Thursday, June 11, 2009

'Deliberately' sinning...

I had struggled with the confusion about what it means to sin deliberately. I have heard so many sermons from the pulpit saying that if you commit some sin and ask forgiveness from God, after repenting, He will forgive you (Need Scripture ref? Look at 1 John 1:9). I did it for years and years. It was kind of like a license to me that I thought, if I can just confess whatever I did and can get forgiven at the end of the day, that's a pretty good deal.

Another thing I have heard from the same pulpits is that sinning is okay as long as you confess; but if you deliberately sin, it is a sin against Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven. They call it 'unpardonable' sin. And they quote few verses including the famous Hebrews 10:26.

Then I was confused.

If I look into my heart honestly, I have to admit one thing : Every single sin I do, I do it deliberately! When I act selfish, I do it deliberately. When I shout at my wife, that's pretty deliberate. When I cuss the drivers who cut me off on the freeway, that's deliberate. When I lust, that is deliberate. When I envy my co-worker, that's deliberate. What sin is not deliberate? I thought I had no hope.

Is there something called accidental sins?

Did Jesus take away ALL the sins at the cross or just the 'accidental' sins? Did He leave the deliberate sins upto us to deal with, so that we can come up with our own ideas about how to get forgiven? Did He build confession booths for us to go in and confess and get forgiven? Or did He say, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness"? Did He die for ALL sins of ALL people? Or Did He die for some sins of some people? Did He say "it's partially finished"? Or did He say "It's Finished" (Paid in full)?

Is sin still an issue between God and man? If so, how do we deal with it without the shedding of blood?

21 comments:

Ike said...

If Jesus takes away All sin at the cross, then why do people still go to hell?

Ike said...

When thinking about our salvation, the Bible many times speaks of salvation as a present reality as in Eph 2:5 & 8. But the bible (more often) speaks of salvation as something that will occur in the future as in: Matt. 10:22, Rom. 5:9-10, 1Thes. 5:8-9, Heb. 11:14.

When thinking about redemption, the bible again speaks of it as a present reality (Eph 1:7, 1Peter 1:18-19), and also as something that will occur in the future (Luke 21:25-27, Rom. 8:23, Eph. 1:13-14).

When thinking about forgiveness, the bible speaks of it as being a present reality as in Eph. 1:7 & Col. 1:14. Therefore, forgiveness is a present gift that we posses. But the bible also speaks of the reality of confessing our sins in order to be forgiven (1 John 1:9), and we must forgive other in order to be forgiven (Matt 6:14-15). We cannot use the promise of present forgiveness as a wedge to deny the need to confess sins in order to be forgiven. Scripture teaches both truths and nether one can be denied.

That's why the bible over & over again speaks of our need to preserver in the faith. We are saved now, and will be finally saved on that last day.

Going back to Matt. 6:15.....This is not to suggest that God will withdraw "justification" from those who have already received the free pardon He extends to all believers. Forgiveness in that sense is a permanent and complete asquittal from the guilt and ultimate penalty of sin and belongs to all who are in Christ (Jn. 5:24...Ro. 8:1...Eph. 1:7). YET...Scripture also teaches that God chastens His children who diobey (Heb. 12:5-7). Believers are to confess, (this is where I think you are wrong Bino), their sins in order to obtain a day to day cleansing (1 John 1:9). This sort of gorgiveness is a simple washing from the worldly defilements of sin, NOT a repeat of the wholescale cleansing from sin's corruption that comes from justification....it is like washing of the feet rather than a bath (Jn. 13:10). Forgiveness in this latter sense is what God threatens to withhold from Chritians who refuse to forgive others.

Gary Kirkham said...

Ike,

Salvation isn't about getting about getting your sins forgiven, it is about receiving the life of Christ.

For if while we were enemies (lost) we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10


God had to reconcile us before He could save us. Salvation is being transformed from death into life by placing your faith in the Gospel.


Gary

Bino M. said...

Ike - If Jesus took away all sins at the cross, why do people still go to hell?

That is an excellent question. :)

Like Gary pointed out, forgiveness is NOT salvation. Forgiveness is a pre-requisite for salvation. Salvation is being born again. To be alive to God. To be indwelled by God. To cross from death to life. That (Life) happens, when we receive Jesus. Because He IS LIFE. Life cannot come to us if the sin issue is still standing between us and God. So He took away your sins first, so now you can receive Him, because you are clean. Once you have Him, you have Life. You have salvation.

I agree to some points you made in your second comment. Salvation is a past event, it is also a present reality and its completion is in the future. At present, for example, our bodies are not redeemed yet. Its a future event. So, yes, the process of salvation completes when we get our glorified body. When it comes to forgiveness in a person's life, since He was forgiven at the cross, he is forgiven now and is also forgiven in the future. But regardless of the time (past, present or future), the means for forgiveness is always the cross.

Again, since it is a fact that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness", that issue was resolved forever at the cross.

Jesus is not going to shed His blood again.

But at the same time, being forgiven means nothing unless you have Life (the life of Jesus, eternal life). By shedding His blood on the cross, Jesus provided forgiveness for the ENTIRE humanity so that now they can receive Him (His life) by faith.

He forgave Hitler, Bin Ladan, you and me. Does that mean we are all saved? No! What it means is, we now have the capability (since our sins are taken away) to receive Jesus into our life. Forgiveness is the cleansing, but receiving the life of Jesus (to become alive to God) is salvation.

God cannot and will not dwell in a person if there is the issue of sin still standing between God and him. That is why He took it away first and made it possible for us to exercise faith and receive Jesus. If that isn't good news, what is good news? :)

Bino M. said...

Ike - Another point I wanted to add was that if the sin is still an issue between you (as a believer) and God, according to Bible, when you sin, you will die.

"The wages of sin is death" - Romans 6:23

It didn't say the wages of sin is going out of fellowship with God. It didn't say the wages of sin is going to reduce the intimacy of your relationship with God. It didn't say the wages of sin is sickness, poverty or divorce.

It says, the wages of sin is DEATH (spiritual death, the death Adam died when he sinned).

Is this the case today in a believer's life? When he sin, does he die (spiritually)?

According to Bible, he has to! Because the wages of sin is DEATH.

Now, why is that (death) an impossibility in a believer's case?

Because of what Jesus did on the cross!

Man! I am getting goosebumps...:)

Isn't that the security of our salvation? Isn't it all about His faithfulness and His doing?

Once you are in Christ, you are secured forever in the hands of God and nothing can ever separate you from Him and all that was made possible by what Jesus did on the cross (took your sins away from the sight of God, never to see them again!).

This is good news! Let's rejoice!

Ike said...

A couple of questions to help me understand.



Is it a sin not to receive Christ as ones life? And if all our sins where paid for at the cross, why does the bible teach that those who reject Christ will pay for their own sins in hell? Did we exchange our sins for His righteousness at the cross, or when we placed our faith in Christ?

Gary Kirkham said...

Ike,

"why does the bible teach that those who reject Christ will pay for their own sins in hell?"


After the cross, where does it say that an unbeliever will pay for his sins (plural) in hell?


Here is another verse for you:


The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. Hebrew 1:3

Notice that the writer of Hebrews didn't say "When he had provided the way for us to be cleansed from our sins,"

As has been pointed out, it is our spiritual death that separates us from the life of God. It is unbelief that keeps us dead and eternally separated, that keeps us from receiving eternal life (Jesus).

Gary

Bino M. said...

Ike - The only sin which is going to be judged is the sin of unbelief. All other sin were already judged. Why would God judge those sins again?

One question for you:

Do you sin? If so, what happens when you sin? (in terms of your relationship with God)

theoldadam said...

All sin was paid for.

All sin was (is) forgiven..except for the sin against the Holy Spirit and we are not exactly sure what that is (unbelief?).

But since we are in a relationship, sin is still an issue.

We do relate to each other, do we not?

We still laugh, and cry, and offend, and ask, and say we're sorry...do we not?

I do all those things with my family. My family knows that I'll forgive them anything that they do to offend me. But they (and I) still say we are sorry when we screw up.

We say we are sorry, not in order to win forgiveness, but because we already have it.

Ike said...

Bino & Gary



Is unbelief a sin that Jesus died for on the cross? How could God have forgiven everyone completely at the cross and yet this one “unforgiven” sin still stand in the way of receiving the life of Christ? Bino asked the question in his original post, “ Did Jesus take away ALL sins at the cross or just the accidental sins?”. Now Bino answered his own question by saying that we will be judged for the sin of unbelief.

The reason is that the atonement that Christ provides does not “ipso facto” forgive all people of all sin. Christ suffered sufficiently for all, but the promise of forgiveness and the gift of receiving Christ are conditioned on the fact that one must repent and believe in order to benefit and receive eternal life. We stand under condemnation for all our sins (including the sin of unbelief) until Christ exchanges His righteousness for our sins when we place our faith in Him (2Cor.5:21 & Rom.4:6-8). Hebrews 10:26 teaches us that if we receive the knowledge of Truth, and then deliberately keep on sinning by rejecting that truth….”there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin”. When a person rejects Christ, there is no provision for the forgiveness of sins….only a “certain terrifying expectation of judgment”. The Bible teaches that the wrath of God is coming on the world, not just because of its rejection of Jesus, but because of its many sins that are not forgiven. For example, in Colossians 3:5-6, Paul refers to "immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed," and then says, "On account of these things the wrath of God will come." So people who reject Jesus really will be punished for their specific sins, not just for rejecting Jesus.

Gary Kirkham said...

Ike,

Our sins have already been judged in Adam, the verdict was "guilty" and the punishment was "death!" Spititual death that is. Look what it says in Romans 5:17-18

For if by the transgression of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression (eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.


Gary

Bino M. said...

Ike -


Is unbelief a sin that Jesus died for on the cross? How could God have forgiven everyone completely at the cross and yet this one “unforgiven” sin still stand in the way of receiving the life of Christ?


The answer to your fist question is - No.

Unbelief has to be repented of - which is nothing but changing your mind from unbelief to belief. That is the solution to unbelief.

Here is my reasoning:

While Jesus was wrapping up His ministry on earth, as he was telling his disciples that he was going to send His Holy Spirit, He said one very important thing:

"When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father," - John 16:8-10

How many sins, Jesus says, Holy Spirit is going to convict? Only ONE!

What sin is that? The sin of unbelief! ("because men do not believe in me")

Why is n't Jesus saying that Holy Spirit is going to convict many sins? Because of the fact that He was going to take all those sins away at the cross.

Did He say Holy Spirit is going to convict greediness, selfishness, lust, murder etc? No!

Why would Holy Spirit convict such sins when it is a fact that it's already been forgiven and forgotten by God?

Hope you see my point. To me its very logical and it makes perfect sense.

Ike said...

Bino,

In you original post you asked the question "did Jesus take away all our sins at the cross? The answer you are now giving is that Jesus took away all our sins at the cross except the sin of unbelief. Your entire original post collapses on this point: If Jesus paid for all our sins, but leaving just one (the sin of unbelief), then the unrepentant are still "dead in our trespasses and sins" and remain in a state of unforgivness and outside of life in Christ. Sin is still an issue between God and man whether it's only one unforgiven sin or if it's thousands of unforgiven sins. If forgiveness is a pre-requisite for salvation, then no one will be saved, for we all remain unforgiven and outside of life in Christ until His righteousness becomes ours when we place our faith in Him alone. It's best to say that the wrath absorbing substitutionary atonement of Christ on our behalf, is the pre-requisite to entering a relationship with a holy and loving God. And anyone who places their faith and trust in Him, they will receive the righteousness and life of Christ.

Hebrews 11: 26 says: For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. In other words, to remain unrepentant after receiving this knowledge of truth, places you outside of the life of Christ and the benefits of His cross work mentioned above. In this verse, the unbeliever will face a fearful judgment for his own SINS. The reason is that the atonement that Christ provides does not “ipso facto” forgive all people of all sin. While Christ suffered sufficiently for all, the promise of forgiveness of sins and the gift of receiving Christ are conditioned on the fact that one must repent and believe in order to benefit and receive eternal life.

The Bible teaches that the wrath of God is coming on the world, not just because of its rejection of Jesus, but because of its many sins that are not forgiven. For example, in Colossians 3:5-6, Paul refers to "immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed," and then says, "On account of these things the wrath of God will come." For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil. (Eccl 12.14). And every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36). He will render to each one according to his works. (Rom. 2:6).

So people who reject Jesus also reject His atoneing sacrifice on their behalf. They really will be punished for their specific sins, and not just for rejecting Jesus.

Bino M. said...

Ike -

In regard to what you said, "They really will be punished for their specific sins, and not just for rejecting Jesus.", let me ask you this:

If what you said is right, what is the significance of Christ's sacrifice?

Bino M. said...

In other words, did Jesus die for the world or just for few people?

What does John the Baptist meant what he said "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"? (John 1:29)

llanthyr said...

Can someone please tell me which person doesn't sin "deliberately"? How do you differentiate between what's deliberate and what's not?

Bino M. said...

llanthyr - Thanks for stopping by... Pretty much all sins I do are quite deliberate. :)

Ike said...

If what you said is right, what is the significance of Christ's sacrifice?

The gospel is the announcement of Jesus Christ – specifically his death and resurrection and the exaltation of Jesus as Lord of the world. This message is both personal and cosmic. It is a message about the coming of God’s kingdom, and Jesus as Lord and king of that kingdom. Jesus has given his life for everyone who believes through His atoning work on the cross. Christ has also defeated the power of death and Satan through His crucifixion and resurrection: "the Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The cross of Christ is sufficient for all these things and so much much more.....

However, the focus of our discussion has been on us as individuals and entering into the life of Christ. Objectively, Jesus death was sufficient to save anyone, and subjectively, it is efficient to only save those who repent and trust in Him. Christ died to provide payment for the penalty of all sin for all people. There is a genuine open door for the forgiveness of sins and life in Christ for all people. However, Christ death on the cross is only applied and secures a certain salvation for those who believe on Him. Those people who refuse to accept Christ provision for their sins, will pay for their own sins in a place the Bible describes as hell (I gave plenty of Scripture references for people being judged for their sins).

What does John the Baptist mean when he said "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"?

The sacrifice of Christ is not limited in one time, place or to one people group but is a provision for humanity in general. The Jews of those days always thought in exclusive terms. Christ work on the cross was not just for the Jewish nation only, but for the people of the entire world, including Gentiles.

As John 1:12 say's, "as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God. Like I said before, many Scriptures teach us that salvation (and forgiveness of sins) come only when one believes in Christ. Romans 4 says confirms this, we are only counted as justified (forgiven and made righteous) through faith.
"For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin..........But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification."

Question for Bino" If Jesus paid for all our sins, but leaving just one (the sin of unbelief), then the unrepentant are still "dead in our trespasses and sins" and remain in a state of unforgivness and outside of life in Christ. Sin is still an issue between God and man whether it's only one unforgiven sin or if it's thousands of unforgiven sins. Therefore complete forgiveness cannot be a pre-requisite for salvation (since no one is forgiven the sin of unbelief). Then what do you think John the Baptist meant by this verse if you are correct and Jesus forgave all sin at the cross except one (unbelief), which still leaves us unforgiven until we repent?

Bino M. said...

Ike -

Jesus's one time sacrifice provided forgiveness for all the humanity from Adam to eternity. But that forgiveness is recieved only when we personally apply faith in Jesus and recieve His life. The issue is not sin, but LIFE. We are born into this world spiritually dead (wages of sin is death), and unless we recieve LIFE, we remain dead. It's very simple.

In order for us to recieve LIFE, the sin issue should be dealt with first. Thats exactly what Jesus did on the cross. He settled the issue of sin forever (once and for all).

Now, since the sin issue is resolved, we are free to receive Jesus (LIFE) and be born again (indwelled by God).

But the forgiveness which is provided at the cross means nothing if we don't receive life. That is why Apostle Paul said, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." - 1 Cor 15:17

It is the same LIFE which raised Jesus from the dead, which raises us from our dead (spiritual) condition and make us into a new creation. So yes, forgiveness was provided for the entire humanity, but it is received (individually, personally) when we receive Jesus (LIFE).

That is where repentance come into picture. Repentance is not about being sorry for your sinful actions. Repentance is a TOTAL change of mind from unbelief to belief. We believe (apply faith) in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and RECEIVE Him, so that we may have LIFE.

In that sense, unbelief being a sin (which has to be repented off), it is THE only issue between God and Man. Christ died for us when we WERE sinners and provided forgiveness for ALL sinners. Now it is upto us to repent (turn from unbelief to belief) and RECEIVE His Life.

Unless a person repent of his/her unbelief and receive the LIFE of Jesus, he/she is still "dead in his/her trespasses and sins". That is true and I agree with you.

Once we are born again (received the LIFE of Christ, indwelled by His Spirit), God do not deal with us on the basis of sins; instead, he deals with us on the basis of our new identity (Holy, righteous, complete, New).

Ike said...

Thank you Bino for this discussion. I appreciate the fact that you make me think about these subjects, and are more than willing to allow these type of conversations take place on your blog. You are an excellent example of grace and humility!

Bino M. said...

Ike - It's mutual, my friend! I learn a great deal of stuff by participating in this kind of discussions. I always appreciate your perspectives. There are certain things we may disagree, but certainly, we all can learn from each other.

Thank you for your kind words!
Blessings!