I suppose I just felt a need to express my views on sin. I had a conversation recently with
a good friend on the subject of Christians and/or ministers actively living in what most
folks would call sin.

Some reconciliation believers almost see sin as non existent since the cross. As far as
the "sin" that Adam passed down to us all, I see that too. Christ "undid" that at the cross.
But, I don't believe that frees any of us up to live a lawless life, especially, if we know we
are purchased of God.

So, here's my rant:

                                                     License To Sin?

One may think, because I believe in universal salvation, that I am espousing a license to
live a sinful life. No way. That couldn't be further from the truth.  Since I came into the
knowledge of this unconditional love and redemption, I am more aware of God’s
judgments than ever before.  

I certainly believe that we ALL are reconciled to God by Christ and the work of the cross,
but realizing that, to me, makes us all the more accountable for our actions after we come
into that knowledge.

For the unbeliever, the big "I"  tries to be God….That way that seems right to man but
ends in destruction.  And, for the believer, the way that seems right is the pride in
thinking we can actually make ourselves righteous by what we do and what we won't do.
(at least in front of other people...although they/we don't like to admit that)

But, there is sin, just plain sin...not doing what's right. We have to be able to know right
from wrong or we would not have been given so many warnings and admonitions to do
the right thing. We are told to be careful because we have an adversary that will destroy
us if we let down our guard.

We are told if we "judge" ourselves we won't be judged. And, we are instructed to "see"
sin in our brothers and sisters, as well as ourselves, in order to avoid disaster and even
death.

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But
watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

1 John 5:16
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give
him life for them that sin not unto death.
There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin:
and there is a sin not unto death.

James 5:20
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a
soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord
knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from
iniquity.  

If we are not to do as the Bible says and realize "sin" in our brothers, how can we attempt
to help them turn around before they are met with judgment? If we don’t see it in
ourselves, we will meet judgment.  

There is a fine line here for sure. Getting puffed up in our own "rightness" is easy.
Sticking our head in the sand and ignoring what God lays out for us is easy. Sinning is
easy, and ....did I mention fun???  It all brings us right back down to the fact that we are
soooo broken and soooo dependant on God to save us.

That great reconciliation preacher, the apostle Paul, himself, says it like this:

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to
obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as
uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and
bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself
should be a castaway. KJV

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that
after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. NLT

Jesus making the point to His disciples, that if they lusted in their heart they were just as
guilty of adultery as if they actually had a physical relationship, to me, shows  that we can
not be good enough to secure our salvation apart from His righteousness. Not that that
was ever the plan....

But, on the other hand, His warnings of Hell(Gehenna) being the result of letting their
flesh get the best of them,(not poking out an eye or cutting off a limb) definitely indicates
a possibility of becoming a "child of the trash dump", in other words, worthless to the
Kingdom.  That reminds me of Paul's concern about becoming a castaway.

Heavenly Father,

I realize that we are not our own, we are bought with a very high price. Lead us not into
temptation but deliver us from evil. Without Your grace and guidance I will be
disqualified. In my hand no price I bring. Simply, to Thy cross I cling.

Your very needy child,

Debbie


Here are some excerpts from Craig Nolin's writings on sin.

Paul says:

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would
not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known
about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet"


So the Law is not sin, neither has been living by the Law, sin. There is a synchronism
between Law and sin, and pursuing the Law for righteousness. Our filthy rags of
righteousness is not sin, but to trust in our filthy rags of righteousness for our
righteousness and salvation is sin. So I wonder if this is where there is a
misunderstanding. The law is not for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. The law is
for lawbreakers. We can know what is right and good by the observing the law, but we
cannot be declared right and good by ob reserving the law.


Though we are not judged in accordance to the law in regards of our salvation, and it is
by faith we are declared righteous, apart from the law. So in regards to being saved and
called righteous, that cannot be done through any law or rule. Yet, to suffer the
consequences of sin, should we sin, we are not exempt. I say, hate your brother, you
have already committed murder in your heart. You may not suffer from human law which
cannot prove you murdered him, but inside you become hard and begin to go from worse
to worse. Does God judge your salvation on the basis of your sin? Of course not! If you
were perfect, you have no reason to be saved. If you are not hurt, you cannot be healed!

So do we go sin to be hurt, in order that we can be healed? I hope not! Because there is
many rewards in remaining healthy. Talk to a man bed-ridden with the flu, and an athlete
in the top of his form; which one lives life more abundantly? So just because we have a
Savior to save us from our sin, does not excuse us to sin more; because we will be bed-
ridden while the athlete runs for the prize and wins!

Romans and Philippians.

And more...

Gal 5:4
You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ;


They were alienating Christ, in order to justify themselves by the Law. They were being
influenced by Judi gazer's who wanted to bring back the Torah 600 laws, in conjunction
with Christianity. So those who are trying to be justified by the law; they were getting
circumcised, baptized, washed, kosher, temple tithes, etc. Are alienated from Christ
because there is nothing you can do to be justified. Pay attention to what was happening
in Galatia, and you will see Paul was not telling that following what is right and good is
alienating Christ; he is saying going back to Judaism is alienating Christ because Israel
has been cut off!

Paul repeatedly says, we are all going to be judged by our works and deeds, we are
called to walk in good works, and those who do not, will be continually disciplined and
pruned in order that this happens. He also says to those who know what is good and do
not do it, they are given a spirit of stupor and God will give them their sinful desires and
they will be hardened until they are destroyed by their sin! Did God treat the world in
accordance to their sin? No. He saved them just as they are. He reconciled them just as
they are. Does that mean we can continue in bad behavior, living by fruits of death? No,
because if the natural branches were cut off due to unbelief, what chance does the wild
branches grafted into the vine have. The law is not sin, nor is obedience to the law sin. If
we break the law, we sin but also when we put our trust in the law for our salvation, we
also sin.

Ecclesiastes 7:16-19
Do not be over righteous, neither be over wise— why destroy yourself?
Do not be over wicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes .

In regards to salvation and righteousness, there is no observance of our sin. As long as
you keep thinking your salvation and your righteousness has anything to do with your
works, whether good or in sin, you are in sin. However sin still exists and people
continue to sin and those who continue to sin, do not know God, nor are they of God.

1 John 3:6
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either
seen him or known him.


Emotional appeals are far from the truth. Do not make the mistake of thinking living by a
set of rules which govern what is good, is actually evil. Realize the evil that comes from
following a set of rules, comes from those who think following those set of rules is what
qualifies them for righteousness and salvation!

This is serious stuff, it's not an issue to be taken lightly.

The law nor obedience to the law is sin. Nor is the law evil. The law shows us our sin, but
is not an obstacle to our salvation or reconciliation. There is also no sin, in judging
rightly.


Let us also see how Paul dealt with those who continually sinned.

1 Corinthians 5

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that
does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are
proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your
fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am
with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this,
just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus
and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this
man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved
on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the
whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch
without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been
sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of
malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and
truth.

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not
at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and
swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I
am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a
brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or
a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to
judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from
among you."

Comments are welcome.

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