “sober and vigilant as our adversary the devil walks about like a [devouring] lion,” (1 Peter 5:8,) evil clergies control them through the portions of Scripture they turned into church doctrines. Do not be fooled, saints of the Most High God, we will not be able to use the excuse that we were deceived. “The devil made me do it!” will not work either as James 1:14 states, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his OWN desires…” Jesus warned in John 12:48, “He that rejects Me and receives not My Words, has one that judges him: the Word that I have spoken, shall judge him on the Last Day." While we still have God’s grace to repent, let us pay attention to 2 Peter 3:9-10 that teach, “[...God does not desire] that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
NOT TOTALLY SUBMITTING OURSELVES TO JESUS TO OBEY HIS MORAL LAW SEPARATES US FROM GOD
Jesus, ministering under the Old Testament Covenant before the cross and Pentecost, (which now contain His full atonement in our place and the Holy Spirit dwelling in all true believers as His eternal, New Covenant temple,) explained the double mindedness and half-heartedness of believers when He said in Matthew 15:19, “Out of the [unrenewed, sinful] heart [or the comatosed human spirit without God,] come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false testimonies, slanders…” (1 Ths. 5:23.) Such shameless sins flow ‘naturally’ out of those who live without Jesus, (Rom. 2:9-20.) But even worse, it also gushes out of many who pretend to know and follow Him as His disciples, (Mt. 7:15-20.) This is so because “the [unrenewed] heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. But The Lord searches the hearts [or spirits of men] and tests the minds [or conscious souls of men] to give everyone according to… the fruit of his doings,” (Jer. 17:9-10.)
The ‘heart’ is the supernatural part of man that must reconnect with God The Eternal Spirit, (John 4:21-24,) as it “died” instantly in the garden when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, (Gen. 2:17.) Spiritual death signifies the lost state or position of humanity’s “heart” without God in Christ. All of humanity are born into this death, (Rom. 5:12.) Thus, we can only come into a right standing with God by believing in our Savior Jesus and accepting Him and what He did for us in our place, (Jn. 1:12-13.) As Jesus fully fulfilled the Old Covenant Law in our place, we can then stand before God in Christ as if we have never sinned, (Mt. 5:17-20; Col. 2:9-10.) No church dogma, ‘sacrament,’ or any other man made effort can accomplish this. Just as Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and died, we must now all choose to personally accept Him to be spiritually born again from death into Jesus’ Life through His completed work for us at the cross. Then, we must follow Him as His disciples, (1 Tim. 2:5; Jn. 8:12!)
· Jesus fully won the war for our spiritual “completeness” at the cross, (Col. 2:9-15.) But because our human spirits (or ‘hearts’) share a physical body with a guiding mind or “soul;” (where our free will, intellect, and emotions are seated, 1 Ths. 5:23,) the ongoing battle of believers is now to “overcome” satanic control of our “flesh” or ‘minds,’ (our thoughts and beliefs,) so that we neither stumble nor wilfully sin, (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Rom. 8.) The church-obscured fact about the rebirth in Christ is that all sincerely born again believers, due to their spiritual position of “completeness” in Him, (1 Pt. 2:9-10; Col. 2:9-10,) have already (past tense) spiritually “overcome” the “wiles [or schemes] of the devil” that manifest through the ungodly sin, which once lived in their previously “unrenewed hearts,” (Rev. 12:11; Col. 1:13-14; Col. 2:9-15; Isa. 53:2-5.)
· True believers do not sin because they have a “sin nature.” The Holy Spirit “spiritually circumcises” all Jesus’ true disciples in the water baptism of disciples, (Mt. 28:18-20.) There, He “puts off the body of the sins of the flesh” and buries His disciples’ “old sin man” or sin nature, (Col. 2:11-15.) When Paul confirmed in Romans 6:1-14 that true believers do not have a “sin nature” anymore, he pointed to the core of the problem of sinning believers in 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 by saying, “The natural man [who lives by his ‘mind’ or thoughts and beliefs,] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God… as they are spiritually discerned…” If we do not allow God’s Word and Spirit to flow from our born again, completely renewed, born again human spirits into our ‘minds,’ we cannot understand God’s spiritual things, (1 Ths. 5:23.) Thus, we will not “know” how to “overcome” sin to serve Jesus, (Rom. 12:1-2.)
· This is why Paul concluded in Romans 8:1-11 that the battle of true believers is in the “flesh” or on the physical level of their “carnal minds,” where our thoughts and beliefs are “in enmity against God.” Although sincerely born again believers are spiritually “complete” in Christ on a spiritual level, (Col. 2:9-10,) they must still continually “grow in knowledge and in grace,” (and in emotional maturity,) on a mental level to be able to understand God’s will to obey Him, (Jude 1:20; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Pt. 3:18.) So, 1 Peter 1:13-19 commands, “Gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace in Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not conform [or adapt yourselves] to the former lusts, [false dogmas, other sinful beliefs, and immoral practices...] As God is holy, you also must [live] holy in all your conduct...”
By obscuring the truth about the born again renewal or “completeness” of our “hearts” and our “soulical” growth in the knowledge of God and all other necessary things, churches placed their false dogmas and “saving sacraments” to hijack our lives in God at the very beginning of our faith in Jesus! One of the main reasons why ‘hearts’ remain unrenewed and sinful, is because millions of people think they can join a church to be saved, which is merely “conversion” from one church belief to another, without the transformation of the “heart” and “mind.” Thus, no one must ever be “converted” to Jesus — which is Scripturally and practically impossible! Redemption, salvation, and blessing do not exist in shifting from one church or religion to another, as that is “conforming” to the [religious] world that cannot accept the True Jesus of the Scriptures, because they rejected Jesus and the True Word through their church dogmas and man made practices.
· Church dogmas and other spiritual and soulical traps aside, God’s process of “mind renewal” couples closely with the “complete,” once-off renewal of the born again “heart” at our full surrender or dedication to Jesus when we sincerely accept Him as our Lord and Savior, (Col. 2:9-10.) That is why fake salvations frequently happen at “altar calls,” if it is not first explained why and how people must be saved. Without understanding Scriptural salvation, no one can make an informed choice concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and a new life in Him.
· Contrary to what the churches taught us, Jesus does not want our money, goods, or lip and other religious service. Any relationship is a two-way street. Jesus gave Himself completely for us to atone for all our lostness, sin, bondage, and cursedness, (Isa. 53:3-5; Gal. 3:10-14.) So, He wants us to give ourselves in totality to Him. He wants an honest relationship with us that will stand all the tests of time, (Jn. 3:16; Mt. 24:11-12.) Surrendering everything that pertains to our lives to Jesus, will then “naturally” follow, because we will yearn to know and do His will to glorify Him, (Rom. 12:1-2.)
· Paul warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan... And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the Love of the Truth, that they might be saved…” Shallow, twisted church religion and half-hearted confessions contribute to “unrighteous deception.” Unless we wholeheartedly believe in Jesus, fully accept Him, and absolutely surrender ourselves to Him and everything that pertain to our lives to Him, our “hearts” (human spirits) and “souls” (or minds) remain in darkness, although outwardly, we might seem pious, (1 Jn. 2:9.) God commanded us to “love Him with all our hearts, souls, and strength…” (Mt. 22:37-40.) Because Jesus Is Light, we cannot leave the kingdom of darkness behind to “see” or “enter” God’s Kingdom of Light, unless we fully surrender ourselves to Him and the truth of His Word. This is the essence of being born again through personal faith in, and the total acceptance of Jesus, and everything He has done for us, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.)
The Word gives us practical guidelines to “renew our minds” so that we are not separated from God and from one another
Sin infest the true believers of Christ who were “renewed in heart” through the spiritual rebirth, (Ezekiel 36:26; Colossians 2:10,) and if we allow it to take root in our “flesh” or thoughts and emotions to control our beliefs, it will “dwell” in us, (2 Cor. 10:3-5; Rom. 8:1-11.) This is the “sinful flesh” or ‘mind’ that Paul explained in Romans 7:17 as “sin that dwells in him.” Hence, the continual renewal of our “minds” is vital because, left unrepented, the sin we entertain in our thoughts will lead us to step out of the perfect or “complete” spiritual position that true believers occupy in Christ, (Col. 2:9-10,) which we freely “inherited” at the moment of our rebirth, when we sincerely accepted Jesus and completely surrendered ourselves to Him, (Eph. 1:7; 12-14.) Practically, we must remember that a bad thought in itself is not sin — yet. But when we entertain evil thoughts, the devil will eventually control our “minds” or “souls” through sin, and we will act upon it; actively sinning against God, other people, and ourselves. We must always guard against bad thoughts such as hatred, vengeance, etcetera, because we must live as the holy temple of the Holy Spirit to remain “one spirit” with Him, (1 Cor. 6:15-20.)
· When does a thought become sin? A man who struggled immensely with lustful thoughts, said he sins every time he “sees” a woman because in that moment, he “commits adultery with her in his heart.” To no avail, I tried to explain to him that firstly, he cannot commit adultery as he isn’t married. Single people commit fornication by dirty thoughts, but only married people can break the marriage covenant, (Mt. 19:1-9.)
· Secondly, Jesus did not say we sin when we naturally or in the course of living “see” something or someone that can make us sin. Jesus actually said, “...Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her, [or looking at someone with the motive to commit sexual immorality,] has already committed [spiritual and emotional] adultery in his heart” if he is married, because his attention should be on his wife, not on lusting after other women, and vise versa. In this case, the problem is the unrenewed “deceitful heart” controlled by lust, from where unrepentant sin operates; not merely “seeing” someone, (Mt. 15:19.) If the person is sincerely born again in Jesus, it is his responsibility to take control of his sinful thoughts to bring them into submission to God so that he does not run with his lust and physically commit sin, (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 10:3-6.)
Think logically. How can a mere sinful thought be the same as a planned, physical deed such as adultery or fornication? It cannot. Originally, sin comes from the unrenewed, sinful “hearts” of unbelievers and false believers. But once the heart is renewed through the spiritual rebirth, the “battle” to win against or “overcome” sin continues in our “minds.” No sinful thought must be tolerated as it has the power to make us sin. The battle (not the war that was fully won by Jesus, Colossians 2:9-15,) is now to “pull down strongholds” or false beliefs and other sin in our thoughts, as Paul clearly explains in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
· James 1:12-18 describes how sin gets hold of our ‘minds’ to entice us to sin. He said, “[There is no sin or darkness in God and He will never tempt us to sin.] Each one is tempted when he is drawn away [or controlled] by his own desires and enticed. [We cannot accuse the devil of “making us sin.” We ourselves must refuse to entertain sinful desires and thoughts and obey Jesus’ commandment to “pluck out and cut off” everything that has the power to push us into committing sin.] Then, when desire has conceived, [or deceived us to submit to it,] it gives birth to [physical] sin. And sin, when it is full-grown [or left unrepented,] leads to death…” Someone wisely commented as follows on the “birth” of sin, “One cannot stop a bird flying overhead. But one must not allow it to nest in your hair,” (Mt. 5:28-30.)
“Rude, provocative, and lustful staring excluded, single people are free to associate with the opposite gender with the motive of living ‘normally,’ (platonically,) or to search for a suitable marriage partner. So, how do we “look at other people” without entertaining “lust,” which will lead us to commit sexual immorality? We must take the problem to God in prayer and then refuse to “look” because we are steered by lust. Instead, we must immediately look away and “flee from it” by “crucifying” the lust or wholeheartedly denying the feeling, (Mt. 5:28-30.) Sin must be dealt with most severely, as Jesus explained in Matthew 5:28-30. If sinful thoughts are not “cast down” as Paul explained, all types of sin will steer believers into wild compulsions to act on their unchecked desires, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5.)
BROKEN HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS LEFT “UNTREATED” GOD’S WAY WILL SEPARATE US FROM HIM AND ONE ANOTHER
It is Godly love and obedience to Jesus to try and rescue relationships to “live in [Godly] peace with all people as far as it depends on us,” (Rom. 12:18.) So, if [someone] sins against us, we are in danger of stumbling and even falling into unforgiveness through that “offense.” Thus, Jesus instructed, “Take care of yourselves. If [someone sins against you, rebuke him [or try to resolve the matter with him.] If he repents, forgive him. [We must forgive either way, but we must not let the matter rest until we have tried as far as possible to obtain peace in obedience to God.]” If we have sinned against someone else, we must also confess our sin to that person and not to a ‘priest’ or pastor of some kind. We must then sincerely ask that person’s forgiveness, and we must pray for each other “to be healed,” (James 6:15-18.) If we were open and honest but the offended person refuses to reconcile with us, the onus is also on him or her. We are then free to praise, worship, and pray to God.
Broken relationships are so serious because if we sin against other people, we sin against God, and vise versa. So, Jesus commanded that “unlawful,” unwarranted, or unnecessary anger must be dealt with before we come to pray, praise, and worship Him – even if someone else is angry with us and we don’t know why. Unresolved anger is so serious, Jesus said, “Whoever is angry without a [valid] cause [and does not try to resolve the matter by obeying God’s Moral-Law precepts,] is a [spiritual and emotional] murderer,” (Luke 17:1-3; Mt. 5:21-22; 1 Jn. 3:14-15.) All types of murder such as slander, (or spreading lies to destroy someone’s character, relationships, and life,) grow from unresolved anger.
· Because our human relationships directly reflect our relationship with God in Christ, Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:23-24, “[Before entering the most holy presence of God,] first be reconciled to [someone] who is angry with you [as far as it depends on you, Romans 12:18.] Agree with your adversary [the angry person] quickly [if possible…] lest your adversary, [whom you wronged and maybe do not even know about it,] deliver you to the judge [God Himself..] and you be thrown into a [spiritual] prison [without God.] You will not get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” So, our personal relationships directly impact our relationship with God and our eternal lives. If people are not willing to discuss serious matters with their “adversaries” and they remain angry, or if the “adversaries” continue the abuse without seeking reconciliation God’s Way, the onus is on whoever disobeys God’s Word. But if we obey Him, we are free to worship, praise, and pray to Him, (Mt. 5:21-24.)
Note that in this context, Jesus does not even mention the problem of us being angry with other people. If we are abused or offended, it is our personal duty to confront the (serious) sin against us in an attempt to stop the abuse, and to reconcile the unrepentant person to God and to ourselves, (Lu. 17:1-3.) If it is an isolated, unplanned, or minor offence, we must simply let it go by “turning the other cheek,” (Mt. 5:39.) However, if we experience serious, spiteful, repeated offenses, we must obey Jesus’ further disciplinary steps in Matthew 18:15-20.
The motive for such Godly confrontation is that we cannot say we love God if we do not love others “as” ourselves. Jesus commanded Godly confrontation to benefit both parties. Thus, we must always attempt to restore them to us and thus, to God. Anger over abuse is a natural emotion, which we must vent by confronting the person God’s way, (Eph. 4:26.) Deliberately unresolved anger is a dangerous sin. Hence, God commanded in Hebrews 12:14-16, “Look diligently lest any man fails of the grace of God; [backsliding through unwarranted anger and other sin,] lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Entire congregations, families, and communities can be destroyed by one person’s unsettled anger. So, Scriptural confrontation is a disciplinary commandment of God and not “looking for trouble.” We all hate confrontation and would rather choose to remain silent about sin. We know things can easily turn into arguments and fights. Still, Proverbs 26:6 declares, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, [even spoken in meekness, truth can hurt,] but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”