Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is Our Sin Gone, or Will it Only Be Completely Removed at the Return of Jesus???

Hebrews 9:27-28:

"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."

It is only our physical bodies that are not yet completely redeemed, including our mind, which is being constantly renewed and conformed to the mind of Christ. Our sin has been dealt with once for all, and it is wrong for us to teach people that our sin will not be removed until we get to heaven.

I have been spending some time looking up sin on Bible Gateway, as well as battle, and fight. I can't find even one single reference to fighting against sin. What about the fight against sin? There is call for fleeing sin (1), throwing it off(2), exhorting and encouraging our brothers not to sin (i.e. lose faith)(3). There are calls to fight for faith, fight against our enemy the devil but I can't find anything about fighting sin. I have a sneaky suspicion why....

I bet some of you are afraid I'm going to claim that no fight against sin is needed! Well, you can sit back and relax. Take a deep breath and try not to jump to any conclusions! Not only is a fight against sin absolutely necessary, but a victory over sin is crucial if any of us want to escape hell! And that is why Jesus came, yes, it's the good news! Jesus came and fought sin and defeated sin on our behalf. It's a done deal as a matter of fact. That's why Scripture constantly refers to us as being dead to sin (4), having put it off (5), free from the slavery of sin(6) etc... That's why we're never told to fight sin, it's been removed from us as an entity, we're no longer in old Adam but in second Adam, Jesus, and I think we can all agree that in him there is no sin!

I'm not saying we never sin, but that we are to view sin as something we're in too big a hurry to pay much attention to. We're busy running a race, when sin gets in our way we throw it off while we're running, we don't stop and fight a long battle against it, because we don't have to! Sin is no longer our master, righteousness is.

"I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor.15:50-57

1Cor. 15:26 says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death, not sin.

I also wanted to mention that the promise of peace to those who believe in Jesus stills stands. We are not to be at war with ourselves, or any enemy within, we are to live with the inner peace of the Spirit of Christ. It isn't possible to to live by the flesh and by the Spirit at the same time, that's why Romans 8 and Galatians 5 (among others passages) remind us over and over and over that being preoccupied in any way with our flesh will hinder us from living by the Spirit.

Stop fighting against the flesh that Christ has circumcised already and start abiding in the the vine that is Jesus! Am I saying don't flee sin, don't throw it off? NO!!!! I'm saying, embrace the Spirit, believe in Christ and his finished work, and stop trying to remove your own sin. If you could remove your own sin you didn't need a sacrifice. REST in his finished work. TRUST that your father is satisfied. Take your eyes of yourself and your perceived imperfections and fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. Stop trying to perfect yourself!

I freely acknowledge to be a bit of babbling on and on, and I also encourage any of you to share Scripture with me that I may have missed. This process of discovering that things I've been taught all my life are not actually in the Bible is pretty weird but exciting!

some of the Scripture passages alluded to:

(1) 1Cor. 6:18, 10:14, 1Tim.6:11, 2Tim.2:22




(5)Col. 2:11-12, 3:9, Eph.4:20-24



SLW said...

How do you see Heb 12:4 fitting in?

lydia joy said...

"This process of discovering that things I've been taught all my life are not actually in the Bible is pretty weird but exciting!" - I am right there with ya....!!

This was not a babbly post, this was very compelling and well stated......I especially love this statement...

"I'm saying, embrace the Spirit, believe in Christ and his finished work, and stop trying to remove your own sin. If you could remove your own sin you didn't need a sacrifice."

Dan Bowen said...

Amen amen amen amen amen!! This is such an important contribution to the whole examination and discussion - lives are being set free!

Don said...

Many Christians are having the experience of struggling against sin, because they're not free from demonic attack -- they are demonized, or have allowed demons to establish strongholds in their minds, and need deliverance.

Until deliverance occurs, there will be a painful, ongoing struggle.

I've been amazed at discovering how many Christians - even solid believers - are demonized or under serious demonic attack. The enemy is so good at hiding that it takes exposure to clear, solid biblical truth that allows the Holy Spirit to break through the lies, deception and active resistance, and bring dunamis power to the person's spirit that allows the enemy to be thrown off.

I wouldn't believe this if I hadn't experienced it myself, and also been involved in a church ministry that reviewed the full gospel message, exposed the enemy's ways of demonization, and then led people through some counseling and deliverance prayer.

Anyway, I say all of this to say that a lot of Christians may argue with your statements here, based on their own experience -- yet their experience may be that of someone who still is not "free."

Sheila said...

Loved this, Jul!