Guilt and Punishment

10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 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 (James 2).

To be “guilty” means “to deserve punishment”—for guilt and punishment are always inextricably bound together. In any court of law, a Guilty Verdict simply cannot be handed down without also an appropriate Sentencing as well. Without exception, a Sentencing Hearing always follows a Guilty Verdict—otherwise the entire legal process is nothing but a sham.

Any sin, no matter which one you pick, leads to the sentencing of spiritual death—so, what does it matter then, which one it is? Take your pick. The one who “commits adultery” (Sixth Commandment) and dies without Christ will be a neighbor in hell right along with the one who “commits murder” (Fifth Commandment) and dies without Him. But then again, we must remember that according to Jesus, we commit adultery whenever we lust (Matthew 5:28), and we commit murder whenever we spew out anger (Matthew 5:22).

Lord, we thank You for Your righteous judgments! Help us This Day not to sin—yet when we do, lead us again to repentance and faith and cleansing through the blood of Jesus. Amen.