Christians and Sinners: How Do We Draw the Line?

You have probably heard many Christians quote Ghandi who said “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” 

But that statement is a paradox and it is terribly condescending. Did Jesus look around and see people who broke His perfect law? Yes. But in the big picture of things, Jesus saw more than just their actions. He saw His own creation. He saw people created in the image of God. Instead of defining people by their actions, He looked passed what they did and saw them in a need of relationship with Him. Because of that, did He view them less because of what they did, or did He love them all the same? He loved them all the same, and reached out to them as a result.

Yes, He told them to go and sin no more, but that’s because He wants the best for them. He is not looking for perfect obedience, He is looking for lives to change and live in union with Him. 

The same God who said that all our righteous acts are as filthy rags is the same God who said that it’s the sick who need a doctor. So how do we respond to this? Do we, as Christ-followers, love the sinners and hate their sin? Or do we see past their hands and view them as image-bearers of God who need His grace just as we do? 

Now for my catchy tag line:

Instead of loving the sinners and hating their sin, let’s love people despite their sin. 

Let’s see past what they do and love them anyway. Let’s see that they are hurting, broken, and in need just like us. Let’s throw away this concept of reaching out to sinners and let’s begin throwing ourselves into the same boat as them. We are no different. You need Jesus today just as much as you needed Him before you even knew His name. 

We are not doing anyone any favours by hating what they do and labelling them as failures who have missed the mark of perfection. Instead, let’s embrace everyone. Let’s start saying that we are bad people with a great Saviour. Let’s start showing people the love of Christ by showing them they are more than what they do, and that is why what they do matters. 

Christian or not, we’re all lost and broken people in need of a Saviour. 
Christian or not, we are all sheep who slipped away, but we are precious nonetheless.

So before you label someone a sinner, follow the example of Paul:

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." - 1 Timothy 1:15


God Bless,

Samuel Assaf

Close to Sin, Far from God

Anonymous said:

I have been dealing with a particular sin for almost 6 years now, and although I have tried time and time again to quit, I still end up coming back to it, thought I’m not sure it could classify as an addiction. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve become desensitized to the guilt I used to feel. It’s took a toll on me mentally and got me in situations that have pretty much scarred me for life and as a result I feel farther from God than ever. I feel lost. I’d appreciate advice.

I said: 

Thank you for your sincere and honest confession. I will try to help you the best that I can.

There are four things that you need to know about yourself and two things about God. Let’s go ahead and start with you.


1. By nature, you are a sinful, mortal human being, but you are freed from that identity.

    Yes, you struggle with sin. You are easily tempted, easily deceived, and easily disobedient. But you know what? You are also rescued, restored, and forgiven. You have given up the fight because you have made your sin a part of your identity. Remember the identity Christ has given you, and walk in that newness of life. Paul demonstrated this clearly: 

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” - Romans 7:17


2. Because you are made in the image of God, you are made to fight. 

Don’t settle. Don’t give up the fight. God made you for more than just living a life of self-gratitude and pleasure. He created you for change. He created you to be a creator, sustainer, and care-giver in this world. And that is why you feel empty, because you have begotten your purpose for temporary pleasure. Rise and fight the good fight of faith. You will be miserable until you give up the glory of yourself in order to glorify God.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” - Galatians 5:17


3. You have given way to apathy because you have allowed your body to rule over you.

Think about it this way: when you give in to your temptations, you allow those desires to become habits. When they become habits, they become addictions. When you are addicted you are no longer worshipping God, but you are now worshipping yourself or the objects of your addiction. In turn, you feel far from God because you have placed worthless idols in His place. Destroy your idols, overcome the desires of your body and pummel the darkness. I love the words of Jonah when he realized that he was caught up in God’s grace after he tried to abandon Him:

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” - Jonah 2:8


4. Once you stop fighting, you have let sin win the battle. 

You need to view your temptations as something separate from yourself. It is your enemy. If you give in to your temptations, you are held accountable because you are stronger than them. Sin hasn’t forced you to do anything. So get rid of it. Kill it, before it kills you. 

Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” - James 1:14

Those are four things you need to know about yourself. You are believing lies about yourself and your identity, and you must choose to turn back to God, just as Jonah did.


Here is what you need to know about God:

1. God has given you a way of escape. 

Here’s the deal. You’ve been struggling with sin. You feel lost. You feel far from God. You don’t even feel guilty when you are tangled in your addictions or sinful habits. But that’s not how your story ends. I have some good news and bad news for you. But first, a truth about God: 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be temptedbeyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13

So here’s the bad news. Your sin is all your fault. You have allowed it to drag you into the street and bind you on the ground. You hold full responsibility for your sins. Because sin is out to kill you and not to please you, there will be consequences for that in this lifetime of which you have experienced some, most, or all of it

But here’s the good news. God is still faithful to you! Every time you are tempted, the Holy Spirit is inwardly convicting you to wage war. Make war against the schemes of the devil. The truth is that you may not feel guilty after you sin, but before you sin, you know better. If you struggle with pornography, get out of your privacy. Throw your computer away. wage war. If it’s drugs, cut off those relationships with your druggies and involve yourself in a recovery group. Wage war. God has given you the way of escape, so take it! It’s not the end of the road for you. Whatever you are dealing with, God is still providing you with the weapons and strategies you need to escape your temptations. Listen to Him. 

2. God is still with you. 

Even though you have sinned, committed idolatry, disobeyed, and lived in contrary to His will, He is still with you! James says that if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. If you are the prodigal, God is the loving Father waiting for you to come home. So return to Him.

"The problem with most of us is that we’re just like the prodigal. We’ve got to be down eating pig-slop before we realize that what we’ve done has totally ruined our lives." - Billy Humphrey

You are empty, you are lost, and you are broken. That’s alright. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s just not okay to stay that way. So rise up from the lifestyle you have led and return to the Lord of glory who loves you so deeply and has never left your side. God is still faithful, even when we are not.

Turn to the light and rejoice and be glad, for you are loved and you are forgiven. 


God Bless and Much Love,

Samuel Assaf

"When virtue tarries, evil smiles."

Anonymous Asked: I struggle with the idea of God loving me. With grace. With truly being forgiven. I’ve been a believer for a long time but I still wrestle with these doubts all. the. time. I feel like should have moved on from this a long time ago. I’m worn out. Any advice for someone struggling to rest in Grace?


I Said:

Thank you for being honest and for seeking help. I have a few thoughts that I want you to remember every day of your life.


First, a teaching that you should write on your heart:


For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”2 Peter 1:5-9



I don’t know you. So what I’m about to say may be wrong, but I’m going to give it my best shot. The truth is that you are forgetting His all-forgiving grace because you are focusing on yourself. If you took time to pray and simply thank God for allowing you to breathe, smile, see wonder and beauty, and tell loved ones about it, you would see His love and grace. If you took the time to learn more about Him and sacrifice your time and efforts for others, you would see His grace. I’m not saying that He gives grace when we do good things. But when we open our hands to do good things, we open our hearts to understanding the compassion and mercy of God. I’ll tell you this: I don’t learn anything about God when I look at myself, but I learn everything about Him when I look at Him. Instead of listening to doubts and indirectly telling God that He doesn’t love you, listen to Him because He says he loves you. Look to Jesus and learn from Him and you will learn of His great love for us.


Another Scripture you need to be aware of:

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’” – Revelation 12:10

In Christianity, we believe that there’s a devil who is prowling as a lion, looking to devour the good in this world. Would it be unordinary for him to convince you to doubt the goodness of God? Has he not done that since the Fall of Man? Realize that there is more going on than what you see. Every time you doubt the love of Christ, realize that you are just playing right into the devil’s hands. Every time you doubt the love of Christ, pray that this temptation to refuse the goodness of God is a lie. Do not lie to yourself and do not allow yourself to be lied to.


I don’t know your story, but I do know God’s grace. In my limited human nature, I cannot possibly fathom how much He loves us. From what Christ has said, I do know that it extends past what I can do. Jesus never said to anyone, “Is that the best you can do? You’re pathetic.” Instead, He said “Deny yourself and follow me.” He isn’t asking you to live better. He’s asking you to live differently. He’s asking you to live in relationship with Him.


The point is this: God’s grace is more than just forgiving your sin. God’s grace frees you to receive a better life than you could ever hope for. God isn’t looking for those with a perfect record to give grace to. He is looking for the captured and bound. He is looking for slaves to set free. That is love. That is Grace.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36


God Bless and much love,

Samuel Assaf

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst."

— 1 Timothy 1:15

Why is it that our hearts shatter over injustice done by others, but not over our own depravity?

Do not let pride in your heart deceive you. 

Anonymous Said: From a Christian standpoint, in the context of marriage are acts associated with BDSM ok? Now, there are some things that obviously are not ok. So maybe think more along the lines of domestic discipline. Say you have a dominate personality and your partner a submissive one is taking on those roles in and outside of the bedroom ok? Or say your a sadist and a your partner is a masochist, is inflicting pain or asking your partner to inflict pain ok?


I said:

Thanks for the question! I will explain what a Christian marriage is and what it isn’t. The Bible doesn’t necessarily mention what can and cannot be done during sex, but it does give us guidelines that we can live by. Feel free to read Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 7, and the entire book of Song of Solomon. 


The Christian faith does not contain a rulebook for what can and cannot be done during sex. The point of sex is to unify and join together the husband and wife. It is not there for mere pleasure and self-gratification, but it is to serve one another in the most affectionate, passionate way possible.

Having said that, the purpose of the Christian marriage is to serve one another and never to dominate. Outside of the bedroom, a desire to control and dominate a spouse is not what Christ intended with His image of marriage. He intended to show how He gave up Himself for His church by having the husband and wife serve each other with love. Inside of the bedroom, the Bible leaves room for role-play and what have you, but the point of sex is to unify together, not to dominate or “get what you can.”

As well, pornography has had a large influence on society for what “good” sex looks like. It paints the picture that sex is for self-pleasure, and not to lovingly serve a spouse and enjoy each other. Sex ought to be selfless, not selfish. As the porn industry grew, it created more and more “extreme” forms of sexual acts in order to grab attention and offer something new. While it may have looked attractive, it was and is hurting many of the women who act in it. Now, men and women have a picture for what good sex looks like, and it has everything to do with the acts performed instead of the spouse that they have committed their lives to. It is selfish, not selfless. If you are hurting your spouse, you must repent and remember that sex is done in glory to God, and what is done selfishly can only gratify the flesh but never a renewed spirit.

Without getting into detail, there are different degrees of what is considered painful and what draws the line between fun and harmful. Communication is important, so a talk with your spouse and some marriage counseling with your pastor is the best advise I could give. Some guidelines are:

1. Am I being demanding and selfish with my behavior?

2. Am I using my spouse in order to get what I want?

3. Am I allowing society and pornography to pervert my perception of sex?

4. Do I care more about myself or about my spouse, in and out of the bedroom?

I hope this helped. I’d have to have an actual conversation with you concerning this topic because it is rather broad, so feel free to shoot me an E-mail if you want to continue the discussion. You can find my address in my description. If you are looking for a Christian who is married, I suggest my friend, Johnnyis.

If you have any questions or comments concerning anything else, feel free to ask.

God Bless,

Samuel Assaf

Even the worst of mankind cannot disrupt Sovereignty.

"I don’t want to know where I’d be without forgiveness brushing these adulterous lips."

— As Cities Burn

Christians,

No sin is a secret. Come into the light and give what you cannot hide to Jesus. 

Christians,

Don’t increase your sensuality; increase your spirituality. Put God first, especially with your body. 

"People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated."

— D.A. Carson

You buried the chance in a self-righteous glance
So your sons and your daughters were safe
But your imperfect path is a heart made of glass
And the world is a charming grenade. 

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light."

— Micah 7:8

"Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them."

— Jonah 2:8