Tag Archives: sin

Visual Catechism 

Table Based on the ocular Catechism of Puritan, William Perkins, modified by myself.

Click link above: sample screenshot below

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Modesty

Modesty is a taboo topic because it sounds restrictive to a world that wants the most options with the least amount of limitations. Least of all, no one wants to be told how to dress. So why is the Bible so counter cultural on this point? Is it just that old of a book or when God states we are to be modest (1 Cor. 12:23, 1 Tim. 2:9, and other passages about not uncovering the nakedness of someone) , that there are really good, meaningful and loving advice behind the restriction?

Sorry I don’t have time to develop this into a fuller blog post, but just wanted to bullet my points.

Modesty protects you and others from being emotionally harmed by a false sense and portrayal of intimacy.

Modesty prevents having to maintain anything or anyone gained through being revealing.

Modesty now conceals that which fades later.

Modesty helps others like you for who you are holistically.

Modesty to God is of the heart, not just a fashion choice or quantity of fabric.

Modesty is a restraint to not let our eyes and thoughts go farther than they ought, or wrongly invite the eyes and thoughts of others to go farther then they ought.

Modesty has others in mind, not wishing to lead others astray.

Modesty hides from all what is rightly preserved for one.

Modesty protects you from greedily wanting the affection of those who are not yours.

Modesty forces a relationship to be based on the whole person and not just someone’s looks.

Modesty is an issue for all ages and both genders.

To use immodesty to say you have to attract a mate is to supersede God’s ability to find you one.

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The Doctrine of Sin.

Do you think your doctrine of sin is tainting how you view the rest of scripture?

http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/sin-bad-habit-or-spiritual-death/14797817

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An opening statement about Sin

Following a medical illustration, if a doctor diagnoses a disease incorrectly, the cure he/she will prescribe will only correspond to the severity of that disease or possibly just the symptoms. The majority of theological positions held in churches or by individual Christians begin with Christ, and start their apologetic at the cross. These positions vary in degree significantly as to what exactly Christ accomplished.

What is usually overlooked or taken for granted, given its unpopular nature, is the doctrine of sin. Offering the victim of a car accident the options of counseling, a band aid, a tourniquet or resurrection (if dead) are vastly different options (the last option being against his ability to choose). It is the status of the victim that warrants which of the options is appropriate. Believing what Christ accomplished will greatly influence the teaching and preaching of any church and therefore the witness carried out by the congregation.

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Research of and Discussions within Mormonism: 2

What is sin? In Mormonism, sin and the fall of Adam are a necessity of life so that mankind can be properly tested in this life. Mormons teach that Adam had the choice of two commandments. 1. Be fruitful and multiply (requiring him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) or 2. Not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and so not have children and continue as holy in the garden. Their reasoning is that one would not know joy without knowing sorrow, thus the fall was a necessity, and even a “good thing” (basically the same as the Asian philosophy of Ying/Yang). They could not answer, why in Heaven we will be without sin and yet joyous, no longer knowing sorrow or pain and those former things would not come to mind (Rev. 21:4). They adamantly hold that Adam in the garden would not have known joy or children if he continued in his estate of innocence. Still they could not answer that such an estate in the presence of God Almighty would be one of love, joy and peace, as like heaven to come. As to children, they seem to miss that the command to be fruitful and multiply precedes the fall, thus Adam could have known the joy of children without having fallen.

If sin is now a part of the fallen nature of mankind (the nature produces individual acts of sin) upon what basis can a sinful creature produce any good works that would merit one level of heaven over or below another? In other words if within their system, if Christ earned everyone salvation, but the level you attain to is in accordance with your works, It stands to reason that because all works are technically filthy rags, everyone would only attain to the lowest heaven at best. There was agreement that Christ atones for all sin, but they didn’t understand that they then hold men in a system of works/merits to attain better heavenly levels (a legal double jeopardy = your innocent by Christ to get in, but your works are held against you in order of ranking mankind). I reasoned if Christ did atone for all sin universally, then all men stand perfect before God as there would be nothing to judge them for (no works period). They maintain that men would answer for their “efforts and strivings” to live a Christ like life. There was no answer about how the falling short of this daily, in every action, is either always covered by Christ, or something of merit for one and demerit for another. I tried to explain that only those who are believers in Christ have their sins (all of them) atoned for. The resurrection is an event for all to partake in, but only believers are counted as righteous and just on that day, and only because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.

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Original Sin is like

“The original sin in a man is like his beard, which, though shaved off today so that a man is very smooth around his mouth, yet grows again by tomorrow morning. As long as a man lives, such growth of the hair and the beard does not stop. But when the shovel beats the ground on his grave , it stops. Just so original sin remains in us and bestirs itself as long as we live, but we must resist it and always cut off its hair”.

“As often as we see thorns and thistles, as often as we see tares and other worthless weeds in our fields and gardens, we are reminded, as by unmistakable signs, of sin and the wrath of God. Not only in churches, then, do we hear that we are sinners. All our fields, nay, almost the whole of creation is full of preachers reminding us of our sin and the wrath of God which has been aroused through sin.”

“Original sin is in us at birth; yet it is hidden to all the world, and our powers, our reasoning and thinking do not reveal it, but rather obscure, defend, and excuse it.”

– Quotes of Martin Luther

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Repentance in Prayer

When was the last time you and I stopped what we were doing, reflected on the past week (day, hour, minute) and just took some time to repent of our sins? Most of the Christian world holds that repentance and faith are equal and opposite sides of the same coin. A lot of focus is placed on the faith side, as trying to increase or strengthen our faith in Christ, with little attention to sin and turning from it. In some cases the only sorrow for our sins comes when we get caught. We do little to pursue holiness in this life, and so rather attempt to wing it (Romans 13:14, 1 Cor. 10:9). Many times we only expect to have things given to us to make things easier. We cannot bring ourselves to make the personal sacrifices that would avoid and/or counter our pet sins. There is plenty of time to pray to God, begging and pleading for more strength, patience, money, work and so forth but little to no time to stop and just confess that we have wronged and offended God so many times since we last prayed. This is not a prayer for salvation but a call to acknowledge that we are not the obedient children we should be or confess to be.

More than our tithe, service or crying, God requests that we be obedient (Isaiah 1;11-31). We should be alert to this and not seek to hide when we are not, but openly confess our sins, relying that we are forgiven ultimately in Christ. This is not a smug, “sorry.” As if that the words are all that’s required in some magical way. I’ve seen this in children over the years. Kids grow up knowing when they have displeased their parents, but eventually the apology becomes remote, reflex and cold. The “sorry” button has worn out and you can tell when it’s insincere and even insulting.

When you or I have offended someone we love and care dearly about, we seek to make serious amends to heal that relationship, starting with a sincere apology. We admit that we are at fault for bringing in some destructive or harmful “thing” into the relationship. Should it be any different when we have offended God? No. All sin is a personal offense to God and grieves Him. I fear we frequently just shrug this off as no big deal, unless it threatens our well-being in this life.

Now we do not lose our salvation or standing with God, but there is usually something in the form of chastening to come (Revelations 3:19). Now God is not like our earthly parents, but you can still feel the tension of when your child hurts you and, in almost the same breath, asks you for something. We want an apology first, and some form of punishment may be due to curb the sin that spawned the sin prior to giving out any gifts. I don’t think we really believe we are ever entitled to any forms of correction, being we see correction “dished out” so improperly in our day. We simply pull an Adam, redirecting the blame somewhere else, “it was the woman you gave me,” or society, music, movies or the media that caused me to offend you (Gen 3:12). Or there is the famous, “I was just kidding.” We are experts at redirection and excuses, but pitifully and horribly bad at making a simple confession of sin. It is no wonder Jesus included repentance in His teaching the disciples how to pray, “Forgive us our sins (trespasses, debts) as we are in the process of forgiving the sins of others (Matthew 6:12).”

If we were to confess our sins on a regular basis, in a more than reflex kind of way, I wonder what the world impact would look like in our lives. Maybe we would be more forgiving of others, knowing just how often we keep going to God confessing we have wronged him again. I wonder how freeing confession would make our prayer lives, when having confessed our sins; we’d now know properly what to pray for (James 5:16). Confession really puts our prayers into perspective, knowing that I might not really deserve something big, when I have not been obedient with what I have in a smaller form (James 4:3). Maybe we would even be more inclined to pray for others, and their sins, or protection from sins, such that the honor and glory of God would be preserved by His church, His children, and not the opposite (Romans 2:24).

Maybe then we could pray for rain and actually get it.

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