This is gospel coaching session #6
We are ambassadors for Christ (II Cor 5:20). Ambassadors from other nations that are here in the United States have diplomatic immunity for the crimes they commit while they are here. The same type of thing applies to us. We are ambassadors in God’s Kingdom and we are here on earth on a temporary assignment. While we are here on earth we have diplomatic immunity from sin. Let’s see this at a deeper level.
We have a sin-conscious church. It is a church that is perhaps more focused on I John 1:9 than any other single verse: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” CONFESSION OF SIN is the battle cry of most denominational churches.
Some churches are really legalistic about this. If we die with any unconfessed sin, we will probably go to hell. Wow, this is anti-gospel. In my opinion, this passage was written by John to the whole church:
UN-believers as well as believers. He didn’t start writing to just us Christians until verse 2:1 when he said, “Now, little children…”
This focus on sin denies the truth of the gospel. We can’t be judged for sin if Jesus came to ‘put sin away’ (Heb 9:26). We can’t be judged for sin if Jesus gave himself for our sins (Gal 1:4). We aren’t judged for sin if Jesus became sin for us, and took our sin upon himself (II Cor 5:21).
It’s amazing that Paul, God’s messenger, wrote over half the New Testament and never talked about the confession of sin one time. Did he simply forget, and lead people astray, or did he really see something?
It is often preached that God keeps a ‘little black book,’ or a record of our sins. How can he do this and also forget our sins? This is what the gospel says in Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17. The truth is that accusation of sin is only made in the Old Covenant not the New (Heb 9:15).
We are even freed from the accusation of sin, not just conviction of sin. We’re all guilty of sin. We’ll all die with sin in us (something considered to be less than Christian). Jesus tells us not to even think that he will accuse us before the Father (John 5:45).
Do We Lose Fellowship With God When We Sin?
It is preached that, if we sin, it breaks us off from our fellowship with God. He doesn’t want to have much to do with us, and puts his hands over his ears and won’t even listen to our prayers. The truth is that if this were true, God would be gone much more than he’s here. I truly believe God could cut any of our spiritual hearts open, anytime of the day or night, and find enough sin to send us directly to hell. This is even at our best!
The truth is that fellowship with God is continual, even in our sin (I John 1:5-7). It’s not conditional. We have been called into fellowship by Jesus (I Cor 1:9). We don’t draw near to God by our good looks, or good deeds, but by Christ’s blood (Eph 2:13). Don’t be guilty of “Trampling under our feet the Son of God, and counting the blood of the New Covenant an unholy thing, doing despite to the spirit of grace” (Heb 10:29).
Have You Made Jesus Lord of All?
This is another legalistic ploy of some preachers: we must make Jesus Lord over every single area of our lives, or we are out of fellowship with God. It’s preached, “If Jesus is not Lord OF all, he is not Lord AT all.” The truth is that Jesus is Lord because of what HE did, not because of what WE do.
We are always going to have areas in our lives that are not perfect. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus. Jesus said he came to call sinners, not the (SELF) righteous to repentance. We are self righteous when we think we are capable, in only our human flesh, of making Jesus Lord of everything in our lives.
How Do We Have Diplomatic Immunity?
There are several explanations as to how God does this, but one of the best is Romans 5:13: “For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed where there is no law.”
There are three periods of God’s history we should keep in mind:
(1) 2,000 years from the Garden to the law,
(2) 2,000 years from the law to the cross,
(3) 2,000 years from the cross to today.
In the first period, sin was in the world but it was not held against people because there was no law.
In the second period, sin was held against people because there was law in existence.
The third period is like the first: sin is not held against us as there is no law (Coaching Session #3).
Again, can you begin to see how all these gospel aspects build on each other and are synergistic and centrifugal? As ambassadors for Christ on earth, and as being citizens of heaven, we have diplomatic immunity from sin while we’re here. Why? It’s because Jesus paid the price and became sin for us (II Cor 5:21). “He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb 9:26).
This does NOT say that I don’t sin. It just says that sin is not held against me. I can’t be charged with it. Instead, what we are charged with and judged for is our gospel belief or disbelief. This is what I call ‘required responsibility in the gospel.’
God told Moses he would ‘require’ us to believe his Prophet’s message, meaning the gospel. But knowing that God will not charge me with sin or hold it against me, is coming out of darkness, so I no longer live in All the Light We Do Not See.
This is the meaning of ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ in the New Covenant. It doesn’t mean that we are free to do anything we want, say anything we want, or believe anything we want. NO!
What it means is that we are free, and at liberty from liability for sin. It’s like being tax exempt. If the government told you that you were tax exempt, you’d probably get drunk and party for a month. This is what it means, except that we are not tax exempt. Instead we’re sin exempt!
How Does God Forget Our Sin?