Question on "Sin"
The longer I journey in this incredible LIFE, the more I find myself throwing away truckloads of theology. I love it and don't desire to resist. It all just takes time as God takes us through whatever process is needed to know that there is even a question, much less another answer. I find myself amazed that most believers are so sure of what the scriptures mean. I can't even read most of it anymore without asking, "I wonder what this REALLY means?"
Which brings me to this question. . . not that I suppose you are 'the Bible answer man' (argh!!!!!!!!!!). It's just good to bounce off other believers and listen to what God is saying. I KNOW that Christ lives as me. However (there's that word), when/if I actually do SIN, that is not Christ as me because He does not sin. Or perhaps the sin is God's choice for me because it is that very thing that will bring me increased revelation of Him (or whatever!)? I am looking at this from different angles, but do not want to try to 'figure it out' - not interested in head knowledge. Just want to KNOW. And I do understand that knowing will come. . . in His time.
Like I said earlier, you've put your finger on some buttons.
So let's see what's in this can of worms.
I just finished watching an episode of "CSI: Miami," a high-tech 21st Century empathetic cop show set in, of course, Miami. Tonight's episode was about this drug smuggler who also smuggled Cubans into Florida and there was great tragedy in tonight's story.
At the end the main character, Horatio, is sorrowful for the evil that had perpetrated the crimes against innocents, and then says something like, "Yet the desire for freedom is good." The "innocents" against whom these evils were done were seeking "freedom" in America. The "evil boat" that was carrying cocaine smuggling it into south Florida, was also transporting expectant and hopeful people to a new life without oppression.
In just that moment I saw how much good and evil are opposites and yet tied together in this world. Evil in this world is the transport of good. Evil does not cease to be evil in its intent and suffers the consequences of evil. But focusing on the intent evil has in itself is to miss the Real Intent behind it.
That obviously doesn't mean, "Hey, ya'll, let's go out and do evil, so that good might come."
What it means is that behind all evil you will find the good of God. And as we now are those born again unto a new hope, the Life that is in Us is not a life which would say, "Let us do evil so that good may come." He Who now is one spirit, one heart, one mind, and One Person with us is not in us for such silliness, but for an ever resurrecting Life which pours out of the Godhead with purpose.
So of course we don't say that God has somehow predestined us to working evil or sin, but we say He has instead predestined us to good works that He has before ordained that we should walk in.
This is where we focus our hope, that He has predestined, determined good works particularly for each of us to walk in from the foundations of the earth. He has held us in His mind for all eternity -- each of us, seeing us in the delight and unspeakable joy that is the heart of the Father. He has beheld our lives and chosen us forever in Himself with no beginning and no end, that we should be to the praise of His Glory.
And in that Delight and Unspeakable Joy which is the Heart of God, in the midst of the Deepest Laughter coming from Joy without cause, right there He firmly holds us as He bellows our lives out into the universe with force and power and a gushing river of laughter.
We don't yet see by any means all that is Heaven, but that does not mean that we are not inundated already with Heaven from head to toe, that we live and move and walk in a sea of God, Himself being the foundation and the One Life Revealing Himself in Love in all the things that are. Having been translated into His Kingdom, there is nothing to hurt or destroy in all His Holy Mountain, which is Himself, the Invisible Unapproachable God yet Who has become our own heart & mind & soul in the deepest intimacy in ourselves, so deep and so real and so familiar that we cannot perceive "it" or objectively know "it" since He in us is beyond words and is not an "experience" of this world. He IS. And in His "IS-ness" is our own "I am" found. "Amazing grace ... I once was lost, but now I'm found."
But obviously we are agonized by this world, because we haven't been taken out of it except in the spirit which is not perceptible to this world. But we are agonized by it to a purpose, which is of course that we are lambs with Him every moment of the day, that He might extend Himself in never before seen places by us.
Which brings us to your "sin" questions. But before I go into that let me bemoan the subject a bit. I went to the grocery store this afternoon after I'd written some of the above paragraphs, and when I went into the produce section all this was on my mind. I saw a picture of someone going to a great feast, someone who was famished almost to starvation. It was the most abundant feast ever given, and everyone was invited without cost. Every wonderful food, every conceivable dish, prepared more deliciously and sumptuously than at any other feast than had ever been given since the dawn of time. The host stood up and gave a most gracious toast and then invited everyone to eat all and eat hearty, to drink full draughts of wine and ale and laugh and make merry with all their hearts. Everyone shouted, "Hear! Hear!" and raised their mugs and glasses and joy swept over the whole banquet hall. Then that person that I first saw stood up and said, "I appreciate all the trouble you've gone to, all you who have put this wonderful banquet together, but I'm afraid I'll decline eating because I'm afraid something rotten might be in the food." After that he didn't feel much like being with all the others who were heartily enjoying their meals so he left the hall by himself, still very famished, but he couldn't eat because he was afraid of spoiled food.
Or when Peter went walking on the water, did the question occur to him, "Can I sink?" (Apparently it did.)
Coming into the kingdom of light where we know all is Joy and Light and Love, it seems inappropriate to ask (and I don't say this to you, personally, because it's a mindset that bedevils us all!): "Say, you can still sin here, right?"
The answer to Peter's question and to the next one is, "Yes, of course, that's what freedom is all about!"
We CAN sink, and we CAN sin.
We can also walk on water, and we can also walk free of sin.
Walking "free of sin" isn't a doctrine, but rather a reality. As a doctrine it would be a miserable failure. I don't want it to be a doctrine. Not mine anyway. But as a life, as a reality, I'm all for it. Because walking "free of sin" is possible (and the Truth) when Christ is living our lives. When "I live yet not I but Christ liveth" is the ACTUAL TRUTH of my life, and not my philosophy, not some "teaching" I have come to believe is correct, not the tenants of the sect to which I belong and to which I subscribe, but the ACTUAL LIVING REALITY in which I live, then sin does not exist in me, only Christ does.
Can I forget, can I momentarily "choose" the wrong way? YES! Yes, it is true that can happen and if so we don't say in any way that Christ is the minister of sin.
So what? If it so happens we slip on a banana peal HE HOLDS US UP! (Or at least picks us up and dusts us off when we come to our senses.) And on we go!
Why are we SO sin-minded and why do we have to go to such great lengths to define it and how it works and how it happens and how we can believe to prevent it?
Does anyone really think that after they learn all that they'll be in any better position to prevent themselves from sinning than they were before they knew all that?
Jesus said, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"
I rephrase and say, "Which of you by diligent right thinking with the correct Biblical concepts can keep yourself in righteousness and avoid sin?
Only God can do that.
Fifteen years ago I knew the definitions of sin and sinning and could even draw you charts to show you precisely what happens when people (believers) sin and how you can adjust your believing to prevent it from happening. But today most of that has little meaning to me because I have learned a lot more thoroughly than I had back then that I do nothing of myself, and I can neither keep myself from darkness nor force God to let me walk in His Kingdom (by my "believing"). It's ALL up to him (and yet I am responsible for my own life). So it's all back to mercy and grace.
IF I sin, I say the appropriate "I'm sorry's" to whoever it is necessary, and move on. I don't ponder the why's of it, or the "how-could-it-have-happeneds?" too much, because those questions are beyond us. We act, we choose, we believe, we find God in mercy and grace and love. We trust Him to keep us, to walk as us, to live the fulness of the Godhead in our mortal flesh.
To me, this is the continued focus of our lives. That which HE has done, that He was made sin for us that we might be MADE the righteousness OF GOD. Being completely new creations in Him, where all things are new, we live no more afraid of or conscious of sin, because we ARE NOW THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, not by virtue of anything we have thought or believed, but purely and simply by what He has done, without any assistance from us whatsoever.
Well, you said you didn't want a "head knowledge" answer. This may not make any sense at all. But it all boils down to me to this: "to live is Christ."
Our trust in Him in us is unmoving, and even if I temporarily divert from the course, I don't REALLY, because the One Who works all things after the counsel of His own will has me firmly in His grip, and won't let go.
All my love,