What should a Christian do when they know someone is in sin?


There is a discussion about whether a Christian should care about whether someone is sinning or not, and if so, what should they do.

We must recognize that Jesus said the words “Do not judge” but we have to look at the context to know what he was really saying.

Jesus told us that we will be judged in the same way we judge others.  Jesus was saying to be merciful, loving, and to not be a hypocrite. But we are to help others who have sin in their lives. To do this in love and with mercy, we must handle a given sin in our own lives before we try to address it in someone else. If you take care of that sin in your own life first, you can see clearly to help someone deal with it in their lives.

Matthew 7:1-5

 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

We see this more clearly in Luke 6:27-45

27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Jesus was clear we ARE to judge – but with righteous judgment.

John 7:24
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
We are told to call our brother on their sin, and to forgive him if he repents – every time he does it.
Luke 17:1-4

 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

More than that, people who choose to rebel against God by choosing sin should be confronted one on one, and if he doesnt listen, two or three on one, and if he still does not listen, then present the issue of sin to the church, and if he still ignores the correction, have nothing to do with them – as we see in Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Even elder people are to be confronted with their sin, but gently. We should appeal to them as we would our parents and the younger men as our brothers.
1 Timothy 5:1
Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,
Church leaders should only be confronted by two or three witnesses, and should be rebuked in front of the church if they do not change.
1 Timothy 5:19-20

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.

Paul had someone kicked out of the church because they were sinning in 1 Cor 5. See in verses 12-13 how we are to judge those within the church:

12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

But that same passage tells us to not judge those outside the church. If people are sinning and they do not claim to be Christians, then let it alone. But if they DO claim to be Christians, then address it.

God has told us how to deal with people who are in sin. He said we must challenge people who claim to be Christians and if they repent, then forgive them. But if they do not, go to them with two or three people. If they still do not repent, take it to the church. If they still do not repent, then remove them from the church and have nothing to do with them. However, if at any point they repent, we are to forgive them, and if they had been put out of the church, invite them back in.

Do Christians have to confess their sins to someone whose office is that of priest?

Some denominations in the Christian world have people confess their sins to priests and are then given prayers or things to do as penance. The question was made: Do we have to confess to priests?

The people in John the baptist’s time confessed their sins to him and he baptized them.

Matthew 3:4-6

4 Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

Mark 1:4-5

4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

But all believers make up a holy nation of priests.

1 Peter 2:4-10

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” 8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Being a holy nation of priests, we are free to confess our sins one to another so we may pray for each other, be healed, and forgiven and cleansed.

James 5:16

 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

And as for praying certain prayers as penance, remember that Christ redeemed us – so we do not have to pay a price for our sins, by the grace of God.

Galatians 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
Galatians 4:5
so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
1 Peter 1:17-19

17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.


So no. We do not have to confess our sins to someone whose role is that of priest. All Christians are priests. We can confess to one another. Christ has already paid the price for our sins and we have no need of penance.

Did Christ satisfy the wrath of God?

There are some who say that Christ did not satisfy the wrath of God.

I thought I would look at what the Bible says regarding this idea.

We first must recognize that we are justified as a gift of God’s grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, who was displayed as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was done to demonstrate God’s righteousness. some want to end it right there, but verse 26 tells us God is the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:21-26

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, beingwitnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

More than merely being A propitiation, Christ is THE propitiation for our sins. But what IS propitiation? This word Hilasmos is what is used in 1 John 2 and 4. This means 

  1. an appeasing, propitiating
  2. the means of appeasing, a propitiation

1 John 4:9-10

 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Not only is Christ the propitiation for our sins, but for those of the whole world.

1 John 2:1-2

1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

God is the justifier. God initiated the demonstration of God’s righteousness by displaying Christ as the propitiation for our sins so He could justify those who have faith in Christ.

We see in Ephesians 5:2 that Christ loved you and gave Himself up for us – AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE to God. This is basically what a propitiation IS.

 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

The word translated as propitiation is Hilaskomai. This means

  1. to render one’s self, to appease, conciliate to one’s self
    1. to become propitious, be placated or appeased
    2. to be propitious, be gracious, be merciful
  2. to expiate, make propitiation for

the Son of God appeased God the Father.

In fact, we can see that Christ died the substitutionary death for sins once for all.

1 Peter 3:18

18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;


Christ was made a high priest to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17


Here, Hilasterion is used as propitiation. This word means

1. relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation

  1. used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory
  2. an expiatory sacrifice
  3. a expiatory victim


So not only was Christ the sacrifice, but He was the high priest who made the sacrifice. And the sacrifice was to appease God. We see this in John 3:16-18 and 3:34-36

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the worldto judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

John 3:34-36

 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son andhas given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

God the Father sent God the Son into the world so whoever believes in Him is not judged and has eternal life. But those who do not believe will NOT see life and the wrath of God remains on him.


So yes, Christ appeased God the Father. It took a perfect God to satisfy a perfect God who had been sinned against.


Our actions do not cause us to be saved.

Someone thought that we have to be perfect to go to heaven.

We are not saved by what we do. In fact, we were dead in our trespasses and sins, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind when God made us alive together with Christ. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand. 

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

God does the work. He works in us so we will and work according to His pleasure. God saves us. God gives us faith.

At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?

The question was asked: At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?


All who are led by the spirit are sons of God. People who are saved by grace through faith in Christ are children of God, heirs of God, fellow heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:14-17

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

But there is a difference between being the only begotten Son of God (who is the Word, God, who took on flesh, became human (John 1:1-14) and being an adopted son of God. 

We are eagerly awaiting our adoption.
Romans 8:23-25

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

At the right time, God sent His Son to become human to die for our sins, to redeem us, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before God, to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. We have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our sins/trespasses. 

Ephesians 1:3-14

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

We were adopted. But Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. It is through faith in Him that we have eternal life.
John 3:16-18

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

1 John 4:8-10

8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


So we become the ADOPTED children of God when we have saving faith. But Christ is the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus Christ did not sin


There are some who would say that Jesus sinned.

While he was tempted, and could have sinned, he chose not to sin. Jesus Christ never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

2 Cor 5:21

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1 Peter 2:22

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 John 3:5

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

1 Peter 1:19

But with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Hebrews 9:14

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Some want to say Jesus had a sin nature. In fact, he did not.

Sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve – even though it was Eve who first sinned.
Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

As such, Jesus did not inherit a sinful nature (Which comes through the father, not the mother).

So Jesus was born without sin. He was born with God as HIS father.

Luke 1:30-35

30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

So then: Jesus did not have a sin nature and did not sin. He was without blemish. Perfect.

What is sin?

There is a discussion regarding what is sin.

We must realize that We are born with a sin nature.

Psalm 51:5

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalm 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.

Not only do we have a sin nature, we have both sins of omission, and sins of commission. And we have sin done in ignorance. Certainly when we purposefully do it is a form of rebellion. Disobedience to God is rebellion. We must choose to obey God.

Daniel 9:5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.

James 4:17

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Romans 14:23

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

1 John 5:17

All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

Hebrews 5:9

And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation

Sometimes we sin in our thoughts.

Matthew 5:28
but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mark 7:14-23

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 [If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”


In fact, we are expected to stop sinning in our thoughts as well as in our behavior.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

So sin is when we disobey God, even if we are not aware of it. We sin when we do the wrong thing (as defined by God) and we sin when we do not do the right thing (as defined by God). We sin in our thoughts. We sin in our actions/behavior.

But God provided a savior so that our sins might not keep us from living with Him. This is His Son, the Word, our Lord and Savior, if we repent, turn to God (through Faith in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross). This in turn will cause of to have deeds appropriate to repentance.

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God

So the choice is yours – continue to live a life of sin, or turn to God through faith in Christ.


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