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Is There a Sin Issue?

  Chapter 3
by Daniel LeEarl Hall

By now you may have concluded that salvation is 100 percent by the grace of God. There is nothing we have to do or can do, but accept the free gift by receiving God's Son. That is truly the "simplicity which belongs to Christ." (2Cor. 11: 3)

Some feel that Jesus only paid the ransom price, the rest is up to them, and they don't really need Jesus. This concept demeans what our Lord Jesus accomplished.

Paul said, "The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim.1 :5) So, who are the sinners that Jesus came to save, and is there a sin issue today?

As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I believed the sinners were the "worldly people." I was only a sinner because of Adam. We need to realize that we are sinners in our own right, and capable of practically anything, given the right circumstances. "There is none righteous, no not one!" (Rom. 3:10)

As we analyze God's Word and His forgiveness, I believe you will conclude that there is no longer a sin issue, except in man's religions. In the Watchtower Society, the Mormon Church, and in other legalistic churches today, there is a big sin issue; but there is no sin issue with God. Of course, we all still sin. "He that says he has no sin is a liar." (1 John 1: 8) The flesh still sins. It is saved only in the sense that it will be transformed. (Phil. 3:21)

God already knows every sin we will ever commit. When Jesus died nearly 2,000 years ago, He paid the price, in full, for each and every sin of all mankind. His final words as a flesh-and-blood man were, "IT IS FINISHED!" (John 19:30) The Greek word is teleo, and means paid, discharged, completed. This dramatic statement has profound meaning. It was the shout of victory that was proclaimed at the end of the Day of Atonement. When the sacrifice was complete and the scapegoat driven out, the people shouted, "It is finished," declaring that their sins had been covered.

Our sin has been more than covered; it was completely blotted out! God removed our sins as far as the East is from the West, and He dumped them into the sea. (Ps. 103:12) How appropriate for Jesus to proclaim, "It is finished!" Because of God's grace, there is no more sin issue. The Watchtower and the Mormon Church insult God's grace by punishing people for sins that Jesus paid for, in full, nearly 2,000 years ago.

Paul assures us, "Being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. "

Let's further analyze the condition of all of us today who have received Jesus Christ for salvation. Notice Paul's amazing words in

2 Corinthians 5:17-19: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come. All this is from God who through Christ reconciled us and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the ministry of reconciliation." Note the key points:

1. We have been reconciled to God, are now God's friend, no longer His enemy. Our sins and trespasses are forgiven, but only in Christ.

2. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, to tell people that THEIR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! (by receiving Christ). When was the last time you heard that message? As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I never took that message from door-to-door! The problem is that if the cults or legalistic religions preached that message, they could no longer control everyone, and their tithes or literature sales would diminish substantially.

In Hebrews 10:16-18, Paul refers to the New Covenant and quotes Jeremiah: "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds." Then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more. Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin." There is no longer a sin issue.

First John 3:9 says, "No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God." We, who are "spirit-born," cannot sin in God's eyes, for the spirit is one with Gad, Who does not look at our flesh. Note the key points:

1.God's law, which is fulfilled in love, (Rom. 13:10) is written on our hearts and minds; not in Brooklyn, New York, Salt Lake City, Utah, Rome, Italy, or any other spot on this earth!

2.Not only has God forgiven our sins, He "remembers them no more."

3.There is no longer any sin issue because 2,000 years ago God paid our sins, in full, forgave us, in full, and He has forgotten them, in full, in the sense that He no longer judges those who receive Christ on the basis of their sins. Why do some exclusive religious groups have elaborate systems of punishment in view of the fact that God has already forgiven and forgotten our sins? It is a self-righteous, Pharisaic system to manipulate and control others. It is not from God.

Such groups have no authority from God to carry out their assault upon the sheep for whom Jesus paid the price. That price, the blood of Christ, paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future. By their actions the cults demean that sacrifice and attempt to limit what Jesus accomplished and diminish the power of God.

John 5:24 says if we believe in the Son of God, we pass from death to life and do not come under judgment. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ." There is no judgment, no condemnation, and no sin issue for those who believe and receive. Jesus Christ! God's grace provides complete and total forgiveness. The sin which brings death is unbelief. Once we have come to Christ we can no longer disbelieve.

Many Christians are still begging God to forgive them for sins of the distant past. We need to stop continually asking for forgiveness for such sins, and thank God that He has already forgiven us! To keep asking God to do what He has already done is insulting. If a husband asked his wife to fix dinner, but she had already done it, she would tell him so. But, if five minutes later he asks again, she would tell him again, but would be slightly perturbed. If five minutes later, he asks for dinner again, by this time the wife would be getting very upset and might say, "Would you please quit asking me to do what I have already done!" Why do we keep asking God to do what He has already done? Just thank Him!

If I fretted over my sins of the past, I would be miserable. Jesus bore them; I cannot. If we wish to acknowledge our daily sin and ask forgiveness, it is certainly acceptable to God. (Matt.6:12) I do that, but then I remember that my sin is a debt that I cannot pay and that He already paid the debt in full, so I simply thank Him for His forgiveness. We need to be careful that we don't get overwhelmed and totally absorbed in pleading for forgiveness for our many past and present sins in vast detail, for that keeps our eyes fixed on ourselves, on what we are doing in the flesh. But, if we thank Him, it keeps our attention on Jesus and what He did. Keep your eyes on Christ, continually thanking Him for His loving gift of forgiveness.

The Spirit of God in us, His law of love written on our hearts and His grace are the real impediments to sin.

We need to realize that while our Lord Jesus dealt with the eternal aspects of all sin, there still is a terrible price to pay in the flesh for all the sins we commit in the flesh. God did not remove the natural and automatic outworking of sin in the flesh. It has consequences. We reap what we sow.

As we learn more about our real identity; who and what we are in Christ, we will better understand why we do not wish to go back and live like the person we were before, that we have died in Christ and have been freed from sin. (Rom. 6:7)

Paul spoke of those who have "insulted the Spirit of Grace." (Heb. 10:29) We need to face this vital truth: When we attempt to compensate for our sins or perform works to appease God, we insult the' living God. Jesus gave His life and therefore settled all of the issues, including sin and death. (Rom. 8:2) If there were still a sin issue, we would all be in trouble, for everything which is ever going to be done about sin has already been done! It is finished!

The message that God has given to all of us to tell everyone is: God has showered us with His wonderful love and grace, and our sins are forgiven...forever...but only in His Son!

What a marvelous God we have. Your sins are gone. Enjoy your wonderful relationship with our God and Lord.

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