Jesus: A Friend to Sinners
Galatians 6:1 (AMP) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.
If we know anyone that is caught in sin, we are responsible to help restore them in a spirit of gentleness and be certain that we are not tempted in the sin as well. Wow, I think this verse should be posted in every church. What a great reminder that we are to help those who are lost, hurting, broken, addicted, confused and caught in sin. When I think of someone caught up in sin attending church, I wonder, how will they be received? With open arms or dirty looks? With saints praying for them, laying hands on them, encouraging them or "Christians" rebuking them for their appearance? Someone who is lost and broken and without Christ may walk in the church smelling like drugs and alcohol, but we have to be certain that when they walk in, they don't smell our pride!
What a big step it is for someone lost and looking for answers to walk into a church! We have to let them know how proud we are that they made a decision to come in the first place. That God has a great plan for their lives, even if they don't see it or believe it, we must speak truth over them and create an atmosphere of hope, not an atmosphere of condemnation. The church is not designed to be a country club for the saved but a hospital for the sick and broken. We are to love our neighbor - who is our neighbor? Who is around you? How do you treat someone that doesn't look, act or think like you? Let's be the light unto their path and lead them to the way of salvation. Jesus was a friend to the sinners, not a religious tyrant. Have we forgotten what Christ has done for us all? My prayer is that we, the body of Christ, would continue to grow in unity and break down the walls of differing opinions - let's allow the Holy Spirit to teach us grace, mercy and forgiveness.
Psalm 86:5 (AMP) For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our sins, sending them away, completely letting them go forever and ever]; And abundant in lovingkindness and overflowing in mercy to all those who call upon You.