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Author Topic: Reconciling Scripture to Reality  (Read 529 times)

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Offline PeterEnergy

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Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« on: Sat Feb 09, 2019 - 08:54:21 »
I came across Col 2:10-11 yesterday and my faith is shaken. How can this 'spiritual circumcision' be true AND Christians continue to sin? I am specifically thinking about the recent story of priests using nuns as sex slaves.



So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.

Colossians 2:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

Offline soterion

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #1 on: Sat Feb 09, 2019 - 12:57:15 »
I came across Col 2:10-11 yesterday and my faith is shaken. How can this 'spiritual circumcision' be true AND Christians continue to sin? I am specifically thinking about the recent story of priests using nuns as sex slaves.



So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.

Colossians 2:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)


I would suggest part of the problem lies in your choice of using the NLT. Try another translation, such as the KJV, ASV, or another more literal translation.

Colossians 2:11-13 (ASV):
in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, I say, did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses;

Paul is not saying that Christ cut off a "nature," as if this circumcision perfectly transforms one's nature so as to result in a completely different behavior. Any such change requires time and growth in Christ.

Compare what Paul says there with what he writes in Romans 6:5-7.
For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin.

Also check out what is written in 1 Peter 2:24.
who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.

It is not a behavior that is cut off, or crucified together with Christ, but rather it is the connection to sin that is taken away. Those still "in sin" are dead in their sins and in relation to God. The immediate consequence of this circumcision performed by Christ (being crucified together with Him), is our being made alive together with Him and being forgiven of all of our transgressions (Colossians 2:13), justification from sin (Romans 6:7), and having died unto sin (1 Peter 2:24).

In Romans 6, starting in verse 11, Paul is encouraging a new attitude toward sin and righteousness with regard to the crucifixion with Christ they had experienced. As a result of the circumcision/crucifixion, they are being told to look at themselves differently (verse 11) and to change their behavior (verses 12ff.). It is still a matter of choice in that nobody is forced to live one way or the other. They, and we, still have a choice in whom to present their members in service, whether unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness, or unto God as instruments of righteousness.

Paul, and Peter, would have us serve righteousness. In Romans 6, Paul encourages his readers to walk in newness of life (verse 4), to no longer be in bondage to sin (verses 6 and 12), and to be alive unto God (verse 11). Peter would have those who were crucified with Christ live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). This can take place only because Christ cut us off from our former connection to sin that used to rule our lives. It is for freedom (from sin and the law) that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1).

So, what about the fact that sin is still being committed by those who have received this circumcision? While alive in our mortal bodies, we still have to struggle against temptations and all of the desires of the flesh and eyes and pride. Happily, those who have been thusly crucified with Christ now have the continual cleansing of their sins insofar as they continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:5-10). Sin still occurs, but those in Christ receive this continual cleansing as they walk in Him. This goes back to what Paul wrote in Romans 6:14; sin shall not have dominion because of God's grace.

Regarding the article you referenced, you seem to be assuming that those priests did receive this circumcision/crucifixion. Maybe they did; maybe they didn't. A person's behavior alone is not enough evidence to tell one way or the other. Some here will say that their sinfulness is evidence of having never truly received Christ, while you seem to be saying that their identity as priests is evidence that they have received Him. I believe both assumptions are just that...assumptions.

Offline PeterEnergy

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #2 on: Sat Feb 09, 2019 - 20:23:39 »
Quote
It is not a behavior that is cut off, or crucified together with Christ, but rather it is the connection to sin that is taken away.

Right. Given the connection to sin that is taken away, how then can Christians continue to sin?

Offline soterion

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #3 on: Sun Feb 10, 2019 - 08:26:10 »
Right. Given the connection to sin that is taken away, how then can Christians continue to sin?

Maybe "connection" gives the wrong impression of what I am thinking.

It should be obvious that the opportunity and the willingness and the choice to commit sin is not removed by Christ in this circumcision. If they were removed, then nobody would sin again after being crucified together with Him.

So, let me recap what I said earlier, but word it a bit differently. The difference in a person before and after receiving Christ's circumcision is the difference between death and life, being immersed in sin and being immersed in Christ, being guilty of sin and being justified from sin.

It is that aspect of the self that is dead in sin and alienated from God that is crucified with Christ and put to death. That is what I mean by the connection to sin being removed. Only by dying with Him can a person be made new and alive in Him and to God. However, while in this physical body in this life, the struggle with sin continues and the choice and opportunity to sin are still present. The freewill to make such decisions regarding who we give ourselves to serve is not changed and it is certainly not removed.

Offline PeterEnergy

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #4 on: Sun Feb 10, 2019 - 18:27:04 »
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It should be obvious that the opportunity and the willingness and the choice to commit sin is not removed by Christ in this circumcision.

It is the opposite of obvious. IF the willingness to commit sin is not removed by Christ in this circumcision per Col 2:10-11, what is removed?

Online 4WD

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #5 on: Mon Feb 11, 2019 - 04:30:29 »
It is the opposite of obvious. IF the willingness to commit sin is not removed by Christ in this circumcision per Col 2:10-11, what is removed?
The condemnation due to sin is what is removed. 

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.


There is more, but that is a significant part of it.  That is the legal action, i.e., justification, that derives from the circumcision by Christ in Baptism per Colossians 2:9-13. In addition to justification, there is regeneration and sanctification that is accomplished by that circumcision of Christ.

Offline chosenone

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #6 on: Mon Feb 11, 2019 - 04:49:56 »
You are making the wrong assumption that these abusers were Christians. Just because someone is a RC priest means nothing. People like that who abuse children and rape women often are in that role because they have access to children and pliant women. 

A massive part of the problems is that the RC church thinks that its priests must be celibate, that's asking for trouble.

Offline soterion

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #7 on: Mon Feb 11, 2019 - 08:06:19 »
The condemnation due to sin is what is removed. 

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.


There is more, but that is a significant part of it.  That is the legal action, i.e., justification, that derives from the circumcision by Christ in Baptism per Colossians 2:9-13. In addition to justification, there is regeneration and sanctification that is accomplished by that circumcision of Christ.

The phrase, "...in the putting off of the body of the flesh..." leads me to believe it is not just the resultant condemnation that is removed.

Romans 6:6 says, in part, "...our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away..." Whatever aspect of us that is crucified together with Christ is put to death so as to be renewed and made alive in Him.

In 1 Peter 2:24 we read, "...bare our sins in his body upon the tree..." Was it the sins themselves that were cut off in baptism? That is what I am getting out of this and Romans 6:6. It is the old self that is crucified together with Christ (the old man), but he is not cut off, or removed. The sins along with the condemnation caused by them are removed, and the self is renewed in Christ, from old to new.

Once more, in Colossians 3:9-10 we read, "...seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him..." Just as we read in Romans 6, we are expected to live as those who have died to the old life and are resurrected to live as no longer under the dominion of sin.

Offline PeterEnergy

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #8 on: Mon Feb 11, 2019 - 14:43:51 »
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The condemnation due to sin is what is removed. 

So, you take Col 2:10-11 as metaphorical circumcision, a flowery way of saying ones sins are forgiven.

I noticed you did not address the part of Col 2:10-11, where we are supposed to be complete in Christ.

Offline PeterEnergy

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #9 on: Mon Feb 11, 2019 - 14:44:44 »
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You are making the wrong assumption that these abusers were Christians. Just because someone is a RC priest means nothing.

You cannot be serious. To say nuns and priests are not Christian is ridiculous.

Offline PeterEnergy

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #10 on: Sun Feb 24, 2019 - 17:03:20 »
In Exodus, it says that anyone who works on the Sabbath will be put to death. Jesus worked on the Sabbath and was rightly crucified by this verse. So, what is wrong, Exodus or Jesus working on the Sabbath? I tend to think Exodus.

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Re: Reconciling Scripture to Reality
« Reply #11 on: Sun Feb 24, 2019 - 20:25:27 »
In Exodus, it says that anyone who works on the Sabbath will be put to death. Jesus worked on the Sabbath and was rightly crucified by this verse. So, what is wrong, Exodus or Jesus working on the Sabbath? I tend to think Exodus.

Friday 6Pm to Sat 6 PM sabbath?

Good thing then that most Christian services are on Sunday, or the clergy and lay people who serve the parishioners
would be in real trouble........  After all, the clergy is on the payroll.