Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin James 3:17
The highly misunderstood verse in James is NOT giving us the Christian perspective, but is James’ conclusion to the life lived under law! It is the definition of sin-consciousness. James wrote this letter to “the twelve tribes scattered abroad”, not only to the believers among them. It makes a division based on the source of life. All through his letter he was describing the TWO sources: the desires of the flesh vs. the desires of God. They were given life through the desire of God, but they were being convinced by those whose lives were still found in the desire of the flesh that they needed the law. James wrote his letter to describe the IMPOSSIBILITY of the old producing the new (and vice versa). Somehow, we have turned it around and use James’ letter to tell us how to live so-called practical Christianity!
What if many of these pious Christians are not Christians at all? And what if the Christians who you and I would describe as such are acting that way NOT because they take a DIM view of sin, but because they have seen SO MUCH sin in their lives that they have reverted to a legal perspective in hopes to bring what they see under control? It is not a theological mistake they make, but it is the same thing we do when we let the flesh dictate to us what we have come to see by the reality of the Spirit in our lives.
Bro, you are free. Don’t let the fleshly mindset dictate to you how you must love. Love in freedom. If another is caught up in a sin pattern, remember, there is ONLY ONE REASON they would be caught in it: they are looking to the law to produce what only the Spirit of Christ can. Be careful not to see them after the flesh ESPECIALLY when it seems so obvious! For how you see them will reflect on how you must see yourself. And you will be pulled into their same mindset.