Justification Through Christ…
Would Jesus lead us into a sinful nature?
But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves are found to be sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? Of course not! -Galatians 2:17, NAB
Jesus came to free us from our sins, not enslave us to them. A common argument by those Christians who supported following the Jewish Law, however, was that by abandoning the Law and following Christ, Jesus became a “minister of sin.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
From the perspective of the Judaizers, it made sense. They believed that Christians should still follow Jewish Law. St. Paul and the other Apostles were teaching that we must find justification in Christ, not the Law. For those who chose to follow the Apostles’ teaching, they were seen as sinners by the Judaizers because they sought justification in Christ, not the Law – making Christ the reason for their sin.
St. Paul was pointing out this belief because in reality, it made little sense. Would Christ, who came to free us from our sins, lead us into a sinful nature? As St. Paul states, “Of course not!”
Christ offers us the grace we need to be freed from our sin. Nothing He did or asked us to do leads us to sin. If we sin, it is through our own weakness – not because we follow the teachings of Christ. Let’s look at an example.
One of the Ten Commandments is to honor your father and your mother (see Exodus 20:12), but in Matthew 19, Jesus tells us:
“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” -Matthew 19:29, NAB
Say that again! Give up your father and mother? How can we do that and still uphold the Ten Commandments? Because we can only be justified through Christ, by devoting our life to Him, not through our adherence to the Law. Either way, leaving our family to follow Christ does not mean that we dishonor them in any way. In fact, we honor them by being devoted to God.
Christ frees us from our sin, not leads us to it. Follow Christ with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul, and you will find God’s mercy and grace. You may still be a sinner, but it is not because you choose to follow Christ who frees us.