Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are Sinful Thoughts Sinful? (part 2)

Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

In part 1we addressed the question of our culpability in regards to the degenerate nature, i.e., at what point should we feel that God judges the primordial sinful thought? Is it still sin, potentially accounted to us, even in its most nascent stage? Christ’s letter to Thyatira speaks His mandate to judge the entire human condition, from ostensive works to innermost thought & desire…

Revelation 2:18-23 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (19) "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. (20) But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (21) I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. (22) Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, (23) and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

Philippians 2:1-5 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, (2) complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (3) Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (5) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

These verses contain imperatives; the verb “have” says you must do something in gain that “unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” This clearly implicates our personal, individual culpability in regards to the primordial thought of sin. We can cultivate the ground of our heart & mind to readily grow such a bountiful crop of godliness, or we can choose to lazily let the land languish & continue to wonder why we get nothing but a crop of tiring tares & worthless weeds.

Matthew 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Yet, despite even the most fervent nurturing, the cultivated field will sometimes bear weeds; vigilance is the key to gaining a generally fruitful crop of godliness within your heart & mind. Pulling those weeds quickly, before they gain strong root & multiply with seed & spore of their own is key to opposing their degeneracy. But there is much more towards the goal of godliness than simply trying to deny the outside evil a place within; indeed Christ states that such effort at “cleaning house” is vain if it is forlorn:

Matthew 12:43-45 "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. (44) Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. (45) Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation."

Colossians 2:18-3:5 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, (19) and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (20) If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations- (21) "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (22) (referring to things that all perish as they are used)- according to human precepts and teachings? (23) These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Simply cleaning up the pig’s mess does nothing to deny the pigs habitation. They simply return to carry on rooting up & destroying the garden of your soul. Barriers must be erected to prevent the pigs entry to your garden. We must detest & live set apart from “that woman Jezebel” have sustainable growth in godliness.

But Jesus teaches, then the Apostle elucidates (the typical NT narrative), that attempting to grow in godliness by simply cleaning up the day’s mess, erecting barriers, & living minimally apart from outside worldliness (asceticism) “have no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh”. Why is this? Why can’t a ten foot, electrified barrier prevent the pigs from rooting & defecating in our garden? Because of this profoundly fundamental fact that both Savior & saint laid down as well: that we owners are primordially pigs as much as those that live outside the garden of our heart, mind, & soul. The teaching of original sin declares the shocking reality that, despite our every effort, a pig lives inside the garden, & that pig is us! (Romans 7) Nathan’s parable to David had the king in a mood of righteous vengeance, until the point in the story that appalling truth came out. “You are the man!” was stated, & then all David could do at that point is fall on his face & weep out the words of the 51st Psalm.

Psalms 51 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (2) Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (3) For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. (5) Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (6) Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (8) Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. (9) Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. (10) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (11) Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. (12) Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (13) Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. (14) Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. (15) O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. (16) For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. (17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (18) Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; (19) then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Colossians 3:1-5 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set (imperative verb) your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (5) Put (imperative verb) to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.


Even So... said...

Yes, sinful thoughts are sinful.

Sinful thoughts reveal our sinful nature.

Jesus could not have had sinful thoughts.

Zoarean said...

I base this view principally on 3 points:

1. Explicit Scripture, like Is. 55, Matt.5:48, Mark 12:30.

2. The concept of original sin.

3. The concept of Jesus as the only standard for humanity to judge itself.

Thanks for your confirmation JD, because some people have inferred disbelief that God would judge man this deeply.

Even So... said...

Yep, we need Jesus. Period. Excellent work, Steve. You could use this in various ways, having to crop it down for certain groups, fully expanding it for others, but the main points being the same...

You are more sinful than you think, all the way to the core.

Jesus is more glorious than you think, all the way to end.

Even So... said...

The last word verification was


what is a patex, pray tell?

Maybe it has somethign to do with this comment's word verification



Zoarean said...

Ya might be on to something, but I'm sticking with my original idea that we've gotta work hard to find God's secret message to us- I've been writing my verifications down & taking every third letter (except when preceded by a "b" or followed by a "x"). So far I've got: "In Obama's second term..."