God’s Grace Is Greater Than Anything Else
Are sexual sins worse than all other sins?
It says in the Bible that ‘wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God’ (1). Examples of wrongs and wrongdoers are listed: prostitution, immorality, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, adulterers, men who have sex with men, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers – none of them shall inherit the kingdom of God (2). Furthermore, the Bible says that there is no difference between us in God’s eyes.
None of us are able to live holy and pure lives according to His standard (3). All sins and all kinds of sin separate us from God. So we understand that no one can inherit the kingdom of God in themselves, we need to be saved (4). Being saved means being born again, born by the Spirit of God (5). In this way everyone is the same, we have all sinned, we all need to be saved, and God wants everyone to be saved, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus’ (6).
Nevertheless, the Bible shows very clearly that some sins are worse than others, and through the entire Bible we can see that God reacts more strongly to certain sins than to others.
For example, God says that King Manasseh did things that were more evil than everything the Amorites had done before him (7). His deception of others was especially evil. We also see that Jesus’ judgement on people who lead children astray was harsh (8). It’s obvious that sins that hurt others are worse than sins that only have consequences for ourselves. Sexual sins also have bigger consequences than what you may think, as other people are involved: you become one with another person. A Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (9).
God’s grace is perfect and without limits, you can never fall so deep that He can’t forgive you and raise you up again. When you ask Jesus to forgive you and you repent of your sin, He cleanses you from all unrighteousness and He restores purity and the standard of your life (10). Repentance means to come back to the right place, and you give up the right to make the same mistake again (11). Forgiveness restores holiness in and through us. God’s goodness to you is that you don’t receive the punishment you deserve. Jesus paid for both things when He died on the cross, He didn’t only die for you, He died in your place and you can live in relationship to God as if you had never sinned! However, we often have to bear the consequences of our sin here on earth. God removes sin as a basis for our condemnation, but He doesn’t remove ex-partners, children, wives or memories.
Still, in His great grace God can even remove memories. Some people struggle with memories after stress, violence or assault. It’s good to know then that God can take away these memories and heal the pain, wounds and condemnation.
For our part, God wants us to live holy lives just as He has made us holy (12).
When we make a mess of our own or others’ lives, it is quite normal and healthy to have a bad conscience until we’ve asked for forgiveness. But sometimes we carry false condemnation. When you condemn your heart you have a sense that there is no hope for you, that it is impossible to change. When you confess your sin, God cleanses you and sets you free from condemnation. Because, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’ (13). So you should not condemn yourself and don’t let anyone else condemn you. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (14).
Romans 8:31–39: ‘What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
Bible verses from the text:
1. 1 Cor. 6:9
2. Gal. 5:19–21 / 1 Cor. 6:9–10
3. Rom. 3:22–23 ‘There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’
4. 1 Cor. 15:50 ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.’
5. John 3:3 ‘no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’
6. Rom. 3:23–24
7. 2 Kings 21:11
8. Mark 9:42
9. 1 Cor. 6:13–19 / 2 Peter 2:10
10. 1 John 1:9 / Rom. 3:24
11. John 8:11
12. 1 Peter 1:15
13. 1 John 1:8
14. John 8:11 / Rom. 8:1
Source: Purity: the New Moral Revolution by Kris Vallotton.