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July 8, 2007 / vivator

Sin and Salvation

Some Protestants or “Bible only” Christians boldly say that once they believe in Christ as their Lord and Personal Saviour, all their sins are forgiven, including their future sins; thus their salvation is assured.  Their view may come from their belief that through Christ they are declared righteous – the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed on them to cover their unrighteousness, which (to them) includes their future sins.  To them Catholic teachings like confessing sin to priests, penance, purgatory and indulgences are unscriptural and meaningless, i.e. they make what Christ did on the cross insufficient.  To support their belief they may quote the following verse:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. ….. but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous;

1 John 1:7, 2:1

However while this verse says that Christ’ blood cleanses us from all sins and He is advocate with the Father, there is condition attached: if we walk in the light.  It is not something automatically guaranteed to believers in Christ.  Scripture does testify that committing sin affects our salvation:  

For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it had conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

James 1:15

Scripture also says: He who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8) and whoever does not do right is not of God (1 John 3:10).

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3 Comments

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  1. Newchasm / Jul 23 2007 11:50 am

    1 john 1:7: The condition can be evidential not conditional. “As he is in the light.”

    As for hebrews 10, it can be linked to the unpardenable sin in chapter 6 and in Matthew. Not just any sin but one that attributes the work of christ to satan. There is a greater debate on if can be commited by believers.

    Finally, James 1:15 seems to imply something against free will. Ultimately, unless you want to be like the Greek Orthodox church and assert Christan perfection. It means nothing about salvation itself. Only condemnation.

    Protestants at one time guarded against these things by a perserverance of the saints doctrine. It is not once saved, always save. It was once save, always repentant.

    Confession and penance are far from meaningless. They are tools of repentance. It is just that protestants do not hold they need to be worked out with priests.

  2. Newchasm / Jul 23 2007 11:54 am

    As for Christian perfection. Did christ’s blood pay for your original sin? Or did Baptism?

    You believe that Christ’s blood paid for all sin. Baptism washes away original sin. Is christ’s blood ineffectual to pay for original sin?

  3. vivator / Jul 23 2007 9:36 pm

    Is Christ’s blood ineffectual to pay for original sin? The criminal who was crucified with CHrist and repented (and died) was not baptized. He was, of course, saved without going through Baptism. God can save a person without (Sacrament of) Baptism. He has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1257). To Catholics Baptism is necessary for those whom (1) the Gospel has been proclaimed and (2) who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament (extracted from the same clause # 1257).

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