Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 18
Thesis: The "banishment of our sins" has to do with the laying of a foundation for a whole new approach to the mechanics of living.
Introduction: In our study last week we made a couple of points that I want to revisit this morning in preparation for our study. The first point concerns the nature of what happened when we received what the translators call "the forgiveness of our sins". It was my contention last week that the word translated "forgiveness", being from the word group that is used to describe "divorce", should be understood as the creation of a vast, fixed, gulf between us and our sins. This effectively removes our sins from any "attachment" to us so that we are no longer "one" with Sin. The second point I want to revisit is the fact that this creation of a vast, fixed gulf between us and our sins is for the specific purpose of permitting God to deal with us as sinless people. In other words, the "banishment of our sins" is integrally bound up in the issue of how God is going to relate to us as the Sovereign of our Experiences...i.e., how God is going to act in regard to us as His people.
There are some serious questions that arise in light of this undeniable reality: we still sin. How is it that we, who have been separated from our sins, still sin? And, what does it mean in respect to God's dealings with us that we still sin? What does the "banishment of our sins" mean in terms of the daily process of living and handling the experiences that come our way under the oversight of the Sovereign Lord?
Frankly, Luke's text only addresses these questions by way of implications, so we are going to "do some theology" this morning in an attempt to understand some of these implications.
November 14, 2004
- I. How Should We Understand the "Banishment of our Sins" in Respect to the Redemption Price?
- A. There are various views...
- 1. All who accept biblical testimony as legitimate acknowledge that the Redemption Price was sufficient to meet the legal demands of justice for all of the sins of all of humanity for all time.
- 2. Most who accept biblical testimony as legitimate acknowledge that there is a difference between the sufficiency of the Price and the efficiency of the Price.
- 3. The various views that have surfaced over time in the thinking of men have to do with this most fundamental question: what has to occur for the Price to be efficient for the total expression of sins by an individual? Asked another way, what has to occur so that when a person's life is over -- and all of the sinning that he/she is going to do has been done -- he/she is going to be treated by God as a "welcome saint" instead of a "rejected sinner"?
- a. One of the ways this question has been answered has been the tying of the efficiency of the Price to the attitude a person has at the point of death in respect to certain biblical statements such as...
- 1) 1 John 1:9 -- indicating that banishment is tied to our willingness to "confess".
- 2) Matthew 6:15 -- indicating that banishment is tied to our willingness to treat others as we wish to be treated.
- b. Another of the ways this question has been answered has been the tying of the efficiency of the Price to a crisis event in a person's life in which he/she "puts his trust in Christ, the Redeemer" so that he/she is "born" into the family of God so as to become a "saved" child of God.
- 1) This approach appeals to certain biblical statements such as...
- a) John 1:12-13 -- indicating that "birth" into the family occurs at the point of faith.
- b) John 3:14-15 -- answering Nicodemus' question of "how a person can be born again", Jesus says "by faith".
- c) 1 John 5:1 -- indicating that one is "born of God" if he/she "believes".
- 2) This approach sharply differs from (a.) above in that the efficiency of the Price is not tied to a "death-bed attitude of obedience" but, rather, to an in-life "event" of faith.
- B. Only one view can handle the composite picture of the Scriptures.
- 1. The view that the Price is efficient only if one's death-bed attitude is correct must dismiss the analogy of the birth into the family in favor of the analogy of a tentative stewardship that is dependent upon final fidelity and there can be no serious talk of being "saved" as a present reality.
- 2. The view that the Price is efficient at the point of the exercise of faith unto a new birth can embrace all biblical analogies by keeping the issues of family and privilege in their respective places.
- II. How Should We Understand the "Banishment of Our Sins" in Respect to the Promise of Salvation?
- A. The text's definition of "salvation" remains a constant: "deliverance from our enemies and from the hand of those who hate us".
- 1. This "salvation" requires, at the bare minimum, that we be established in a Kingdom where there are no enemies.
- 2. This "salvation" requires, at the bare minimum, that we be established in peace with God, the Greatest Enemy of the Wicked.
- B. The "banishment of our sins" is presented as the "methodology" by which God makes us qualified to inherit the enemy-free Kingdom and to be at peace with Him.
- III. How Should We Understand the "Banishment of Our Sins" in Respect to the Treatment We Shall Receive at the Hands of the Sovereign of Our Experiences?
- A. We should understand that, as the born ones of God, we shall be treated as a Father treats His children as revealed by the Scriptures.
- B. We should understand that fathers are revealed in the Scriptures as those who respond to their children's needs.
- C. We should understand that most of the biblical text was addressed to the children in the family and must be interpreted accordingly.
- 1. Thus, 1 John 1:9 must be understood as telling us that if we refuse, as children, to acknowledge our sins with an attitude of true repentance, we shall be treated by our Father as if those sins are still attached to us ... i.e., we will be disciplined until we see how necessary it is for us to walk in repentant confession.
- 2. And, Matthew 6:15 must be understood as telling us that if we refuse to forgive our fellow believers when they turn to us in repentance, we will be treated as if we are not forgiven ... i.e., we will be disciplined until we see how necessary it is for us to grasp the fact that we cannot act like spoiled children who expect to receive what they are unwilling to give.
- IV. How Should We Understand the "Banishment of Our Sins" in Respect to the Actual Work of God in Separating Us From Them?
- A. We should understand that our new birth was a creation of a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15).
- B. We should understand that this new creation was a creation in true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
- C. We should understand that this new creation cannot sin (1 John 3:9).
- D. We should understand that the sin that erupts from us is not "of" us (Romans 7:17 & 20).
- E. We should understand that we only live out the new creation reality as our minds are renewed (Romans 12:2).