January 18: “Restoring the Sinner”

6 Minute Read


Genesis 37:1–38:30
Matthew 12:22-45
Psalm 16:1-11
Proverbs 3:27-32


Genesis 38:24 (CSB) “About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law, Tamar, has been acting like a prostitute, and now she is pregnant.’ ‘Bring her out,’ Judah said, ‘and let her be burned to death!'”


As we read through Genesis 38, and then come to verse 24, we cannot help but see that Judah had a double-standard. Tamar was carrying his baby but since he didn’t know it was his, he was privately excusing his own sexual immorality while condemning Tamar to death for her sexual immorality.

He was overlooking his sin while condemning someone else for doing the same thing he had done.

This still happens today, doesn’t it? We excuse our own sin but privately (or not so privately) stand in judgment of others.

What are we to do as Christians? How are we to view sin in ourselves and others?

Here are some thoughts:

Be aware of your own sin struggles:

1 John 1:10 (CSB) “If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

This is not to say that we can simply marginalize our sin and presume upon grace to forgive and cleanse us. We must look to the cross and realize how serious each of our sins was – they required the death of God’s Son.

Don’t marginalize or overlook your sin. Be honest about your own sin and sinfulness.

Deal with your own sin before focusing on others:

Matthew 7:5 (CSB) “Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.”

Before we can help others with their sin struggles, we must first acknowledge our own sin(fullness) and work to eradicate it. We must confess it and repent of it (turn from it intending to never do it again) before the Lord. If it requires that we make things right with others, we do it.

If we try to deal with the sin in others before dealing with our own sin, we become hypocrites. Further, if we are dealing with feelings of personal guilt, we may do more harm than good when we are talking to others about their sin. We will lack the proper perspective, the right motive, and God’s blessings if we have unconfessed sin in our own life.

So, deal with the sin in your own life before helping someone else with the sin in their life.

Gently restore the one in sin:

Galatians 6:1 (CSB) “Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.”

In a loving Christian community, we take sin seriously. But, we also take grace just as seriously. We realize that “where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more” (Romans 5:20).

We realize that the goal of addressing someone in sin is not to condemn them and ostracize them. Instead, the ultimate goal is to help them remove the sin from their life and then restore them to fellowship with God and the Christian community.

So, when dealing with the sin in someone else, realize that our primary motive is love. If love for the person is not present in our hearts, then we are not prepared to help them deal with their sin.

In conclusion…

Judah’s callousness of recklessly condemning a woman who was in sin is completely foreign to what a Christian community looks like. He failed to recognize his own sin, he failed to take steps to repent and make things right in his own life, and he wasn’t motivated by love, so he was completely ill-equipped to deal with the sin in Tamar’s life.

Don’t be like Judah! Certainly, we must take sin seriously in our own life and in the lives of our brothers and sisters. But, we don’t do it because we stand in judgment. We address sin because of love for the Lord, the one in sin, and holiness.

Luke 15:4-7 (CSB) “So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.'”

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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