Monday, June 28, 2010

Never Specifically Answered the Questions

I proposed the following questions back in February
as I contemplated writing on sin generally and
homosexuality specifically:

If all our sins are so completely covered that we do
not fear any judgment from God, what should we feel
and do about our failures of sin?

Are there degrees of response to sin such that
some sins are never overcome, and therefore,
we must live with them believing that God ultimately forgives all?

Do Christians live in sin before God and simply
apply the truth of the grace of God, trusting in His forgiveness,
as if He winks at our state?

What is the dividing line between sinning to
the point of being reprobate and struggling
with sin as evidenced by falling into it...even falling often...
yet being forgiven?

How does the struggle against sin figure
into our corporate commitment to piety or holiness?

What is sanctification?

I know of a pastor speaking from the pulpit recently
who told his listeners that the only choice we had as
believers was which sin. He was speaking in context on
the futility of the human paradigm and the predisposition
of the fall of man into sin precipitated
byAdam and Eve which mars us.

In this context, the death and resurrection of Jesus
is simply the payment and proof of the value of the legal tender
of His life which covers our sin.
Therefore, we can know we are forgiven.


What of the deliverance from evil for which


postmodern redneck said...

I'm not going to take these in the order you wrote them, and I may miss something.

My understanding of sanctification is that it is not an event, but the PROCESS of becoming the person God wants you to be. It is lifelong, and may move in fits and starts at times, and often painfully slowly. He may choose to deal with some sins in our lives before others, digging out one thing that we did not worry so much about and leaving for a while another that we were more concerned about.

What should we feel and do? If we care at all, there will be feelings of remorse and regret. But we are not commanded to feel (He probably knows we will, anyway) but to DO, specifically to repent (the Greek word actually means to turn, to change direction). The important thing is to keep going back to God and never turn away. That is why David was "a man after God's own heart": he wasn't sinless, he did some whoppers; but he kept going back to God. (The Bible is a very realistic book: even the great heroes are shown warts and all, falling flat as well as succeeding.)

Some groups have argued whether sinless living is possible. Maybe it is for some, maybe it isn't. I'm afraid at best it's very rare in this life. But the biggest danger is when you quit caring, and quit going back to the Father. Once that starts, you end up getting farther and farther away.

A song I heard on the radio a few years ago emphasized the line "a saint is just a sinner who falls down and gets up...we fall down, we get up".

C.S. Lewis had some things in "Mere Christianity" about some people whose sins were linked in some way to the particular equipment and baggage they ended up with in life, and others who seemed better may simply have been blessed with better stuff to work with. And I think God is better able to take things like that into account than we are.

ded said...

Thanks, postmodern redneck! I appreciate your thoughts, and it helps to have you verify the perspective of faith.

The last bit you shared is so important to me. We need not scrutinize others' failures and bring forth judgment. I often hear judging hiding behind statements like, "Examine the fruit; we are allowed to be fruit inspectors." Though Jesus did tell us we will know a tree by its fruit, we need to be careful when any thrust of words beckons us to lay forbearance and compassion aside.