What does it mean to love my neighbor? And what is sin, really?

What is sin?

The Bible gives us many, many examples of what sin is, but it really all boils down to loving God and loving others.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world , neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Gal 5:19 The lusts of the flesh are:
Adultery
Fornication
Uncleaness (impurity; physical or moral)
Lasciviousness (lacking moral restraints; especially sexual)
Idolatry
Witchcraft (sorcery)
Hatred
Variance (quarreling or contentious)
Emulations (jealousy)
Wrath
Strife
Seditions (disunion; controversy and uprising)
Heresies (going against God)
Envyings
Murders
Drunkenness
Revellings (letting loose)

Gal 5:21 ...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

If we profess to love God, we want to please Him, right?  We won't obey our lusts, but will strive to walk in the Spirit and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure : for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Pray for those 8 things, for if you do them, you will never fall.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

I get tired of hearing people quote the bible against others, like gays, saying how it's "abomination", when many of them justify their own "abominations" while acting like gays are so much worse than they are.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not gay nor do I advocate homosexuality.  And please don't think I'm some self-righteous schmuck either.  I am guilty of this as much as anyone is.

The Bible says it is abomination to be gay, but it also says it's abomination to have sex with your neighbors wife.

It's abomination to bring dirty money to God, abomination to cheat someone in a business deal, abomination to be proud, to lie, to shed innocent blood, to conspire, to run to mishcief, to sow discord.

It's just as evil to run around committing fornication and/or adutlery! The Bible says to flee fornication! How can we talk about how bad others are and justify our own sin?

Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

We need to stop justifying ourselves and condemning gays for being "abominable". Being gay is sin, but God can forgive a repentant heart no matter what the sin. Let's look at our own lives and stop looking at others and pointing our finger like they are so much worse than us...

Supporting scripture:

Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination

Ezek 22:11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law;

Deut 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Deut 25:13-1613 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Proverbs 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

Prov 6:16-1916 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

1 Cor 6:18 Flee fornication . Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Love your neighbour as yourself?

Gal 5:14 ... love thy neighbour as thyself.

Does this mean that we should love other people regardless of what they do, and not tell them that they're doing wrong and thereby "judging" them by doing so?

Should we be a Friend of the World?

James 4:4 ... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Do we "love" those in our life and continue to hang out with them after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth? (2 Peter 2:20-22) How do we become separate (2 Cor 6:17) if we don't change our life and begin doing the things of God instead of continuing in the same life we had?

To love them is to warn them of their wicked ways and try to save their soul.

To love them and excuse their wicked behavior is to hate their soul as you are condemning them to hell by not telling them the truth. Ezek 33:6-9

We should not leave the world but we should never take part with the works of darkness (any sinful thing) and we should preach the truth to everyone. Those that will not listen we should leave behind lest we allow them to drag us back into the mire. (Eph 5:11, Mark 4:18-19)

We should warn everyone claiming to know Jesus that does not obey Him and rebuke them soundly. (Rom 15:14, Titus 3:10-11, Proverbs 27:5, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:13, Titus 2:15, Eph 5:11)

We should "purge out the old", because allowing poison among you will poison everyone... allowing those who continue in sin among us will destroy us. (1 Cor 5:6-7)

Let's look at the scriptures...

Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

If we love our neighbour, we won't commit adultery, kill, steal, lie or covet. We won't harm our neighbour by doing those things. Love works no ill to his neighbour.

So do we just hang out with people who do whatever they want and "love" them, be friends with them, accept them no matter what, joke about anything and laugh and have a great time no matter what their lifestyle, never telling them about sin, and even living the same type of lifestyle doing the same things?

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

If we love them, shouldn't we help them. Shouldn't we tell them the truth?

Ezek 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

If we are Christian and don't speak to warn the wicked from his way, we are condemning him to death, and his blood is on our hands.

Jude 23 And others save with fear , pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

But, to those who profess to be Christian, we should go much further!

Paul tells us in 1 Cor 5 (quoted below here) that we should not go out completely from the world or we would not be able to witness to the world as Jesus showed us in Mark 2:16-17, but that we should never tolerate a wicked person among us who is professing to be a Christian.

1 Cor 5:9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."

We don't go around condemning the world, because we were just as much a sinner before we came to Christ (and still are, but for the redeeming sacrifice of Christ). We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and it's only the grace of our Lord Jesus that saves us.

Those that are without (those who do not know Jesus) need to know who Jesus is, how He died for them and why, and what the Gospel means to them, but with love and with the understanding that we were once sinners like them.

But we are to stay away from sin, ourselves, and put away any among us that will not stop living a sinful life! Read on...

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

We should HATE evil! If we love the Lord, who can't stand to look at evil, why would we allow it in our lives and/or not say something to our brother or sister?

Hab 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.

Ps 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:

Zech 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate , saith the LORD.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (This doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the teaching that sexual immorality is ok, just like today's teaching that being gay is ok)

We can't judge those without because we were once the same (this doesn't mean we justify or condone sin), but to our brothers and sisters in Christ, we should rebuke and exhort!

Rom 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another .

Titus 3:10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

We absolutely do not condone sin among ourselves and we should rebuke and exhort, with love, those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Listen to Paul and Peter in the following passages...

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work , pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Pass the time here in fear (Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom) and turn away from evil.

How far should we go to admonish and rebuke?

1 Sam 2 contains the story of Eli the priest who had two sons that did not know the Lord (v.12). These two sons made merchandise of the offerings brought to the Temple (v.29) and used their position and power to prey upon the women who came to the temple (v.22). Now, Eli rebuked them verbally (v.23-25), but the Lord knew that he put his sons above the Lord and didn't MAKE them stop, and even partook with them (v.29). His verbal rebuke meant nothing to God because he didn't do what was right and stop the evil from happening (1 Sam 3:13).

How does this relate to the scriptures listed above?

We should NEVER allow sin among our brothers and sisters in Christ without lovingly admonishing them. If they won't stop, we should turn away from them.

2 Timothy 2:19 Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

We should warn everyone else of their wicked ways and, if possible, pull them from the fire.

2 Thess 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

God bless you and keep you, and give you strength to do what is right and stand on the Truth!

 


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