Archive Post: Original post and comments from April 2011 can be found at http://feyisolas-inspiration.weebly.com/1/post/2011/04/april-biblical-equations-faith-sin.html
Praise the Lord everyone! Let everyone that has breath praise Him! I'm overjoyed today to be at my computer writing again about what's on my heart. I must warn you that there's some geekiness and equations below since I just finished rejuvenating my tech side at the annual NSBE Convention, lol. Read, enjoy and be blessed!
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2011 is an interesting time for young Christians. There are so many things that we're exposed to in this day and age, and sometimes the lines between biblical and cultural correctness get blurred. Sometimes its difficult to clearly classify something as a sin, and even harder to get a group consensus on it if you happen to get into a debate about it.
Is it a sin to drink? Can you be a true Christian if you have a tattoo or two? What about motorcycles, and where is the line drawn for what you're allowed to wear to the beach? Is it a sin to go to a club party? What about pork and calamari? What dayIS the sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? I know some of us out there have gotten into these debates with our friends, and scriptures get thrown out, hands start flailing, and sometimes voices even get raised........ it can get a little ugly.
"One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.........One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike." - Romans 14: 2, 5
The Bible handles this situation in verse 1; "Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters." This of course is easy to read and agree with in theory, but by human nature, we still want to know who or what was right in the end. Its either me, or them right?
Actually, the Bible says otherwise:
"Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God." - Romans 14:5-6
"Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin." - Romans 14:22-23
The line that stands out to me the most there, is that everything that does not come from faith is sin. Breaking it down into an equation for my fellow science geeks and engineers, ¬ faith = sin. (For my non-geeks, ¬ means 'not') If you feel condemned by what you are doing, you are sinning....period. Do you feel wrong for drinking wine (in moderation)? Then you're sinning. Do you feel that Sunday is the Sabbath? Then you're sinning when you refuse to keep it holy. Does that yellow polka dot bikini make you feel like less of a Christian? Then guess what, don't wear it. Because the bottom line is that if you're not doing what you're doing in faith you are sinning.
Its extremely important to remember that the above only applies when you're talking about the gray areas. You can not covet and then try to justify it by what you personally feel you should have, because that is strictly labeled as a sin in the 10 commandments. You cannot hate and hold malice, because Jesus called us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to keep no record of wrong doing. These things are clear, so regardless of your feelings, there's no debate on what is right and wrong.
The key is ensuring that your moral compass is in line with the word of God, not society. This will first require reading the Bible, but then accepting its instructions as your own. Once you do this, you can begin to act on your faith, staying clear of anything that compromises your faith.
This is all a process, and I'm writing as someone who's on this road of learning as well. I'm not writing as someone who's got it all down pact and is perfect, but simply with the hope and faith that sharing this journey richly blesses you. Take courage, stay strong, and remember:
¬ Faith = Sin,
but Faith -> Grace -> Good Works. (summarized from Ephesians 2:4-10)