Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

A Woman Who Was a Sinner

And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.   (Luke 7:37-38 NKJV)
This woman was not named but she was known by those in the city.  She probably had been and maybe still was a prostitute.  This word for sinner implies bad moral character.  But when she touched the Lord, she did not defile Him.  In fact, touching the Lord was an evidence of her faith.  Her many sins were forgiven.  Touching the Lord cleansed her.  That was and is always the case.  When a sinner touches the Lord (by faith), the sinner is cleansed. 
Old Testament
When the children of Israel took possession of the land during the time of Joshua, they were to annihilate the inhabitants of the land so that they wouldn’t be tempted to serve their pagan gods.  God (or Jehovah) wanted those nations that had turned away from Him to be destroyed.  They all came from Noah, they all knew that the only true God was Jehovah (the ever existing One), but they all had “turned to their own way.”  They did not worship the God who had revealed Himself to them through nature, through their history, and through the teachings of the Patriarchs and through their consciences.  But the children of Israel disobeyed and did not destroy them.  The children of Israel were defiled by them, the people in the land were not (for the most part) cleansed spiritually by Israel.
New Testament
In the Old Testament, when a leper (a disease that speaks of sin), touched another human, the other human got leprosy.  When the Lord touched a leper, the leper got healed.  We who are Christians, need to remember that when we mingle with unbelievers, we are likely to be defiled. That is why we are to maintain separation from unbelievers socially, politically, economically, religiously and matrimonially.  Christians are in the world but not of the world.  Whenever a Christian must change his or her behavior in order to be accepted by those with whom they are interacting, Satan is winning, and the Lord is losing.  Paul says, “Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits (or manners) (1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV).”
Are we Being Defiled Today?
We live in a corrupt world today.  I do not believe that much that calls itself Christian is Biblical Christianity.  Are we bringing the sinner to the Savior so that He can touch them and cleanse them?  Or are we bringing sinners into our lives so that they can influence us and defile us like the Old Testament nation of Israel was defiled?  Israel was weakened and powerless before their enemies once they quit keeping the promise that they had made to Moses in Exodus 24:7, “Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.”
The Next Generation
Most of us are concerned with the fact that we are losing the “next generation.”  Many of them are called the “new atheists” when in fact they are just the “old agnostics” (people who say that you can’t know what is true.)  I have wondered if we aren’t losing the next generation because the Lord has lost us (the first generation).  Have we become more concerned with the here and now than we are with eternity?  Do we say one thing and practice another?  Do we live for time or for eternity?  Does the next generation see that we are “sold out” to the Lord?  Do they see that the Gospel is a living reality in our lives, or do they see us slowly but surely giving up the truths that saved us and preserved us for that which makes us comfortable in this life?  Have we been more concerned with our children prospering in practical ways in the here and now, than in spiritual ways for eternity?
I am just asking.  The Lord was never defiled when He touched sinners or when they touched Him.  The Lord’s people are always defiled when they touch (have intimate contact with) sinners or when sinners touch them.  I believe that the most dangerous “unbelievers” are those who are religious but who would not recognize the Lord as their Savior if He came knocking at their doors because He wouldn’t “look like” a Savior to them.  Most religious people have their own concept of the Lord and how He would act today.  Humanism where man and his supposed wisdom is worshipped instead of God is a great idol.  Whenever I hear someone say, “It seems to me,” or “I don’t believe God would act that way,” I wonder if they are worshipping a God of their own imagination or if they are worshipping the God of the Bible.  We need to be careful when we associate with people who say that they are saved but who cannot remember finding out they were lost.  Be careful if people’s testimonies of coming to faith are all about what they did rather than being all about what the Lord did for them. 
Lord preserve us from personal hypocrisy when it comes to the Christian life and help us to be careful in our associations with religious unbelievers (our current scribes, pharisees, lawyers, and chief priests) that we might not be defiled by them.  
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of March 31, 2019

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