Whose Sin is More Serious?

In my study of the Epistle of James, I have noticed a number of emphases which are repeated over and over. One of those emphases is the restoration of those who have wandered from the truth.

James had a vital concern that followers of Christ should be doers of the Word of God and examples of humility and righteous living. In much the same emphasis as Paul, he called on the church to restore those who had slowly and steadily declined in their commitment to God. Paul said it this way: “Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted also. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).

In the same way as we seek to win the lost, we should also seek to win the saved. We must restore those who have strayed.

James emphasized the importance of praying over those who have sinned. He spoke of confession of sin. He also talked of the value of helping those who wandered from the truth. The truth in this context refers to wandering from right actions.

James seems to indicate that this ministry of restoration must take a prominent place in the church and among individual Christians.

Warren Wiersbe stated that the sin of believers is worse than the sin of unbelievers. He stated how we all expect lost people to sin. How else would they live? But “God expects His children to obey His Word.”

Those words struck me to my core. Of course, God expects His children to obey Him. Of course, sin in the life of a believer is worse than sin in the life of an unbeliever.

Our world is looking for the church to lead in righteous paths. Jesus called us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In our stale and dark world, God wants His children to lead the way. “A wandering offender can influence others and lead them astray.”

We must seek to obey our Heavenly Father in all ways. We must do our best to restore those who have turned aside and wandered from obedience to God.

May we reaffirm our commitment to Him, and may we help those who have strayed.


One Comment

  1. Wes Ellis
    Oct 25, 2018

    I agree completely. It seems that many of our folks are like those described in the words, “Ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the Truth.! I was a Baptist pastor for about 40 years, and recently I concluded that every sermon and every Bible study (SS, etc.) should include be accompanied by a sheet titled, “What I heard from the Lord today, and what I intend to do about it.,” with another one that responds, “What have I done last week as a response to what the Lord showed me.”

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. — Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)