Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What is the greatest SIN?

State your case in a logical succinct and articulate manner.

24 comments:

Kc said...

"But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Mark 3:29

bobby grow said...

Unbelief in Jesus Christ!

Rose~ said...

I was going to say what kc said.

Daniel said...

While blaspheming the Holy Spirit carries the most negative consequence for an individual - and while I am tempted to name it the "greatest" sin on account of its consequences - yet I do not think consequences are a right measure of severity.

Surely, if I steal a pencil lead from work, or perform some heinous crime so black that it would corrupt us even to describe it - yet the law is a whole - and both sins are the same - treason. Surely the worldly consequence for stealing a pencil lead from work is negligible - but some dark thing will be abhored and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Yet both purchase God's eternal wrath.

Not that this is an exhaustive presentation of the argument that we ought not to look to the consequence as the measure of a sin's sinfulness - but I put it out there so that what I am about to reason has some context.

Reasoning from our own perspective (how bad is the punishment going to be for me) is (by definition) selfish, and I think it wiser to reason from God's perspective.

When asked what was the "Greatest Commandment" - Christ replied that it was to love God.

I reason that the "greatest sin" would be committed by breaking the greatest commandment.

Thus failing to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength - THAT is the greatest of the sins.

Joe said...

Well, kd is certainly right, ultimately.

The greatest other sin is anything that is not exactly, precisely, dead-on in the center of God's will at the immediate moment.

Jim said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and contributions.

Kc,

Do you have any idea if this sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit has ever been committed by someone in scripture?

Bobby,

I would like to give you the gold medal for this one, however, could you provide some backup support and scriptural confirmation of this?

I must confess I was thinking of unbelief when I wrote the question.

Rose~,

Perhaps you could elaborate on that?

Daniel,

You present a very good argument here, and maybe there are two sins which would be equally severe. While it is true that our ultimate goal is to love the Lord will all of our being, what is it that prevents us from doing so? Is it not unbelief, a lack of faith in who Christ is or in what He said?

Joe,

That is a truly practical suggestions, and I think one that would definitely fit with a life of faith and love for Christ.

-----------------------------------

I think you guys are all definitely on the right track here. We tend to view the most horrible sins as some physical act we have committed. While all sin is heinous and dishonouring to God, I truly believe the heart of the matter is whether or not we are taking God at His word and walking in obedience to His commandments. The command to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, strength, etc requires a great deal of faith. When that is missing our love becomes rather mechanical and cold.

---------------------------------

Ok, anyone else want to jump in here? Perhaps you want a rebuttal?

Rose~ said...

Oh, I just thought of another one: Saying that "The moment a person tells me that they do not believe that the atonement is limited - I know that deep down - they think they are saving themselves."

Sayinmg something like that is a huge sin.
:~)

(Sorry Jim, I just had to throw than in. I will try to think of something more on topic to add. I will ponder.)

Jim said...

Rose~,

You are one to stir the pot aren't you! :)

Quite frankly, I am becoming very tired of this TULIP debate and all things related to it. I find it leads only to contention and debate rather than unity, joy, and peace.

It turns good godly men into mantra repeaters who must conform to a prescribed doctrine of man.

It's truly sad that the Bible is not enough by itself but we need the interpretation of man to understand it.

Kc said...

Jim I think there are numerous examples but my reasoning is based on my understanding of that particular sin.

Jesus gave this warning after the scribes had accused Him of taking His power from satan. They had rejected the power of God manifest in His own son and there is no greater offense to God. Sadly I can think of far too many examples.

Jim said...

KC, I don't think I have ever heard a message on this particular sin and examples from scripture.

While you may be correct, I just don't see the implication in practical terms.

Rose~ said...

Jesus said that blaspheme of the Holy Spirit is a sin for which there is no forgiveness, but the way I understand it, this sin cannot be committed today. It could only be committed at one time in history. It was a national sin of the Pharisaical representatives of Israel in rejecting their Messiah as He offered Himself to them. He was giving them the proof of His divinity. They attributed the work of the Spirit in the person of Christ (2 members of the eternal Godhead) to Beelzebub. Is that what you mean, kc?

So for today, the greatest sin, is rejecting the Savior. This amplifies all the other sins. What I mean is when you reject the Savior, you spurn the remedy for your sin. I think this is very offensive to God because of all He has done to reconcile you. (Then again, I am sure the Calvinist [sorry to bring that up, but I can't help but think that ... say ... Daniel :~) sees God as not providing the remedy for those who reject it] could never call that the greatest sin, could they?)

In my understanding, rejecting Christ is the supreme insult to God.

Kc said...

Honestly Rose I had always perceived it in much broader terms. I never heard it limited in that way before.

I understand it is the Holy Spirit that reveals Christ to us and to reject Him is to call God a liar, or blashemey. This was why Jesus qualified His warning by saying that men might revile Him (Jesus) and be forgiven but when God the Spirit witnesses with our Spirit and we deny the Truth He reveals it is unforgivable.

Jim said...

KC, that is an interesting thought.

bobby grow said...

I would agree that love of self is the motive that unbelief (Jn 3:16:ff) is the expression of. To state it positively to believe in self, instead of Christ, would be the greatest sin. Why because it's motivated by the Orginial Sin, Gen 3, i.e. that man can be like god--basically saying that "my way" is the best way. When we do this, as Hebrews says, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins--because we have said that God's way, and remedy, is not the best way :).

In Christ,

Bobby

Jim said...

Bobby, that is a good take on it. I would agree that man has a self love problem, we definitely love ourselves more than God. This is demonstrated daily by our unbelief.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Women wearing pants/ trousers.

Jim said...

Matthew, yeah that one is right up there isn't it. :)

What about men wearing skirts? Don't the scots wear the kilt which is basically a skirt?

God bless,
Jim

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I answered that question on my blog recently.

Jim said...

Ok? I'll see if I can find it.

Modern Day Magi said...

I would say the willful rejection of God. Now this will differ depending on which side of the calvinist v arminian camp you sit but I will define it as First knowing God and then rejecting Him. This is also what I believe Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is in addition to attributing works of God to the Devil.
Hebrews 6:4-6 says
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."

Pretty scary stuff, being unable to be forgiven of something.

MDM

Jim said...

MDM,

Are you saying that there are things for which a Christian may not be forgiven, for all eternity?

Even So... said...

Pride, the mother of all sins.

Jim said...

Even So,

Pride is most definitely the mother of all sins. Yet, I think unbelief is just as lethal. Perhaps they are linked closer than we think.

God bless,
Jim

Daniels said...

The Greatest sin is PRIDE.

The unpardonable sin is " Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit"