Sin is a pretty basic subject in the Bible. But, it's also a complex subject. For example, how do you define sin?
Is it an action? Certainly some actions are sinful.
But, is it ever a sin to not act? Is it a sin to not help someone who you could help? Is that always a sin? If it is always a sin to not help someone you could help, then does that mean it's a sin to pass by a panhandler on the street?
Can thoughts be sinful? Every Christian knows the answer to that. But, that raises the question, is actually doing something sinful worse than just wanting to do something sinful?
And what does it mean to say that humans have a sinful nature? Does that mean we're born sinful? Are infants sinners?
And even if we decide we're sinners, so what? Why does God care? Why should we care? What are the results of sin?
And if we decide that sin is bad, and we want to fix the problem, how do we fix it? Again, every Christian knows that Jesus is the answer. But, why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn't God just forgive us. Muslims believe that God just forgives us if we repent and live a moral life.
So, the pastors and I sat down and looked through the Bible, to see what the Bible tells us about sin. We did a lot of page turning today.
Finally, we studied how Christ's redeeming work in our lives changes our standing before God. We looked at how we are redeemed, justified and sanctified so that we are no longer alienated from God. Rather, we are now adopted into God's family as co-heirs with Christ. And through his blood and death--through the curtain of the temple, which is his flesh, torn apart--we now have access to God.
At the end, we had time to address any questions the pastors had about the topic. Ramon, pastor of 2nd Baptist, asked about 1 Tim 6:17-19.
Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. [Instruct them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.He wanted to know more about what Paul meant that we God "provides us with all things to enjoy." It was a good question. And we had a good conversation. But, I'm not going to answer that question on the blog right now.
Instead, I'll ask you, dear reader, what you think. Until then, I'll start getting ready for Thursday, my last day with the pastors.