Now that we are in the times of the higher law that Jesus laid out, when does a sin become a sin?
02-03-2020, 09:52 AM
(This post was last modified: 02-03-2020, 10:05 AM by fifteenth.)
IGT, deep question. I think that "all have sinned" is part of the story of the old and new testaments. Salvation did not come through the law in the old testament. That it did is a misreading of the story of the Hebrew bible I think.
In the Hebrew scriptures the law was given as part of God's agreement with Israel to help them remove themselves from the destructive practices of neighboring peoples and to make them a unique people that would have wisdom to offer their neighboring nations. It was never meant to be the way to eternal salvation for an individual. The people of Israel did have the hope of resurrection for those who belonged to Yahweh. That would be the old testament precursor to the hope of resurrection that Jesus offered in the new testament.
Jesus fulfilled the promises (and will fulfill more promises in the future) of the Hebrew scriptures including the promises to bless all the nations through Abraham's seed. When Jesus said "change your thinking, turn around and follow me, because the kingdom of God is here" he was announcing the Good News that the King had arrived, and things were gonna be different. Through his death and resurrection, and his words to his followers after his resurrection, he proclaimed that his reign extended over the whole earth (not just Israel) and that all were to come and follow the King. Jesus followers were to head out into the world as Heralds to proclaim the reign of The King and his Kingdom.
The reason that I went through all of that was to provide the backstory to say this: Sin has always been the same. It is missing the mark of following God's ways. All have sinned. Israel sinned against their covenant with Yahweh. Individual ancient Israelites along with the rest of us have sinned no matter what standard you measure us against, the inherent and evident laws of nature, the common sense laws of society that attempt to keep people from abusing each other and even the laws of our own consciences as we attempt to sort out what's right and wrong. People have a tough time not hurting each other, even the best of them.
Salvation by keeping any law of any kind has never been and is not now possible. Our only hope, and the only hope that has ever been (since humanity rebelled) is resurrection: resurrection life now while in our mortal bodies, and the resurrection that's promised when those mortal bodies are shed.
Also, Jesus law of Love, to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor and treat him as more important than yourself, is something that Jesus shared from the Hebrew Scriptures.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Leviticus 19:19: ...you shall love your neighbor as yourself
The God that created the universe inspired and directed those that wrote the old testament. And when he put on flesh to live among us, he referenced those scriptures often as he walked about his earth.
I get it, I guess my point in talking about Jesus teachings was that he taught that the sin happens in our thoughts, not our actions. If we can pinpoint the moment we are actually sinning in our thoughts, there is a chance to curb at least some of those sins that might otherwise just happen and the way I put it into perspective is that that sin is another drop of blood He had to spill all because of me and what I've done.
So I propose to you, is the moment the thought enters your mind the moment of sin?
I've been taught that we can't actually control a thought that enters our mind. What we can control is what we do with it when it does enter. If I see a pretty woman and think, that woman looks pretty, is that a sin? I'd say no, but if I entertain thoughts that further perverse that original thought, there is where the sin comes in.
If I work for a bank and think, it'd be really easy to rob this place, that is not the sin, in my opinion. The sin comes in when I let it stew and entertain that thought of robbing the bank.
Those two examples are very low hanging fruit in order to easily demonstrate the point. However, I think the principle boils down to much more tough thoughts to control.