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Featured Is abstaining from sin worth anything if done for the wrong reasons?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Lucian Hodoboc, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc Active Member

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    Is abstaining from sin worth anything if it is done for the wrong reasons? For example, if a person abstains from sin because they don't want to disappoint people or saints instead of abstaining out of love for God, is the abstinence from sin in such a case a sin in itself?

    To give a more particular example: let's say that an agnostic girl who used to live a depraved life (engaged in promiscuity, fornication, drugs etc.) falls in love with a Christian guy and he reciprocates her love, but he tells her that they can only get married if she strives to repent and stop sinning. She doesn't believe in God, but because she is very much in love with the Christian guy, she quits all her previous sinful habits. She starts living a life that could be considered righteous (she dresses modestly, changes her behavior and quits all drugs and all forms of fornication), she attends church and even tries to pray, but she only does so in order to please her partner, without believing that God actually exists. She is honest to her boyfriend about her lack of belief and about the fact that she has turned over a new leaf out of love for him, not out of sincere Christian repentance. Should he marry her? Would her change of lifestyle amount to anything in God's eyes, or will she still be damned at the end of her days?

    Answers from Christians belonging to all denominations are welcomed.
     
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  2. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Worth anything you said. Yes. This fictitious girl in your story will be much better off in the physical for doing all of that. She will be healthier and more productive. Probably live a much longer life.

    But will it help her in the ultimate end? Probably not. Without repentance and faith, she will still eventually end up in hell.
     
  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    That would be a good start. What becomes of her on Judgement day I wouldn't dare speculate.
     
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  4. Ttalkkugjil

    Ttalkkugjil Well-Known Member

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    Abstaining from sin for sinful reasons is sin.
     
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  5. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Anything not done for His glory is sin, and has no real benefit.

    What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?
     
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  6. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc Active Member

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    What about 1 Corinthians 7:14 ?

    "For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband. Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God."
     
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  7. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    What about it?
     
  8. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 "Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?" Supporter

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    More or less, Luther is saying here, it's always safer to assume our best work is just a mortal sin.
     
  9. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    God has an appreciation for all people who follow His rules, for any reason.
    I wouldn't say this before, but then this finally sunk in:

    Matthew 7:12
    “So whatever you wish that others would do to you,
    do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
     
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  10. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    it’s worthwhile because all of those behaviors you described were toxic ,. Stopping toxic behavior is always a good thing even if done to please someone else . Eventually she’ll do it because she feels better . What you don’t seem to understand is that this IS God working to better this woman’s life . With the help of her believer boyfriend she might acknowledge that eventually.
     
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  11. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 "Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?" Supporter

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    I think this is a good example of why we insist that justification is by faith, and not works. People can conform to religious rules without true love of God or their neighbor, but their motives are mercenary at best when they do so.
     
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  12. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    [Rom 4:16] "So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe."

    That faith of Abraham is quintessential knowledge for every True Christian. We must also know the Law of Moses, The Mysterious Plan, the full workings of the Holy Spirit.

    The Law is a three stage system over time....it is important to know why there was no law at all, turned to LOM, and then the Laws of Christ, written on our hearts. If we don't know these things, how can our belief system be in proper order? And if not, then how can we properly submit? If we don't properly submit, how would we ever obey? And if we won't obey, how can we be confident? How can we share if we are not confident?

    Seek God with all of your heart and if you do, He will not disappoint. But don't be like everyone else, who knocks only a few times and then walks away. God doesn't always answer on the first knock, He waits to see who is serious.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  13. Loyce KG

    Loyce KG Everyone MUST hear the gospel of Christ!

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    He shouldn't marry her for they would be unequally yoked despite her goodness. While her change of behavior is beneficial to her and society in general, it amounts to nothing before God. Her righteousness is unto men but certainly not God for it is not by faith in Jesus Christ.

    His word says;

    “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:6‬ ‭

    It is only in Christ that God even considers our attempt to do good works. Without faith in Christ, they are tainted by sin.(Romans 3:9-23)
     
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  14. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    I go to a bridge intending to jump off. At the last minute I stop because I want to vote in the election next month.

    Is that a good thing? Yes, because there is hope that in that month I will have a change of heart. But if I don't have a change of heart, sooner or later I'm going to go through with my intentions.

    The hypothetical girl does a good thing by pursuing righteousness. There is the hope that it will "stick", and become heartfelt. That certainly happens. And even strictly in the natural, righteousness has its rewards. But if the girl doesn't take the step of faith at some point, she's in a precarious spot where all of it hangs on her love for the boy. And if that love wears thin later on, or breaks completely, then what?

    Any step in the right direction is to be encouraged, in hope. But we should not mistake this for taking a true step of faith.
     
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  15. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Abstaining from sin for the wrong reasons is also sin. But better than not abstaining at all.
     
  16. THE W

    THE W AFRIKANB0T

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    it's a sin to not love God..
     
  17. Mary Meg

    Mary Meg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't understand this. Why is abstaining from sin for the wrong reasons also sin?
    Isn't sin deliberately doing something against God's will? And isn't it God's will that we not engage in these behaviors? So if we're deliberately NOT engaging in these behaviors, for whatever reason, aren't we in some sense obeying God?
     
  18. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Motive determines the value of an act. Paul says even martyrdom avails nothing if not motivated by love.
     
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  19. Mountainmanbob

    Mountainmanbob Goat Whisperer Supporter

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    We should not be unequally yoked.

    Not sining for any reason would be better than sining.

    M-Bob
     
  20. Mary Meg

    Mary Meg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But you're talking about merit, not whether something is sinful or not. Why would doing something good with an imperfect motive be against God's will?
     
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