Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Christian Life is More Than Merely Forgiveness of Sin.

The response in the title came during a conversation with a professing Christian about what he referred to as the demands of the Gospel to stop sinning. It appears to be quite a bit of false teaching that still maintains that now we are saved we have power to stop sinning. This sounds reasonable and it would be grand if it were true. After all who would be in gratitude to our Saviour and want to keep on sinning? And isn’t God powerful enough to keep us from sinning?

1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Many times we will hear believers use vv 5& 6 to show that we have to quit sinning to be honest about our faith. It is thought that walking in darkness is sinning up a storm and no one that sins each and everyday can say truthfully that he or she is saved. But one should keep reading to find the close context to clarify what is meant by not walking in darkness.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

So walking in the light we can see to walk in fellowship with other believers. In this way one is never wanting to do the oneupmanship so common among people. We see clearly our sin and need of the perfect life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and we are all in this together. For to live in denial of our sin has this result:

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. ESV

Lying to ourselves is to cast out the truth of scripture which clearly teaches that no matter the outward sins we forsake which is needful and we will forsake them We still have sins of the heart which are just as damnable. We now have forgiveness through Jesus even before we ask. This confessing is in contrast to living in denial of sin. We have the promise that God forgives and forgives and forgives. Instead of seeing scripture accusing us of covetousness and thinking but I gave up something else we say yes Lord I’m an idolater forgive me in the name and for the sake of Jesus. This sets us free indeed. Merely forgiven? Lord have mercy!

Psalm 32:3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

In the name of Jesus.†


Steve Martin said...

"We are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves."

We say this each Sunday in our liturgy.

We don't want to free ourselves. Sin is our condition.

But He wants to free us. He has done so, is doing so, and will yet do so.

Julie said...

Ah, that dreadful Lordship Salvation teaching seems to come in many different forms.

Resting in the finished work of Jesus means to really rest and trust. We are always trying to sneak in something to show how serious we are about faith, or to show our own gumption. We are still sheep in need of a good Shepherd.

L P said...

Merely forgiven?

How could one even describe it as merely?

Forgiveness required the death of the Son and experiencing hell on the sinner's behalf. As if that was an easy thing for God to do.