2 Chronicles 31:1–32:33; 1 John 2:15–17
“If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell” (Matt 5:30).
We might struggle to relate to this outspoken Jesus; we prefer gracious Jesus, offering us a pardon from sin through His sacrifice. We like friendly, loving Jesus, who wraps His arms around us even when we act disgracefully. Jesus is all of these things, but He is also very serious about sin.
One of the most tragic trends in church history is the increasingly casual attitude toward sin. We so badly want people to receive God’s grace that we've stopped expecting others—and ourselves—to fight against sin. Yet Jesus knew that fighting sin was necessary. In Matthew 5:30, He is not suggesting that we can be sinless by our own merit; salvation comes solely from the free grace He offers through His death. Jesus is telling us that we must rip sin ou…