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Does God Shame People For Their Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2024 4:30 pm

Does God Shame People For Their Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 19, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1406 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. Why do people think that the fruit from the forbidden tree was an apple?   2. Is tithing an Old Testament command that we are still bound to today?   3. Does God shame people for their sin?   4. How does the Bible become more than just head knowledge?   5. Should I stay at a church where I disagree with the pastor's theology?   Today’s Offer: FEARFULLY MADE   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Does God shame people for their sin? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there.

Happy Friday. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open and you can call us right now for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number.

CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also leave a voicemail on our voicemail system at that number anytime, and you can email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, let's go to Danny calling in from Kansas. Danny, what's your question for Adriel? First of all, I hope he's not eating an apple while I'm asking this question. Why do people think that the forbidden fruit for the tree of knowledge of good and evil was an apple?

That's a great question. Yeah, because in the biblical text, it doesn't specify what kind of a fruit it was. And so, one, I think there's just a lot of speculation out there. I have read before that it's sort of rooted in the Latin translation of the Bible, Jerome's translation of the Bible, and using the word for apple in that context. Then, of course, you see this also in medieval art and in poetry.

You think of Paradise Lost, John Milton's Paradise Lost. I think he refers to the fruit there as an apple. But again, this is all just, I think, more speculation than anything. I like to say that the fruit was probably a banana because I hate bananas. What the text does tell us is that it looked good. It was desirable, but it was forbidden. This is something that God said, don't eat that. So yeah, just sort of a history there of biblical interpretation and then also art and poetry over time, I think, gave people the conception that the forbidden fruit was maybe an apple.

But again, that's just speculation. Brian, thanks for reaching out. And yeah, you don't have to worry if you're eating an apple, wondering, is this as bad as this forbidden? I think you're okay. But pomegranates, watch out, man. Well, you had all that pomegranate art in the tabernacle and in the temple, and so I think it's a pretty biblical fruit, actually. It's a good one.

That's okay, yeah. Okay, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Give us a call if you have a question about a Bible passage that's always kind of stumped you or maybe something theological or doctrinal that you have a question about or something going on in the life of your church.

Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Danny from Kansas. Danny, are you with us now?

Okay, I think he doesn't realize there's a delay. You've got to turn your radio off, Danny, and just talk right into the phone there. Yes, my name is Danny.

I'm from Topeka, Kansas. My question is, there are so many denominations that preach that giving tithes is still biblical for the church today, and I found many scriptures that contradict that. Could you please answer this question?

Thank you. Hey, Danny, thank you for that question. Yeah, is the tithe something that we're bound to as believers under the new covenant? The concept of a tithe is something that you see throughout the Old Testament, even before it was instituted in relationship to bringing the money to the storehouse to the temple. You see it with Abraham in Genesis and Melchizedek.

You see it in various other places, and so sometimes people have pointed to it as this sort of universal principle. Of course, it was attached to Israel's ceremonial law and the worship there, bringing your tithe of everything. Bringing your tithe to the storehouse and supporting the temple ministry there under the new covenant. It's not my view that we're bound by that in the same way that Old Testament believers were, but what I don't want to communicate there is that we're not called as Christians to give generously unto the Lord and towards the work of ministry. And the way the apostle Paul talks about this, and of course Jesus talks about it a ton as well, let me just say one thing about Jesus. A lot of times people miss the fact that Jesus had a ton to say about money and possessions, especially because he saw what a snare they could be, how so many people were given to the idolatry of money. You have parables and stories, and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, for example, where he says, store up your treasures in heaven, not on earth.

You can't serve God and money. And a part of storing up treasures in heaven there is related to giving, giving in particular to the poor, those who are unable to repay us, giving to the advancement of the gospel, supporting especially our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling and not able to support themselves and need help. All over the place in the New Testament, but then also the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8, I think this is a wonderful passage to go to to encourage giving with the proper motives.

He says in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, really, so if you want to spend more time thinking about this I would say read both of those chapters, but I'm just going to read a little bit from chapter 9 beginning in verse 6. The point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, he has distributed freely, he has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever. And then listen to this, he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

What a beautiful promise there. It's been said over and over again that you can't outgive the Lord. We are first and foremost recipients of God's grace, of God's generosity, of the forgiveness of sins, but then also of that daily bread, the provision that God has brought to each one of us.

And I mean, that's amazing. And so in response to that, I think this is what Paul is getting at there in 2 Corinthians 9, in response to this God who has been so good to us. Let's be cheerful givers. Let's give 10 percent, let's give more. I just think that what we're thinking of, how much do I have to give, that sort of a thing, that's the wrong approach. We give as those who have first received with joy knowing that God is going to provide for us and that God loves a cheerful giver. Thank you for that question. So well said. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

By the way, we do get emails here at the CORE. You can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Hannah. She says, I had a Christian friend who was having premarital sex with her boyfriend. When I confronted her about it, she said she felt shame regarding her sin, but she didn't think this was from God and therefore shame was a bad thing. She didn't want shame to be the motivation for her to stop sinning. Since shame was a bad thing to her, she said she wouldn't stop it until she felt God was gently telling her not to. She said this was how God communicated to her in the past regarding previous habitual sin. So my question is, does God make us feel shame for our sin, and is feeling shame about sin a bad thing?

Hannah, thank you for that question. And so there are a couple of things I want to say here. First, there is a kind of shame that is associated and should be associated with sin. You see this especially in the prophets, as the prophets of the Old Testament would go to Israel after Israel had continued in sin. Oftentimes what they'd say is, you guys are doing all of these horrible things and you're not even showing any shame.

You don't realize how you've slapped God in the face, essentially. I mean, you think about what the prophets were accusing Israel of, this spiritual harlotry and adultery over and over again, and one of the refrains that you find in the prophets is, you guys weren't ashamed. And in that context, shame is viewed as a positive thing, as this feeling that the people of God should have had associated with repentance, associated with grief over their sin.

And so just listen to a few verses. This is Jeremiah chapter 6, verse 15. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord.

Or just a couple chapters later in Jeremiah, Jeremiah chapter 8, verse 12. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, again, they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they shall be overthrown. And so what is God saying there? He's saying, my people, you should have been ashamed because of your unrighteous acts, because of the things that you were doing. You should have had grief over your sin and repentance, and yet you showed no shame.

You continued to do these things that were dishonoring and displeasing in my sight, and you couldn't even blush about it. Ezekiel, the prophet, listen to what he says. This is Ezekiel chapter 16 and in verse 52. Bear your disgrace. Is God speaking to his people? Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they.

They are more in the right than you, so be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous. And again, God's speaking about that great sin and there in that context saying you should be ashamed. I think also of Peter in 1 Peter chapter 4, verse 16. He's talking about suffering as a believer, and he says, look, if you suffer as a Christian, you don't have to be ashamed. But then he says, if you suffer because you're sinful and you're doing sinful things, well, that's another story. He seems to indicate there that, yeah, there is a shame that should be associated with sin. And so we can talk about shame. We don't have to just think of it totally negatively. We can talk about it as this emotion associated with repentance and recognizing that we've sinned against a holy God, that we've done things that we should not have done. Now, I think that the concern here and as well, well, you know, what about those situations where people are just heaping guilt and shame onto people in order to try to make them feel bad to produce repentance?

And I think that there can be real problems there. And I think that there can also be shame that people experience that they shouldn't have. You see this oftentimes with victims of abuse, for example.

And so we have to walk a fine line here also recognizing that shame can be weaponized and used in an unhelpful and an unhealthy way. But in this situation, you know, as you're having conversations with your friend, we know what God's Word says so clearly in Scripture. And if I could speak to your friend, I would appeal to her as a sister to say, sister, you need to repent and don't wait until you have some feeling before you repent. God has said in His Word, you should not be doing this. And He calls you to walk in His truth and in His love, not to reject His Word and wait until you feel like you want to follow.

No. I mean, there are so many other things there, but know also that as you turn to the Lord, He is so full of compassion that He's calling you to Himself. And I think of the beautiful story that we have, one of my favorite stories in all of the Bible in John chapter 4, where Jesus pursues the woman at the well. And here is a woman who was probably ostracized by society.

She's getting water at the well in the middle of the day, in the heat of the day, probably to avoid other people. And Jesus goes to her, and He doesn't pretend like there isn't an issue. He's essentially exposing sin. He asks her about her current relationship with someone that she's living with, cohabiting with. She's had all these different husbands, and she's gotten through one after another after another. So this is someone who probably in that society was known as someone who had been sexually immoral, been with several different men. And yet, the Lord Jesus pursues her with compassion, and His compassion doesn't cause Him to minimize her sin, or to say, oh, it's okay, it's all fine. No, He still calls her to follow Him and to repent. And so we have to have, I think, a high view of the grace of God, a compassion for people, while not giving a free pass to sin, because sin will kill us. And for your friend, Hannah, it will ruin her relationship, living in selfish ways, in sinful ways, and engaging in that kind of behavior with another person.

It doesn't strengthen the relationship, not at all. There's sort of this lie, this deception, we think, well, you know, this intimacy is helping us come together. No, not before God. And there's selfishness associated there, too. And so just a call to repentance, but also recognizing the compassion and mercy of the Lord. I think one of the things I've seen among pastors, some pastors today, which I think is unfortunate, is they'll take those texts in the Old Testament where God is really rebuking Israel for her spiritual adultery. You know, God is saying, you're a harlot, you're this, you're that, using very strong language. And they'll just sort of apply that language to all sinners. Anybody who struggles with sexual sin, for example, non-Christians who dress differently.

And, you know, it's very different. I think that approach is very different than what Jesus did in John chapter 4 in pursuing the woman at the well. Not mocking her, not heaping shame upon shame, but also not minimizing the fact that she needed to repent. And your friend needs to repent as well, Hannah, and I pray that the Lord draws her close and gives her a sense, that sense of conviction, but that she also doesn't reject the feelings of shame that can come when we've sinned, but that she brings those to the Lord and says, be merciful to me, a sinner, and he will be merciful to her. Thanks.

So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you can always leave us a voicemail. Our voicemail system is operating 24 hours a day, and here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to, well, first I want to mention the resource that we have available to you, and this is something that I think is really apropos for our times, because right now we are in a situation where our country is so divided on the issue of abortion. Because of that, we have created an excellent resource that we think will help you develop a biblically informed view on the sanctity of human life. The resource is called Fearfully Made, and it's a 30-day resource-oriented devotional on the sanctity of life. And so this is a great thing to go through this month or next month.

January 21 happens to be, just a couple of days away, happens to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day. And so get ahold of this resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash offers to get your free copy of Fearfully Made. And while you're at our website, we'd encourage you to browse around, look at some of our other great resources, including our CORE Bible studies. Wow, we've got some great ones on books from the Old Testament and the New Testament that will really help you dig in to God's word.

You can do that in a group setting, or you can do it individually. So check all those out at corechristianity.com. Well, let's go to Jerry, who's calling in from Ohio. Jerry, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I have more Bible in my mind than in my heart. How would I transfer that to the heart?

Hey, Jerry, can I just go back to you for a moment there? You said I have more Bible in my mind than in my heart. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? What exactly do you mean by that? Well, I know more like the Bible verses and stuff like that, but how to live it and stuff like that.

That's what I'm talking about. Okay. Well, God bless you, brother. It needs to be in our mind. We meditate upon the word of God so that it shapes us. But it sounds like you recognize that it's one thing to hear the word of God, and it's another thing for that word to burrow deep down into our hearts.

You think of the parable of the soils, for example. To burrow deep down into our hearts and then produce fruit. And all of us, right? I think each and every one of us ought to pray, Lord, help me not just to hear with my ears, but to hear with my heart.

Would your word nestle deep down inside of me and produce fruit, transform me? And so I think, Jerry, one of the things you can do is pray. And in fact, that's something in scripture that we're encouraged to do and that we see also in places like Ephesians chapter 1.

Now listen to what the Apostle Paul says. He says in verse 18, having the eyes of your hearts, this is how he's praying for the Ephesian church, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you and what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. And so this is what we sometimes refer to as illumination. We need the word of God to be illuminated to us so that we grasp it, we receive it. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit. And that's why when we approach God's word, we come prayerfully with humility, eager to receive it with faith and to cherish it up in our hearts. And so I think that's recognizing that and prayerfully saying, Lord, let your word penetrate deeply into my heart.

But that also does happen. I mean, continue to study the scriptures and to meditate upon them. If you think of what the psalmist said, for example, in Psalm 119, in verse 10, he says, With my whole heart I seek you, let me not wander from your commandments. I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes. So you pray that too, Jerry. And if you see areas in your life where you know you're living in ways that are contrary to what God's word has called you to do, I would say don't hesitate.

Don't wait for some feeling in your heart. Say, God, I'm going to choose your word over my feelings and seek to submit myself, my life, my behavior, my actions to what you have said, what you've revealed in scripture. Help me, Lord, by illuminating the eyes of my heart. And because you've asked this question, Jerry, I just want to take a moment to pray that very prayer for you that Paul prayed for the Ephesians in Ephesians 1, verse 18, and for all of our listeners. Gracious Father in heaven, we so desperately need the work of your Holy Spirit in our lives, illuminating scripture for us, Lord, so that we don't just hear it and reject it, as so many do, Lord, and they're held accountable for that. But help us, O Lord, help us to truly hear your word and receive it into our hearts. And for Jerry, I do pray that the eyes of his heart would be enlightened, that he may know what is the hope to which you have called him, and what are the riches of your glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of your power towards him as he believes in you. And so bless him, be with him, and grant him the grace, O Lord, to hear and to heed your word. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Larry. Larry, we've just got about a minute left.

What is your question for Adriel? Yeah, Adriel, I've been going to a church for a few years, and the pastors there are more Armenian in their theological views, and I'm more Calvinistic. I was wondering what's your advice on whether I should stay at that church or seek one that's more Reformed or Calvinistic?

Hey, Larry, thank you for that question. Well, I think it's very important for us as we're thinking about these kinds of things to think about them openly with the leadership of our church. You don't want your pastors to feel like, you know, you're going around them or behind their back and talking to somebody else who maybe agrees with you to figure out what you're going to do. I would say have a conversation with them and talk to them about these issues and where you are, and do so with charity and with humility. But we do realize that sometimes there are significant differences that do, I think, require us to, for the sake of the peace and the purity of the church and for our own consciences, find other places to worship. And I would encourage you to prayerfully approach them and have those discussions with them, and to do that again with humility. Hey, God bless. Thanks. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-19 19:12:30 / 2024-01-19 19:21:49 / 9

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