Friday, March 7, 2008

Is Sin Really What Separates Us From God?

I keep running into a wall in my studies on sin.

Let me share the study I did on this prior to becoming a Christian, which is the conviction I held as passed on in the tradition of my church. I am not sure that it is a conviction I hold to today - but it might be. I find that as I mature in my studies and faith, there are many things I have to revisit and regain conviction of what was taught to me. All scripture is from the NIV, as I originally studied it. I find that the various translations continue to have different bearing on my understanding.

(Beginning of Study)

1 Peter 2:9-10 (from the NIV as I studied it originally)

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

Those that are saved are called out of darkness into his light:

Darkness =
Not a people of God
No Mercy

Light =
People of God

What is this darkness?

Isaiah 59:1-2

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear."

  1. Sin separates us from God.
  2. In order for a man to have a relationship with God the wall must be broken down - sin must be forgiven.
  3. The point in time sin is forgiven - the wall is broken down - is the point in time a person is saved.
Romans 3:23-25

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished..."

  1. EVERYONE has sinned.
  2. All are equal; all are lost - whether we consider our sin small in comparison to others, that "small sin" creates the same wall as the "big sin". A moral life does not save you. You cannot earn your salvation by good deeds.
  3. Faith in the blood of Jesus saves you.

What is sin?

Galatians 5:19-21 (sins of commission)

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (sins of commission)

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

James 4:17 (sins of omission)

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

What is the eternal consequence of sin?

Romans 6:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Wages of Sin

Gift of God
Eternal Life

How do I come into the Light?

John 3:1-7

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.'

In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'

'How can a man be born when he is old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!'

Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'"

A person must be born again - born of water first and spirit second.

What message must one believe to be in the light?

Acts 2:22-24

"'Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.'"

  1. Jesus is from God.
  2. Jesus was raised physically from the dead.
  3. Everyone is responsible for the crucifiction of Christ - since all have sinned.
What is my response?

Acts 2:37-42

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?'

Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.'

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

If you are cut to the heart, obey:
  1. Repent (turn)
  2. Be baptized (immersed)
  • sin is forgiven, so at this point you are saved.
  • Holy spirit given to you for the power to live as God commands.
(End of Study)

I am interested in what others think about this study. I don't believe this study failed me in coming to faith, but it is milk. There are deeper meanings than this in scripture. I think this study is enough - maybe more than enough. I have come to question the assumptions made in absence of scripture in these first studies I accomplished. I know more scripture now, and of course, the Holy Spirit guides me. I think it's safe to venture...

There is no reason to listen if I cannot hear.
Just Another Voice,

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