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Why Love Is Not Tolerant

I love my wife whether she commits adultery or not, and I would forgive and reconcile with her if that were to ever happen (God forbid), but I would not condone nor endorse her to do it again.

Christ’s death on the cross would cover that sin, but he would also command repentance and I rightly would expect the same. The beauty of the Gospel is not that we get to sin freely, but that we are free to sin no more.

We have so individualized everything in our culture that “what works for me is best for me” has firmly seeped into much of today’s Christian thought. Repentance and dying to self flip that script entirely.

Jesus clearly spent much of his ministry teaching and modeling love.

As mentioned before, he said we must love our God, our neighbors and our enemies. Indeed, John says “God is love” in his first epistle (1 John 4:8).

However, we should also pay attention to how Jesus loved. His interaction with the woman caught in adultery in John 8 is a striking example that comes to mind. After saving her life from those who sought to condemn and marginalize her, he said this:

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

What a beautiful picture of grace!

He could have easily judged her (as the true Judge) and yet he told her, “I do not condemn you.”

Now, we could stop there, but we can’t. Why? Because Jesus didn’t stop there.

He then says, “Go and sin no more.” See that?

Love is not just the forgiveness of sins, but also the pointing toward something better.

When Christians, exercising real humility and gentleness, tell a homosexual or alcoholic or adulterer or gossip queen that what they are doing is a sin, they are exercising the love of Christ.

It is not loving to leave people in their sin or simply offer hollow acquittal. Jesus pardons sin and points us in the right direction.