Objectifying Sin

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ewenlin

Puritan Board Junior
In writing an article on how we can know we are saved, I came to address the issue of what we are saved from. In answering the self imposed question, "are we saved from sin?" I came to ponder about the subject of sin.

Here are my thoughts and a final question. Please correct me where I am wrong and lacking.

We should not objectify sin. By objectifying I mean, to express the abstract into a concrete form. Likewise, to attribute to it, a persona with distinctive characteristics. What do I mean by this?

I have always found extremely useful and positive that the Larger Catechism Q21 described sin by contrasting it to its reverse, the estate of innocency. The WCF describes it as "a corruption of nature, 6.5.

Can we then discuss sin (and understanding the definition of) beyond how it is defined in the confessions? When I said attributing to (sin) distinctive characteristics, I have in mind expressions such as "sin reared its ugly head." Bad example I know, but what I'm getting at is the objectifying of sin beyond its definition as simply an estate. This is why I never have a problem with the question "did God create sin?"

Am I just caught up in semantics? Or am I just way off course.
 

carlgobelman

Puritan Board Freshman
In writing an article on how we can know we are saved, I came to address the issue of what we are saved from. In answering the self imposed question, "are we saved from sin?" I came to ponder about the subject of sin.

Here are my thoughts and a final question. Please correct me where I am wrong and lacking.

We should not objectify sin. By objectifying I mean, to express the abstract into a concrete form. Likewise, to attribute to it, a persona with distinctive characteristics. What do I mean by this?

I have always found extremely useful and positive that the Larger Catechism Q21 described sin by contrasting it to its reverse, the estate of innocency. The WCF describes it as "a corruption of nature, 6.5.

Can we then discuss sin (and understanding the definition of) beyond how it is defined in the confessions? When I said attributing to (sin) distinctive characteristics, I have in mind expressions such as "sin reared its ugly head." Bad example I know, but what I'm getting at is the objectifying of sin beyond its definition as simply an estate. This is why I never have a problem with the question "did God create sin?"

Am I just caught up in semantics? Or am I just way off course.

Why not just use the answer in the WSC for Q#14?

Q. 14: What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.

Furthermore, I think it is more accurate to say that we are saved from the wrath of God rather than sin. WSC Q. 19 elaborates:

Q. 19: What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

So we know we're saved because Jesus dealt with the wrath and curse that our sin incurred with God.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Yep, I have to agree with Carl that we are saved from God's wrath. If there were no wrath from God, then sin wouldn't be a problem. As far as objectifying sin (what I think you mean by this is to put sin in a tangible form), that would be hard since sin is actions (your end results might be tangible) and thoughts....but you could put it in a tangible way by referring to our sin nature.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Wer'e not just saved from sin's punishment and guilt but also from its power and presence.

We are justified by faith in Christ's blood and righteousness i.e. the guilt and punishment of sin are dealt with. We are gven entitlement to the Heavenly Kingdom because of Christ's active righteousness and not left on an unrenewed Earth in a state of probation, as we hypothetically would be if we just had Christ's passive righteousness i.e. punishment for our sin.

But salvation involves sanctification as well as justification. Salvation is a broader word than justification. The power of sin is to some extent broken in the believer's life at regeneration/definitive sanctification and then we are being saved from the presence of sin.

If a believer was saved from the guilt and punishment of sin, and yet knew that he would always live eternally with the power and presence of sin, it would cause him/her great distress.

"His name shall be called Jesus, because He shall save his people from their sins."

I don't really know what you mean by objectifying sin. To use the kind of language John Frame uses about ethical issues,

Sin has an existential (personal, subjectiive) aspect e.g. sense of guilt and filth, a heart not right with God

Sin has a teleological (goal) aspect e.g. to mock God or rob Him of His glory, rebellion against God.

Sin has a normative aspect e.g. in thoughts, words and/or actions it does not come up to the standard God has set for Man. It does not come up to an objective rule or standard.

I'm sure someone like John Frame would express these things better.

I think the Bible views sin from different aspects too.
 
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