Forgiveness & Sin

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshuastone7, Mar 15, 2024.

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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I used to think my prayers for forgiveness were merely requests for Jehovah to look past my sinful actions. I somehow believed these requests would repair my relationship with Him, like asking for the forgiveness of a brother or sister. However, this doesn't express what forgiveness truly is.

    Firstly, we are dead in sin but made alive in Christ through who canceled our debt.

    "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." Col 2:13,14

    Secondly, when we request forgiveness, we recognize Jehovah as the rightful director of our lives. We confirm our dedication to righteousness, allowing His Word to dictate our actions. We also show repentance through actions that befit forgiveness.

    "First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds." Acts 26:20

    "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance." Mth 3:8

    Should our requests for forgiveness from God be based on gaining something? In my immaturity, I tended to request forgiveness in hopes of gaining an approved condition with God. However, our Lord has already repaired our relationship with our Father by bearing our sins. Instead, my requests for forgiveness should be based on my dedication to putting aside sinful actions and replacing them with actions denoting righteousness, for He deserves my devotion. Similarly, forgiveness and repentance are defined among brothers and sisters as not just accepting regretful words but also leaving behind inappropriate actions and expecting others to do the same.

    We don't get to continually treat others disrespectfully and expect them to forgive us unconditionally.

    Instead, my repentance is now based on a dedication to righteousness despite my sinful nature. I ask Jehovah to apply our Lord's sacrifice in my case by showing through my wilfully setting aside my sinful actions.

    "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." Heb 10: 26,27

    This is still a personal fluid subject, so I would greatly appreciate any insights you may have.

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    The Hebrew nation's repentant prayed for God's forgiveness (Forgiveness/Salach--to pardon.) So, God gave them atonement, a process by which He covered His eyes to their sin through continual sacrifices (Atonement/Kaphar--pacify, preparation.) A for glean of the promised Mashiach.

    "If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance." Ex 34:9

    "And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven." Num 15:28

    The Priest's offering of atonement pacified the setting aside of the Hewbrew's sins but did not result in their complete removal, which would only occur through our Lord Christ Jesus.

    "And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." Heb 10:11

    The Hebrew nation could only have their sins hidden from the eyes of Jehovah through continual sacrifices until they could be permanently cleansed through the blood of Christ. Therefore, God gave them only atonement, or the pacifying preparation, until sins could be permanently removed through Christ Jesus. (Forgiven/Charizomai--to exercise grace, freely show favor.)

    "You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." 1Jhn 3:5

    The faithful throughout centuries before Christ have now had their sins removed rather than set aside through the continual sacrifice. Today, we can be assured our sins are removed through Christ our Lord if our repentance is in accord with our actions.

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    Christian Greetings, @Joshuastone7 and thank you for the thoughts and scriptural citations.

    RE: forgiveness

    I'm particularly interested in focusing on forgiveness, and thought I'd contribute these thoughts:

    The word we use, "forgive" comes down to us from the Old English word "forgiefan" which itself has an interesting but little known usage: "give in marriage." Again, I haven't seen anyone else notice that particular aspect of the word which brought us "forgive." The word itself is a compound of two words of that time, for- (which the best experts on etymology feel is probably "completely," and -giefan "to give."

    I'm inclined to agree with them, considering marriage requires a complete giving of and between the man and woman who enter upon this sacred covenant.

    According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the use of forgive in association with pardon in "The sense of 'to give up desire or power to punish' (late Old English) is from use of such a compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Vulgar Latin *perdonare (Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben "to forgive," Gothic fragiban "to grant;" and see pardon (n.))."

    As I said, I'm inclined to the perspective that "forgive" and its association with "completely give" and "give in marriage" when considering what the Bible's writers were inspired to record for those who came after them.

    This fits well with atonement, as well, I think.

    If one approaches the word in the sense of pardon, then "completely" (OE for-) still means what it says. When one forgives another, there can remain no reservations, no holding back something that can be pulled up later to hold the error / offense against the other party.

    The world has the expression, "I forgive you, but I won't forget."

    Then it isn't forgiveness.

    But I'm more intrigued with "give in marriage" being the thought being conveyed here. The tribes of Israel were rife with unfaithfulness in their covenant marriage with Jehovah, and would then seek ... (and there's that word) "give in marriage," forgiveness. Israel sought restoration to the marriage over the course of their age, after playing the role of harlot, concubine, and adulteress time and again.

    What, then, of the individual? Well, it's the same deal. God went to a great deal of trouble so that He might become all things to all believers. As believers, we've entered into a covenant marriage with him. We are given that spirit which bears witness within us.

    And we, being who we are, find the most pitiable ways of messing that relationship up. Often.

    When we seek "forgiveness," sure, it could be said that we're seeking a pardon. As if we deserve it.

    We don't.

    But isn't what we're seeking that which we realize we don't have, that we long for?

    Because God never leaves the believer-- it is the believer who leaves the marriage of believer and Creator. It is the believer who steps outside of the covenant of marriage with the Heavenly Father.

    And one of the ways this happens is in our rejection of the second vow in the marriage covenant we are bound under: "to do unto others even as we would have them do unto us."

    If we withhold, then, forgiveness of another even as we pray for our own forgiveness, then we've lost the plot. We're hypocrites. We're adulterous in our covenant with Jehovah, because we're fellowshipping with the same worldly spirit that utters keepsakes like "I forgive, but I don't forget."

    If we have trust and hope in the words of David, found at Psalm 103:12, then we had better be ready to be willing to do the same of someone who has offended us, had we not?

    Sure, in the sense of "pardoning" them... but, and this seems far more important... it restores one within the covenant of Promise that all believers have borne witness within themselves through the spirit, or Helper, binding them to others of faith and hope.

    I think I started rambling on there at the end, but anyhoo...

    Submitted for perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

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    Greetings, brother!

    Interestingly, your thoughts on forgiveness and repentance are precisely how I've always understood them. However, I started questioning that perception recently.

    During prayer the other night, I asked our Father for forgiveness for the very reasons you gave. However, I wondered if my request was selfish or motivated by a desire to gain something. This contradicted my very reasons for serving Jehovah to begin with. I serve God because He deserves my devotion, and I'm on the side of honor, honesty, and righteousness. Regardless of what happens to me, I take comfort in the fact that those satanic ideologies from the garden will be annihilated. So, why was I requesting something from Him?

    Our Lord paid our debt; therefore, there is no continual sacrifice or continued need for forgiveness. Instead, my repentance confirms my regret for my shortcomings in serving Him perfectly and my intentions to replace such sinful behaviors with righteous actions because He deserves my devotion.

    Again, if it doesn't matter what happens to me, and I wish to serve Jehovah because He deserves my devotion, why would I request something self-serving? Why would I request He set aside my sin when He has already done that in Christ? In that same light, why would I request He forgive me of my sins to repair my relationship with Him when he also took care of that through Christ?

    When we sin unintentionally against our brothers and sisters, should we be thinking of ourselves and wishing to repair our relationship with them, or should we think of them first through empathy by showing our regret by actions?

    In Hebrew and Greek, forgiveness is a verb that denotes an action. Just as our Father gave His son, reminding us that love is an action toward another, so should repentance be. We repent to others out of empathy by showing them changed behavior. Why should that be any different with our Father?

    This is my current avenue of thinking. Submitted for your perusal.

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    I'm not persuaded here, brother. This is an awkward generalization for me, and I'll try to explain (and subsequently find out if my perspective is in error) myself:

    "Our Lord paid our debt" and "there is no continual sacrifice or continued need for forgiveness" are not the same thing. The first statement IS true, but you should not "therefore" into what you suggested next, because the suggestion itself is NOT true.

    Here's why:

    Again, I can only speak from where I'm at in the walk every believer takes toward the Father in the Heavens. I've been wrong aplenty about plenty of things along the way, had to readjust my way of thinking plenty more, still.

    Still, the debt is that common to all men. Adamic sin. That debt is counted to every descendant of Adam.

    And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment... — Hebrews 9:27 ESV

    For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. — 1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV

    When Jesus was put to death by Jehovah, Jesus assumed the death to which we are appointed. As far as Adamic sin, the debt was paid, the slate wiped clean. With the debt paid, those "in Christ shall all be made alive." These ones will still die according to flesh (it IS appointed for man, after all), but who cares, when something far better awaits those "in Christ"?

    Jehovah provided the Lamb appropriate to the cost of Divine Justice and the matter of Adam's transgression. It was Jehovah who extended forgiveness of Adamic death toward those "in Christ."

    The apostle Paul described this as a mediatorship role:

    For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all... —1 Timothy 2:5-6 BSB

    My conclusion from this is that Jesus' mediatorship is concerning Adamic sin, which is to say Adamic death.

    But does it follow, as you suggest, that "there is no continual sacrifice or continued need for forgiveness"?

    This is where I remain unpersuaded.

    Concerning Adamic sin, I agree with you: "there is no continual sacrifice" in respect to the sacrificial system in effect up until its dissolution in the first century. There is no other sacrifice but the one Jehovah brought to the altar and sacrificed, as far as salvation from Adamic death.

    Having said that, I disagree that "there is no continued need for forgiveness." [[IF you are referring to Adamic death, then that would be understandable and reasonable.]]

    But you went on to describe a recent situation:

    Examining our heart before petitioning for forgiveness is always a solid idea.

    Just because that debt of Adamic death may have been paid in full, forgiven by Jehovah does NOT mean we won't make some pretty poor choices between now and our Reward in the heavens. We have some issues, all of us. And as a result of these imperfections in our character, our thoughts, or every aspect, we invariably fall short.

    I'm convinced that it would be a mistake if we were to conclude that the paying of the debt of Adamic death also applies to those transgressions common to all men. {I circle back to this in a bit, below}

    While Jesus IS our mediator before God in the matter of Adamic death (Jesus IS, after all, the Second Adam), Jesus is ALSO High Priest to us before God. . . and where there's a priest, there's a sacrifice.

    Jesus' sacrifice was the life he was entitled to as the only perfect man who never sinned-- that we might live. On this, I hope we are in agreement.

    And we, too, are to lay down our life for Jehovah God. The difference is that we do so, not as unblemished but chock full of 'em! At times, we're like Cain in our sacrifice-- harboring grudges, giving less than our best in service as followers of Jesus, and then mad when we aren't prospering before God.

    The rare few of us, however, who are contrite in our transgression, condemned in conscience, seek restoration (in the sense of the covenant relationship between believer and Creator)... seek forgiveness (in the sense of pardon for transgression), and have the undeserved kindness of Jesus as our High Priest for that very thing.

    Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. —Hebrews 4:14-16 BSB

    If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us. —1 John 1:6-10 BSB

    If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume all adversaries. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think one deserves to be punished who has trampled on the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and insulted the Spirit of grace? —Hebrews 10:26-29 BSB

    I believe it noteworthy that the transgressions here are those we become aware of in the process of, first, becoming a believer having awareness of God, and second, the refinement process we are brought through as every ungodly thought is brought into subjection and we, for our part (unlike Cain), get mastery (Genesis 4:7) with the help of our High Priest, Jesus.

    It is these transgressions which are only right and proper that we confess (to bring out into the light from the darkness in our heart so it can be made manifest for the evil that it IS) and that we seek forgiveness. Jehovah, as Reader of hearts, is faithful and just to forgive the transgression, as noted in 1 John (above).

    Gotta put a cork in it for this one, though, and get my morning underway.

    Submitted for perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Are you sure, brother? ;)

    "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God." Heb 10:12

    There was only one sacrifice, one sacrifice for all sin. There is no continual sacrifice of forgiveness. The only thing we want now is our Lord's sacrifice to apply to us. There was only one redemption. Jesus doesn't continue to sacrifice as the priests did; his one sacrifice paid for all sin, then and now. We cannot nail our sins on the stake with Him again; He cannot forgive our sin again because there is only one sacrifice, one forgiveness of sin.

    "He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself." Heb 7:27

    Sin is already forgiven if we make sure it applies to us. Many in Christiandom get into this problem. They think they can sin and God will forgive them each time. That's not how it works. Yes, all sin has been paid for, but you have to make sure you fall under that category.

    Jehovah can't forgive our sins again. He doesn't forgive our sins each time we sin; He applies our Lord's sacrifice to those who are repentant through adjusted actions. It's just a matter of whether you will let that sacrifice apply to you.

    Again, there was only one sacrifice for all sin, one sacrifice for all those who are repentant. If you are repentant, that one sacrifice of Christ will apply to you. Jehovah can't forgive sin again. There are no multitudes of forgiveness of sin. The difference now is whether you allow that sacrifice to apply to you at any given time. But you certainly are not forgiven for sin presently; all sin was forgiven 2000 years ago.

    How can you be forgiven of sin now if all sin was forgiven 2000 years ago? Wouldn't that mean Jehovah was nailing our sin to Christ again and again?

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother... :)

    PS: Think about it like this: Sacrifice and forgiveness can only co-occur. Forgiveness can only be given during a sacrifice.

    "And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven." Num 15:28

    Redemption in Colossians is described as forgiveness. This scripture says that redemption is forgiveness.

    "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Col 1:14

    In the following scripture, you can replace the word sacrifice with forgiveness, meaning that the forgiveness from Christ's sacrifice is no longer available if you continue sinning. This means that forgiveness of sin was only given at the sacrifice.

    "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." Heb 10: 26,27

    Our sins were forgiven at the redemption—all sins throughout all time, including ours now. If we were forgiven today, that would mean our sins were forgiven then and now, or even hundreds of times. That's many redemptions of sins with only one sacrifice, one redemption. How many times are we redeemed? Millions of times each day around the world? o_O

    We can't separate sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness. According to Scripture, they all occur at the same moment, whether that is under the Old or New Covenants. It's just a matter of whether our Lord's redemption applies to us. Heb 10:26,27

    With all love from our family to yours, my friend, Timothy.

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9 BSB

    How do you reconcile this with your assertion?

    Jehovah is faithful and just to 1) forgive us our sins and 2) cleanse us from all unrighteousness (the application of Christ's sacrifice). Two separate actions on the part of Jehovah to achieve atonement, is how I presently understand this.

    But I'm interested in how you reconcile this with your position, all the same.

    Another approach: "If we confess our sins" then ... actions follow.

    The question this part raises for me in reading your post is whether this confessing of our sins is-- according to your position as I hope I'm understanding correctly: a once and done all my sins for my entire existence are wiped clean, even sins I haven't done yet but will-- OR is this confessing of sins an ongoing practice of the believer? And IF an ongoing practice, then what follows is likewise an ongoing practice. In other words: Confession leads to forgiveness AND sanctification by Jehovah.

    Here are a couple additional scriptures that also may have bearing on the discussion.

    Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. —James 5:16 ISV

    Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. —Galatians 6:1-2 BSB

    Even into the last years of the first century, leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, this confessing of sins was given in admonishment to first-century believers by both the apostle Paul as well as James, "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." The prayers of the righteous act in harmony with 1 John 1:9, petitioning God that the sinner "may be healed" (read: forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness).

    {Sorry for the brevity. Dinner is waiting here.}

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother.

    Perhaps this should be more of a discussion of sins being pardoned vs. removed. So, I've adjusted my thinking since the posts above.

    If we read the Old Covenant's position on forgiveness, we would imagine the temple sacrifices at the time took away sin.

    "And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven." Num 15:28

    However, we as Christians know that if we took such a position, we would be wrong because of this scripture.

    "And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." Heb 10:11

    Therefore, we have to infer that the pardon/forgiveness of sin in the Old Covenant was a setting of them aside or a covering of Jehovah's eyes until they could be taken away at the final judgment through Christ.

    So, similarly, today, we have our sins pardoned/forgiven in the same way as the Hebrews. However, our sins are not yet removed. Christ replaced the continual sacrifice so that a single sacrifice is all that is needed for us to be pardoned currently. However, that one sacrifice will also remove sin completely in the future. At which point there will no longer be an offering of sin.

    ""I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin." Heb 10:17,18

    There is no longer a sin offering once sin is truly forgiven and removed. It's a one-time thing.

    We must live according to God's Will, or His sacrifice will not apply to us on the day of Judgement. Let alone our sins wouldn't be set aside today.

    Jesus' sacrifice doesn't apply to all sin; it applies retroactively to all repentant humans at the future judgment and subsequent resurrection.

    Therefore, there is no such thing as Adamic vs personal sin; they were all nailed to Christ. Consequently, He died once to completely remove sin in the future, not just pardon them currently.

    Sins can't be taken away from us until we're perfect on the day of judgment.

    The common view states that people after Christ have their sins removed, and I'm of the current opinion we can only have our sins pardoned until they are removed on the final day.

    If sins were taken away individually, there would have to be a continual sacrifice of Christ, or we would all be currently perfect. You can't have the removal of sin without an offering. Otherwise you would be saying that Christ removed all sin at His sacrifice.

    Are we really completely cleansed of all sin today?


    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    Thank you, because the preceding sentence helps me to understand that you're factoring in your eschatology. Now I can better see some of the why behind the disparity in our perspectives and subsequent understanding. So, of course we're going to come at this from our disparate eschatological bents too.

    I also appreciated your own observation that, for you, "this should be more of a discussion of sins being pardoned vs removed."

    I have to admit that I do not personally see any scriptural distinction between one's sins being pardoned vs one's sins being removed.

    Still, let's see how close we can come together. :)


    No, I would disagree with you here. The Mosaic Covenant pointed to how our sins are forgiven/pardoned in the Messianic Covenant. Because of your eschatological views, you see this as an event that takes place in the future, somewhere ahead in the Stream of Time.

    And I see this differently, scripturally. Eschatology, of course. :p

    If I may...

    We are born dead. Plain and simple fact in our Bible.

    And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. All of us also lived among them at one time, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. —Ephesians 2:1-10 BSB

    From our conception onwards, we have no awareness of God, much less heavenly-sourced things like faith and hope, not to forget Love as exemplified by Father and son, Jesus.

    We're dead in our trespasses.

    Sure, we're sucking down air, water, and other resources. And we live out our lives... but we do so with no awareness of God.

    Imagine that for a moment! I can't imagine it, can you, brother? Yet that is the state of multitudes around us. And conditions aren't exactly improving on that front, either.

    We were raised to life and as a result, became believers. Next step: follow in Christ's footsteps or live it up in the get-it-while-you-can-world before your body gives out.

    This second believer is aptly described thus:

    If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume all adversaries. —Hebrews 10:26-27 BSB

    It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— and then have fallen away—to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame. —Hebrews 6:4-6 BSB

    What, though, of the believer who becomes a follower of Jesus, becomes a Christian?

    Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do, yet fails to do it, is guilty of sin. —James 4:17 BSB

    Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard this, and they asked Him, “Are we blind too?” “If you were blind,” Jesus replied, “you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” — John 9:39-41 BSB

    If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father as well. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. —John 15:22-24 BSB

    It is only because we have been granted awareness of God, and been blessed with a Helper who bears witness from God, and, as a result, are empowered to believe and have faith and bear up under hope, that we are even aware of sin.

    We have been raised to life.

    Henceforth, we become accountable for those things we know are right yet fail to abide them.

    When we inevitably fall short in our efforts to follow Jesus, we have the provision of confessing our trespass to Jehovah, with Jesus as our Mediator.

    Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. —Hebrews 4: 14-16 BSB

    This is a perpetual process as we move through the refinements in store for us over the course of our life:

    For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he still gets up... —Proverbs 24:16 BSB

    Again, scripturally, I see removal of sin as a perpetual process and thus is progressively removing sin completely, in the present-- the here and now. There are scriptural intimations that sin will exist for an indefinite time, including:

    Happy are those who wash their robes, that the authority [to go] to the trees of life may be theirs and that they may gain entrance into the city by its gates. Outside are the dogs and those who practice spiritism and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone liking and carrying on a lie.' — Revelation 22:14-15 NWT

    Even in this translation, there are individuals found outside of the city who are actively continuing in their sin, which invariably takes them to "the second death."

    But what was the first death if not the death we were each born into... having no awareness of our Creator, dead in our trespasses. This suggests to me that those heading to the "second death" are those who were "enlightened" but fell away. They have the awareness of God but persist in carrying on a lie. In short: people who have no awareness of God and sin are not heading for the "second death," although they will die, nonetheless. If memory serves, the Watchtower holds the view, instead, that these ones will one day be resurrected and given an opportunity to become a believer at that time-- and if they then reject the opportunity, they will face the "second death."

    We appear to be in agreement on this, at least in principle.

    I never meant to suggest or infer that Jehovah has to re-sacrifice the Lamb every time we trespass, because that is not the case at all. The merit of said sacrifice is applied when the person is brought to life and begins the process of becoming a new creation.

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 BSB

    Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us... So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. —2 Corinthians 4:7, 12, 16 BSB

    And
    I think we're in agreement that if a believer sins willfully, then there "no longer" remains "any offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:26)

    Gotta wrap it up here, sorry, even though I wanted to finish responding to the remainder of your posting because of the points you raised. Just ran out time, and this IS long already. lol

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    Timothy.
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother! :)

    I would say both of us are considering the eschatology of our Lord's sacrifice. Does it apply to everyone (including the Hebrews) from the moment of the sacrifice or a date after that sacrifice?

    Might I ask, weren't the Hebrew's sins pardoned rather than removed? Perhaps you didn't clarify in light of Heb 10:11. We're asking if that changed after Christ, right?

    "And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." Heb 10:11

    Then I would ask, what makes us think our pardon of sin differs from that of the Hebrews? The Hebrews needed continual sacrifice to have their sins pardoned, while we only need the one in Christ.

    I could be wrong on this subject, brother, but there are a number of paradoxes that I have yet to answer.

    Let's go backward through Heb 10,

    “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” v17

    When will He remember their sins no more?

    "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” v16

    The Spirit in Verse 16 describes "those days," quoting the OT when Jehovah will remember their sins no more after Christ's enemies are made a footstool. "Those days" are after Christ's enemies are footstools.

    "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet." V12,13

    From Paul's words, sins are no longer remembered only after Christ subdues His enemies. Unless you have a differing view, you can offer, brother.

    Then Paul tells us that once these are forgiven, there is no longer an offering for sin. Meaning that this is a one-time event, it's speaking of. Once these are forgiven, there would be no forgiveness of sin whatsoever if they were to sin after that.

    "Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin." v18

    -------

    You shared Heb 6, but it contains a contradiction to your view. Let me explain...

    "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age— and then have fallen away—to be restored to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame. —Hebrews 6:4-6

    Then you said,

    We continue to sin in this world. Therefore, Heb 6:4-6 would mean (in your explanation) that if we sin after learning the Truth, we are not forgiven. But that contradicts your understanding of a "provision of confessing our trespass."

    What do we have that the Hebrews did not? You say, "This is a perpetual process as we move through the refinements in store for us over the course of our life:" That's no different than what the Hebrews had. The only difference is they needed a continual sacrifice to be pardoned, and we need only the one. The Hebrews didn't have their sins removed, so you are saying that since Christ, we have now had our sins removed through prayer. But this contradicts Paul.

    You say,

    Could you be wrong? Is there a difference between being pardoned and sins being removed? From my reading of Paul, sin is only removed once Christ's enemies are made a footstool. At this point, forgiveness of sin, which is never remembered by God, is a one-time thing, and if one sins after, there is no longer a sacrifice that can save them. Your explanation of a "provision of confessing our trespass" that removes sin contradicts Paul's statements.

    From everything I read, what the Hebrews had for forgiveness of sin is precisely what we have today. They had a continual sacrifice, while we have the single. However, I am reading from Paul a future forgiveness of sin that is removed and no longer remembered.

    This is why I stated, "Perhaps this should be more of a discussion of sins being pardoned vs. removed." I did not intend to say a debate between our different eschatological views; however, a matter of scriptural fact. I argue that there is a difference between pardoning and removal in the Word.

    Again, I read that if sin were a perpetual process of progressively removing sin, you would have to sacrifice Christ continually. From what I'm reading, the removal of sin is a one-time thing only. That, however, does not diminish our current forgiveness of sin or pardoning from the single sacrifice in Christ.

    In the first two verses of Heb 10, Paul says that removing sin makes that individual perfect and that they will no longer have knowledge of sin.

    "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? v1,2

    According to Paul, we are not made perfect until we are all together at a future date, at a one-time removal of sin.

    "And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." Heb 11:39,40

    Therefore, Christ's sacrifice cannot make us perfect now. It cannot remove sin from us now. Jehovah has not forgotten our sins currently. Christ's enemies have not been made a footstool yet. We currently have what the Hebrews had: a pardoning of sin. And it's a good thing it is this way now, or none of us would have a chance...

    Even Paul said he had not yet been made perfect. Therefore, his sins could not have been removed yet.

    "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." Phil 3:12

    Paul is saying that Christ's sacrifice did not make him perfect and did not remove his sin. He could only be made perfect once when Christ's enemies are made footstools and all the brothers are gathered together. At that point, there is a single removal of sin. After which if anyone sins, there is no longer a sacrifice for that sin.

    All love, brother...

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline Member

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    But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins...— Hebrews 10:12 BSB

    Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people; He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself. —Hebrews 7:27 BSB

    For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed on behalf of men in things relating to God, that he should offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins, being able to exercise forbearance with those being ignorant and going astray, since he himself also is encompassed by weakness; and because of this, he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, so also for himself, just as for the people. —Hebrews 5:1-3 BSB

    He made the One not having known sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. —2 Corinthians 5:21 BSB

    He
    in the days of His flesh, having offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One being able to save Him from death, and having been heard because of reverent submission, though being a Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered, and having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all those obeying Him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
    —Hebrews 5:7-10 BSB

    Then He [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death." ... Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” ... A second time He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” ... So He left them and went away once more and prayed a third time, saying the same thing. —Matthew 26:38a, 39, 42, 44 BSB

    For when you were slaves to sin, you were free of obligation to righteousness. What fruit did you reap at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The outcome of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the fruit you reap leads to holiness, and the outcome is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 6:20-23 BSB

    This last, of course, leads me back to Hebrews 10:12, full circle.

    The apostle Paul, in the letter to the Gentile Christians of Rome, told them that they had "been set free from sin." And the same is true of us today, wouldn't you agree?


    The difference was noted by the apostle Paul: The difference for us as followers of Christ, is that we have been set free from sin. We are no longer enslaved to sin. The Hebrews, and later the Jews did not have this. The sacrifices pointed forward to when they would be set free from sin.

    So, I guess one could say their sins were pardoned {as a temporary provision} until that which was more permanent came along: namely the Lamb of God.

    As followers of Jesus Christ, no pardon {as a temporary provision} is necessary since we "have been set free from sin," namely its power over us-- that is, death.

    And if we have been set free from sin, then the sacrifice has been applied and we benefit now from it— again, because we have subsequently / as a result been set free from sin.

    [Have to stop here, and come back to the rest of the thoughts you expressed. Sorry for the brevity.]

    --Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    I hope the passages of scripture in my previous post help explain why I am of the conviction that a believer is freed of sin, with the Lamb of God becoming sin in our stead, so I guess that's my baseline in this discussion of sin.

    The covenant spoken of by the writer of Hebrews as they referenced Jeremiah 31:31-33 is the very one we abide in as believers today— as evidenced by the fulfillment of Jehovah putting His laws on our hearts, and writing them on our minds. And we have been provided a Helper, who assists us in calling these things to our mind. Freed of sin, we see the kosmos differently. Very differently.

    We, you and I, are living in "those days" we're reading about in Hebrews 10:16. At least that is my current understanding. Jehovah no longer remembers [our] sins or [our] lawless deeds. We are henceforth a new and living creation to be molded in whatever image Jehovah has in mind.

    All the more the tragedy to willfully sin and worse still to persist in works of the very sin from which we were purchased by Jehovah. There no longer remains any sacrifice.


    Yes, a one-time event: we are freed from sin and accompanying death. (Romans 6:20-23)


    I have to apologize for the confusion. I'm living proof that even as believers we continue to fall short of the glory in store for those who endure faithfully to the end. We sin regularly and often... differently and yet not all that different from anyone else.

    We fall short (aka sinning, miss the mark) because we're imperfect, mortal beings confined to a physical existence with its own array of laws and unforeseen circumstances. We goof up sometimes. But we're infants in the big scheme of things, compared with the celestial beings that have resided in the presence of God for untold millennia. And just like children are prone to falling down, getting hurt, and such, we've got a lot of maturing in wisdom to accomplish.

    But the sin the apostle Paul is referring to is far, far more significant because the end of sin is invariably death. The scriptures are clear: the wages of sin is death.

    If the apostle Paul says that the believer has been freed from sin, then he must mean it. And that's why going back to the works of sin is like returning to vomit, surely!

    Again, my apologies for the confusion and seeming to contradict myself, as I was speaking to when we goof up, or miss the mark in our service to Jehovah, and how we are reassured that we have Jesus as our Mediator (or, High Priest).

    On the other hand: Willful sin? Knowingly sinning is flat-out disobedience to Jehovah and is dangerous, deadly territory to venture out on.

    Absolutely. And I am wrong on things. Otherwise I'm claiming I'm perfect in my comprehension, interpretation, and understanding of matters of which I know only what my pitiably puny sphere of awareness allows for. This is why I offer scriptures, as you likewise do. Let the reader peruse and consider, right?

    See above.

    Gotta clip it here (again). Getting late for this old man. LOL!

    --Timothy
     
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    Timothy Kline Member

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    [Continuing reply...]


    Nah, I wasn't thinking you were going for or even looking for a debate between our diverse eschatological views, but these do have an effect on our perception of the scriptures.

    My present understanding— which I hope has come through in my previous segments of response— is that we have been freed of sin— past tense, effective: First Century C.E. My present understanding is that we are a new creation, effective from that instant of our having been raised to life from a cesspool of walking dead people. Not will be, but instead are in the process of becoming whatever happens after this life. Even the Universe we exist in continues forward from the instant of its inception. . . becoming, just like we are as believers.

    My present understanding— again, based in the scriptures I cited contextually in the previous segments— is that having been freed of sin, we no longer await the Adamic finale: death. Whatever happens next {insert anyone's soteriology here} it will happen for us in the blink of an eye. IF we remain faithful to that end in this life.

    I can provide the scriptural references affirming the same, several already included above, in the previous segments.

    If we have been freed from sin, then 1) sin no longer has a hold over us— which makes sense, given that we were formerly a slave to sin, and 2) the slate was washed clean. No remembrance.

    What happens next is on us, just as it was on Adam and Satan. (God never told the woman of the prohibition; it was Adam who told her AND added to God's command— arguably because Adam already had desire to touch it in his own heart, but let's not digress)

    Do we return to the vomit we've had our face lifted from? For what? Temporary pleasures and eventual death?

    We're certainly free to do so, aren't we? And many do, having once tasted the goodness our Father in the Heavens extends. They go back into the cesspool and rejoin the walking dead, and become enslaved to sin.


    Again, I have to apologize because I do, in fact, discern a distinction between those sins incidental to our nature of being and willful sin. But in addition to this, and really the overarching theme I find here is the awareness of sin we have. Sins of the ignorant, the apostle Paul pointed out, are free of obligation to righteousness (Romans 6:20).

    When I was speaking of incidental sin (aka unintentional or as a result of spiritual immaturity or weakness) and how these are progressively dealt with (or, removed as an obstacle), I didn't intend to sound as though I was conflating this sort of sin with the far more significant enslavement to sin.

    I think I mentioned earlier how we are such infants in an existence that includes angels, cherubs, seraphim, and other heavenly beings that have been around longer than our kosmos has been in existence. Just like our own children do, we are going to trip and stumble and bumble our way into maturity, that point when we are finally able to put (childish) things behind us.

    Perfect, though? We will never be perfect like God. By default, that means we will be imperfect, even in that future that awaits the faithful believer.

    We have been freed of sin and its wages, but, again, I wasn't trying to confuse or conflate this with incidental mistakes or falling short of our aim as servants of Jesus and Jehovah. Nor do I see a need to believe that these incidental mistakes are such that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God was intended for. Instead, I believe we are convicted in such things by a conscience given us by our Heavenly Father, convicted in our conduct, our words, or whatever the case may be. We repent as a result of this conviction, which includes working to ensure whatever the trespass is dealt with. If the issue is serious, we seek out those who can help us to become restored.

    Brother, I didn't respond to the remainder of your post because I think I covered the points up above somewhere but let me know if there was anything in particular.

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother...

    I don't think you've understood what I've tried to share. I understand your view, as it was the same as mine until recently; however, the paradoxes between it and Scripture haven't been answered yet.

    Paul says that if sin were removed, we would no longer be conscious of it, at all. We would be perfect.

    "For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?" Heb 10:1,2

    Once we are cleansed of sin, there is no sin, period. There is no such thing as incidental or intentional sin at that point.

    This one-time removal of sin could not have happened 2000 years ago at Jesus' sacrifice. Paul and the Spirit tell us that this does not happen until Christ's enemies are made footstools and the world is made perfect, along with us.

    "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet." V12,13

    "Those days" could only be in a perfect world.

    "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer 31:31-35

    Today, we still teach our neighbors and brothers, saying, "Know the Lord." Therefore, "those days" could not have come yet, and Jehovah has not forgotten our sins yet.

    Paul said the removal of sin makes us perfect, and he said he was not perfect yet.

    "apart from us they should not be made perfect." Heb 11:39,40
    "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect," Phil 3:12

    I am saying there is a contradiction between these two statements by you. I do not believe Scripture teaches us our sins have been removed yet. Once sin is removed, we are perfect, and there is no longer any intentional or unintentional sin, at all.

    You separate incidental sin from intentional sin. We agree that our incidental sins are forgiven/pardoned through Christ. The Hebrews' sins were pardoned through the daily sacrifice, and ours through Christ. We are both entirely in agreement on that.

    I'm saying that I'm reading in Scripture that the one-time removal of sin for everyone does not happen until a later date when the world and we are perfect. That one-time event makes us perfect and no longer conscious of sin. At that point, a sacrifice of sin is no longer available. Paul doesn't distinguish between intentional or unintended sin in Hebrews 10 when discussing this one-time removal of sin. At that point, we will no longer be conscious of sin, meaning there will be none. And if anyone sins after that, a sacrifice is no longer available.

    Christ's enemies have not been made a footstool yet; we are not perfect yet and still teach, "Know the Lord." We still sin. Therefore, I'm reading that the removal of sin allowed through our Lord has not occurred yet. We are only pardoned of sin, just as the Hebrews.

    "Those days" are when judgment is executed on the nations, brother.

    "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. ---- The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs" Psm 110

    I hope I've clarified the paradoxes between your view and Scripture that still need to be answered. Thanks...

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    PS: We should also remember that Paul wrote this well after our Lord's sacrifice. Here, Paul says Israel had a partial hardening until the fullness of the Gentiles came in. He then goes on to say that the deliverer from Zion will come in and banish ungodliness and only then take away sin. Paul indicates this prophecy will be fulfilled at a future point from when he is writing it.

    "Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery. Brothers, a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob, “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Rom 11:25-27

    This means none of the prophecies regarding Israel's redemption or sins taken away can be fulfilled yet since they had not been saved, nor were their sins removed by Paul's day.

    "But Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting." Ish 45:17

    Also, not all of Christ's enemies have been made a footstool, brother.

    "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." 1Cor 15:26

    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Pss: "Being set free," of sin in the context of Rom 6 is not being a slave to it. Paul is not defining the removal of sin or Jehovah no longer remembering our sin in that chapter, he is simply speaking of not living in sin.

    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother...

    I thought I would add this scripture to our conversation. Along with Paul saying Israel's sins had not been removed by his time of writing Romans 11:25-27, he says quite plainly that Jesus does not remove sin till the end of the age.

    "since it had behoved him many times to suffer from the foundation of the world, but now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through his sacrifice, he hath been manifested;" Heb 9:26 YLT

    Jesus indicates the "end of the ages" was at the harvest; therefore, Paul can't be speaking of sin being removed at His sacrifice, but rather at the end of the ages of all prophecy. Mth 13:39, 40, 49 - Mth 24:3 - etc...

    After further contemplation, this seems a wrench in the Preterist view. Regardless of when you think the end of the age is, Paul indicates that sins had not yet been removed. So, when did/does Jesus remove the sins of Israel after Paul's writings?

    All love...

    Joshua

    EDIT: The word "manifest" in Heb 9:26 denotes a change in the time period spoken of. Paul speaks of Jesus removing sin at the end of the age and then changes the time period spoken of when mentioning His being manifest while on earth. Paul wouldn't have said Jesus appeared on earth, and then say, He was manifest. That would be stating the same event twice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2024
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    Timothy Kline Member

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    Whether I agree or not with your statement that "we would be perfect" would, arguably, be contingent on what you mean by that word. LOL

    But as to what the apostle Paul is saying here, can we consider the following:

    "By this the Holy Spirit was signifying that the way into the holy places has not yet been made manifest, the first tabernacle still having a standing, which is a symbol for the present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, not being able to make perfect in regard to conscience the one worshiping..." —Hebrews 9:8-9 Berean Literal Bible

    "...how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, purify our conscience from dead works, in order to serve the living God!" —Hebrews 9:14 Berean Literal Bible

    Therefore, brothers, having confidence for entering the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way. . . and having a great priest over the house of God, we should draw near with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith, our hearts having been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our body having been washed with pure water. —Hebrews 10:19-20a; 21-22 Berean Literal Bible

    At Hebrews 9:8-9, the apostle notes the deficiency of the Mosaic Covenant in that the gifts and sacrifices of that covenant were not able to make perfect in regard to conscience.

    However, the apostle Paul goes on to note how the blood of Christ will "purify our conscience from dead works." And why? "...in order {that we may} serve the living God."

    And this is probably where our perceptions diverge, because you seem to place this into the future, and the apostle Paul himself points out that even then, in the first century, this was taking place, when he writes "having been" (past tense) in reference to the conscience (and body, arguably via baptism).

    Elsewhere, in his first letter to the believers at Corinth, the apostle Paul again speaks to his point:

    "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified..." —1 Corinthians 6:11a Berean Literal Bible

    Were sanctified. . . were justified. Past tenses, both.

    This removal of sin you're referring to is the purification of our conscience from dead works. Why? ...in order to serve the living God!

    At one time, were we not dead in our trespasses? Certainly we didn't know that-- nevertheless, we were part of the walking dead.

    As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesian brothers:

    And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. All of us also lived among them at one time, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath. —Ephesians 2:1-3 Berean Literal Bible

    This is the sin that has been removed, as I presently understand it. It is this sin that we needed to have removed, because animal sacrifices only raised awareness of this need. The wages of sin is death, and we were dead in our trespasses and sins.

    It was only when we were raised to life that we even realized this. As a result, we were cut to our heart, to our core of being. We sought baptism, to demonstrate to everyone else what we vowed to do.

    "And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." —1 Peter 3:21 Berean Standard Bible

    We are of good conscience in our relationship with Jehovah and, ideally, continue so even this late in our walk as a believer and servant of the Most High.

    However, when we trespass, or, "miss the mark," or, sin, we grieve over it, and are empowered to repent of the dead works we have left behind... and continue to do this until, one day, those dead works never even come to mind ever after. "Yet that is what some of you were..."

    Or, we return to the vomit.

    Pausing here to post this segment. Will continue at my next opportunity, though.

    --Timothy
    A believer.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother... :)

    I always appreciate our conversations.

    I have one question I'd like you to consider as you continue to respond to my posts. Would you rather have your conscience cleansed when you sin or have your consciousness of sin removed completely? (Meaning without sin, perfect. No knowledge of sin.) Don't you feel there is a difference between completely removing something versus keeping it clean?

    The Hebrews had a cleansing of their sin.

    "The priest shall offer the sin offering, to make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. And afterward he shall kill the burnt offering." Lev 14:19

    So, what's the difference between their cleansing and ours? You're reading that our sins are removed at His sacrifice, and then you define Paul's discussions of cleansing as the removal of sin. However, Paul said sin hadn't been removed by his writings, but only cleansed. Not unlike what the Hebrews experienced.

    Are we still not conscious of sin? I am arguing sin cannot be removed until it no longer exists, according to Paul. We cannot currently have had our sins removed if we continue to sin, intentional or not, because once they are removed there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.

    I'm reading that our sins are currently cleansed, like the Hebrews, through the one sacrifice of Christ. Again, however, I am reading a difference between having a cleansed conscience from sin and having no conscience of sin, at all. These appear, to me, to be two different concepts.

    All love, brother...

    Joshua
     

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