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Son, Your Sins Are Forgiven

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Frank, Sep 9, 2002.

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  1. Frank

    Frank New Member

    82
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    This is an article that I wrote a couple of weeks ago...I am hoping everyone else will find it beneficial:



    Alistair Begg, is someone that I consider to be an excellent speaker, with the ability to capture one’s mind and imagination in his message. At one of his recent engagements that I was able to attend, he enabled me to fully realize the immense improvement in quality of life that one gets in Christ, first spiritually, and then physically. This has great implications on the biblical idea of resurrection.


    I am sure that we all know the story of the paralytic that appears in Mark 2:1-13. While Jesus was in Capernaum, inside a home, there were so many people around that it was impossible for this particular subject, who appeared to be paralyzed, to gain access to Christ. His faithful friends however, were able to remove the roof on the house, and lowered the sick man inside: [/color]

    “<I>Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.</I>” (Mark 2)

    How often do we read this passage without even realizing how unusual this encounter is? This man and his friends put great effort into being able to reach Christ, so that he can be healed of his physical paralysis, yet how shocked this man probably was to hear Christ discussing something that had absolutely nothing to do with his immediate physical need? What further evidence for a spiritual resurrection can we ask for when Christ Himself in this instance addressed THE ONLY PROBLEM relevant to this man’s life? “<I>Son, your sins are forgiven.</I>”

    To claim that the resurrection involves a 50]regeneration of our physical bodies into some “perfect, disease-free, glorious celestial bodies” is nothing more than denying the clear priorities set forth by Christ in Mark 2. Not only did Christ concern himself with the paralytic’s sin FIRST, but it appears that he never even intended to heal the man’s physical sickness. Only after His short sparring with the scribes that questioned His ability to forgive sins, did Christ heal the man’s paralysis, apparently only in order to validate and confirm his Heaven-given authority to forgive sins, authority questioned by the said scribes: “<I>Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — He *&#65279;said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.</I>”

    The New Testament plainly validates the fact that resurrection is simply nothing more than a renewing of our spirits by Christ, and it has little, if no impact on our physical bodies. In Romans Paul confirms this by saying: “<I>If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.</I>” (Romans 8:10).

    If Christ Himself considered the SPIRIT of the paralytic to be of paramount importance, who are we to say that our physical bodies are to be resurrected prior to the judgment scene that would take place in Revelation, like some futurists claim? If the spiritual needs take precedence, why would our physical bodies be resurrected first, BEFORE judgment awards us spiritual life? Not only would such a position reverse the priorities set forth by Christ, but also Paul’s clear delineation between a dead body (which in Paul’s opinion doesn’t really mean much), and a spirit alive (which means everything because of Christ).

    Christians need to change their priorities in order to fully understand God’s plan for them. If we are looking forward to a future physical resurrection of our bodies, we are denying ourselves the immensely greater gift of life that God already gave us. How sad to see the many Christians who seem to have 20/20 vision for an uncertain future, but are blind and unable to see the “everything” that God already gave us, which is the Life in the cross of Christ.
     
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  2. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
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    Protestant
    The problem I have with this interpretation is that it overcompensates for the excesses of the claim that the resurrection involves nothing more than the resuscitation of the physical body with the claim that it involves nothing more than a renewing of the spirit. Neither the "spiritual only" view nor the "physical only" view understands the holistic nature of the resurrection.

    Was Christ's mission of redemption merely one-dimensional? No. He came to redeem the whole person--spirit, soul and body; to transform the mind as well as the heart so that those redeemed in him could make real in their midst the hope of the whole creation to be set free from its bondage to sin and decay. The fall affected not just humanity, but all creation in every aspect of its being. To see the resurrection as "spiritual only" or "physical only" is yet another form of dualism which grossly underestimates both the effect of sin on all of creation and the awesome power of God in Christ to redeem that creation out of its state of fallenness.

    The forgiveness of sins which we can receive from Jesus right now does have a profound (and often immediate) effect on our spirit. But that is only the beginning. Ultimately, the forgiving grace of God poured out upon us in Jesus Christ through his Holy Spirit will so permeate our whole being--spirit, soul and body--that every inadequacy, every frailty, every shortcoming, be it "spiritual" or "physical," will be utterly wiped away. Christ, our eternal high priest "is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him" (Hebrews 7:25).

    God is a triune Being--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Human beings are created in his image and likeness. Consequently, God's plan for our salvation involves the restoration of our whole person--spirit, soul and body. Every aspect of salvation--justification, sanctification, and finally resurrection and glorification--must, therefore, involve all three dimensions.
     
  3. Frank

    Frank New Member

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    And this is where the whole problem starts...which is "what exactly happened in the Garden?"

    If we believe that the "fall" somehow caused molecular changes in the physical realm, then yes, it would be natural to expect a physical solution to the problem.

    If we believe that the "fall" caused separation from God (i.e. spiritual death - not physical death), then we can only expect a spiritual solution, or reconciliation with God.

    The nature of the problem demands the nature of the solution...agree? :)
     
  4. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    If you are defining "spiritual" as the opposite of "physical," then I think I understand where you're going. However, in the biblical sense, "spiritual" is not the opposite of "physical." Rather, it is the opposite of "natural" (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-49). A "natural" body is susceptible to all forms of "physical" infirmity because in its "natural" state, it is inclined toward sin, and sin ultimately leads to death. A "spiritual" body, on the other hand, is free from infirmity because it is inclined toward obedience, and obedience leads ultimately to eternal life, a state of being in which the "spiritual" body reaches its highest state of "physical" existence, postured as it is in a perpetual act of worship in the very presence of God.

    It is all about where we are with respect to our relationship with God. It has nothing to do with "molecular changes in the physical [natural] realm." But separation from God is not eliminated by mere attitudinal adjustment, either. The inward transformation from "natural" to "spiritual" is supposed to be given outward "physical" expression in word and deed, making real in the world around us that which is already real within us, namely, the kingdom of God.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank New Member

    82
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    Yes, I agree...the "natural" does in fact refer to the physical (i.e. the physical body which is prone to eventualy sin), however, I have a big doctrinal problem with the claims that at the fall, something changed in the universe, in that physical death suddely came into effect (by the way there is no biblical reference for that), and that mankind suddenly started feeling pain, or sweating...etc.&nbsp; The spiritual results of sinning are the relevant issue here...there is no evidence to support anything else besides man's separation from God.
     
  6. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    I wouldn't dispute that. In fact, it was the fear of "physical" death which the Serpent exploited when he tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden tree.
     
  7. Frank

    Frank New Member

    82
    +0
    Exactly...so shouldn't it be safe to conclude that whatever the "resurrection" solution would be, it would deal with the "whatever is dead" problem? i.e. spiritual rather than physical?

    In relation to this topic, I discussed Romans 8:11 before, passage used by&nbsp;many people use to justify a bodily resurrection.&nbsp; They however miss the point.&nbsp; In 8:10, Paul is actually reinforcing the power of the "spiritual life" given by resurrection, in that "the body is dead because of sin".&nbsp; I think this goes on the same line of reasoning in Romans 8:13 which says "for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die (some translations use "you are going to die"); but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."&nbsp;

    My point was, this:&nbsp; if the deeds that of our mortal (physical bodies) can be put to death, they can also be given life.&nbsp; That is the key to resurrection, when our whole being, physical (mortal) and spiritual become alive in Christ, and a living image of Him.&nbsp; If more christians would understand the power of the resurrection, I believe that the world would be a very different place.

    For some reason, people believe that there is something wrong with this wonderful world that God made for us, when in fact it's PERFECT, made exactly the way God intended it to be, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.&nbsp; We corrupt&nbsp;it with our choices, and God DOESN'T MAKE JUNK!&nbsp; He had the option to make us like some robots, lacking free will, and put us in a world where nothing ever goes wrong (at least what we perceive to be wrong), yet He chose to give us the ability to make choices, thus He gave us the choice to DEPEND ON HIM.&nbsp; Wow...what a new and original concept. :)
     
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