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Why Does God Hold Us Accountable for Sin When We Don’t Choose to Be Born?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2024 3:40 pm

Why Does God Hold Us Accountable for Sin When We Don’t Choose to Be Born?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 14, 2024 3:40 pm

Episode 1511 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. Is it possible for a Christian to have victory over sin in this life? 2. I have OCD; does God know I can't help my thoughts? 3. Does God judge infants if they die before they can profess faith? 4. Why does God hold us accountable for sin when we don't choose to be born?     Today’s Offer: How To Keep Your Faith After High School   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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Why does God hold us accountable for sin when we don't choose to be born? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, it's 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. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. If you get our voicemail system, just let us know where you're calling from and your name and leave your question there. And of course, you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Mitchell, who's calling in from Iowa. Mitchell, what's your question for Adriel? Hello, can you hear me? Hey Mitchell, I can hear you. My question for you is, is it possible to have victory of sin in this lifetime, like specifically sexual sin?

Hey Mitchell, thank you for calling in with that question. What we don't experience as Christians in this present age is spiritual perfection, or, you know, sometimes people talked about, you know, you could get to the place in your Christian life where you just, where you were sinless in one sense, where you're so sanctified that you just don't struggle with sin anymore. That's not biblical, but that doesn't mean that the Spirit of God doesn't work or can't work in us to put to death our sinful deeds, and that growth in holiness or growth in God's grace isn't a reality for us, because I think that it is. And Paul in Romans chapters 6 through 8 talks about this.

Now, he emphasizes there a couple of things. One, in chapter 6, Mitchell, he emphasizes the fact that through faith and baptism you have a new relationship to God and to sin. Even when we struggle with sin, we shouldn't view ourselves as slaves to sin, as, you know, I'm just worthless, that kind of a thing. No, through faith in Jesus you have been freed, loosed from your sins so that they don't have dominion over you anymore, and we're called to live in light of that great reality, and that's why Paul says in in Romans chapter 6 verse 5, if we've been united with him in a death like his, we'll certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Now, given that, Paul is very clear about the reality of the struggle that we experience in the Christian life. He says in chapter 7 very clearly, verse 15, I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want but the very thing I hate. Now, if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law that it is good, so now it is no longer I who do it but the sin that dwells within me. I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out.

And then, you know, he's talking about this tension, he goes on to say, who will deliver me from this body of death? Verse 25 of chapter 7, thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And so we struggle, we will struggle, but we're not condemned, and the Spirit of God is at work in us, sanctifying us, mortifying the sinful deeds of the body. It's what we're called to in the very next chapter, in Romans chapter 8, where Paul makes this, again, very, very clear. He talks about not walking according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Verse 5, Romans chapter 8, for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

I would encourage you, Mitchell, to meditate on Romans chapters 6 through 8, to reinforce in your mind that new identity that you have in Jesus Christ, and to pray that God, by the grace of his Holy Spirit, would help you to grow in whatever area that you need to grow. And let me just say, that's a prayer that God will answer. Paul told the Thessalonians, this is the will of God for you, your sanctification, and then he added that you would abstain from sexual immorality.

So God's will for you is purity, is to walk in holiness, to abstain from sexual immorality. That doesn't mean that we're not going to struggle with evil thoughts or whatnot, but we confess those to the Lord, and the Spirit of God is at work in our lives so that we might grow in grace. But again, it's a battle.

It's a fight. It's that Romans 7 reality that it's easy for us to get discouraged in, and so you need to continue to go to the Word and to be encouraged by other brothers and sisters. And let me just add, for those of you who do struggle with something like sexual sin, this is where accountability is so important, and confession. And so if this is something that you wrestle with, I think it's really important to be able to go to others, your pastor, elders, and just say, hey, I need prayer, and I would like some accountability. And this is often the means, one of the ways that God uses to grant us that strength and growth in grace, is as we're bringing our sin into the light, confessing it, and calling upon the name of the Lord, and seeking to live in the light in the context of Christian community. And that's where we need to be.

That's where you need to be. And when we don't have that, when we're just kind of all alone with our sin, and we're not confessing it, and we don't have accountability, we don't have Christian fellowship, that's where it grows and thrives. And so do everything you can, every opportunity you have, to mortify it, to kill it, to confess it, and to receive the grace that God has for you. Mitchell, thanks so much for your call, and may the Lord bless you, and we appreciate having you as a listener here at CORE Christianity. Adriel, I am troubled when I hear a certain pastor, certain Christian teachers use the word victory or victorious over sin, because I think we may misunderstand that.

Yeah, I think that there are two ditches to reckon. The one is that idea that we can have this sort of perfect victory over sin, that the Christian life isn't a battle, that we can be sinless in the sense that, you know, I just don't, I'm not doing any sin. The fact of the matter is, every single day we sin against God and thought we're in deed. There are probably ways that you're sinning against God that you don't even know about, right? Like God is working on different things in your life, and He hasn't even illuminated that area yet. And so, you know, as we come before the Lord, we do so with humility, recognizing that everything, even our good works, are stained with unbelief, with selfishness.

Now, that doesn't mean that they're not good works, it just means that they're not perfect. They're accepted by God through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and so we have this, we ought to have this humility when we come before the Lord, recognizing, Lord, I'm coming before you as a sinner. That's why every day I need to pray. Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who have sinned against us, our debtors. And so, but the other ditch to reckon, Bill, I think, is just to sort of say, oh, well, you know, we're just going to struggle with sin, so might as well give in, and not fight it with all of my might. You know, the Christian life is just, you know, I'm a sinner, and I'm not going to be made better until I'm with Jesus, that kind of a thing. And so we don't have a zeal for holiness like we should, but that's also very clear in the New Testament. You look at those texts, like the one I was mentioning in Romans chapter 8, where Paul admonishes believers to put to death by the Spirit the sinful deeds of the body, and so this isn't something that you do in the flesh or in your own strength. It's the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, and we don't want to minimize the work of the Spirit in our lives.

Really good balance, Adriel, thank you for that. I think all of us need to understand that, as you said, those two ditches to reckon, and we need to understand the truth of that. Read Romans, read the book of Romans, as Adriel said, Romans 6 through 8, to really understand that in your own life. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You can always leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Our phone number is 833-THE-CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Steve calling in from Oklahoma. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, guys.

Hey, Steve. Hey, I'm sure you guys have heard every question before, but I don't know if you've heard this one before. I'm 60 years old and I've had a brain disorder called obsessive-compulsive disorder my whole life. It is all involved in my brain. Usually when you hear something, you hear a song, most people can let it go and they move on to the next thing. Well, in my brain, it keeps going on and on and on. So if I see something or I'm thinking something or thoughts just pop into my head, they stay in my head and there's nothing I can do to get rid of them. So if I see something bad and I know it's against God, it stays in my head and I'm thinking to myself, God is not liking this. He can't be liking this, but it seems like I can't do anything about it. So my question to you is, does God know this is happening to me? Number one.

Number two, what can I do to make this? I don't think I can make it go away. I've had it my whole life. I kind of can control it, but what can I do?

That's my question. Steve, my heart goes out to you, brother, because I imagine that this has got to be so hard to wrestle with these intrusive thoughts that come and you know that some of them aren't honoring to the Lord. And maybe you don't want the thought, but you can't seem to ditch it. And the first thing I want to say to you is, yeah, God is totally aware of our weaknesses, of our limitations, of the ways in which the fall has affected us, including every part of our body, including the mind. And I do want to go to Bill in a moment before, I have a few things I want to say, but I know Bill has some wisdom here with OCD in particular, but just wanting you to know that the Lord knows that Jesus, who assumed humanity, the eternal Son of God, who assumed humanity, tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin, is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.

And this is a weakness that you have as a result of the fall. And God does not overlook that. Now, we do have responsibility before the Lord to confess our sins. When we do sin, when we are accountable for our sinful behavior, and I'm not saying that's what this is, but I think here, thinking about your particular struggle, it's saying, okay, God, help me to be wise in filling my mind with those things that are honoring to you. And when an intrusive thought comes, to be able to distinguish between something that comes, you know, that I'm not entertaining, you know, the thought popping into your mind isn't sin, it's when we give our hearts to God, when we give our heart to sinful imagination and lust and those kinds of things, that's a sin.

And we confess those sins to the Lord and know, Steve, that God is gracious and forgives us, but battling the thought itself, as frustrating as it might be, as annoying, as bothersome, as heavy as it might be, there's a difference between having the thought and engaging in, you know, the sinful imagination with the thought, whatever the thought is. And so I think for all of us as Christians, but maybe this is an area where you're going to have to work especially hard, it's important to do what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there's anything worthy of praise, think about these things. And so I think the prayer for you is, Lord, let those be the thoughts that fill my mind. And do whatever you can to fill your mind with those thoughts, that's reading scripture, that's praying, that's being a part of a church.

And that's, I think, how you engage in this fight. And so I do want to pray for you really quickly, and then, Bill, I want to go to you, but let's pray for our brother Steve right now, and just ask for God's grace to be poured out upon him and that he would be encouraged. Father, we come before you, and our hearts go out to our brother, and we lift him up to you, we lift Steve up to you, Lord, who's wrestled with these thoughts, with OCD for his entire life. And Lord, he wants to honor you. Lord, he wants to thank those things that are pleasing to you. Look upon him, Lord, and be gracious to him. Fill his mind, Lord, with that which is good and true and beautiful. Let your word, Lord Jesus, be planted deep down inside of him. And when an intrusive thought, a thought maybe that is not pleasing to you, comes into his mind, I pray that you would help him to take that thought captive and to say, Lord, I don't want this. And Lord, that you would clear his mind, cleanse his mind, help him, Lord, to honor you, to love you, and encourage him, Lord, in this as well. I pray for your blessing upon our brother, in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Such a tough situation, Steve, and we do feel for you. And, you know, I was thinking about, I don't know what forms of treatment Steve has tried, Adriel, but the research would show that when it comes to obsessive compulsive disorder, the best form of treatment is often a combination of medication and what we call cognitive behavioral therapy. Now, here's the trick. If you go to a non-Christian therapist and, for example, you tell that non-Christian therapist you've had intrusive thoughts about sex or sexuality or a person, that non-Christian therapist may say, hey, no big deal. You know, they express your interest in that person or whatever. They might not consider that obsessive compulsive. Yet as a Christian, of course, Steve is concerned about those thoughts. So I would say if he has not been to a Christian therapist who practices that form of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, that's the person he wants to see. And the other thing is, and you mentioned this, as you fill your mind with those good and pleasing and perfect things that God wants us to fill our mind with, that also means we need to stay away from the stuff, not go on our phones, not go on certain websites.

I mean, it's hard. You can be driving around and see a billboard that causes temptation in this day and age, but in Steve's case, to really guard his heart big time against those influences that could cause those thoughts to pop into his head. Thanks, Bill, for that additional insight. I think it's, you know, one of those situations where it's a holistic approach, right? We're saying there's wisdom, common graces.

I really appreciate you distinguishing there between when you go to a non-Christian therapist or whatnot, and they don't see things the same way we do as believers. So they might say, oh yeah, that's fine. You know, you don't have to worry about those kinds of thoughts.

Just enjoy them or whatever, I don't know. But really wanting to be careful there as well. And so God be with our brother. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We are always open to your questions about doctrine, theology, church life. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Michael calling in from Missouri. Michael, thanks for holding on so long. What's your question for Adriel?

Hey, Adriel. I just want to thank you all there at Core Christianity for sharing God's word and for the love of Christ that's through this broadcast. This was something that my wife and I kind of had a conversation about. We're both born again Christians, and I want to preface it by saying I know that the Lord is good. I know that God's grace through his son Jesus Christ. What we started to talk about is, it's children or babies, and when they die, if they go, since we're in a fallen world and we're under the the curse of Adam, how God reconciles that. And we have, obviously, you know, we don't know all of God's ways, but looking through the word, I ended up with things like Psalm 51 5, where surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from my mother's, you know, being conceived. There's none righteous in Romans 5. There's none righteous in Romans 5.

And I ended up in, and I don't get to represent my wife's opinion of this, unfortunately, but it's just a conversation. And again, I don't expect to have all answers, but I ended up with Romans 9 11, where he talks about Esau and Jacob. And, you know, from them not even doing anything being born yet, there was some paths that were defined.

And he says to Moses, you know, I can have mercy on who I have mercy on. So I didn't know if there was any additional scripture or things, insights that you would have into that. And I certainly want to be sensitive to viewers. I lost a daughter at eight years old and God gave me the confirmation and assurity that she was in heaven. So I know it's a sensitive subject.

Yeah. Michael, thank you for your question. God bless you and your wife as you have these conversations. So wonderful to hear about you guys digging into the Word together. And my heart goes out to you also with the loss of your child. And we do have that hope as the people of God.

And it doesn't make it easy at all. But we don't mourn as those who don't have hope, as Paul tells the Thessalonians. We have the hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come through Jesus.

And may the Lord continually comfort you and your family with that hope. Now with regard to this question, we are speculating some, right? The question is, you know, what about those who have died because of, you know, an infancy or a stillborn child, or even those children, those precious children who were aborted in the womb? What is their eternal destiny? And we believe in original sin we believe that we're born in sin, that is, we're born guilty of Adam's sin. So does that just mean that everyone who died before they exercised faith in Jesus Christ, that they're all separated from God?

That's not my view. There are different views that are out there. You know, some people say, like you said, you know, appealing to places like Romans 9 where God is sovereign and He can have He can have mercy on whoever He wants, and He doesn't have to have mercy on all on anyone.

You know, we've all sinned. And so they'll say, yep, you know, those children who are elect children, they're the ones who are saved, and the rest we don't know, you know, who they are specifically. But we just we don't want to speculate that all of them are saved. My view is, right, so it's not that they're born sinless or they don't inherit Adam's sin and that's what makes them saved. We're entrusting all of them, each and every one, the aborted child, the child who was miscarried, the child who died in infancy. We're entrusting all of them to a good and gracious God. And my view is that those children who die before they grow, before they articulate, you know, faith in Jesus, my view is that they're with the Lord.

And, you know, there are a couple of passages that people will point to. Of course there's the one that people point to in 2 Samuel where David's child got sick and died. Remember this was the child that came as a result of David's sin, his sin with Bathsheba. And, you know, David is disciplined by the Lord. This child dies and David is mourning and he says in 2 Samuel 12 verse 34, but now he is dead.

Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. And there are some who say, well, David is just saying, you know, he's going to die too. But I think that you could make a case that there's more to it than that, that he does have this hope that he is going to be with this child again beyond just the idea of, you know, being in the grave.

And so that's my view. And again, here we're speculating some and we want to be sensitive because we realize, right, like what a heavy topic this is and how many have mourned the loss of a child. And so I think what we do is we say, God, you are good, you are good, and we entrust each and every one of those precious children to you. And we can have the hope that David had that while we can't bring them back from the dead, well, that the Lord can through the resurrection power of Christ, but even more than that, that we can and will through Christ go to them and that God holds on to them. And so, Michael, again, thank you for your question. God bless you and your wife, and thanks for giving us a call. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners, and this came in earlier this week. My question is, why does God hold us accountable for original sin when we're not choosing to be born? And why would he create a world in which people are born into original sin, and he knew that so many would go to hell and suffer eternally?

Why would that be worth it, and how is that evidence of a good God? So, mankind left to the freedom of their will, sinned against God, and as a result of that sin, right, we're in this world with sin and its consequences, and we don't get to choose to be born into the world. But does that mean that God is unjust?

No, I don't think so. I mean, just we think about our lives. Like, I didn't get to choose my parents, what I had, what I didn't have. But we do have this hope that the God who allowed sin to enter the world has also purposed to deal with sin definitively, and that's what he's done in the Gospel of his Son, so that God has not left us hanging as humanity. And from eternity past, God knew that man would fall, but he also purposed to redeem us, to lift us up from dust and from ashes through his Son, Jesus.

And so there's the hope of a redeemer, and it's that hope that helps us to see this God is good, we've sinned, but he sent us a Savior, Jesus. God bless. 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. That's 833-THE-CORE. 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 / 2024-06-14 17:26:42 / 2024-06-14 17:36:51 / 10

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