True Blue Jon
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As always, I welcome any and all discussion from any kind of theist and/or atheist. What do you think of Paul's letter to the Romans?

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Daniel Eig
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Perhaps they are metaphysically freed, but in the here and now Christians seem just as "enslaved" as everyone else.

Or is this just a really fancy call to arms, as it were? They are indeed still enslaved, but their faith gives them tools to overcome it, if they wish?
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True Blue Jon
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I think Paul is talking about a mental adjustment. I could rephrase it like this: "Forgive yourself. Don't you know God has forgiven you?"

Kevin C wrote:
In some cases my beliefs seem to actually be holding me back rather than helping me.


Would you mind sharing an example?
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True Blue Jon
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Thank you for articulating that so well! If that isn't the primary struggle of Christians, I don't what is.

I offer only tidbits that may help. Paul reminds of this in Romans: we are all sinners, all equally condemned, nobody is righteous, but some can choose to be saved from their unrighteousness. We must always remember that everyone is in the same boat (and it's sinking) and we should try to save ouselves and as many others from drowning as possible.

Also, the church I go was founded 14 years ago in order to combat that specific problem. Accepting everyone is its focus and it has grown from like 10 people to 15,000 people in those 14 years. Acceptance is huge. Almost every week, we're reminded that everyone in our church are messed-up people.

So, to sum up, keep yourself humble by remembering your own unrighteousness and keep yourself humble by hanging out with people who remember their own unrighteousness.

I know that's kind of pithy and doesn't delve into the deepness of the problem but that's all I know how to offer on an internet forum.
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