Who is guiltier?

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Hombres necios que acusais a la mujer sin razón, sin ver que sois la ocasión de lo mismo que culpais: si con ansia sin igual solicitáis su desdén, ¿Por que queréis que obren bien si las incitáis al mal? ¿Cuál mayor culpa ha tenido en una pasión errada: la que cae de rogada, o el que ruega de caído? ¿O cuál es mas de culpar, Aunque cualquiera mal haga: la que peca por la paga, o el que paga por pecar? You stupid men who accuse Women without good reason, You are the cause of what you blame, Yet this inference you refuse. If you seek women’s favor to win With ardor beyond compare, Why require them to be good, When ‘tis you who urge their sin? In a passion that is guilty Who bears the greater blame: She who falls on being entreated Or he who fall to make entreaty? When each is guilty of sin, Which is the most to blame: She who sins for payment, Or he who pays for the sin?
Excerpt from poem by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
The last stanza reminds me of Paul’s argument in the book of Romans: so guilty are those who sin knowing the Law (Jews in that case), as those who sin without knowing it (Gentiles in that case).
Who is guilty?
Read Jam 1:22-25; 4:17
On these verses, James is trying to settle the issue of the relationship between faith and works.
His point is that faith without works is dead!
If you have truly believed in God, you’ll demonstrate it with your deeds, otherwise you are guilty.
Who is guilty?

Guilty is that who hears and does not do.

Guilty of self-deception.

jam 1:22
James 1:22 NASB95
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
Who is considered more foolish, the one who is deceived, or the one who deceive himself?
You are foolish if you listen to the Word of God and do not put into practice what you hear. Sermon after sermon… If you grew up in a Christian home and heard one sermon per week, you’ve listened at least 1000. How many of those have you put into practice?

Forgetfulness is never a valid excuse.

James 1:25 NASB95
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
“I forgot” is the most common excuse for not doing what we’re supposed to do.
Make an illegal U-turn and tell the police officer that you forgot what the driving code says. Do you think that will save you from the fine?
Tell your professor that you forgot the term paper and see if he tells you, “is OK, you’ll get an A”.
Forgetfulness does not excuse you from acting upon what you hear from the Word.

Guilty is that who trespasses the Law.

James 2:11 talks about the “sins of commission”. Sins of commission consist of “doing” what God has told us not to do.
James 2:11 NASB95
For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
Adam and Eve committed a sin of commission. God told them not to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but they ate.

He/she is ignoring God’s warnings.

God gave Adam and Eve a warning: do not eat from that tree because you’ll die. They did not listen! They did trespass the limits and suffered the consequences.
How do you feel when someone ignores you? How do you think your parents felt when you ignore their warnings?

He/she is challenging God’s authority.

Sins of commission happen when we do what God expects us not to do.
Not respecting the signs or the limits God has established is a way of saying, “You do not have to tell me what to do.
Whenever we challenge His authority, we are in trouble because He’ll show us who is in charge.

Guilty is that who omits what he must do.

James 4:17 NASB95
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
This is what is called “Sins of omission”.
Sins of omission happen when we do not do what God expects to do.

He/she is prideful by deciding what to obey.

“… ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:6-10
God’s commandments are not a buffet where you choose what to eat.
He expects you to obey them all!

He/she is ignoring his/her responsibility.

Sins of omission happen when we do not do what God expects to do.
After Cain killed his brother Abel, God call him and asked him, “Where is your brother?” Cain responded by eluding his responsibility: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Many Christian also try to elude their responsibilities:
We expect that witnessing be done by the pastor, not by us. We expect that Bible be studied by professionals, not by us, tithing, compassion, serving,… etc.
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