part of the what is truth? series

Sin is an unfortunate reality in this world. The remedy for sin and evil in this world has been pursued and framed by many different movements. Recently, the “New Age” philosophy has centered around man’s own ability to do better or be better.

This “look inward” approach to the remedy for sin manifests in several ways including politics (e.g. ideals of socialism) and pop culture (e.g. Oprah Winfrey, books like “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle, and movies like “Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia” in 2010).

New Age is “an umbrella term that includes a great variety of groups and identities” that are united by their “expectation of a major and universal change being primarily founded on the individual and collective development of human potential.”
Michael York, Sociologist of Religion, from Wikipedia

How Scripture answers "What is the remedy for sin?"

The only remedy for sin is a sinless2,5 Jesus Christ1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. His coming in the flesh3,5,9, His death7,8 and sacrifice of His own blood2, together with His triumphant victory over death4,7 is the remedy for sin. He “condemned” sin3, bore it for all8, and was “vitorious” over it4, taking them away5.

Being in the flesh3, we are enslaved to sin7 and death4. The only remedy for sin for us — receiving forgiveness6 and advocacy1 — is to die with Him (in baptism)7, raised to walk in the Spirit3 and wait eagerly for His saving return8,9.

Yes
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No

1

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Brethern, I am writing these things so that you may not sin.  But if anyone does, they have an advocate with the Father through Jesus Christ, the sinless one.

John, in his letter to brethren, makes refrain after refrain for them to continue to “walk in the light”.  In the first chapter he states it as, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1:6)

How does it apply here?

Jesus is advocating to God on behalf of any that sin.

2

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

If you call on God as your Father who impartially judges each person according to his/her works, make sure to behave with fear (e.g. obedience) throughout your sojourn on earth.  Remember you were set free from the futile ways passed down from your forefathers, bought not with perishable, material things but with the precious blood of Jesus, who like an innocent lamb was sacrificed.

Peter is writing to Christians in difficult times, reminding them to continue in their faith in Jesus. He says they should be “as obedient children” (vs 14) and be prepared for “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (vs 13).

How does it apply here?

Jesus “ransomed” us with His own blood.

3

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

God has done what the law [of Moses] could not do since it was weakened by the flesh.  He sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin itself, condemning sin in the flesh.  As a result, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh.

After rejoicing in his own salvation and freedom from “this body of death” (7:24) through Christ, Paul is calling on the Roman Christians to remember their own calling and the triumph they share in Christ (vss 1-2).  He implores them to “live according to the Spirit” (vs 5).
How does it apply here?

Jesus “condemned sin” by coming in the flesh.

4

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sin causes death and its power is the law, but thanks to God we have victory over death through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul is making his great defense of the resurrection of Christ.  Some were denying the bodily resurrection from the dead (vss 12-19) which Paul refutes based on the fact that Jesus was raised in the body to live again.

How does it apply here?

Jesus has given us a “victory” over sin (and death).

5

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

Jesus appeared to take away sins and Himself had no sin.

John is stating the case for fellow believers to continue in the love of God, here reminding them of the contrast between those that practice sin (e.g. “lawlessness” vs 4) and those that have accepted Jesus and been cleansed of their sin.

How does it apply here?

Jesus came to take away sins.

6

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He has taken us from the world of darkness into the kingdom of God’s Son who redeems us from our sins.

Paul’s opening/greeting to the “brothers in Christ at Colossae” (vs 2).

How does it apply here?

In Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins and are redeemed (e.g. bought) and moved from a world of darkness into His kingdom.

7

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. For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Since anyone that’s died has been set free from sin, we know that when our body of sin was crucified with him it was done away with so that we would no longer be enslaved to it.

Paul is making the broader point of the richness and fullness of God’s grace toward sinful man (chap 5) before turning to man’s response (and responsibility) for salvation.  He states the absurdity of continuing “in sin” (vs 1) because they killed off their old self through baptism (vs 3).

How does it apply here?

Connected with Paul’s statements in his resurrection defense4, we die (with Christ) to the enslavement of sin.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

8

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Just as man’s appointment is to die and then face judgment, so also Christ has already been offered to bear the sins of many and will appear a second time not to deal with sin but to save those still waiting for His return.

The Hebrews writer is in the midst of his argument about why Jesus and the new covenant are better than the old – here specifically arguing about His superiority as a High Priest.

How does it apply here?

Further connecting4,7, Jesus bore all sins (“dealt with sin”) and will return to save those waiting for Him.

9

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

God’s grace appeared, bringing salvation for all people and training us to renounce sin and its passions.  As a result, we live godly, righteous lives, controlling ourselves in the present age and waiting for the appearing of the glory God – Jesus Christ, our hope.  He gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness, purifying us as a people for His own possession and eagerly doing good.

Paul is writing to a young preacher, Titus.  He provides instructions regarding many of the other roles in the congregation including pastors/elders and deacons in chapter one. He continues to give instruction regarding behavior to certain segments/groups within the church: older men (2:2), older women (2:3), younger women (2:4), younger men (2:6), and finally slaves (2:9).  With all of these, their behavior is to be exhibited as would “accord with sound doctrine” (1:9, 2:1, 2:10).

How does it apply here?

The appearance of “the grace of God” (e.g. Jesus Christ) redeemed us from “all lawlessness”.

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