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Posts tagged ‘sin’

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Apologies!

It seems that some of the MP3 links on some previous posts aren’t working! Will find out the problem and then re-issue them!!  Last few days has been like this diagram! So if you pray, please do pray!

 

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Exploring Islam 08

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Exploring Islam

The Islamic nature of Sin

What is sin?

There is similarity between Islam and Christianity in the definition of sin; in Islam it is in not fully practising sharia Law or believing in Allah and his prophets; for the Christian it is thinking or acting in contrary to God’s wishes. (For more about the Christian doctrine of sin, click here to see other resources on this site.) However, this is where the two religions part company. Within Islam every person is naturally sinless when they are born, they only become sinful when their first sinful act is committed. People are capable of following all the necessary laws and being sin free on their own, all that they require is the proper instruction and a healthy fear of the afterlife in hell to motivate them. Despite this, even Muhammad is said in the Qur’an to have sinned (Qur’an 48:2). People are forgetful and can fall prey to the temptations which Satan can cunningly whisper to them. This is in contrast to the Christian who believes that we are all born into sin before we have thought or done anything. This is the concept of ‘original sin’ found in Psalm 51:5 and means that every person is in needing of saving.

 

Different levels of sin

Within Islam there are different levels of sin derived mainly from the Hadith and are too complicated for us to go into here. The main point of the categories is to identify those actions which the Muslim can receive forgiveness for by doing repentance. But in contrast there are a very small number which are not forgivable most notably that called shirk. Committing shirk is when a Muslim changes a religion to become a Christian, and thereby in Islamic understanding believes in more than one God as seen in the Trinity. Although there are Qur’anic verses which suggest Allah would entertain forgiveness if they rescinded and returned to Islam, there are equally others which suggest it is only a one way road to condemnation. The concept of shirk is a major barrier in any Muslim’s mind in even entertaining conversation about other religions, let alone really committing to change. When a true conversion does happen it is common even in western countries not to go public for fear of reprisals.

 

Sin’s influence upon Allah and God

A final aspect of sin to mention is the effect it has upon Allah and God. In Islam Allah’s transcendence and unknowability is so complete that he is subsequently not impacted at all by humanity’s sinful acts. He is a god who has desires for humanity to live in an appropriate way, but there is no personal relationship or want for fellowship. Allah is most holy, that is pure and just and set apart. His will is his own unaffected by anyone or anything. This is in great contrast to the Christian God whose nature is equally holy and transcendent, but He has an innate desire to individually meet and express his love for his creation. However, this is hampered by the presence of sin which would, unlike with Allah, be in conflict with God’s pure holiness. Therefore, for a Christian forgiveness is required to forge the loving relationship with God, whilst for the Muslim it is to avoid going to hell.

 

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WOW Disciple Session 1 Teaching

WOW Disciple Module 07 Spiritual Life

Session 1 – Sin

as recorded at Poulner Chapel on 25th August 2012… Teaching section only. Group section is a different video…

1 John 5:17-21 – Sin’s Nature; Sin’s Activity; Dealing with Sin

Remember

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Colossians 3v1-4

“Remember Who You Are!”

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3:1 If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.

3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.

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About six years ago, I slipped into a coma on a Saturday evening. But that story is a bit of a bore and not really important. After a couple of days in hospital, I woke up and there was a face of a pretty woman peering down at me, smiling and asking “Do you remember who you are?” My response was “Of course I do!! But who are you, and what have you done with my wife”. And that is the same for us as Christians. If we are listening, we are constantly being reminded by God the Holy Spirit, of our status before God if we are His children. The Holy Spirit is always there behind us, reminding us, that we are now His children and not His enemy, and therefore to stop living as if we were His enemy. In these verses, Paul reminds us of our identity.

This morning we are going to look at primarily our new identity and five facts about our Christian identity…

Doctrine and morality

What we believe, is intrinsically caught up with how we behave. When at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the last century, the church started questioning the central core of our beliefs about Jesus, that was the beginning of a long slide into moral decay. If the synods back then had stamped out doctrinal decay, then the synods today would not be discussing the moral decay within the church today and whether something is right or not. If the 5 facts before us in these 4 verses weren’t watered down by the church itself back then, and in some segments now, then perhaps we wouldn’t be asking the moral questions that are now being asked of us.

1. What are we to do with this Jesus if we claim to be his followers and in relationship with him?

These five things are fact. They are not hypothesis. They are not theory. They are not merely symbolic. They are existent facts about us. We are not marked as Christians because we go to Church regularly, though its a good idea if we do. We are not marked as Christians because we were baptized, though I hope that we are. We are not marked outwardly as Christians because we go to a Bible College, though its a good place to be, and none better than Moorlands. We are marked as Christians, not because of any outwardly visible mark, but here Paul tells us what marks us out as Christians.

a. We died with Christ (3a). Paul expounds this fully in his letter to the Romans. Jesus not only died for us, but we died with Him. Christ not only died for sin, but died unto sin to break its power. Through the work of the Holy Spirit we are in Christ. We died with Christ. We can conquer our old sinful nature if we want to. Our new identity is Christ and we have died with Him. You have died with Christ.

b. We are raised with Christ (1a). Just as we died with Christ, we are also raised with Christ. It is a fact that we are raised with Him and we rule with him, seated at the right hand of the Father. Our new identity is Christ and we have been raised with Him. You have been raised with Christ.

c. We live with Christ (4a). As Christian people, Jesus is our life and our eternal life, is Jesus. We are dead to sin, yet alive to Christ. Our new identity is Christ and we live with Him. You live with Christ.

d. We are hidden with Christ (3b). For those of you who like a good mystery, here is one for you. We are hidden with Him!! We no longer belong to this world, but we belong to Christ. We are hidden with him in heaven. That is not to say we are to neglect our earthly duties and responsibilities, but that our motives and strengths come from heaven. Our new identity is Christ and it is hidden with Him. You are hidden with Christ.

e. We will be glorified with Christ (4b). When Christ comes again, we will see Him face to face. When Christ comes again, He will take us home. We shall enter eternal glory. So, we will not be hidden with Christ perpetually because when Christ is revealed in glory, we too shall be revealed in glory. We already have some of this glory, but one day the full extent of this glorification will be revealed. Our new identity is Christ, and we will be glorified with Him when He comes to take us home… You will be glorified with Christ when He comes again in glory to take you home.

These five events… These five facts cover all three tenses in time – past, present and future… In the past, we died and were raised with Christ. In the present, we live with Christ and we are hidden with Him. In the future, when He comes again, we will be glorified with Him.

And because we share in Jesus’ death, resurrection and future glorification, we are to stop sinning. We are to stop thinking about ways in which to sin. This is what Paul says in verse 2. Our feet are to be in this world, but our minds are to be with Jesus, focusing on ways in which to serve Him, day in and day out. Look at the list of things we are to put to death in verses 5-10. That list is not conclusive. Don’t sin is the message, and yet we continue to do so…

I long for perfection. I yearn it. Even when as a child, being dragged up irreligiously, I longed to be perfect. Yet, every time I succumb to temptation, and therefore disobey God, and sin, I forget who I am. I forget my new identity. I forget that I am a child of the Living God. I forget that I have died with Christ. I forget that I have been raised with Him. I forget that I live in Him. I forget that I am hidden in Him. I forget that one day He is coming again and that I, Dave Roberts, will be glorified with Him. When we sin, it is as if I am telling the Holy Spirit to rack off and leave me alone… Instead we should be telling our three enemies to rack off… Tell old hairy legs Satan to depart from you. Tell the world to get lost. Tell your old nature, that it is dead and you have a new nature to which you seek to serve.

By keeping our minds and hearts set upon Him, talk to yourself. Talking to yourself is actually a sign of maturity. Tell yourself these five things to help you in your Christian life. You have died with Christ. You have been raised with Christ. You live with Christ. You are hidden in Christ. You will be glorified with Christ. Paul elsewhere in his other letters, says “Have you forgotten who you are?” Immerse yourself in the Bible.

Steinbeck – “obsolescent religion.” Travels with Charley.

Only use, if there is a great deal of time… Who is this Jesus we worship. Was he just a man? Was he just a god? Or was he both? Lets look together and find out.

2. Jesus – fully human.

That Jesus was a man is not really disputed. Scripture says that he was born of a woman which in itself tells us that prenatally he was nurtured and formed in the womb as any other male baby was and is. His genealogical line is given. He grew into manhood as any young Jewish boy did. With his humanity, he exhibited normal human emotions such as love, weeping, sadness, anger and anguish. Jesus ate and drank. He had a body and a soul. He undertook the baptism of John, just as others had done. Jesus grew tired, he slept & perspired. Religiously, he worshipped as a Jew. Jesus died, just as all mortal people do. He was human in every way that we are – physically, mentally and emotionally. The only exception is that he was sinless. His humanity is beyond question, though unlike us, he was sinless.

Jesus needed to be fully human for various reasons.

a. so that his death could sacrificially atone for us.

b. so that he can empathize and pray for us.

c. Jesus exhibited true and perfect humanity.

d. due to his perfect humanity, Jesus is to be our example to follow.

e. true human nature is good.

f. Jesus shows that while God is transcendent, He is not so far removed from us that He can’t interact with his creation.

3. Jesus’ deity

Jesus’ deity and the Incarnation are central and basic teaching of historic Christianity as it is central to God’s eternal plan of salvation. God’s salvation plan for humans involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this. Because of this, God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so as to live every facet of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so as to defeat sin, death and the grave. Jesus, being sinless (Heb.4:15), was this God-man, consisting as he was of two complete natures: the God nature and the human nature.

Anselm the church father observed that God had formed Adam without mother and father and had formed Eve without mother and father but from a man. So he could certainly form Jesus, without the usual sexual reproduction process, from a woman.

Recapitulation

  • Remember who you are.
  • Remember your identity.
  • Remember you have died with Christ,
  • Remember you have been raised with Christ.
  • Remember you have new life in Christ – NOW!!.
  • Remember you are hidden with Christ – NOW!!.
  • Remember you will be glorified with Christ when He comes again.

Conclusion

Therefore let us conclude. We are to focus our minds on Him for heavenly reasons. We are to let heaven fill our thoughts. In another translation, verse 2 reads “habitually set your mind on things above”.

Jesus was fully-god and fully-man. It is this Jesus we claim to follow. Be assured of your identity. Remember who you are. Stop sinning and remember who you are – a child of the living God. Cast off all that hinders your Christian growth. Live for Him and make a difference in a world that is dying without knowledge of Him. Most of all, as a motivation to aspire to live a perfect life in honour of Him – remember who you are, and I don t mean just your name!! Remember….

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A Strategy to Cope

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A Strategy to Cope

A Strategy to Cope

Preached at Poulner Baptist Chapel

24th January 2010

Hebrews 3

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’

11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

The first thing we do is to consider Jesus or as the NIV here puts it “fix our thoughts”. Now remember, that these are Hebrew believers. I guess we would call them Messianic Jews today. They believed that Jesus was their Messiah, Saviour and Lord. They were obviously coming under pressure from their Jewish friends and leaders to deny this Jesus and return to the fold. They would have been told how great Moses was. In the previous chapter we read how Jesus is greater than the angels, because He is God, but was made a little lower than the angels when he became a man.

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WISE – Idolatry

Words In Scripture Explored – Idolatry

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Images of Idolatry

I wonder if you are like me and when you hear the word idolatry, you imagine somebody bowing before a statue and worshipping it. Such as the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, as recorded by Moses in Exodus 32, or people bowing down to the statue of the Buddha or one of the many Hindu gods. Therefore, idolatry is worshipping statues or worshipping in other religions. However, the Bible is very clear, that idolatry is a threat to living the Christian life. How can that be, you may very well ask!

Christian Idolatry

As a Christian, you are to love God and love others. Anything that replaces your love of God as your first priority, is an idol, and therefore, is idolatry. For idolatry is not merely worshipping statues. But idolatry is transference of allegiance to something apart from God. It is worshipping created things, and not worshipping God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. And idolatry can be anything, for anything can take first place in your life! It may be your computer, your car, your books, your family, your church, a Christian leader, entertainment, celebrities and even love of yourself! These are all good things, in and of themselves, but they are not good things if they replace God from first priority in your life. These things can turn out to be idols, because they relegate your thinking of Almighty God to below first place.

Idolatry is the mind’s sin

Paul writes to the Roman church in Romans 1v22-25. In that passage of scripture, Paul links idolatry with immorality. Immorality is the outer sins and idolatry is the inward sin. Idolatry is an attitude inside you that says to God “You are not first place, this other thing is”. Somebody who commits the sin of idolatry is a slave to that something else, and is not a slave to God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So idolatry is not just worshipping in another religion and bowing down to statues. Idolatry is relegating God to second place, in both actions and attitudes. Therefore cast off anything that is blocking your relationship with Almighty God. As idolatry is primarily the sin of the mind, those depraved ideas turn to sins of lusts and idolatrous physical pleasures. Be renewed in your thinking and have a renewed mind, so that you can worship Almighty God through Jesus Christ the Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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WISE – Sin

Partake – Words In Scripture Explained –Sin

Welcome to Partake WISE. The word for today is sin.

Sinning!

I wonder if you have ever played tennis and went to hit the ball but missed. Or you actually hit the ball and it went outside the court! Or perhaps you are a golfer, and one day you went to putt the ball in the hole, and you missed! The tennis player who hit the ball out of court or the golfer who missed the hole can be both be said to have committed a sin, because they missed! And that is what a sin, in biblical terms, is: it is missing the mark that God has set.

Big and Little Sins

And everybody, particularly in the West, including those who would not call themselves Christians, has some idea of sin. They generally call doing things like telling lies or speeding in the car, “little sins” because everybody does those, they say! And of course, only a tiny minority of people commit the real big sins, such as murdering other people or robbing banks! So to most people’s minds, there are degrees of sins, depending on how many people actually do that kind of sin.

Sin actually is…

So what actually is the biblical definition of sin? Sin is the lack of conformity, , to the Moral Law of God, either in deeds, attitudes, or state. Do you remember Jesus saying the two greatest commands were to love God and love others? Any breakage of those two commandments is sin, whether by a lot or a little. There are two kinds of sin. Firstly there are the sins, which are active disobedience, or the sins of commission. These are where God’s commands are actively broken! Secondly there are the passive kinds, which are sins of omission. These occur when people are not doing, as they ought to do (James 4:17)!

Stop! Confess! Live!

Everybody, including Christian Disciples, sin in one of those two ways! Of course Christian Disciples have accepted Jesus Christ and have had their sins forgiven. But Christian Disciples, still sin! But as a Christian Disciple, you are to take God’s view of sin! You cannot claim to be without sin, because as 1 John 1 says, you would be living in self-delusion and making God out to be a liar! So, when you realise you have sinned, be quick to confess it, so that your relationship with Jesus Christ remains at peak intimacy! For as 1 John 1v9 says, “Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus wants us to have complete fellowship with him, and by confessing sin; your fellowship with Him is made richer, more intimate and stronger.

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