Forgiveness

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

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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    A fair question.

    Before I answer, let me offer a question in turn:

    Did those in the heavenly realm know what sin was before Adam sinned? Because I would argue that they certainly did, and just as arguable is their consciousness of sin— which is to say that they also knew what sin entailed. Satan certainly did, and "a third" of the angelic realm did, too. And they went ahead anyhow in first their disobedience and then their rebellion. Adam's disobedience was not the first such in an untold eternity. And it hasn't been the last.

    With that in mind, I have to wonder if you are realizing that you seem to be promoting the cessation of free will in the perfecting of us. In other words: In order for there to be free will, doesn't there need to be something known so as to be able to exercise said free will in disobedience?

    Could Adam have sinned if the forbidden fruit on the tree had not been available?

    It was. He did. And just like every short-term thinking descendant of his thinks the same way: since nothing bad happened right away, it must be OK.

    As husband, it was his responsibility to take the lead. He failed. Beyond the epic scale! Taking the lead, he should have been the first to take the fruit in disobedience, or at least interrupted Eve to make sure it was OK. To the point of being willing to offer up his own life for the safety, sanctity, and betterment of his beloved wife— oh wait! Failed there, too.

    Instead, he watches and waits as this being and his wife are discussing actually disobeying the very God who wrought them into existence!

    Instead, he watches and waits as she takes the fruit.

    And doesn't die like Jehovah said!

    That's when he did what he'd been wanting to do for only-Jehovah-knows how long before that moment.

    Adam was perfect. Perfectly stupid.

    But was he the first to disobey Jehovah God? I highly doubt it, and considering a third of those dwelling in the heavenly realm, in the very presence of God Himself, were willing to disobey, I feel my hunch is on good standing.

    Be that as it may, what happened next is the clincher: they experienced a guilty conscience, or awareness about their disobedience.

    They hid.

    The difference between them and us is that they had personally been in the presence of their Creator. We've inherited their guilty conscience, and little else except for the whole pain, misery and eventual death bits, of course.

    Should I think that the Adversary felt guilty at the start of his path into rebellion? Do heavenly beings have a conscience, or even need one?

    It goes back to free will. Free will must have opportunity for disobedience.

    So, I am not persuaded at this point that 1) we will ever reach a point where we are perfect, since only God is perfect (and thus the guidepost by which all living beings steer their lives) and/or 2) that we will one day have no awareness of sin (or know how to sin) at that point.

    Oh, and to answer your question as to whether I'd prefer having a clean conscience before Jehovah or having no idea what sin was, I'd have to say that, like Jesus— who went to his murder at the hands of his own people to whom he had come to offer salvation— I understand that once I have been made to know sin, it's up to me what I do about that knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 3:22)

    My flesh is weak, certainly. As a descendant of Adam, and innumerable fallen men since Adam, I've inherited a lot of baggage. Issues. LOL!

    So, no, this is not a battle any believer can win on their own. That's why we were provided a Helper, surely!

    A helper in every way the opposite to the Adversary that Adam had!!

    And when one gets right down to it, what is there better for a believer than to have a clean conscience before Jehovah God? (Cf. Acts 24:16 et al.)

    One final reference:

    Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. So they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts either accusing or defending them on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Christ Jesus, as proclaimed by my gospel. —Romans 2:14-16 Berean Standard Bible

    This is still true in our day. Societies have common prohibitions, for example, even in their spiritually dead state. Non-believers have a conscience that more often than not runs similarly.

    The difference, as I presently understand it, is that we are aware of sin. We are aware of God. All because we have been raised to life, a new creation. Unbelievers have no clue, and pride themselves on making it this far in their evolutionary development. Blind leading the blind.

    That knowledge of good and evil— or, more simply: that knowledge of obedience and disobedience— takes on a whole new understanding when we're raised to life as believers. We see the rest of Mankind in a whole new light. We are given eyes to see, and understanding beyond that known by even the wisest of the world around us.

    Gotta stop here, though, for now. Certain domestics are calling my name. :p

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

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, brother.

    How did Adam "know" Eve if he had not "known" her before?

    "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain." Gen 4;1

    He obviously knew something about the process beforehand; otherwise, he would not have been able to act, even though he had not previously. (Presumably) I see having no consciousness of sin as having no sin to sear your conscience. That doesn't, of course, remove your understanding of what good vs evil is. For us to continue not to sin, we would obviously have to know that it could occur again. That's why Paul mentions there is no longer a sacrifice for sin after such a point because such a sin would not be removed.

    Adam didn't need to have sinned to understand what sin was. He understood what disobedience to Jehovah meant; otherwise, God would not have made it possible for him to sin. However, he had no conscience toward sin until he had it. Their consciences became aware that they were sinful, at that point.

    "Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked." Gen 3:7

    Removing our conscience of sin wouldn't remove our knowledge of good vs. evil, just as removing Adam's ability to "know" his wife wouldn't remove his understanding of what it was; it would simply remove the actions. So, using the word "knowledge" in my previous post didn't clarify my true intent.

    I believe the angels were aware of what sin was but were not conscious of sin within themselves until they fell. That's why we need our consciousness cleansed because sin is still in our conscience. We are still aware we are in a naked state.

    "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see." Rev 3:18

    Once sin is removed, there is no longer a consciousness of sin in that we have no internal awareness of sin. This certainly isn't the case for us today. We are still cognitive of our internal sin.

    Maybe this all goes back to our differences of opinion between Futurism and Preterism. I do believe there will be a time when mankind will be made perfect and without sin.

    "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Mth 5:48

    All love...

    Joshua
     
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    PaulAche

    PaulAche New Member

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    They did not know what sin was because it never had occurred before, it was a concept no doubt that they probably tossed around, but due to their perfection didn’t settle their hearts on it until the angel who became Satan committed the first sin.


    Sorry, but this logic is flawed. He should have taken the fruit first, or interrupted her? HUH? He didn’t know she had eaten it yet . Is it Adam’s fault she was deceived too? C’mon.

    Absolutely. Free will must include the full spectrum of choice, good and bad. Without either it is not free will. Up unto the first sin by Satan free will was just a theory that had not been proven to exist within the knowledge of creation yet. Before the sin, the angels did not have knowledge of bad.
     
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    PaulAche

    PaulAche New Member

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    No. Sin did not exist yet in his existence. Adam did not know what sin was, but he did have a perfect conscience that pulled him away from going against Gods commandment. The concept of sin was a foreign thought to him, only until Eve sinned did he even consider going contrary to Gods commandments. Up until that point he had never even considered the notion of doing so.
     
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    PaulAche

    PaulAche New Member

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    Jehovah knows your heart condition first, even before you do. Your sins have already been forgiven Joshua because your heart is good towards God(I’m assuming it is :) . It sounds like you beat yourself up more than you should…
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi, Paul...

    Thank you for your response. I assure you I have a healthy outlook on my sins. I simply question my current understanding from time to time. With this subject, I realized I was requesting forgiveness out of selfishness as if I was going to gain something. This contradicted why I was serving Jehovah to begin with.

    I presently do not serve Him for any personal gain, but rather because He deserves my devotion, and I have decided I will die on the side of Good, regardless of my fate. I take comfort in knowing evil will be gone. Nothing more, nothing less...

    Joshua ;)
     
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    PaulAche

    PaulAche New Member

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    Of course you do. We all do. ANYTHING we get from God is gain. He knows this and loves us the same…
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, Paul...

    If you ask ten people why they serve God, you will get ten different answers. I don't believe any of them are wrong. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer.

    It may seem difficult to believe, but at this point in my life, I only care about good winning over evil. The only personal gain (if you want to call it that) in my service of God is that family members may have a better shot at making it.

    Now, I'm not saying I don't believe I will enter God's kingdom; I am just saying I do not concentrate on that because it's not up to me. I know I've lived a life that could be categorized as intentional sin, so I have no conflicts of expectation within myself. I know I deserve my fate, regardless of our Lord's decision.

    Lastly, I've made a concerted effort to dispense with all notions of selfish service. I do not serve God for any present or future gain. I've lived without the basics of life in this present world and can live without them in the future. I have also served God with eternal hope and without. However, as I've matured, I have concluded that none of these things matter. These are all striving after the wind, as Solomon said. What matters is that good has won, and evil will be destroyed forever. No matter what happens to me, that is where my confidence lies.

    Again, everyone serves God for many reasons, of which none are wrong. This is just me, within my current state of mind... :)

    Joshua
     

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