The following are sermons:
All our Righteousnesses, part 1
Today we begin a short new series: "All our Righteousnesses." Can humans have any righteousness? What is righteousness? Is everything we do tainted? Is any of what we do meritorious? What is and is not sin? Are we born sinners?
The starting place is always, What does the Bible teach? We find the word "sinner" or "sinners" more than 60 times in the Bible. Perhaps we have assumed we are born sinners. But let us turn to these texts and see what they say.Read more...
Paul & James: a Contradiction? Case Study: Sin and Righteousness
- Author, Date, Purpose
- Sin and Righteousness
- James on Sin
- Paul on Sin
- James on Righteousness
- Paul on Righteousness
1957, Original Sin, and Questions on Doctrine
Let's take a theological and historical journey. We're headed for
- The 1950s,
- Adventist experimentation with original sin, and
- A review of what the Bible teaches concerning the same.
Consider this excerpt from the current Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Number seven, The Nature of Man:
When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil.
If We Say We Have No Sin
Sometimes texts that vex us enclose tremendous insight. Their challenge to our minimally tested assumptions makes them great allies toward our growth in truth.
Seventh-day Adventists reject the doctrine of original sin, the teaching that men are born condemned or guilty. We also reject any notion that man was not damaged by the Fall. We are decidedly damaged; one might say, born broken. But, we are not lost until we choose rebellion. All who have lived in human flesh, except Jesus, have chosen rebellion at some point; all these, then, need Jesus. The Bible is clear: "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). How thankful we are that in Jesus a Savior is provided!
Some good and godly brothers dispute what has just been stated. They hold that all men have sin at birth. And, that all men have sin throughout the full length of their experience. Indeed, they say that men--even "saved" men--die in sin. The belief that in the power of God men can obey His law, that they can live without sinning after Probation closes, mystifies them. A favorite text suggested is 1 John 1:8. You recall the text:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.Read more...
What is the New Theology, part 5: Is Sin Choice or Nature?
The New Theology teaches that the primary problem that the gospel is meant to deal with is not human choice but human nature. “Sin” is made firstly a matter of our nature. One way this is sometimes said is that, “You are not a sinner because you sin; you sin because you are a sinner.”
The problem, according to the New Theology, is not what we end with, but what we begin with. The character at last developed in one’s life, is less significant, while the equipment we are born with, concerning which we have exercised no personal choice, is made most significant. Built into the core of the New Theology is an antipathy to issues concerning freewill, and an exalting of the significance of aspects of the human situation concerning which we can do nothing. In sharp contrast, the messenger of the Lord says,Read more...