We have all been victims. There isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t been hurt or disadvantaged, even before birth. But is that how we are to see ourselves?
For we have all also been perpetrators, producers of victims, hurting and offending against others. And we have all been what the Bible calls “sinners,” perpetrators offending against God. The Bible declares that if we break one law, we break them all (James 2:8-12). We have all broken God’s Law. Read about the state of every man in Romans 3:9-18.
Because of our human nature, which is in conflict with God and the Truth, we tend to see ourselves as victims, but seldom as perpetrators. We offend others and defend ourselves. We deny our fault, and we complain and accuse others of being perpetrators, pointing to the sliver in our neighbor’s eye while blind to the beam in our own.
It takes the genuine gift of faith from God to see ourselves as perpetrators.
We do these things especially when someone points to our sins, declaring us offenders or perpetrators. We may not relish being known as victims, but we usually prefer that to being known as perpetrators. However, here’s the problem:
Salvation from our state of sin can’t come while we see ourselves as victims. Salvation comes only when we confess ourselves as perpetrators, as sinners against God and man.
How can we get over that hurdle of pride, stubbornness, and self-justification? It takes the genuine gift of faith from God to see ourselves as perpetrators. Oh, we who profess to believe commonly declare that we’re sinners according to the Scriptures and doctrine we’ve been taught. When someone rightly speaks more specifically and personally to us about our spiritual shortfall before God, however, addressing that perpetrator nature in us, we’re offended.
We protest vehemently as victims and proceed to kill the messenger. We loathe accepting we’re at fault. We refuse to see ourselves as sinners, so we lie and, in the process, call God a liar, essentially declaring the sacrifice of Christ unnecessary because we are innocent. We despise the blood He shed for our sakes.
Those who claim to be victims automatically condemn others as perpetrators. Thus, they function as the perpetrators they are, serving to make victims. Often those victims are brethren of the Lord, coming in His Name to preach and to deliver perpetrators from their sins. Those who justify and defend themselves crucify Christ by their ways. They are anti-Christ.
Deliverance, cleansing, and healing can only come when one lays aside the concern of being a victim and acknowledges himself a perpetrator. When we recognize ourselves as perpetrators, the thought of being a victim greatly diminishes and a troublesome burden lifts.
With the recognition of being a perpetrator (by conviction of the Holy Spirit) come shame, remorse, and repentance before God. To acknowledge oneself as a perpetrator is to take the path of salvation. Four of the greatest and truest words any person can ever speak are, “I am a sinner.” Salvation is for perpetrators, not victims. And the Gospel calls for perpetrators to repent.
“But when Jesus heard, He said to them, ‘The ones who are whole do not need a physician, but the ones who are sick. But go and learn what this is: I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’” (Matthew 9:12-13 MKJV).
He didn’t come to deliver us from consequences, but from the sin causing them.
Consider that in the Lord’s day in the flesh and in the days of the early Church, Rome victimized many. But did Jesus speak one word against Rome? Did He sympathize with their victims? Was He there to solace them? No, He told them, as perpetrators, they must repent of their sins. He knew that Rome’s victims were victims because they were perpetrators:
Luke 13:1-5 MKJV
(1) And some were present at the same time reporting to Him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
(2) And answering, Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things?
(3) I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
(4) Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were sinners above all men who lived in Jerusalem?
(5) I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
The Roman Catholic Church has presumed to champion the interests of the poor and disenfranchised. It presents Jesus Christ as taking special interest in these people. That is a great big lie.
Yes, Jesus came to save us from destruction, but He didn’t come pitying the sinner. He came to redeem the sinner, calling him away from sin. He didn’t come to deliver us from consequences, but from the sin causing them. This applies to all, rich and poor.
The Catholic social charity gospel is diabolical while pretending to be angelic. It is deceitful while declaring to represent the Truth. It is destructive while pretending to save. Such workers (and there are many) save and preserve what is rotten, as though people are innocent victims, but Jesus Christ came to redeem us from rottenness by calling us to recognize ourselves as rotten.
The destroyer bestows rights to those unworthy, while Jesus Christ calls for responsibility.
Satan destroys with works of preservation, while Jesus Christ saves in works of destruction.
The destroyer is in the work of salvage, but Jesus Christ, salvation.
The destroyer presumes to improve on what is, while Jesus Christ calls for total denunciation and dismissal of what is, that it may be replaced with something entirely different.
By willingly exposing ourselves, we light the way for others to follow the path of the cross to life.
(14) For the love of Christ constrains us, judging this, that if One died for all, then all died;
(15) and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to Him Who died for them and having been raised.
(16) So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so.
(17) So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
(18) And all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
(19) whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us.
Because we know we’re all guilty before God, we realize we can and must forgive all others who have wronged us, if we are ever to expect forgiveness and healing from God. Jesus said:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
In humility and understanding, we won’t forever be offended when addressed as perpetrators, no matter who confronts us.
With the sincere acknowledgment and repentance of being a perpetrator, we also open the door of salvation for others. By willingly exposing ourselves, we light the way for others to follow the path of the cross to life. He Who did no wrong took on consequence. How much more ought we, who are wrong by nature, to admit our guilt?
Of the Savior and Lord in Whom we profess to believe, the Scriptures declare: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth, Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:22-23).
He was the victim of victims; He was willingly victimized by perpetrators, for their sakes. Listen to Him. His call is for repentance. Victims need none; perpetrators need it all.
As long as we focus on being a victim, we sin against our own souls. We retain fear and breed self-pity, resentment, and bitterness. Thus, we continue as perpetrators and remain in our sins and the consequences thereof.
Christian, do you see your sins against others, or do you only see the sins of others against you?
As perpetrators, we fault others and justify ourselves; we denigrate others and honor ourselves; we deny our sins and condemn those who sin, especially against us. We become guilty of the very things of which we accuse others.
Romans 2:1-4 MKJV
(1) Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things.
(2) But know that the judgment of God is according to truth on those who practice such things.
(3) And, O man, the one judging those who do such things, and practice them, do you think this, that you shall escape the judgment of God?
(4) Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and the forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Christian, where are you? Do you see your sins against others, or do you only see the sins of others against you?
Do you claim salvation while under the judgment of God and reject His reaching out to you through others for your good? Do you readily accept sympathy, praise, and comfort from friends while rejecting His rebukes through others as condemnation from the Devil? Consider.
Seeing yourself as guilty, you’ll no longer focus upon yourself as a victim. You’ll willingly suffer wrong and not retaliate even against wrongdoers, and especially not against those whom the Lord sends to tell you your wrongs.
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:20-21).
Perpetrators receive forgiveness; victims do not. Saying you see, your blindness remains; confessing yourself a perpetrator, you’ll see and rise from the grave.
Until then, you are a hypocritical believer walking in the paths of the destroyer, a child of darkness posing as a child of light, in vain worshipping God with your lips while you nurture your wicked, “victimized” heart.
Turning from sin and recognizing your need of forgiveness, you’ll receive it. Receiving forgiveness, you’ll be prepared to grant it to others. Deliverance and healing will begin to bear fruit in you and others. That is when the New Jerusalem descends to earth, and the lion lies down with the lamb. The Sabbath is established, and peace reigns. Let Truth prevail.
Do you want to see yourself for the perpetrator you are? Rend your garments (put away your fine coverings of pretense and hypocrisy); don what you deserve – sackcloth – and cover your head with ashes (humble yourself). How do you do that? Fast and pray – long term.