First of all, I need to agree that Sin is very serious, in fact sin is the sole cause of the fall of the whole humanity, and God had to come down from Heaven to become one of us and redeemed us from the sting of death caused by sins. Adam fell and so every human being being born in this world, has the propensity to sin, and was born out of sins. Until the day, he or she is saved by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior. And, at that moment, something incredible happens, the person becomes the new creation in Christ having the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2Co 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Being the new creation person, Jesus lived in them and Holy Spirit will guide their spirit from then moment onward. However, although being a new creation in the spirit, but the spirit is still living in the old body called the flesh. And this flesh is sometimes still a spoiled child, is still having the remembrance of the past sinful habits, and still remembering the past sins used to be committed. For instance, a person living next to a cathedral church, having heard the bell ring daily in his ears, when he moved far away from the proximity, he will still at times be having the feeling that the bell is ringing in his mind.
That is the reason, why apostle Paul and other apostles like Peter, John, wanted us to be Christ conscious and not sins conscious. The more we try to live in sins conscious, the more remembrance of sins that will make us fall into more sins. (1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law). We often hear preachers only stated the sting of death is sin, full stop. But the sentence is actually telling us that the power of sin is in the law. The more we are conscious of the Law, or the same way is being conscious to sins, then we are actually giving strength / power to propensity to commit those reminded sins instead.
Further more, in Heb 10:1 it is said, the yearly sacrifice of bulls and goats, and lambs, yearly by the Jews, had not been able to provide the perfect cleansing of the sinners (everyone is a sinner without the cleansing of the perfect Jesus’ blood, the perfect lamb of God), because every year they will be reminded of their sins again and again. Thus, their guilty feelings or guilt-conscience is never gone but linger on year after year. Clearly God did not want us to have guilty feelings, because it is certainly no good / counter productive, for us the children / believers.
Heb 10:1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.
Heb 10:2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
Heb 10:3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year.
Again, people sinned does not make them a sinner, but people sinned because they were born sinners, and no amount of good deeds they do, can make them righteous. they are made righteous only by the blood of Jesus Christ. The apostles were always stressing on the value of the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood is not the common blood of bulls and goat and lambs.
So, being a pastor, we should not be afraid to preach the purity of Grace. The way the early apostles were teaching in the first churches in the first century. While, in the 3rd century, the teaching of apostles were contaminated by the mixture of Law and Grace, going back to mix with Judaism again, where we get the Catholics and most of today’s Christianity mixture of old wine with new wine, focusing on self performance again (i.e. trying to be righteous based on self performance, obedient to the law), instead of the original apostle teachings of Paul, Peter, John, etc, of focusing on Christ Jesus’ finished work alone (obedient to the faith).
Again, being a pastor, we should not be afraid if the congregation would fall into sins or not. We should not be afraid if they will use the Grace of God into license to sin. Because, whether we preach pure Grace or mixing Grace with Law; we will always have bad eggs in the basket. There will always be people sinning, as people do not need license to sin, they will sin whenever their flesh urges them so strongly to sins. And the Grace of God is the only antidote / power / battery so called, for them to fight the temptation of sins. There is no power in asking people not to sin, people put on the mask of self holiness when they enter a church. There is no one being transformed by forcing them not to sin, as firstly people are not robot, secondly, flesh will fail and will always fail when you depend on your flesh. We are transformed only by realizing how much we are saved, how much we are forgiven, and how much we are loved by the almighty God, proven through His willingness to come to earth and died for all our sins. When a believer know and believe that they are loved, then only they will be able to love themselves, love others, and love God. (1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us.)
I remembered my early years, of trying to be like Jesus, trying to self perform every God’s commandment, and instead I only felt so burdened with guilt and heavy laden, because I could never be perfect in my walk (being angry = murder, having lust in mind = adultery, murmuring = sin, in fact the bible said: anything not of faith = sin) So, whether you want to admit it or not, you are sinning every single day !. And, you will never be like Jesus ! no matter what ! While I did not realize the fact, that I do not need to try, because Jesus is living in me, and what I need is only to look at Jesus, by believing I am righteous already, by believing who I am, by believing who and what Jesus has done on the cross for me, and only then by believing right, I will start behaving right (unconsciously). Not of my own strength, but by the supernatural strength of Holy Spirit of God who lives in me. This is true transformation, from within, I am not conscious if I were doing the right things, nor am I conscious of falling in my walk, because I am only conscious of the guidance of the spirit who lives in me. I am too busy with Jesus, that sins have no room in me anymore.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I thank profoundly Pastor Joseph Prince, for unveiling this veil from my eyes. This is what Jesus said “When you know the truth, the Truth will set you free”. This is the right walk of Christianity, that was being taught in the first churches by the Apostles. The apostolic teachings that we seldom hear nor see, because Pastors having the good heart of not wanting the congregation to sin, instead actually making worse the congregation in bondage in sins, by making them more and more sins conscious instead of Jesus consciousness. And thus, we seldom see true transformation in the people of God. Because, It is natural of most pastors, thinking “in order to minimize sins, I must address sins”, ? No, my friends, the answer to truly transform people is in the apostolic teaching of beholding Jesus and His beauty. And the rest, let Holy Spirit do the true transformation.