Sunday, July 16, 2006
Betty Rose Nagle responded to my guest column that was published a few weeks ago. Nagle wrote that I seem to have forgotten about Matthew 7:3, where Jesus says: "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?"
This leads to an obvious question. If I were to take $300 from Ms Nagle's purse right in front of her and attempt to walk away with her cash, would she object to my actions? After all, Nagle seems to believe that we are supposed to see and remove the beam in her own eye before she takes the speck from mine. Since we are all sinners, would Matthew 7:3 prevent Ms. Nagle from rebuking me for my theft or alerting law enforcement?
Clearly, Ms. Nagle does not believe that no follower of Christ can rebuke sin until all of that person's sin is purged. First, we will not be completely purged of our sin nature until we are in God's Kingdom. Second, Paul fefers to himself as chief of sinners in 1 Timothy 1:15 and writes in 1 Corinthians 15:9 that he is not fit to be an apostle because he persecuted the church of God. That does not, however, prevent Paul from warning the church at Rome and Corinth about a multitude of sins.
While I am on this topic, I think it is important to clarify something I posted a couple weeks ago. As I explained in my response to Laura Wilkerson, the moral law set forth by God is still in effect. Christians can sin, and sin by definition is a violation of God's commandments. That does not mean that we are saved by following the law, or that we can be saved by following the law. Ephesians 2:8-9 is very clear that we are saved by God's grace. However, Romans 6:1-2 is also very clear that we are not to continue sinning.