Sin unto death

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
1Jo 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

Does anybody know what the phrase "sin unto death" is referring to?

[Edited on 4-3-2004 by blhowes]
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Bob...

I think this is where the RCC gets her dogma of venial and mortal sins. I'll have to look that up.

But in their dogma, they are saying that there are sins for which we will not be condemned like white lies, and then there are sins like murder that constitute a "serious" breaking of the commandments. In this, they are basically saying that if you sin a great sin and you meant to, then you are in danger of judgment.

But really all sin with impugnity, whether great or small in our eyes, is condemning.

Therefore, I think the RCC is part right. They are not right in their venial, mortal distinction. But they are right in the fact that he who sins with total disregard for the commandment, that he knows and willingly does break the commandment after he has been taught, then this is a sin that leads to death.

Now, how is this different in the lives of believers. We still sin. Sometimes we sin with impugnity and it is on purpose. Sometimes these sins are utterly greivous (as if all are not before a Holy God), but the difference is that God has replaced our heart of stone for a heart of flesh. We are then able to see our terrible sins and plead the forgiveness of God.

Those who sin with impugnity and who will never bow before the LORD in humble repentance, these are the ones who sin a sin leading to death.

Notice it is leading to death or unto death. While they still have breath, God could change them. That is why there is hope for all of the Elect, for even some who sin greatly (add to their original sin with actual trangressions that proceed from it) God can bring from death to life, if it is His will.

The persons placed with Hebrews 6:4-6 are also in scope here. Some would say that these have sinned against or blasphemed the Holy Spirit for which there is no forgiveness.

But John is telling us here to pray for those who sin but we know are sorry for it. These are ones who have shown a tender heart towards God in the past, but who have fallen into sin. He is saying that we should not necessarily pray for those who have sinned without the slightest remorse for it.

Some of the Greek scholars here should be able to help us. Is this an imperative of John? Is he commanding us here, or merely suggesting?

Anyway, I think that captures it.

In Christ,

KC
 

Preach

Puritan Board Sophomore
KC,
Just some thoughts. First, how do you consider the subjective and objective aspects of the passage? This is to say that the author is telling believers to pray for people who have not committed this sin. Do you really believe that God is giving individual Christians the discerning power to know who is remorseful, etc? In addition, are we suppose to pray in reference to Christians , and or non-Christians? Finally, I was recently listening to Greg Bahnsen's tapes on theonomy, and one of the students (a Westminster professor I think) said that when he was teaching a class on ethics, one of his students suggested that the sin unto death is a sin that is a capital punishment crime. The professor admitted to Dr. Bahnsen that he had never thought about that, buit he was convinced this was probably the meaning. He said he couldn't see anything else it could be. If this is the sin unto death (any sin that fits a capital punishement crime), it would seem to account for the author's confidence that the individual Christian has the ability to objectively know who has and has not sinned this sin.
For those of you who are theonomists, what do you think? Comments from anyone?
"In Christ",
Bobby
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Bobby...

[quote:7fbb006d37]KC,
Just some thoughts. First, how do you consider the subjective and objective aspects of the passage?[/quote:7fbb006d37]

It is in the context of the church that this epistle is written. Therefore, I assume that John is speaking to the whole church. If this is the case, given the keys to the kingdom, I assume that the church can be objective about those who are genuinely repentant sinners, and those who are unrepentant.

[quote:7fbb006d37]This is to say that the author is telling believers to pray for people who have not committed this sin. Do you really believe that God is giving individual Christians the discerning power to know who is remorseful, etc?[/quote:7fbb006d37]

Again, if this is the church, they should be able to discern. No, I'm not necessarily suggesting that individuals should stop praying for someone based on subjective feelings. But, if they know a brother who is in serious sin (read anything they would capital punishment for in the OT), and they know that person is unrepentant, I don't think they are wrong in not praying for them.

[quote:7fbb006d37]In addition, are we suppose to pray in reference to Christians , and or non-Christians?[/quote:7fbb006d37]

I don't think it matters either way. If a person is unrepentant, then you have to question whether or not they are regenerate. I would, however, never give up on a person who had not ever been in the faith.

[quote:7fbb006d37]Finally, I was recently listening to Greg Bahnsen's tapes on theonomy, and one of the students (a Westminster professor I think) said that when he was teaching a class on ethics, one of his students suggested that the sin unto death is a sin that is a capital punishment crime.[/quote:7fbb006d37]

I think this is correct, too. However, I would also include some other things. Lying may not get you stoned (not stoned in the 60's sense), but it will keep you from Heaven. We are told that liars will not enter. Pretty much anything listed in Paul's lists, like I Cor. 6:9-10. Paul says there that these will not enter the kingdom. So, if we know someone in those types of sins, and they are unrepentant and will not be restored, I think they fall into the category of those who have sinned a sin leading to death.

[quote:7fbb006d37]The professor admitted to Dr. Bahnsen that he had never thought about that, buit he was convinced this was probably the meaning. He said he couldn't see anything else it could be. If this is the sin unto death (any sin that fits a capital punishement crime), it would seem to account for the author's confidence that the individual Christian has the ability to objectively know who has and has not sinned this sin.[/quote:7fbb006d37]

I think you're right.

[quote:7fbb006d37]For those of you who are theonomists, what do you think? Comments from anyone?
"In Christ",
Bobby [/quote:7fbb006d37]

I'm not a theonomist, so take it for what it's worth.

In Christ,

KC
 

sundoulos

Puritan Board Freshman
Robert Candlish takes an entirely different view. In dealing with a brother who has sinned he says, "When he sins, his sin vexes you as the sin of a brother... And therefore you speak to him as to a brother about his sin... Alas! he turns to you a deaf ear, and you have no power to open it. But another ear is open to you, the ear of your Father in heaven; and he can open your brother's ear. To your Father in heaven you go....

"But is there no risk of excess or of error? ...May not your sympathy with your sinning brother overbear somewhat your sympathy with him against whom he is sinning? May you not thus be led to overstep the limits of warrantable confidence, -so as to ask that life may be given to him, on any terms, at any cost, in any way, irrespectively altogether of what, in your calmer moments, you yourself recognise as the paramount claims of the Most High? Thus your prayer for your sinning brother may slide insensibly into an apologetic pleading for indulgence to his sin. "

:think: hmm? Just food for thought.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Pastor Willard...

Would that be in the context of being wronged by a brother? In other words,, that he has sinned against you?

If so, I would not say that this a sin leading to death, either.

In Christ,

KC
 

sundoulos

Puritan Board Freshman
KC,

I don't think it has to be so limited. I think Candlish is speaking in respect to a person who refuses to repent.

For instance, let's say a brother succombs to chronic gluttony. He has hypertension, excessive weight, and multiple health problems caused by overeating rich foods. This has caused him to have a stroke.

You, out of a charitable heart, speak to him about this. You show him from the scriptures where he is wrong. He says, "Yes, but..."

Is it then proper to pray for God to heal a person who will persist in his sin? I think not.
 

default

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Dear Brethren,

Before we can discuss what the sin unto death means we need to discuss what death means. Is it talking about a loss of salvation death? I think not, as we know that it is not of works.

I believe the death that's being spoken of here is a deadening of our spirit. "Quench not the Holy Spirit."... How do we do this? How do we sin a sin unto death?

Psalm 19 speaks of a PRESUMPTUOUS SIN. Thats when we think to ourselves while we are doing the sin "oh, it's no big deal..." What? No big deal? At any time when we sin against that which we know to be truth, we sin the presumptuous sin.

So, by denying truth, by going against God, and sinning when we think it's alright, I believe we commit the sin unto death.

Thank you for reading this. I hope it has come through the way I wanted it to.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

Lori
 

Jeremy

Puritan Board Freshman
Don't know if anyone will read this since it's been a month after the last post.

What I think we might consider here is the whole context of the book of I John. In my study and estimation, what John is basically doing in this epistle is giving a picture or revelation of the true children of God vs. the children of the devil. It is an encouragement to stay focused on Christ, forgiveness and eternal life and not to be deceived or led astray by false teaching. (See I John 2:24-27)

If we keep in mind what Jesus said about the broad road vs. the narrow road (Matt. 7:13-14) we will understand more clearly any arguments in scripture like John is giving in his epistle. So if there is a goat in the sheepfold who does not belong to Jesus, his apostasy will reveal him for who he is. On the other hand, God's sheep will continually seek to stay on the straight and narrow until the end.

Salvation is not by works, but the Scripture declares that it is unto good works (Eph. 2:10)

One of the most clear-cut statements in all the Bible as to the expected behavior of those who belong to God is this:

'In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.' "“I John 3:10

That verse right there should shed light on the subject. Keep in mind, compare scripture with scripture.
 

andreas

Puritan Board Sophomore
In Matthew 12 , Jesus spoke about speaking against the Holy Spirit. He said: "Anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
What the unforgivable sin ?. It is not murder, theft, adultery, or drunkenness. These are sins, but not unforgivable. One who is guilty of the sin of murder, theft, adultery or drunkenness will be forgiven if he repents. The unforgivable sin is a conscious rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit,which is a sin unto death.

andreas.:candle:
 

just_grace

Puritan Board Freshman
Corinthian sinners...

It seems that some in Corinth were weak and ill and some had 'fallen asleep' because of wrong doing...

'For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died'.
1 Cor 11

'all wrong doing is sin but there is sin that does not lead to death'
1 John 5

So it seems that it's possible to suffer physical death for sin.
 
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