Quote: How do you feel about the phrase 'free from sin'?
In these earthly bodies, it is impossible to be without sin. It cannot be done unless we are God Himself. We are not. Our transformation has not been completed. We have not been given our new heavenly bodies. There is not a Christian on earth who does not sin.
Rom. 6:7 (KJVS) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom. 6:18 (KJVS) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom. 6:20 (KJVS) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Rom. 6:22 (KJVS) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom. 8:2 (KJVS) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
| 2005/10/7 9:57||Profile|
"Technically it is God's righteousness requirement which was satisfied by the death of His Son in our place..." Exactly. The law died with Jesus. The law that binds us in slavery.
again this may sound like semantics but there is a vital difference here. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Rom. 7:6, KJVS) That may give the impression that it is the law which dies in Paul's revelation. However, you may have seen that other translations favour a different slant. But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. (Rom. 7:6, ASV)
But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (Rom. 7:6, NKJV)You will spot the difference. These translations say that 'we' died to the law, rather than the law dying to 'us'. This is much more in keeping with Paul's illustrations.
The 'law' is good but its effect on sinners is deadly. Paul never degraded the law but explains why it cannot effect Christians in the same way; they have already received the law's full punishment for sin in Christ, and they are 'co-crucified with him'. Consequently, although the law is 'alive and well' it cannot get a grip on a man who is dead. It may pursue him to the grave but then it is helpless to continue the chase.
| 2005/10/7 10:09||Profile|
"Free from sin" means that we are free from the slavery of sin, and the yoke of sin. What was the slavery of sin? Sin brought about death and destruction. It also brings shame and guilt. It brings anxiety and stress.
When we are freed from sin, it means this burden of sin is lifted. It means we will not die. We will live forever. It means, that if we sin, we will not have to suffer punishment. Death is the punishment of sin. Our freedom comes in not suffering this punishment.
Romans 6:23 (NLT)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
You could say that those who have accepted this free gift of God is without sin. Why? Because everytime they sin, they are forgiven. It is not because they do not sin. It is because thier sins are forgiven. Everytime they sin, it is immediately cleansed by the blood of Christ.
This is not to say we have a free ticket to sin. We should not follow the desires of our flesh. We should not, but if we do, we should not take on the yoke of slavery either. If we are feeling guilty because of our sin, we are not accepting God's grace. This is pride.
There is a difference in being "free from sin" and being "free of sin." We are not without sin. Would you be so bold to say, "I am without sin!"?
Let me ask, are you without sin? In the time you have been saved, have you ever sinned?
I have. I have yet to meet a Christian who has not. In fact, some of the best preachers are ones who have sinned as a Christian, who have stumbled. They have the wisdom of experience.
Lastly, if we were truly free of sin in our earthly bodies then we would never die. We would have been made perfect in our earthly body. However, we all know that everyone dies. We die to our earthly bodies so that God may give us a new Heavenly body. Our hope is not in this flesh. Rather, our hope is in the resurrection.
Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 15. The whole chapter is devoted to the importance of the resurrection of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (NLT)
51 But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died F84 will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 53 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. 54 When this happens when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die then at last the Scriptures will come true: "Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
I hope this helps you to see where I am coming from.
| 2005/10/7 11:24||Profile|
"These translations say that 'we' died to the law, rather than the law dying to 'us'."
I see what you are saying.
In regards to those who have died to the law, it makes no difference really. For they have died to the law. Whether the law died to them or they died to the law, the law has been done away with. (Keep Reading...)
However, for people who have not accepted Jesus, they will still suffer under the requirements of the law. And so, by this, I can see how it is important to differentiate between the two. For if we say the law has died, then even those who haven't accepted Christ would be free from it. And that is not true.
Romans 7:4 - (NLT)
So this is the point: The law no longer holds you in its power, because you died to its power when you died with Christ on the cross. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God.
| 2005/10/7 11:51||Profile|
So here is a question....
How many people think I should rewrite the story after listening to everyone's input?
How many people think that it's useless and that I should forget about writing such stories?
I don't know. That's why I ask.
| 2005/10/7 12:19||Profile|
Jesus taught in parables and stories. He never once came out and told people it exactly. He never once said, "I am God. Worship me."
I don't mind allegory and fairy tail...like Narnia or even Ted Dekkers Circle Trilogy. Its fun and its fiction. If I were teaching someone yes, I would tell a story to help make a point. I have no problem with that. I still think its dangerous territory. We are too human and can make human errors in the story telling and translation.
God is the creator of the universe. Jesus spoke in parables. I would think that the creator of the universe could formulate a parable just fine to illustrate his point.
There are just some things I just don't think require an allegory or a parable or be made fictional.
I even read one author, Dallas Willard, who said that John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress has done more damage than good....allegorizing the Christian walk.
All that to say...I am not against it, but not necessarily for it either. I just think the world has heard enough stories. I think its just time lay out the Truth.
| 2005/10/7 14:25||Profile|
And in order to touch a people's hearts, He told stories.
Also, if I remember right, Jesus said He spoke in parables to keep people from understanding immediately.
I guess it could be both though.
| 2005/10/7 14:26||Profile|
Sometimes I wish the bible wasn't written in all those stories, and it too was black and white. Wouldn't it be nice if we could open it up and say, "Yep that's it right there, it says we should not spit off a bridge at night especially with our face in the wind. It couldn't be more clear."
However, if the bible were that clear, then it would be bigger than the earth itself. It would have written everything in immense detail. Not to mention, people would not believe in God with thier heart. They would know the truth in thier mind.
The bible has also been greatly misinterpreted. Does that make it dangerous?
I crave Truth as well. I am eagerly awaiting Christ's return so that we can know the Truth entirely. I have so many questions I would like answered. For instance, what is up with the dinosaurs? What was that all about?
Truth always prevails. So, the time will come when all our questions will be answered.
Until then, I guess we just have to walk in faith.
| 2005/10/7 14:51||Profile|
When God tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us, he means for us to do just that. When he tells us to come out and be separate from this world, he means for us to do just that. The same is true when he says to walk in the Spirit and we won't fulfill the lust of the flesh. He is telling us that we can do the above things.
His grace at the cross was and is not to just remove past sins from us but he has also given us the ability to resist sins and walk in liberty from the bondage of Satan.
The yoke of bondage has been broke by Christ at the cross. He came to bring the Christian out of bondage and we are no longer a slave to Satan. We should not look back to Egypt and the place where Satan had taskmasters over us but we are to walk in the liberty that is in Jesus.
It seems to me when a Christian makes excuse for his or her sins that person can not be a person that overcomes because he or she either isn't admitting that sin is a sin or he or she doesn't really have the faith in Christ for that particular deliverance. When someone says they are to weak, it seems to me he or she is either trying to defeat the devil in their own flesh or they currently have to weak a faith in what Jesus has done at the cross to be delivered from that particular sin. .....I believe, help my unbelief.
If or when a person is in a bondage, he or she should ask themselves if there is anything to hard for God. Is there anything to big or impossible with God? Would it bring glory to God if deliverance was manifested in his or her life by deliverance from the bondage?
I'm convinced that we are in a spiritual warfare with the flesh as Christians and that it is God's will that we utterly defeat the enemies of our lives. These enemies are various sins. If we grow in the grace of the Lord we overcome these enemies. The verses in Ephesians chapter 6 speak of this warfare.
| 2005/10/7 19:16||Profile|
Dear Gary E,
Thank you for sharing.
I know what you are saying, and I do believe in what you are saying. I must also add this to help you understand.
Paul also had a thorn in his side. The Lord's response to this thorn was, "My grace is sufficient." Why did the Lord not deliver Paul from this thorn in his side? Was it because it was impossible for God?
Quite the contrary. The Lord left the thorn in Paul's side to remind Paul of His grace.
If Paul had overcome all of his sins, if Paul had walked with no visible sin, then Paul could have quickly become self-righteous. However, in order that Paul would be continually be humbled, the Lord left this little reminder.
There is a great misunderstanding of sin that many people don't realize.
At one point, a man called Jesus a "good" teacher. How did Jesus reply? Mark 10:18 "Jesus replied. 'Only God is good.'"
Why would Jesus say this? Why did Jesus not come out and admit He was good?
He did this because we are to follow Jesus and mimic Christ. And this statement is highly important: Only God is good.
When we say this statement, we are not giving a characteristic of God. Many people think we are trying give God a trait by saying He is good. This is wrong. By this statement, we are not giving definition to God, but rather, giving definition to "good". If we were to measure goodness, what standard would we use? We would use God. We would say, "how do you measure in comparison to God?" This is how good you are.
We don't say, "By what standard do we measure God?" For we know that God is core, the root, the heart of all things. We know God is at the top and everything else is below. Therefore, when we say "God is good", we are really saying, "To be good is to be God."
This is important. For whenever we saying something is good, we are saying, "This is God." Only God is good. ONLY God is good. And so, anything that is good, is God.
Now, when we call human beings good, we are using it to define them. We are using it as a trait. People judge by what they can see, outward appearance. So, usually, when we say someone is good, it is because of the good things they do. (Because of the Godly things they do.) We say, "Martin is a good person because he gives money to the poor." However, as we know, God judges by the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) This statement is also important, although I will explain later.
When God created humans, He meant for them to be good. Which means, He created us to be like Him. However, only God is good. And so, all was well and fine as long as we did not defy good (defy God).
When God looked at His creation (the heavens and the earth) in Genesis, multiple times He called it good. Why? Because His creation did not defy Him. It was in accord with His will. It existed in the presence of God.
However, the minute we sinned, this all changed. We defied God. We defied His goodness. We went against His will.
At this point, it is important to note that we were not born of God. We were part of creation. As a part of creation, as long as we follow God's will, we are good. We are in one accord with God.
However, we were given free will. When we exercised our freedom and sinned, everything fell apart. For the first time in all of creation, a creature apart from God had defied His goodness, His supremacy, His Holiness.
Sin is the defiance of God's will. Sin is evil because it goes against God who is good.
Thus, the minute the first sin was committed, evil was born. And from that point forward, all men were evil because they were no longer in accord with God's will.
God is at the top. He is supreme. In order for God to be supreme, He cannot let anything exist that threatens His supremacy. If He did, He would no longer be good which means He would no longer be God. (Which we know it is impossible for God to not be God.)
It is impossible for God to let anything be in His presense that challenges His authority. Our sin was to defy God. This meant we defied His authority. And so God had one of two choices. He could extinguish us right then and there, or He could rebuke us. He chose to draw His spirit from us causing us to die.
God cannot be near sin. However, only God is good. This means that anything apart from God is evil. All of humanity is evil.
The story continues. God gave us the law. He gave us the law to show how sinful we are. Only God who is good can live up to the law. He gave us the law to show us that we are evil.
We know what happened. The law showed that we are sinful. We cannot be good.
And so, God then sent His son to save us. How? Jesus, who is God, came to earth and lived up to the law. He then took all sin and died with it.
Then He said, "Whoever believes in my son, shall be saved."
What happens is important. In order to be saved, we must accept Jesus as our Lord. This means that we submit unto the authority of Jesus Christ.
The first part is important. We submit unto the authority of Christ. Do you remember the problem we had above? Sin was the defiance to God's will. Sin challenged God's authority. If we submit ourselves unto Jesus and make Him our Lord, then we are submitting unto the authority of God. This solves half the problem of sin. If we submit unto God's authority, then He does not have to extinguish us or rebuke us. We can be forgiven for our defiance. We are no longer challenging God's supremacy for we have submitted unto it. We have made Him our King and God by a committed choice.
The second half of the problem of sin is to not do it. Only God is good. Only God could possibly be good. So, if we are to be made good, we must become a part of God. This means we must be born again. However, to be born again, we must first die.
When we are saved, Christ then helps us overcome sin. How? Well, He redeems us. We die on the cross to the law, and are born again as a part of God.
There are two parts to our death. We have a spirit and a body. The spirit and body come together to form us. When we are saved, our spirit that lives in what we call the heart dies. We are then born again in the Spirit. We are given a new heart. However, the transformation is still not complete. We still have this body to tackle with. Our earthly body must die and we must be given a new heavenly body to be fully transformed to the image of Christ.
However, as far as sin goes, we have been delivered. Christ has delivered us from all sin in two ways. 1) He has become our Lord. 2) He has made us new.
This means, as a Christian, it is impossible for us to sin. It is impossible for us to defy God's will. Why? Because we are a part of God. We have been born again as a part of God.
1 John 3:9 - (NLT)
"Those who have been born into God's family do not sin, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they have been born of God."
When we are born again, we become a part of God. We are good. Our heart is good. Our body is still bad.
That is why people who are saved still do bad things. It is not because they are bad, it is because thier flesh is still bad.
It is impossible for us to sin after we are saved because we are a part of God. Our will has been transformed into God's will.
Now, what does this mean for Christian's who sin? If they are a part of God, that means God sins? What about that?
You must understand that our heart has been transformed but our body has not been. When we sin, we do not mean to sin. It is not intention. It cannot be. Why? For Jesus Christ lives in our heart. If our heart is bad, then we are saying that Jesus is bad. We know Jesus is good. The heart of a true born again Christian is never bad. It is always good and always wishes to do good things. It bears Christ and has the nature of Christ.
However, as we all know, we must be reminded to follow our heart, to follow the Holy Spirit inside of us.
Inside every Christian, a great war rages between the body(flesh) and the heart(spirit). The heart is good and wants to do good. However, the body is still evil. It craves bad things. And so, we live admist this constant conflict.
Many Christians sway easily to the desires of thier flesh because they ignore the joys of thier spirit. They are decieved and tricked. They always mean good things, and always mean to do good things because thier heart is good, but for some reason, they end up doing bad things. Sometimes, they even given in to sin becoming a slave to it. (They don't want to, but thier flesh is weak.)
Matthew 26:41 - (NLT)
"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!"
We need not worry about our salvation, though, for we are judged by our heart as established above. Jesus lives in our heart, and so, we cannot fail. (Unless we ask Jesus to leave our heart, but that's a whole different issue.) This means that if we have been born again, we can do anything, and we will still goto Heaven. (Please do not pull this as a quote without reading further.)
However, as Paul so established in the bible, not everything is beneficial. Not to mention, if we truly love God, we will want to please Him. We will want to do good.
Since we have been transformed, our inward nature has been transformed. If we give into the desires of the flesh, we will quickly discover a disgust, sadness, and other such evils inside of us. We will be prone to all the desires of the flesh.
However, if we give into our true nature, the nature of God, it will produce all sorts of good things in us. We will also be joyful and at peace.
You don't really have to force this on any Christian. I have noticed that people who are filled with the Spirit learn this lesson quickly through experience. They may go into sin for a time, even a long time in human terms. When they do, it takes a toll on them. Sooner or later, they become so disgusted with themselves that they come running to repentance, and some friend gets a call at 3am with the person saying, "Please help me get right with God." Or in another scenario, God will discipline them. This causes them to come running too.
It takes time. We must be patient with those that stumble and faulter.
Now, going back to the above. It is true that we battle against the flesh and fight against it.
For many of us, we love God with all our heart, and we want to be sin free. Not because we have anything to prove, but just because we love God. There are many devout Christians who strive to be thier best in order to show the Lord gratitude for all He has done.
There are also many Christians who encourage and push other Christians to be sin free, not because they are worried this person is going to Hell, but because they love that person. They love them so much, they want to see them at thier best.
Love motivates us to be sin free.
However, there is a small problem. Many people think that since they have been saved that they should have complete victory over thier flesh. This will never happen. It is impossible for you to have complete victory over your flesh. Your flesh has yet to be transformed. It is not a part of God. Your flesh is no good.
If you were to become sin free in your flesh, then you would do what Jesus did. By this, you wouldn't need Him. As we know, that's no good.
If you were to gain complete victory over sin in your flesh, then you would not be at war. You would not have a flesh to battle against.
If you walked without sin, then you would not die in the flesh. You would be perfect and live forever.
That is why God did not give Paul victory over His thorn. We all have thorns. There is a sin or sin(s) that haunt every Christian. Some try to hide it. Some are completely ignorant of it. Some fall away from God because they don't get victory.
This story was written to help those people who stumble because of thier thorn. It was written to help them realize thier need for Jesus. Everyday, we must die to our flesh. Everyday, we should fall on our knees and ask Christ to give us strength. Everyday, we must realize that we are weak and that we need Jesus.
The Devil uses our thorn to hurt us. We think, "I have victory in Christ." And then we sin in the flesh. This breaks us down. It opens us up to attack. "Why did I sin? Why did not Jesus help me?" We then start think, "Where was Jesus when I needed Him?" This opens us to more attacks and more attacks until finally we start to question our salvation. We become guilt stricken and defeated.
WE ARE AT WAR!!!!! We battle against the dark forces of the world who have power over us because of our fleshly bodies.
We do not yet have victory. If we had victory, then there would be no war. Victors don't fight, they rejoice. We know that we have victory in Jesus. We have the hope of victory. We have HOPE!!! Because we have Jesus, we can say the war has already been won. The war has been won, but the war is not over. We still have to press on to the end. We still have to persevere.
The story ends on an important note. It reminds us that we need to keep our focus on our King. Keep your focus on the victory. Keep your focus on the hope. Walk in faith. Keep your focus on Jesus.
If we do, we will not let sin have power over us. And I don't mean we will not fall into sin. This is not right. The body is weak. We will fall into sin. If we never did, then we wouldn't need grace. We need grace. The above statment means we will not let sin have power over us. It will not bind us. It will not lead us into guilt. It will not bring us into addiction. It will not control us. It will not haunt us.
When our focus is on Christ, we will be aware of His presence in our lives 24/7. We will live in fear of the Lord. We will not be drawn to the world, but rather be filled with love.
I hope this better explains some things. I did not mean for it be so long. It is late and I am really tired.
May God bless you my brother. Thanks for reading my story, and reading this long passage.
| 2005/10/10 0:50||Profile|