This is of course a statement of fact made about one Judas Iscariot. He was a thief. Not that he stole something once or even that he formerly was a thief. No, Judas Iscariot was a thief. That’s who he was. He was a disciple of Jesus but he was a thief. One of the twelve especially chosen apostles of Jesus but he was a thief. Like Peter was a fisherman, Judas was a thief. The apostle Paul was a tent maker but Judas was a thief.
Okay, you’re saying. I get the point. Judas stole things. It’s true, he stole money from the bag that supported Jesus and the apostles. But it’s a little more than that. Here’s a person let’s say who lied to you one time. Is that person then to be called a liar? Not in the sense Judas is called a thief. You said a curse word once, does that make you a profane person? My point is that Judas did more than steal. He WAS a thief.
None of us will ever be sin free. That is, in the sense of the verb “sin” we will never be able to conquer the sinful nature we live in. But, at the same time we do not have to live in sin. There is a difference. Just as there is a difference in the telling of a lie and being a liar. As in taking something that isn’t yours and being a kleptomaniac. When Jesus freed us from sin, i.e., the bondage or penalty of sin he did not free us from the activity of sin. When one was told to go and sin no more it did not mean never commit one single sin again in your life. Jesus knew that was an impossibility.
If you were a thief, Jesus says stop stealing. Don’t let that be what defines you. Habitual liar. Stop lying continuously. Put the life of a liar behind you. Instead of people looking at us and saying, that person is a liar or a thief or a murderer or an adulterer they would say that person is a child of God, that person is a Christian. Not perfect but striving and moving towards perfection. We must put aside the sin that so easily besets us. If Judas had stopped stealing he still would not have been perfect. He still would have committed sin but it would not be his way of life it would not define who he was.
Let us be defined by our walk of faith and grace and not some sin which we cannot lay aside.