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How Should You View Yourself - As a Christian?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by AubreyM, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. AubreyM

    AubreyM Active Member

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    Hello Aiki, thank you for adding your insights. Will place on original post.
     
  2. Nathan@work

    [email protected] Always ready :)

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    This is true. "Sin" is misunderstood all too much and so it is focused on....all too much.

    Since "sin" is directly related to archery I always think of the following example.

    Sin, as it is in archery, is 'missing the mark'. So you have a target and you aim dead center on the 'mark', and you miss! Of course you miss, not everyone is Robin Hood. ;)

    However, an archer will tell you that when you miss the mark, you do not focus on where you hit - especially even more so when you hit really far away from it.

    Instead, you concentrate harder on the mark. If you focus on where you hit, try to analyze it, then you are liable to miss the mark even further the next time.

    When you focus on sin(incidentally this is what the law does) all of your attention goes to it instead of Christ. Instead, we focus on Christ - He is the Mark!

    The quote from Paul always comes to mind in this subject;

    [Phl 3:12-16 ESV] Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

    Back to the archery again - a lot of people are hitting way further away from the mark than they think so they tend to focus on where they hit thinking they just need to inch it a little closer to the mark.

    But the reality is, all they have done is made a mark up in their mind and are almost completely blind to the true mark that they are supposed to hit.
     
  3. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    As an image-bearer who hasn't been restored to the full Image just yet.
     
  4. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Yes, it's right and good to be reminded now and then when we're missing the mark-and chastised strongly when we're persistently missing it in serious ways- but were also exhorted to hit it-and enabled to now by the Spirit. Either way, the concept that we're nothing more than worthless sinful wretches does not come from the heart of God-especially as we come to enter His family.
     
  5. Nathan@work

    [email protected] Always ready :)

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    Well, the 'mark' for believers is Christ. We undoubtedly(pun intended) hit the mark with Faith. We miss the mark only when we do not walk in Faith.

    Through Faith, essentially, the Spirit is the one aiming and shooting the bow for us - we are just the ones who decide to hold the bow or not.
     
  6. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    True enough, we must remain in Him. Otherwise no mark will be hit at all. Either way the target of faith is justice, i.e. righteousness. If it doesn't arrive there then it hasn't accomplished it's purpose.
     
  7. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    While this "missing the mark" idea is etymologically present in the root meaning of the word "sin," it does not fully communicate all that is true of sin. Not by a long shot (excuse the pun). Sin blinds, and deafens, and corrupts; it twists and deadens (Romans 1:18-32; Titus 1:15-16; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; Ephesians 4:18-19); it cuts off our fellowship with God (Psalms 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12); we harden into it over time (Hebrews 3:13-15; Romans 2:5) and can become unable to win free of its current; it damages others in a host of unforeseen ways (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 5:6-7); it always produces some kind of death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15; Galatians 6:7-8; Romans 8:12-13). Clearly, sin is more than merely "missing the mark," which is why it is given so much attention in Scripture - attention we ought to give it, too.
     
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  8. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    For me I experience a mix of thankfulness and celebration - looking forward not back.

    There was a season of repentance when the Spirit put His finger on issues in my life and also repentance and humility have to be a permanent state but not in any negative sense.

    I learned early on that my digging into the shameful events of my past life was not fruitful but rather I wait for the Spirit and conviction rather than self condemnation or worse.

    I agree with those who feel that joy (which is our strength) can be snuffed out by selfish introspection, false humility, and pietistic withdrawal.

    The enemy of our souls works hard to prevent joy in our lives - some churches and religious groups are seriously lacking in Joy which is evident as you walk in the door and sense an atmosphere somewhat like a lead balloon.

    So I encourage folks to walk in celebration doing His appointed works, rejoicing in seeing Him make our lives beautiful.
     
  9. Nathan@work

    [email protected] Always ready :)

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    I really do agree, but at its root, that is the essence of sin - being imperfect. The result of not being perfect is what we see - the 'death' that comes from sin.

    Sin gives you imperfect sight, imperfect hearing, imperfect thoughts - imperfect life.

    We 'miss the mark' because we are not perfect. Christ did not 'miss the mark' because He was perfect.

    The attention we give it is to understand how serious it is, our state showed through it, and our desperate need for a Savior from it. Yea, we for sure just cannot brush 'sin' aside.

    The thing we do not do is dwell on it. That was the point I was making.
     
  10. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    And God didn't create us to be imperfect in this way, however, meaning He didn't creates us to sin. Man's main lesson to be learned is that He's not God; the difference between Creator and creature is infinite. Man's perfection lies in his being in communion or relationship with God. It's ultimately defined by loving Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, a work of His in us. That's the basis, the essence, of man's justice/righteousness. And that love, along with love of neighbor, excludes sin by its nature.
     
  11. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Sin as described all through the Bible is man putting our will ahead of the will of God. This makes us self serving, self determining, self interested; all of which leads to seeking gain at the expense of others, the very opposite to the will of God. This so called perfection comes in serving the needs of others and helping each other get along, but not for gain.
     
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  12. AubreyM

    AubreyM Active Member

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    Thank you everyone who contributed to this conversation.
     
  13. fatherforgivethem

    fatherforgivethem He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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    New Christian here. People often says who is Born Again in Christ is dead to sin/cannot sin again. They technically can sin again so what does it mean?
     
  14. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Dead to sin and not sinning are two different things. While the power of sin to bring eternal death to the believer was broken at the cross, believers can still slip up and do. Otherwise scripture would not advise how to deal with such an event.
     
  15. fatherforgivethem

    fatherforgivethem He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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    I think I understood. Believers can still sin but they can just confess and ask for forgiveness, so it's all okay.
    Is it that what "dead to sin" means?
     
  16. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Not really. If you have chosen the ways of the Kingdom over the self serving ways of man, then you are no longer a fan or supporter of how man traditionally treats fellow man.
     
  17. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Yes - but this is not a licence to wilfully sin. Everyone slips up and can be restored.
     
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  18. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Being "dead to sin" is a position-condition thing. When a person is saved, a whole bunch of things become true of them spiritually. They are "new creatures in Christ" who are justified (declared righteous by God), sanctified (set apart unto God and a holy life), adopted into God's family, made a "temple" of the Holy Spirit, and so on. All of these various features of a born-again person's new life in Christ describe a spiritual position in Christ that the person must take on faith as being true. No adoption certificate from God will show up in the mail; no tattoo will magically appear on your forehead, indicating you're now a temple of God; you won't feel or look justified and sanctified. But you are all these things, regardless.

    It's only by knowing that these things are true of you and living by faith in them, that they begin to shape your daily condition (or the actual way you live). The situation is a lot like a homeless guy who has inherited 20 million dollars from an unknown distant relative but doesn't know it. The money's in an account with his name on it, waiting for him to make withdrawals, but until the homeless guy knows he has the money (and believes he does), and uses it to better his life, he'll just continue to live like a homeless guy. At the same time, then, this guy is both a "street person" and a multi-millionaire.

    Christians live like spiritual paupers, too, although they have infinite spiritual riches in Christ Jesus. This is because they, also, are ignorant of what they have inherited as born-again, adopted children of God. They sure don't know what Romans 6 says about their being dead to sin. And they live like it, mired in a tight cycle of sin-confession-sin-confession, on and on, never growing holy, never living free of sin as God says in His word they can - and must, if they are going to enjoy Him.

    The problem for many Christians is that they aren't used to taking God at His word. They've gotten used to going with what they feel and experience as the means of knowing what is true and real. When they come to Romans 6 and read what Paul the apostle wrote there, they say to themselves, "Well, Paul's got it wrong. I'm a Christian and I sin every day. I want to sin. Obviously, I'm not really dead to sin. Maybe Paul's talking about something else; maybe he's speaking of some obscure doctrine of the faith that's just for the really fanatical hyper-Christian and unimportant to day-to-day Christian living." Such folk couldn't be more wrong. Death to Self, to sin, is a crucial truth of the Christian life, fundamental to living a holy life (Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:3, etc.). There is no way to live the sort of life God wants without understanding and living in the truths of Romans 6.

    What Paul described in Romans 6 is the spiritual position of every truly born-again believer. To live by faith in the truths he lays out in the chapter a Christian has to set aside what they might feel, and even what they do, and begin to stand by faith upon their being "dead to sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 3:7; Galatians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 10:38, etc.)

    Imagine the homeless guy discovering he's a multi-millionaire. But, he looks at himself, at his filthy clothes, and smells his stinking body, and thinks of his dirty cardboard box, his "home," tucked away in an abandoned warehouse, and thinks to himself, "Well, I sure don't feel like a millionaire. And I ain't living like one. Nah, I don't believe it." He grabs the hem of his grubby shirt and pulls it up, saying, "This is what's real! This! My stinkin' life! Not some nonsense about millions in a bank somewhere."

    All the homeless guy has to do is believe the truth that he has the millions and then take action based on that truth. He has to live by faith in the truth of his inheritance before he can begin to experience it. And it can't be just an intellectual belief that never touches his behaviour. If he really believes he is a millionaire, he'll hustle down to the bank and make a withdrawal, right? Just acknowledging he has money but never doing anything concrete in response is useless. This is what the apostle James was getting at in his letter.

    So, too, a Christian - if he really believes he is dead to sin and alive unto God through Christ - will hustle down to the "bank of God" and make a "withdrawal" on this spiritual truth. The next time temptation confronts him, the spiritual millionaire will take by faith what is true of him and stand on it: "I am dead to sin and alive unto God. Sin has no more dominion over me." As this is his response to sin, the power of sin, the habit of sin, will begin to weaken and then dissolve under the truth of the believer's position in Christ and their refusal to be moved from that position, no matter what they feel or experience. Over time, the Christian living by faith in the truth of their death to sin, will come to be such a person in their daily condition, living such that sin is the exception rather than the rule of their everyday experience.

    It's only in a life consistently holy, consistently free of sin, that really enjoying God is possible. "Without holiness, no man shall see God," the writer of Hebrews wrote. (Hebrews 12:14) The "pure in heart" shall see God, Jesus said. (Matthew 5:8) If a person regards iniquity in their heart, God will not hear them, the Psalmist explained. (Psalms 66:18) God's face is against those who do evil, the apostle Peter declared. (1 Peter 3:12) It's super important, then, for Christians to live holy lives, lives that are dead to sin and alive unto God; for it's only by such a life that God may be fully and properly enjoyed, which enjoyment is supposed to be the prime motivation for, and the chief aim, of being a Christian.

    Anyway, hope this didn't overwhelm you. Being dead to sin is just so important! If you can get a handle on Romans 6 early in your walk with God, your life as a believer will be so much richer, so much more joyful and spiritually powerful, than the stumbling, compromised living I observe in so many believers today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  19. fatherforgivethem

    fatherforgivethem He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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    Sure sure, I didn't mean that, but yeah, it looked like.
     
  20. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    It mean that they're dead to sin's power over them. Regardless of whether or not they sin again sin no longer has power over them. Romans 6:1-4 explains this clearly...

    "What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.

    You're controlled by something in your life; either you're controlled by sin or controlled by the Holy Spirit.
     
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