Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what is sin?

42 comments:

One Voice of Many said...

No one will take a stab?
I so wish that I could remember the explanation of sin that I read recently in a book, Seeking Enlightenment ... hat by hat. The writer expressed that sin was basically our bad ideas that bring us harm. Very simply put - our own catastrophies.

Michelle

Delirious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Delirious said...

LOL I decided to look up the definition in my Bible dictionary. Here is what I found:
"Wilderness of, where the Israelites encamped, lying between Horeb and the Gulf of Suez "(Ex. 16: 1; Ex. 17: 1; Num. 33: 11-12).

Seriously though, to sin is to go against the commandments...I think it's pretty clear cut. We all have a conscience that warns us not to sin, we all know when we have done something we shouldn't have. The problem that I see though is that when we sin long enough, our conscience gets dulled, and we begin to rationalize our behavior.

jON said...

which commandments? the ten?

Delirious said...

The ten are a pretty darn good place to start :)

Mike said...

Sin to me would be whatever it is that I do that prevents me from being in communion with God. While it could be as much as violating one of the ten commandments, it could also be as simple as neglecting to talk to him during the day.

jON said...

michelle: can you elaborate further? do you have a real time and space example to help clarify?

delirious: to start? do you mean there are more commandments?

mike: so that i can understand a bit more, what do you consider communion with god? and how do you know when you have it or when you have lost it?

One Voice of Many said...

My son was reading about Jewish history this morning in 'class' and it said that the Pharasees came up with 21 laws total. So, if you go by doing what people prescribe for you, there's WAY more than 10! ;-)


I'm just going to have to get that book because she described it SO well. I'll just muck it all up if I try to get much further with it.

I'll try to pick it up from the library this week. I want to remind myself of many of those ideas - they were just so refreshing to me.

Currently I'm reading The Shack but I expect that's a complete other side-track. I'm so prone! :-))

Michelle

Delirious said...

Well, if you remember the Beattitudes, Jesus encouraged us to take the ten commandments to a higher level. Not only shouldn't we commit adultery, we shouldn't even look on another to lust after them.

Many of the ten commandments can be looked at in new ways. One of the commandments tells us not to worship idols. Although we may not have an altar with statues to worship, do we put other physical things ahead of God? Do we, in some sense, worship our speed boat, or our hobby to the extent that we don't have time to worship God? And what about covetousness? We may not covet after our neighbor's property, but do we covet things we see in advertising? I think those who are striving to become Christlike try to really rid themselves of the character flaws that draw them away from that goal. But as I said before, for the average person, the ten commandments are still a pretty good start for all of us.

One Voice of Many said...

I'm reading The Shack. No, I have no original thoughts lately, I just hijack them from books.

God says to the character in The Shack,"Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it."

That doesn't say what sin is exactly but I still liked how it related. :-)

Michelle

Mike said...

jON ~ When I think about being in communion with God, it would really be the same as when I am hanging out with one of my earthly friends. We walk together, talk together, laugh together, cry together, fish together, hunt together, blog together......

Anything that keeps me from that type of relationship could be construed as sin because it is always me who neglects the relationship, never Him

Thanks for asking!!

Nate said...

With legalism left behind, the commandments are no longer necessary. Yes, I said the ten commandments are not important. They are not the foundation of our behavior for God.

I will just put this link in to explain. It explains my position, so that you can understand when I say that, sin is being outside of God's will.

Valorosa said...

James 4

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 3

But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

Genesis 4
to Cain before he slew his brother Abel

"If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

1 John 3

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Everyone who 'practices' sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who 'practices' righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
the one who 'practices' sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

No one who is born of God 'practices' sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

He who does not love abides in death.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

:-)

God is love

wanting more said...

Michelle, I love your quote from The Shack. As I sit here thinking about this all, I had this thought that right now, the shitty parts of my life ARE the result of sin...my relationship with my father, the psychological issues that plague me...the sad things, the bad things...are all the result of sin...and so I can really see where Sin IS it's own punishment...and it gives hope to know that it's God's job not to punish us for our sin, but that it brings Him joy to deliver us from it. I like that!

Nate. I agree with you...the commandments are no longer necessary if you are truly connected to the heart of CHrist...or if your conscience works really well...I haven't checked out your link yet. I also think that the same thing can be sin for one person and not for another.

I think trying to rid yourself of character flaws is what many churches would try to teach you to do, but I think that is backwards...unless you know what you look like to God, and understand His love and His heart (which, I don't believe we will ever fully do here), it's pointless to Him...Isaiah 1 all over again. If you take this literally it might be sin to insincerely act "good," trying to impress God by what you think He requires instead of knowing Him.

Ruth said...

So Nate you rounded up the posse did you? I’m here – I’m here!! Good convo so far. It's good to see that Delirious has found her way over - welcome :)

Like the concept of The-Kingdom-Of-Heaven, "sin" is something that is hard to define all in one sentence. I would say that everything said so far describes sin but still does not define it. All these things help us to know what it means.

I do believe that sin occurs in the heart.

'As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.'
Proverbs 27:18-20

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psalm 66:17-19

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Matthew 15:11

Nate said...

I got Wendy on another quoting spree, I love when I am able to get that reaction.

Hey, went to a great new place to eat, a chain called el Pollo Loco, thought the citrus marinated, fire grilled chicken was so good, I brought a bucket, some tortillas, the Hot avacado sauce, coleslaw, and some refried beans, dig in.

It is nice to see so many differing opionions on this. This topic I beleive is the largest stumbling block for those coming out of any organized religion. For them, the definition of sin is, anything outside of what that organization tells you. Such as, doing any work from sundown on Thursday, to Sundown on Friday is a sin. Or, eating anything that would be considered unhealthy would be a sin. (these are documented organized religions in the USA)

See how it can become confusing. Plus, when reading the bible, no one in the world, to my knowledge, can possibly do all of the things that it tells you to do. So, this means some things will not get done. When we do not do those things, we often experience guilt because we are not doing them. So we believe we are sinning by not doing them. A sin of omission, I believe that is.

My belief, is that, if we truly have surrendered and are following God in everything, we will automatically follow all of the dictates that he has, because he will not ask us to do wrong. Therefore we do not have to worry about commanments, tenets, expectations, or anything else. To me, this is the freedom in Christ, and the freedom from sin.

wanting more said...

Nate...Hot avocado sauce is my favorite!! I brought the Dos XX and some limes :)

I agree with you about what you say freedom in Christ is. I believe that is ultimately what God desires from us and for us, and that life will be as complete as it can be in that freedom.

But, I wonder if it is possible to be completely void of sin even if we are walking in freedom, and maybe that is because we can never completely surrender or maybe it's just because we are never going to be perfect. We wouldn't need God's grace if we could achieve perfection. Or are you saying that it's only through Him that we can actually achieve it? So...I guess, are you saying that you believe it is possible to completely surrender to Him and not sin while we are here?

Another question I have...when we get to heaven, will we still be imperfect/sin? The Bible probably talks about this somewhere...

Nate said...

The nature of A sin has had me thinking today. And of course, it reinforced my thinking even more. (why does that always happen) But the commandments and other things are simply the will of God for us on the earth. So when we break a commandment or so forth, then we are outside of God's will again.

Ruth said...

Nate - I'd like to discuss this:

"My belief, is that, if we truly have surrendered and are following God in everything, we will automatically follow all of the dictates that he has, because he will not ask us to do wrong."

My question is how do we know that we are following God in everything? Our heart can be deceitful, we are constantly at war with our flesh and Satan is prowling around us like a lion waiting to pounce.

jON said...

first this: "if you remember the Beattitudes, Jesus encouraged us to take the ten commandments to a higher level.

i have heard this thought espoused my whole life. and i began to wonder a couple of years ago if it were in fact true since it is not something the bible actually says. on the surface, it would appear so. but i still wonder...

is that really the case? is jesus giving us a more extreme commandment to follow? is he creating a new law just before he dies to free us from the law? or is he saying there is no way to escape it? you have this inside of you whether you think so or not. it is not just about the outward appearances, but the inward realities.

it is just that hearing this spoken of as a new commandment has lead to much evil and negativity and dishonesty in my own life. you see a woman who fits your personal tastes of beautiful and your mind recognizes it as such. then the guilt sets in. and then the depression. and once again, you have to wallow knowing that you've failed. "if only i tried a little harder, or were more diligent" you tell yourself. "perhaps i just need to stay away from women altogether. or make them dress from head to toe in cloth only showing their eyes. that will solve it."

i just don't think it's something we can control or overcome. its just there. and i think that's what jesus was talking about. these things are in us whether we acknowledge it through action or not.

thank you wendy for all of the verses you shared. it is one of the things i LOVE about your comments. yet, when i read them, i only found 2 that actually attempted a definition of sin.
"...to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."
"...sin is lawlessness..."


the one seems to say that different things will be sin to different people, which is what kari said. and i agree. the other says that lawlessness is sin. which, i believe is a topic we toyed with at grains of truth, but never really settled on what lawlessness is.

the verse that jumps out the most, and really shaped me 3 years ago at the beginning of this whole change is this one: "...and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

so, according to john, yes, kari, a person can live and be sinless. in fact, it even goes so far as to say one born of god CANNOT sin. which, i think, is what nate is suggesting about one completely surrendered to the leading of holy spirit.

Ruth said...

Jon - you got me thinking with that one. It just doesn't add up because the reality is that we do sin.

This is how the New Living Translation puts it:

9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them.

It's not that we don't sin when we are born of God. It's that we don't keep on sinning because we are abiding in the Lord and we will respond to the conviction of the HS.

However, I see a lot of Christians (myself included) who keep on sinning in many ways even though they are clearly following the Lord with a yielded heart. My only answer to that is that God has his timing and a day to him is a thousand years to us. I have been freed of sins, thought patterns etc. that went on for years and I know there is more to come. But I do know that I am willing to see it when God shows it to me.

Jon - regarding this:

"i just don't think it's something we can control or overcome. its just there. and i think that's what jesus was talking about. these things are in us whether we acknowledge it through action or not."

I'm not sure what you mean by this but it sounds to me like a cop out.

Sure it's one thing when your body or mind has a natural reaction to something. But it becomes sin when we dwell on it. When we regard it in our heart. When we go looking for it.

As Jesus said "if your hand causes you to sin cut it off." It is better for you in the end. It's an obvious extreme but I think we get the picture here.

Confession time - I have decided that I need to stop looking at decorating magazines because I start to dwell on what I want and what I don't have. I start to reorganize my priorities and strive for something unobtainable. To put it simply - I start to covet.

Is looking at decorating magazines a sin? No. But what started out as inspiration for me turned into a sin so I need to cut it off.

Back to you brother...

wanting more said...

Why are we we all struggling with this so much?

The amplified puts it this way:
"No one born or begotten of God deliberately, knowingly, and habitually practices sin, for God's nature abides in him."

Which is more of what I believe...I've come to love the idea that even in my weakness God loves me...so that when my tendencies are to perform and be perfect for Him - even in not sinning - I dont' know...it is just better to believe that He really does love it that I try...and He would rather have my sincere heart than a performing fake one. Am I off on some wild goose chase?
Because I love God. I do. And if I don't love Him the right way, He knows that I want to. I believe I'm yeilded, I long to be in His will. I truly do. So, what makes me different? I know I screw up all of the time, and not just screw up, but sin - I talk badly about people, and then I feel bad about it...

I can't wrap my head around the idea that I can be sinless, though even if that were a possibility, I wouldn't reject it all together.

I've heard it said that there is a difference between iniquity and sin. Iniquity is when you continue to do the same thing over and over when you KNOW that it's wrong, you make the choice to actually DO WRONG, and sin is when you just screw up and then you feel terrible...and you try not to do it again...

I don't know.

Ruth said...

Yes Kari you do know - what you said is bang on. Preach it Sister!!!

Nate said...

Ruth,
I am not saying that I don't sin, and that I am never outside of God's will. But that what I AM saying, is that there is no list of acceptable and unacceptable things anymore.

Because, say I give up all I have right now and go to the mission field. I would be sinning, because that is not where God would have me. But the conventional wisdom of the day would say that I am doing what I should do to serve God. This is the paradigm that I am trying to shift in this conversation. That the list given to us over the years in organized religion, is crap. That God has and idividualized plan for each of us, and trying to follow the predisposed teachings of an organization will put someone outside of God's will. Because that is not an individualized plan, but a sweeping plan that covers many. It is one person, trying to imose their plan upon others. Not God working with each person individually.

That list creates behavioral patterns in us that is not always in God's will. That then is sin. So, by being the best church goer that ever was, you would be living in sin.

Ruth said...

Yes Nate I totally get what you are saying and I agree with you. It's not about the behavior its about the heart and being consecrated to God with a heart connection.

But my question was how do you know you are following God in everything? What are your personal indicators if you don't just consult the list and be done with it like a good church going boy?

Nate said...

I geuss this is where I am really going with all of this. We keep trying to live Godly lives. WE need to stop trying, and let God DO it for us. Because we know we can't.

Anyway, Ruth, the answer is here.

Ruth said...

Sheesh!! you people who have been blogging for years have archives of ammunition tucked in your belt :)

Okay, I will dig in and get back to you. you do have some good stuff tucked away.

wanting more said...

Nate, I think you are RIGHT ON. The idea that God has to do it for us I think is a bit confusing sometimes and can seem like a copout, but truly it is HARD and it is so right.

jON said...

if it's only erin and kari this round, then i'm going to have to go with BATHPOOP. kari, you get the adjective. don't forget it! anyone who would like to throw out the next adjective, feel free. let's get the next round going. i can talk and play at the same time...

it can be a strange thing to learn. how to handle freedom. understanding grace. understanding the implications of the cross. understanding that there is now something out there that has already been accomplished that pays for my sin for all time past, present, and future. this is freeing.

as nate has said, the conscience is a good place to start. yet learning the difference between conviction and guilt is hard. as well as knowing what true peace feels like in yourself. practice, practice, practice...

as far as the question goes... perhaps sin can be stated as simple as "disobeying god." and some (not including me) feel that god is commanding us through the bible. others (me included) feel as if god commands us on a moment to moment basis. and is good enough at it to let you know when it is really him if you are willing to listen and learn.

the GREAT part about it is that while you are learning, grace is always there to back you up. so you no longer need to beat yourself up when you fail. you just brush off the dust, learn from your mistake, and move on.

Delirious said...

I love apples to apples, my husband introduced me to this game just a year ago after playing it at his Uncle's house once when I wasn't there. As you know, the key to winning isn't so much picking the right answer, as giving a definition that you think the person will choose. You have to really know your competitors for this one!

If you don't mind, I'd like to go back to the issue of sin. I have to admit that I have led a somewhat sheltered life in that I haven't been exposed to other religions in America. I should clarify....religions in recent years. I do think most religions in America have changed a great deal in the past 25 years. One friend of mine refers to the new movements as "free form Christianity". People are moving away from what has always been taught and moving on to new thinking about God and the church. One of the movements I see is the attitude that the commandments are too hard to keep, so therefore, they must not be intended for us to live. In addition, most people who believe this, believe that to say that we must repent in order to qualify to go to heaven, is to sin. My neighbor's father says that it is a "slap in Jesus' face" to say that there must be anything required on our part. His grace takes care of everything. The flaw in that thinking, in my mind, is that it erases the need for repentance. This is why the idea has been developed that we don't need to keep the commandments, that it is too hard. They are right...it is too hard. Without repentance, there is no way we can live up to God's commandments. It is only when we are given the chance to repent, through the grace of Jesus Christ, that we are able to make up for our shortcomings in keeping the commandments. Having said that, I still don't think the commandments are too hard to keep. Jon, you mentioned that you may look on a woman and think she is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with that. It is when you begin to lust that you cross the line. And what do you do if that happens? You pray for forgiveness, and work on keeping your mind from going to that place again. We may have commandments that we struggle with, but if we do all that we can do to repent, Christ's grace is sufficent.

I have heard others say that the commandments are God's "guideposts" to lead us to Christ. I'm not sure where this thinking originated, but the Bible says nothing that leads me to believe they are mere suggestions. When Moses went up on the mount and came back with the tablets, he actually came back with a higher law...a harder set of commandments if you will. But when he came back, and saw that in that short time he was away the children of Israel had already begun to worship a golden calf, he threw the tablets down and broke them. He went back to the mount and was given a lesser law.
I know I am the oddball in this group of blog contributors, but I still feel that "thou shalt not" is pretty clear cut.

wanting more said...

Delirious,
I am not quite sure you understand where many of us are coming from...it's not that we don't believe the commandments are not rules from God...it's that we've been bound up in legalism for so long that we've missed the heart of God, and if you read Isaiah 1, you will see that HE is the one who has required us to know His heart first. Galations also speaks of the legalism that binds us and is not what God desires of us. It's not really about keeping the commandments. Do you think He is going to ask you to break His commandments? They're His, after all, right? So, what we're saying is that instead of following a bunch of rules in order to fit the mold, or in order to please the church, we long to follow God Himself. It doesn't mean anything to Him if we are able to behave properly if our motives are impure or if we are insincere. I think that is what so many of us are missing in what is called "the church" today. We are longing for more of Christ Himself and less of the rules that are mostly made up by men (no, not the commandments, obviously). Does that make sense? It's a lot easier to play a role, to follow a written set of rules than to follow Christ to the end...than to be willing to go wherever He leads, especially when it looks crazy to the "church." I think Jon has posted on this before, but do you recall the story in the Bible of the woman who was to be stoned because of her immorality? THAT WAS A LAW. It was a religious law, supposedly given to the church leaders by God. The church leaders were following their laws, and then Jesus stepped in and said "no!" That must have been pretty confusing, right? Let you without sin cast the first stone. If they had indeed been in tune to the heart of God instead of so intent on following the rules, they would have known that this was Jesus, and they would have understood. That is what I think. It's about following Jesus, not the rules. Father/Son/Holy Spirit is not going to lead you astray if they/He/it are who they say they are.

Also, I have to agree with...who said this? Nate? That we have to let God work on us. We are not capable...and so i guess if we are sincere in our desire to be in God's will, and are motivated by the heart of God, He answers that by causing us to become more like Him (in whatever crazy way He wants to?). There is nothing in me that can work on myself to make me sinless. I can't do it. The same thing for repentance...I've come to think of it as a gift from God. He causes me to repent, not me. He gives me the desire to be in His will...I cannot "do" repentance without Him.

So, yes...probably, sin would include to "go against the commandments" because that is probably not something God is going to ask you to do. But I think it's a bit more than that.

BTW...what am I supposed to do with the adjective?

Nate said...

Sorry Jon, Did not even try to read the game rules.

Delirious. I visited your site and left a message. Honestly, I have no real idea of where you are coming from. You had verses quoted from the book of Mormon, which I have never read, that I clearly did not recognize. So, just for a start to understanding one another, what is your definition of repentence?

jON said...

no problem, nate. if nobody here is interested, or if you would prefer to play around another "table" that can certainly be set up. in fact that's not a bad idea. we could invite people who don't normally come around these parts, and playing would only take a brief moment of time. hmmm. things in here were just baking my head a little and i wanted something a little more light hearted and playful as a distraction...
kari, just remember it. you've got one, you need four to end the game.

delirious, you're actually not that much of an oddball. to be certain, you are a little more conservative than the folk who normally find their way over here. but that is okay. don't get the impression that there is any sort of unanimity of belief here. i don't think anyone here shares my views on much of anything other than that we need a radical devotion to god that goes beyond adoption of doctrines and creeds and moves into world-changing action one person at a time.

having said that, yes indeed god said "thou shalt not." but he said it about a great many things. are we supposed to be following all of those? what sets the "ten" apart from the rest of the law? or do you maintain that we need to be kosher? didn't the cross abolish the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us? when paul said "rather we uphold the law" wasn't he speaking of the summation of the law which is "treat others the same way you wish to be treated?"

what is interesting to me is that when i hear people saying that we need to obey god's commandments, they leave out the original one. "not to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." which, as far as i can tell, is exactly what religion, and even many blogging communities, are all about.

day after day, sermon after sermon, lesson after lesson, small group after small group, article after article, judgment after judgement. fistfuls of the "fruit." as much as we can cram into our greedy little mouths. scarcely taking paul's advice to NOT ask who is going to ascend to heaven or who is going to descend to the abyss, but rather to say the word is near you. in your mouth and in your heart. (rom.10:6-8)

the other thing that confused me in the beginning about this life i now lead is that god was indeed asking me to contradict his commandments. or at least, the lifelong human interpretations i was familiar with.(i'm not entirely settled on that issue yet.) slowly it became more than learning and following rules or commandments, even. god brought me to a place where i listen and follow him. period. it is what is being asked of me and i would not recommend it to anyone who it is not being asked of. but the longer i live in this fashion, the more i recognize it as the way his special ones lived. (i.e. what scripture was jesus following when he turned water into wine?)

frankly, it doesn't matter to me if what god asks of me contradicts his commandments or not. they are his commandments and he can contradict them any time he likes. he is the only true authority. i am his to lead. he can ask anything he wishes from me. and he usually does. odd, odd things that don't mesh with my old religion whatsoever. where he has lead me, and the people he has placed me among. the connections he has me engage in.

ruth, i have not forgotten about the "lust" conversation. still thinking exactly about how i want to say what i have to say. and when i do lay it out, i'll move it to the "sex" question. but it ties into the above paragraph. he needed me to be able to come to the place he has me now to be able to minister truth and healing to young women. and that came through acceptance of myself as i am and not through denial and self-delusion.

damn, that's alot again. i'll stop for now. thanks for stopping by again, everyone.

(so, do i win this round by default? or are you going to keep it going for a while, ruth? it's yours to decide...)

Delirious said...

Nate:
Growing up I always heard the 5 R's of repentance. I have to admit that I could never remember them all, but I got the gyst of it anyway. :)
1. Recognize
This means recognizing that we are sinning, or admitting it to ourselves.
2. Remorse
This means feeling sorrow for what we have done wrong.
3. Resolve
Resolve to change, to overcome this behavior
4. Reform
Act on your resolution to change
5. Restitution
Make restitution for the wrong.

Of course the most important element in all of this is to pray for forgiveness and exercise faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I don't believe that simply saying you are sorry is enough. Saying we are sorry, without actually trying to change doesn't help us to overcome the sin. But I do believe that the Savior can strengthen us and help us to overcome our shortcomings. If we struggle with a particular sin, we will need to rely even more on the Savior to help us overcome it. As Jon as pointed out, we will never perfectly keep all of the commandments, but we keep trying, and we keep repenting when we fall.

Nate said...

The actual definition of repentence is: "to change your mind."

What one of the very interesting things about the five R's that you qouted, is that they are trying to give direction to something that needs none. Going back to a crude but very effective example. I believe firmly in wiping my butt, every time, no exceptions. So since I believe so firmly in that, my behavior pattern then alters itself to match my belief. So, I now wipe my butt every time, no exceptions. Even if I have to walk half way across the house to the other bathroom to get the extra paper.

This is where this is going. If you have truly changed your mind, and believe in something, then the behavior pattern will develop on it's own. So true repentence is a true belief in something.

Delirious said...

Nate, I think you have given an excellent definition of repentance. Truly, if one believes, they will do. But these 5 R's are for those whose faith maybe isn't as strong as needed. They are baby steps, if you will. :)

mrs. peres said...

nate, i love the butt wiping reference, but i think you have stumbled (purposefully) on a very important point. if you don't wipe properly, you know it. you FEEL it. you don't talk about it but it affects your life in a real way.
You (the preverbial) would do just about anything in the midst of your uncomfortability to CHANGE the situation you're in (be it relocating to another bathroom or whatnot) because a simple sacrifice could and can change your perception of a need.
so...am i truly repentant when i realize that i need to wipe to be comfortable??
(insert another appropriate allegory here)

Nate said...

Mrs. Peres,
It is simply looking at a certain situation and deciding how you would deal with it. During those decisions, the belief structure that we have built, will help us decide how we will react. So what those beliefs are, will truly shape the behavior that we exhibit.
When God is the one shaping those beliefs, then the behavior will be what God wants.

Ruth said...

"ruth, i have not forgotten about the "lust" conversation"

Jon - don't think I've forgotten....and hey I have been reading a blog by a guy named Joel Brueseke. He talks about Grace and sin and I think it resonates with what you say.

here he talks about perfection and the sermon on the mount and says:

"please read the Sermon on the Mount again... and again... and again... until you understand that Jesus is not talking about Christian growth and maturity!"

check it out and let me know what you think.

One Voice of Many said...

I finally checked out Seeking Enlightenment ... hat by hat again from the library. In the section on sin, I'll quote:

"My feeling is, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, sins are simply really rotten ideas. Adultery is painful, expensive, and not nearly as much fun as you thought it would be. Coveting makes you bitter and angry, ill at ease with the neighbor and his wife. Living "in sin" keeps a lame-duck relationship that should have been over in six months limping along for two years. I could go down the list of all of the seriously bad ideas we've been warned against but, if you're over fifteen, you've discovered they all have hidden costs."

"I've reached the conclusion that sinning is much like drinking from a faucet with a Water Not Potable sign over it. You can do it. It's not illegal. God won't strike you down. But odds are you'll get sick."


Michelle

Delirious said...

Ruth, I checked out that link of Joel's. What he is missing is that when Jesus said he "fulfilled" the law, the law He is speaking about is the law of Moses. This was a very strict law that included animal sacrifice. Those sacrifices were symbolic of the last and great sacrifice that Jesus Christ would make. It is quite interesting that I just yesterday ran across a quote that explains this in greater detail. I hope you won't mind if I share it with you.

"First, like Christ, the animal was chosen and anointed by the laying on of hands. (The Hebrew title Messiah and the Greek title Christ both mean "the Anointed One.") Second, the animal was to have its life's blood spilt. Third, it had to be without blemish—totally free from physical flaws, complete, whole, and perfect. Fourth, the sacrifice had to be clean and worthy. Fifth, the sacrifice had to be domesticated; that is, not wild but tame and of help to man (see Lev. 1:23, 10; Lev. 22:21). Sixth and seventh, for the original sacrifice practiced by Adam and the most common sacrifice in the law of Moses, the animal had to be a firstborn and a male (see Ex. 12:5; Lev. 1:3; Lev. 22:1825). Eighth, the sacrifice of grain had to be ground into flour and made into breadstuffs, which reminds us of our Lord's title the Bread of Life (see John 6:48). Ninth, the firstfruits that were offered remind us that Christ was the firstfruits of the Resurrection" Elder M. Russell Ballard.

These animal sacrifices were made to atone for the sins of the people. Because the law of Moses was fulfilled by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we no longer offer blood sacrifice today. Instead, we offer up "fruits meet for repentance", that of a broken heart and contrite spirit. This law of Moses is what Jesus was speaking of when He said that the law was fulfilled in Him.

Delirious said...

I decided to write more about this topic on my own blog. YOu can read what I wrote about "justice and mercy" there