Spiritually dead, yet not guilty?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    On a now close thread a poster stated one can be born spiritually dead, separated from God...yet not guilty, and also be spiritually dead without being a sinner.

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss how this is possible, it is NOT do defend or refute Augustinianism. I'm curious how these concepts can both be supported from Scripture. The moment Adam violated God's law he was guilty, a sinner and spiritually separated.
     
    #1 webdog, Apr 12, 2012
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  2. Skandelon

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    Webdog,

    I believe the confusion on this point may have to do with the distinction between the nature of man versus the act of sinning.

    The NATURE of man from birth is not holy. Men aren't born believing in God, and everything not done in faith is sin. Man is born selfish, prideful, and at enmity with the law of God.

    The ACT of sin (i.e. that man lied to his friend) flows from a heart of a sinner. That doesn't mean he was not free to resist that temptation to lie, but that his choice to lie reveals his nature.

    Thus, one can be born separated from God due to his fallen, unholy nature, yet without an ACT of sin. I don't think any of us know when a child begins to ACT sinfully, but given that anything not done in faith is sin, I'd suspect that is pretty early in life. That really doesn't matter much though, because his nature has sealed his fate. He has fallen short of God's holiness regardless of if and when he ACTS. He needs a savior regardless of his age or actions.

    A fallen nature = separation, enemy, slave to sin
    An ACT of sin = manifestation of the nature

    Gospel = Solution to that problem
     
  3. kyredneck

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    I suppose you're using Ro 14:23 to get here; I believe it to be a misapplication for most 'sinners', pertaining only to saved Saints in the exercise of their liberty.

    Of course, your underlying notion is that all those who have not heard the gospel are 'sinners' because nothing they do can be 'in faith'.
     
    #3 kyredneck, Apr 12, 2012
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  4. webdog

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    If his nature has sealed his faith, how is he not guilty? If his fate is separation from conception, how is Christ's blood applied via faith?
     
  5. kyredneck

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    And this notion comes from where?

    Our faith no more 'applies' the blood of Christ than the faith of the firstborn applied the blood of the passover lamb.
     
  6. webdog

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    Familiarize yourself with the doctrine of sola fide.
     
  7. kyredneck

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    Show me sola fide from scripture. The only 'faith alone' passage I know of is here:

    Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. Ja 2:24
     
  8. kyredneck

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    And go familiarize yourself with the God honoring doctrines of the Bible.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    One could argue that guilt is imputed through the ACT of sinning, but when does that happen? Can anyone really know when someone has their first sinful intent? That is why I mentioned before that this seems to be a difference without a distinction. Ultimately, we all believe we are all guilty sinners and in need of a savior. How and when we all get to that point seems somewhat irrelevant (except as it may relate to how one deals with the death of infants etc.)

    So, if men are born guilty or inevitably become guilty due to their nature and given environment, the end result is the same: They are guilty. So, what is the solution? Personally, I believe the issue of 'guilt' for breaking the law (being under wrath) is handled by the cross once and for all. Christ satisfied the wrath. He appeased wrath by fulfilling the demands of the law. Thus, people don't go to hell for their lawlessness, they go to Hell for their unbelief.

    There are dozens of passages which support this truth. What is the one difference between those in heaven and those in hell? Both are equally as lawless. The difference is not their guilt of breaking the law, for both those in heaven and those in hell are guilty of breaking the laws of God. The difference is their belief.

    Those who perish do so because they were unwilling to accept the truth and so be saved. - Paul

    "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day." - Jesus
     
  10. kyredneck

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    Would you mind providing these 'dozens' of passages that show one's personal faith (or lack of) determines one's eternal destiny?

    Concerning the passage in Jn 12:

    39 For this cause they could not believe, for that Isaiah said again,
    40 He hath blinded their eyes, and he hardened their heart; Lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, And should turn, And I should heal them.

    In Jn 8 there were those that could not believe because they were not of God, in Jn 10 there were those that could not believe because they were not His sheep.

    The implication is clear, only those who are born of God can perform this work of God which is believing on Christ.
     
  11. webdog

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    3 posts before a determinist tries to derail this thread...quicker than I thought.

    Krydneck, start your own thread but stop derailing this one.
     
  12. kyredneck

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    1... Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
    2 Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile. Ps 32

    To me, this is the issue, whether or not God imputes the sin. I don't see any scriptures that would support non-imputation of sin to the unregenerate. 'In whose spirit there is no guile' infers that these are regenerate.
     
    #12 kyredneck, Apr 12, 2012
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  13. webdog

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    I think you just answered your own question :laugh:
    No, but also doesn't discount there was a time when this did in fact occur.
    On this we disagree. I think there is quite a bit of difference that plays a crucial role in not only hamartiology, but soteriology. If an infant who is guilty, a sinner, spiritually dead, etc. is saved in some manner other by grace through faith, it needs to be supported by Scripture. All Scripture I have read supports those who are spiritually dead are saved in this manner, never in a way other by grace through faith, nor is there a salvation for a group of mankind not discussed in Scripture, which would need to be the case if infants are saved never having placed faith in Christ. I know some allude to the fact there is a special dispensation of salvation for them but I disagree as it opens a can of worms which could result in universalism.

    I agree the end result is the same, but that doesn't necessitate the origin is also the same. That would be similar to saying while Manson was in prison for mass murder, a young Jeff Dahmer was equally guilty of murder since he would grow up to commit them. While they both ended up murderers, they were not conceived as such, nor were they classifed as murderers at the same period in time.

    Agreed.
     
  14. Allan

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    Scripture specifically states this point without question or reservation:
    Rom 3:25 - whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

    The propitiation regards eternal salvation and that is received by faith.
    For it is by grace you are saved through faith...
     
  15. Winman

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    I believe an argument can be made that infants and small children who die are not guilty of sin and need no repentance. Look what Jesus said in Luke 15.

    Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

    Who are these just persons who need no repentance?

    Luk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
    26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
    27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
    28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
    29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
    30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
    31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
    32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

    Who is this elder son who never transgressed at any time the father's commandments?

    And note that the father did not correct the elder son, but in fact confirmed what the elder son had said. He called him "Son", and said "thou art EVER with me". So, this son in reality never sinned and was never separated from his father by sin.

    I could be wrong, but I believe the 99 righteous that do not need repentance, and the elder son who never at any time transgressed his father's commandments could be infants and small children who died before they reached the age of accountability.

    I can think of no other persons whom this could be.

    But note that no great celebration is made for the 99 who needed no repentance, nor the elder brother who never transgressed at any time his father's commandment, but great celebration is made over the one lost sheep recovered and over the prodigal son when he repented and was made alive AGAIN.
     
    #15 Winman, Apr 12, 2012
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  16. Yeshua1

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    think the basic problem is that we are all born with sin natures, and thus willingly choose to commit acts of sin naturally...

    being found sinners in nature, we would be condemned by God even IF we never had sinned, or if never heard jesus and reject Him!
     
  17. webdog

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    I think we all agree on this point.

    What is this "sinner by nature"? A sinner is one who sins, not one who has a sin nature.
     
  18. Iconoclast

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  19. Yeshua1

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    We are all born as sinners, with corrupted sin natures, that is confirmed early on by us sinning!
     
  20. Allan

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    I agree with much of what Skan posted above, with a small exception (to a degree)... as to when do we know we are sinning.

    I believe scripture is very clear on this issue and that while we might not know when we 'have' sinned (as in looking back) we 'will' know when we do it.

    Sinning is a cognitive choice just as faith is. Thus in order to make it one must understand what they are doing, and act toward or against that knowledge.

    Sinning isn't just doing something wrong but understanding what you are doing and against whom you have acted. Sin is an act against God's commands, thus in order for it to be sin, they must know what it is and make the decision to act contrary to it, and against the one who established that law or rule.

    This was Jesus point in John 9:41
    as well as in John 15:22
    Thus we note from Christ himself that we are not culpable for sin if we have no knowledge of it. But once we do we are held guilty.

    In addition to help clarify a bit more on the issue of being separated.
    The term 'dead' in scripture when relating to spiritual things always means 'separated. For example - Jesus is Life.. and thus to be 'dead' is to be separated or not in Union with Him which IS Life, or what is most often called being a 'child or son of God'. Paul's usage of 'adoption' solidifies this as in order to be adopted, you were never one with or a part of the new family in question. And since adoption was not even a Jewish a aspect done in their culture but the Romans, we get our understanding from their renderings on it. Interestingly enough under Roman Law if one was adopted they could not separate themselves from the family and it law that they were given full rights as if they natural born, and in fact, a natural born could have their rights stripped from them but an adopted child could not. You were family no matter what and could not be legally removed once adoption had been made.

    Thus one can and is separated from God by or better because of our nature, but that does not necessitate them being held guilty for sin. Being bent toward sin does not negate the fact that judicially, one must understand that what they have done -is sin- in order for them to be culpable. As John McArthur has stated we can not find anywhere in scripture that man is judged by or for his sin nature.
     

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