Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Pure Heart - Part 3

Purity of heart, of course, suggests that all impurities have been purged. Paul describes the purging process in Romans 6:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:1-7)

In a Christian, the old self has been crucified. He is dead to sin, and slavery to sin is over.

Many people claim that this freedom from sin and death to sin are merely "positional," meaning that it is true only in God's perception, or a mere declaration by God, but not true in practical, day-to-day life.

This claim, of course, is false. First, there isn't a shred of textual evidence that this is any kind of "positional" truth that isn't also real practically. Second, the text demands that this is a practical freedom from sin. The first verse asks a question about continuing in sin, and Paul answers by saying that we can't continue in sin, because we died to it. If this death to sin were merely "positional," Paul's answer to the question about sinning wouldn't make sense. The reason he gives for not sinning is our death to sin, so this death must be a down-to-earth truth.

Thanks be to God for giving us real freedom from sin through Jesus Christ!

4 comments:

sally apokedak said...

1 john 1, romans 7, many, many of the psalms (51, for instance where David asks God not remove his Spirit from him even though he'd done such great sin. He had the spirit and he still sinned horrifically)Galatians. The scripture is full of our sin. Before and after conversion.

Of course we are called to be holy, to be single-minded, to be pure.

Just as the Israelites were called to these things. They could not do it and neither can we.

I will tell you what I tell my homosexual friends--if you confess your sins he is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins, but if you don't believe you sin, then you might have a hard time confessing.

Clefspeare said...

1 John 1 5-10 is a passage about being converted to the faith. In Romans 7, Paul speaks about his life under the Law, not as a Christian. In Psalm 51, David, as a pre-Pentecost believer, writes about his repentance. We are not pre-Pentecost believers, so we have the benefit of the indwelling Holy Spirit and David's experience does not apply to us.

How can we be called to be pure if we cannot do it? That doesn't make sense. Yes, the Israelites could do it. In Deuteronomy 30, Moses clearly states that they could. And we have an advantage over them. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit.

You have not yet given any Scripture that really supports your position. 1 John 3:9 says that Christians don't sin.

EJU said...

I appreciate your stand. It is a daily walk, crucified with Christ.
To claim otherwise is to invalidate the scripture and is an excuse to live the way we please.

Clefspeare said...

eju,

Thank you for the encouraging word. As you might imagine, I don't get much support for my holiness stand. In our current Christian culture, the word of holiness has become a voice crying in the wilderness, and few are taking heed.