Sunday, May 25, 2008

142. People known for their sins who were justified by faith

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  1. This is a great podcast! As I was listening to you describe some of the sins committed by the believers listed in Hebrews 11, I found myself struggling to understand and believe that it's true that Father sees us as righteous even when we sin.

    It's so unbelievable that my mind couldn't wrap itself around this truth. Believing that Father sees us as righteous in the midst of our sins is something that the mind can't comprehend.

    I'm growing in grace but I see there are areas in me that still struggle to believe the truth so I need to hear it over and over again. Thanks for this podcast.


  2. It's totally amazing, isn't it! Indeed we need to be reminded of these wonderful truths over and over again.

  3. I'm having a hard time grasping this - growing up in a very law-based situation, I'm just starting to get it even thought I have heard grace... but here is where I'm a little stuck

    One program you focused on God remembers our sins no more... and yet in Hebrews that is how people were called - Rahab the harlet.... if God isn't remembering her sins, then why is he calling her that?

    I don't say this to be self-righteous... I don't think God counts our sins against him if we have a relationship wiht Him when we die... but he's gotta remember... and remeber it was me who nailed his son to the cross...

    Hard to picture how God can love us when we are the reason His son had to die - I know wierd way of looking at it... but still....

    So here is a question along these lines - say one believes and comes to knwo the Lord. Then they say "ah poo on that" later on - then they die - they aren't saved right? So then God does remember their sin? God forgets and then remembers...

    Maybe I'm thinkig about it too much - it is so much for me to grasp. I'm TRYING to get it, and yet even in trying to get it, I feel like I'm almost lost in the whole thing... if you don't understand this identity in christ can you still have it. I believe in Jesus and his sacrifice....

    If you believe and yet feel burdened by lack of understanding and struggle to believe all these things, does it affect your salvation... hmmmmmmm

  4. In Rahab's case, I think the writer of Hebrews 11 mentions who Rahab was (a harlot) to highlight the fact that her sins weren't the issue, but rather her faith. As with the others mentioned in Hebrews 11, most of them had done some pretty rotten things, but they were justified by faith. In other words, I think Rahab's sin was mentioned to highlight how it's her faith that was important, and not as a means of saying that God remembers her that way.

    I know that old song by Ray Boltz says, "Does He still feel the nails, every time I fail," but I think we put the wrong emphasis on what was put on Jesus on the cross. Throughout much of the New Testament, the word "sin" is the noun form, not the verb form. The best way I can think to put it would be to say that it's the "sin condition" that was put on Christ.

    The Bible says Christ became sin (noun) for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). Romans 5:12 says, "through one man sin (noun) entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men..."

    It's this sin (noun) that Christ came to put away. And He did put away sin (noun), once and for all. Therefore there is no sin (noun) for God to remember.

    In Christ, our old sin nature that we had in Adam died. It had to die in order for us to become alive with Christ. Then in Christ we were given a brand new nature of righteousness. That is who we literally are... righteous people. When we commit individual sins (actions, verb), we're simply not walking according to who we really are. There still is no sin (noun) for God to remember, because again, it was done away with through the cross.

    As we read throughout the New Testament, we see various exhortations to not walk in sin and to instead walk according to righteousness. In every case, it's not a matter of nailing the nails deeper into Jesus when we sin, but rather it's simply a call to walk in the Life that is literally already ours!

    Remember Michael Card's song, "Why?" He says, "Why did they nail His hands and feet, when His love would have held Him there." It was His choice to go to the cross and to take the sin of the world upon Himself! He did it out of love, and "for the joy set before Him" (Hebrews 12:12).

    He then said, "It is finished," and He "sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." We need no longer live our lives with a consciousness of sin, but rather with a consciousness of the righteousness that has been given to us as a gift. :)

  5. My answer to your question about those who say "ah poo" later on, might be somewhat of a tough pill for some Christians to swallow, but here I go anyway. :) While the Bible talks about an experience of being "born again," I don't see it talking about a "die again" experience.

    What I've come to see in our lives in Christ is that it's about trust in Someone else, all the way around. We trust Him to save us, we trust Him to live His life in and through us, and we trust Him to keep us.

    1 Corinthians 6:17 says that "he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." Scripture talks about us having been "made alive together with Christ." It says that in order to be "married" to Christ, we had to first die to the person we previously were in Adam.

    If one is truly joined to the Lord, through genuine faith, the old has gone, the new has come. Even in our deepest moments of doubt, we remain joined together with Him.

    That said, I think a case can probably be made that those who reject Christ after having once accepted Him, didn't actually accept Jesus the Person in the first place, and weren't actually "born again," but perhaps took on the Christian religion, and lived a life that most certainly had the appearance of godliness and Christlikeness, but in reality, their hearts hadn't truly believed in His grace and accepted His life in place of their own.

    But the main point I want to draw out of all this is that since the church today has such a terrible emphasis on things we must "do, do, do," it's so very easy to forget (or to even know in the first place) that it's not our doing that keeps us, but it's God's grace. Too many people, who truly have been joined together with God by faith, are yet living a fleshly life of trying to keep themselves saved through what they do, and it leads to such unnecessary questions such as "can I lose my salvation?"

  6. The only thing I would add to what Joel replied is regarding the comment from anonymous about "us" being the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross. This nearly implies that we're taking credit for participation in the necessary work that brought our redemption (his suffering at the cross).

    The Bible is clear in Isaiah chapter 53 that it was God Himself who scourged Jesus and it PLEASED Him to do it. That's a powerful example of His love for us.

    But Joel is correct in stating the real problem is a "sin condition." If you and I had never committed one single sin, we still would need a savior because we were born into sin (a sinful nature). This is why Jesus said you must be born again.

    To be accepted by God we must be perfect. Fortunately the perfection was found in Christ and we have received this perfection, this righteous nature by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ and receiving it by faith (trusting in Him).