“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
The mission of the Christian and of the Church is the commission we received from Christ, our Head, who told us to go and make disciples. Similarly, the motive, message, and methods should reflect the ministry Christ had on the earth. His motivation was a deep compassion. His message was one of reconciliation without compromise. His methods were supernatural with an anointing from the Holy Spirit.
If there were groups that illustrated an opposite to Christ during His earthly ministry, it was the Pharisees and Sadducees of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a council of religious leaders assembled in every city in Israel to rule the Jews and oversee Jewish disputes. The Pharisees and Sadducees were Jewish men who used their religious position to manipulate the people of Israel to advance their own agenda and propagate their own way of thinking, speaking, and behaving. The Pharisees and Sadducees used what we call the sin consciousness to dominate men and women underneath their influence. The sin consciousness consists of the human condition and mentality that has been affected by sin, a condition that is rooted in self-sufficiency; therefore, their focus is founded on performance, works, and rules, and their motivators are guilt, shame, and fear. Their greatest violation and grossest tool of manipulation was using the name of God, misrepresenting our Father for selfish ambition and gain.
When Jesus ministered, He gave a true representation of God’s love, a love that was contrary to the sin consciousness and religious control. Instead of performance, there was grace. Instead of works, there was faith. Instead of rules, there was relationship. He did not condemn people for their failure to comply with God’s righteous standard; instead He revealed that righteousness was an endowment and empowerment from God that could be received by through the surrender and obedience of faith. Christ’s representation of His Father’s love was demonstrated through healings, miracles, and teaching about true life. Jesus did not compromise the standard of righteousness, but He did show us the way to life was through His redemption and our surrender.
The Sanhedrin brought condemnation that kept people down. Jesus ministered life that would raise people up. Like our Lord, let’s choose to save the world rather than to condemn it. Let’s minister life!
Application: Righteousness can be used to control and condemn or to save and set free. Minister life to someone today!