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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Sunny, a fair number of Christians would not agree completely with what you've written there. God's willingness to forgive doesn't depend on our ability to become perfect. Yes, we are supposed to repent, but if it proves difficult, God doesn't just abandon us until we succeed. Grace is grace, a free gift, not a prize we can only earn by being good.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:05 pm 
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God cannot look upon sin. When his own son, Jesus, took on the sin of the world, on the cross, his father turned his back on him, and He cried out: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

That's what I've been taught, anyway. My background is Anglican, and most of the Anglican churches I attended had Communion nearly every Sunday. Before Communion, we would go through the prayers for repentance, and receive absolution from the priest, before receiving the sacrament. That's because scripture says: Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [have died].

Also,
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Sin brings separation from God. That does not mean that God no longer loves you, or will refuse to forgive you if you repent. I like the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep. You can wander from the flock (i.e., not live a Christian life) but the shepherd will always be calling for you and searching to bring you back.

Some current theologians deny that sin has any consequences. That's NOT what the Bible teaches. Remember Jesus admonished some of those he'd healed to go their way and 'sin no more'? Remember the commandment that says to honour your father and mother,
that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you? Most of us forget about the second part of that commandment, which clearly says that you WILL suffer consequences if you do not honour your parents.

So, that is what I was trying to say above. It is important for the Christian to make some effort to lead a Godly life. Yes, we will stumble and fall, but as you said, it's important that we dust ourselves off, say we're sorry, and try to do better.

However, we cannot live a totally immoral life and expect God to accept us, unless we confess our sins and repent.

Jesus reserves some of his most cutting words for those who honoured God with their lips only: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.... You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgment of hell?

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Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


Last edited by Sunsilver on Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:28 pm 
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There's a theological crux, one central to the division between Protestant denominations, at work in this discussion. I don't have a pony in the race, but I thought I'd point that out before people get too bent out of shape.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:32 pm 
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And that crux is.....? :)

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Well, I wasn't planning on getting bent out of shape :P, but I was planning to reply as soon as I had some time. I disagree with you on some finer points, Sunny, but that's all I have time to say now. (I'm heading out the door for a field trip.)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:39 pm 
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The crux is the nature of Grace and the relationship of Man to his own salvation.

There's a handy chart at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_ ... ct_schools

I only point this out because I've been researching the issue for a novel. :) I will politely duck out now.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Thank you for contributing that, Ax!

(goes off to read it.)

I am going to ask a moderator to make this into a new thread titled 'Sin and Forgiveness'. If anyone can think of a better title, please PM me.

I never really wanted to start such a hot-button topic, and when vison suggested making a new thread, my first reaction was "AAACK! NO WAY!" :shock: But we've drifted too far off topic to avoid it, and maybe we'll all learn something from it. I include the atheists and agnostics when I say that (as well as those from other religions, of course.)

My apologies to Lali for derailing her thread! :blackeye:

[Edit] Okay, how do I find a moderator on this site? :suspicious: Or do I just hope one stumbles across this thread?

Ax, that's some heavy-duty reading! And I have to say, I don't think the protestant part of the article is at all complete.

Nel, how do the Jews look at salvation? What would cause Jesus to say the Pharisees and Saducees would be condemned to hell? (Link to the relevant verses in the NT: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... ersion=NIV

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:05 am 
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Just finished a book called Ascent From Darkness by Micheal Leehan. The author was a satanist for 20 years. He believed his mission was to mislead lukewarm Christians, often by quoting scripture. Various churches and bible study groups were his playground. This is why it is important to search the scriptures yourself, even among trusted teachers. The Bible warns of false teachers and prophets which implies churches would have their share.

Some Christians believe it is possible to live without sin after being saved. I'm not so sure even as I'm sure that through God anything is possible. Given Paul's experience recorded below it appears that the flesh remains at war with the spirit even after being saved. To believe otherwise is to also believe that one can be saved by works rather than just grace. If you could overcome the flesh yourself, God's grace and mercy would be meaningless, his crucifixion (and resurrection) unnecessary.

Romans 17:18-20

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (NKJV)

Actually Romans is a good read when trying to understand the difference between being under the Law (commandments) and being under Grace.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Just down the page from where Jesus says "Judge not, lest ye be judged", he also says:

Quote:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


It's important to read the WHOLE Bible to understand Christianity, and not just pick individual scriptures:

http://kjv.us/matthew/7.htm


He also says that you shall know the good tree [metaphor for a good person] by the fruit it produces, and the tree that does not produce good fruit 'shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.'

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Quote:
It's important to read the WHOLE Bible to understand Christianity, and not just pick individual scriptures:

Oh I agree. I don't believe Romans is intended to be interpretted as, "You are saved by grace not works therefore the Law, the Commandments, need no longer be heeded." They are still a guide for good conduct, to be kept as Jesus himself said.

The tendancy, at least what I have experienced, is once you are saved you want to be pleasing in the eyes of God -- which is not always the same as being pleasing in the eyes of the World and of men. Acting in a way that is pleasing to the Lord becomes one's nature after being born again. It is something you know inwardly first, by faith. It is not something that is done in expectation of praise, recognition, or reward but out of devotion and love for God.

(This is not to say that there are no rewards. For instance there is an inward peace that comes when you "seek first the Kingdom of God...")

I'm pretty new at inductive Bible study. This site has proven most useful: http://www.preceptaustin.org/matthew_722-23.htm

The verses from Mathew 7 (21-23) seem to me a pretty stark statement that "Works" alone will not get you into heaven. If a person did all those things, it would appear that they bore much good fruit. But those same people must not have given themselves wholely, heart and soul, to Christ (which is a matter between them and God, a matter of faith and grace.)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Just as a follow-up to my comments above, just read this and found it to be particularly edifying: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hil ... s2-CTR.htm


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Sunsilver wrote:
Nel, how do the Jews look at salvation? What would cause Jesus to say the Pharisees and Saducees would be condemned to hell? (Link to the relevant verses in the NT: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... ersion=NIV


Well, since nel isn't responding...

The answer to the first question is complicated because in Christian view salvation, if I understand it correctly, is predicated on the concept of original sin, which is absent in Judaism ("Lord, the soul that you gave me is pure").

The second question, I don't have a clue, honestly.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Sunny, sorry, I just saw your question. I've been around only sporadically and have only been keeping up with a few threads. I'll try to put together some thoughts soon; unfortunately, I'm pretty sick right now.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:28 pm 
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I hope you feel better soon, nel.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Jesus was a Jew, so when he says the Pharisees and Saducees won't escape Hell, obviously the concept of judgement for sins IS present in Judaism, even if it is not the same as in Christianity.

Anyway, I can see this getting complicated, as not even Christians can agree on what's needed for salvation. Some say belief is enough "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be save, you and your family". Others believe that you have to make some sort of effort to live a Godly life, re. these words of Jesus from Matthew:

Quote:
Matthew 7: 21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:08 pm 
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And some, like me, say you need both. True belief leads to righteous actions. And righteous actions begin with true belief. I don't believe you can separate them, and I think it's the view that makes sense of seemingly contradictory Scriptures.

James 2:26, "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

John 20:31, "...but these [signs of Jesus, i.e., the book of John] have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" (bracketed addition mine to clarify).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Sunsilver wrote:
Jesus was a Jew, so when he says the Pharisees and Saducees won't escape Hell, obviously the concept of judgement for sins IS present in Judaism, even if it is not the same as in Christianity.


I don't think that can be said with that degree of certainty. Just because the Christian writers of the New Testament say that Jesus said that some years after his death, does not establish that that is an accurate representation of Judiasm. I'm not knowledgable enough to say with certainty that it is not an accurate statement, but to the best of my limited knowledge of Judiasm, it is not. Hopefully someone who knows better than I will comment.

Nel, I hope you feel better soon!

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Last edited by Voronwë the Faithful on Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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I wonder if that concept of judgment for sins is present in Orthodox Judaism. ?? Do any of you know? A reading of the Law and Prophets seems to show that God punishes sin.

(This is interesting to me that those of you who are Jewish say this concept does not exist in Judaism. I'm, frankly, a little surprised by that, but I don't mean to be narrow-minded or anything. I'm just...puzzled.)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:32 pm 
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And in Revelation 20, it says that you are judged according to what you have done; according to your "works."

Quote:
12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to his works.


(Bolding mine.)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Yes, but that judgment is for the non-believers, Jewel.

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