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If everyone is of sin, and if only God can forgive sin -- why call out each sin individuality? This is not a Christian doctrine I ascribe to, but I'm asking because a lot of other Christians do ascribe to it,

When I read a passage like this,

1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV) 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

I don't interpret it as anything but the literal truth -- any one who has cheated, or been a homosexual can not go to heaven.

Some Christians reason that everything in the Bible pertaining to specific sins isn't pertinent because they're all merely sins. People of this persuasion believe that if you put your faith in Jesus, than regardless of what the Bible says to the contrary, they'll enjoy eternal salvation with the good and reverent folks.

What do I make of this school of Christianity?

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marked as duplicate by Caleb Jun 3 '14 at 6:12

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Vagaries and suggestions aren't getting you anywhere. Who believes this? "Some Christians" is not at all helpful or descriptive for anyone to actually give you an answer. Which school of Christianity? The one you've described is not one I'm aware of. –  wax eagle Jun 26 '13 at 17:48
Look at the first comment here, christianity.stackexchange.com/a/17055/712 –  Evan Carroll Jun 26 '13 at 17:53
Evan Carroll, I think you are forgetting the next line (1 Corinthians 6:11): "And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." It seems to me that Paul is listing those sins as examples of evils that one may do to another; however, the emphasis does not seem to be the sins specifically; rather, Paul shifts his attention toward his conclusion: being sanctified by having faith in Jesus. –  Double U Jun 26 '13 at 18:13

4 Answers 4

I think you are forgetting the next line (1 Corinthians 6:11):

And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

It seems to me that Paul is listing those sins as examples of evils that one may do to another; however, the emphasis does not seem to be the sins specifically; rather, Paul shifts his attention toward his conclusion: being sanctified by having faith in Jesus.

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Some non-Christians make good points about the incompleteness of Christian teachings on forgiveness particularly like this one: christian forgiveness its a bug not a feature. However the focus is most often on how the benefits of forgiveness are not obtainable by the person who has been wronged.

The Catholic Catechism stipulates that forgiveness from God can only be provided to those who have "Satisfaction":


1459 Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused.62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

1460 The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him."63

The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father.64

Thus, to obtain this "Satisfaction" it would make sense the person compensated those who they have wronged. A human can not be satisfied while knowing another will not give them forgiveness for what they have done wrong.

Though the word "Satisfaction" hardly does the concept any justice, it is important to note the deep reaching implications of such a concept. Say a minister gives someone the penance of eating cake, for all the bad things they did. No one could feel satisfied upon such a penance, thus they are obligated to attend confession with another minister until they are satisfied. Hopefully this gives people a glimpse into the importance and numerous implications of "Satisfaction" in the process of forgiveness.

However, this kind of propping up "forgiveness" makes many Christians forget the reason for such a concept in the first place, to refocus efforts on making a better future by correct actions in the present. This is how the best compensation can be made, by those who have done wrong conducting good actions in everyday life. The death of the evildoer only provides compensation to those with hard harts.

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I don't see where God's mercy nullifies the sin. Jesus died on the cross to atone for sin so that we could be forgiven (2 Peter 3:9). Atoning does not nullify the sin itself. Forgiveness is conditional. It requires action (repentance and acceptance of Christ). Scripture also tells us that we are not forgiven if we do not forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).

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If we needed to ask for forgiveness for every sin then no one could be saved, because we all have unknown sins. Repentance and acceptance of Christ are required, but as an overall commitment to God, and not necessarily of every sinful thing we ever do. –  curiousdannii Jun 3 '14 at 6:22
I agree. We can't repent for every sin. You're right. There are sins we commit that we don't even know. Repentance is important in regard to things we repeatedly struggle with. We cannot make the mistake of interpreting mercy as acceptance of sin and continue in them with the idea that sin is OK because we believe in Jesus. I know that is not what you are saying, but it is an important point to make. Jesus, and scripture, clearly places a condition on forgiveness in regard to how we forgive others. –  Terry Jun 3 '14 at 14:42

1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The word is not inconsistent. Yes those who commit said actions will be punished they will not inherit the Kingdom of God but the implication is on the Earth not in Heaven because there are a whole host of other verses which place the requirement for salvation not on the individual but on Christ. For instances in 1Co 5:3-5 a man was an adulterer in a way which might be considered incest. He had no initial inclinations of changing. The word does not say your gonna burn in the fiery pit of hell for all eternity because of your adultery. Actually it says your going to die and your spirit is going to be saved.

1Ti 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

1Ti 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Likewise also Hymenaeus and Alexander had problems with their faith too but it doesn't say that they are going to hell it says they are going to be delivered to Satan and that somehow they are going to learn not to blaspheme.

Joh 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Yes we are not supposed to sin and be holy like the Lord is Holy. Yes we are never supposed to do the sins listed in 1 Cor 6 and should never make excuses however we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ who is always righteous. When we sin and do not repent it will cause us problems in this life but that doesn't damn us. If we keep his commandments we can trust that we know Him despite any lawlessness which might be in our past.

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