To follow Jesus and what He taught is to deal with sin. Followers of Jesus are the only ones in the world who are taught to deal with sin and not be discouraged by it. We have enough confidence in God to have only a minimum of confidence in ourselves. Many other religions speak of ‘being good and getting better.’
Jesus taught us to dare to be poor in self-estimation, small, and broken and sinful, and then to believe enough in the Father to be well balanced, happy, serene, facing ourselves, free of our sins. We don’t just become better; we become holy and clean, righteous and pure.
A Christian is not someone who believes in sin, he is someone who believes in the forgiveness of sin. That is the standard in Jesus and in no one else. There is no performance, exercises, ritual prayers, religious costumes, diets, special candles, jewelry, clothing or head covering, trinkets, amulets, special buildings or any form of Pietism that ‘gets us closer to God.’ We are as close to God as we are to Jesus and we are as close to Jesus as we are to our neighbors.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus