In many of today’s churches you find extremes of love either being shown greatly or not at all, but how did Jesus show love and command us to show love to others? Jesus showed great amounts of love and acceptance while at the same time He taught to repent of sins and crucify the flesh. We are called to not only show love through grace, but to also help build one another up in Christ by helping each other overcome sin in our life.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NKJV).
A common trend in today’s churches seem to be the one of two extremes, either the church loves so much that they push aside sin as OK, or the church shows nothing but judgement and cast away love as unnecessary. Jesus showed both love and judgement as He revealed love to sinners and told them that their sins were forgiven and to go sin no more. While at the same time He rebuked the pharisees and told them to open their eyes and forsake their foolish ways.
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With God there is a fine line we must have in our life with a loving attitude towards all while at the same time maintaining a sense of spiritual discernment to know what is sin and what is righteous. We are to be able to discern what is of God and what is of the world.
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24).
Here Jesus is commanding to not judge according to our own flesh, but according to His righteous judgement. There must be some sense of discernment in order to remain undefiled by the ways of the world.
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27).
To conclude the issue of love and grace within the church, we must love all while discerning between the spirit of God and the spirit of sin. We are to love each other so much so that we help and pray for one another to help each other overcome sin in our lives and to grow stronger in the faith. Let us not approve of sin nor let us show hate, but rather love while lifting up each other in the washing away of sin through the blood of Christ.