Question:

Hello!

I was reading through the web site again and came across a subject, which in short was discussing things that are sinful that we may do and don't know or understand the teaching.

You mentioned to me that you think that is where God's mercy comes in. You stated: "There is only one way out of the dilemma because not learning the gospel doesn't help when you are already caught up in sin. Christ is the only way out, so everyone must learn. But let's suppose that there is an obscure point that you didn't understand, I believe that is where God's mercy comes into play. There is plenty to judge you on what you do know or could have known if you took the time to learn than needing to reach for things that were beyond you ability to grasp at the time."

I was reading the article called "Sins of Ignorance." The author concludes that "The only way that one can read in the Bible by which the sins of a child of God are forgiven, including those committed in ignorance, is to learn of them, turn from them, and seek forgiveness on God's terms. He must meet the conditions that God has given. Not one passage in the Bible teaches that God forgives sins of ignorance unconditionally!"

Now I'm a little confused because it seems he is saying that ignorance or not knowing something can lead us to hell. While you say you believe if we dont know something that's where God's mercy comes in to play. If Chrstianity is a learned religion and growth occurs, there's always something we are not going to know. Once again I'm fearful because I'm sure there are things I dont understand: things I don't do that I should be doing, or things I do that I didn't know I should not do.

Please help. This is where I struggle a lot in Christianity. Every time I read something like this I get dissappointed and think I'm not good enough to do this. I never seem to reach the mark, and I get frustrated.


Answer:

Brother Dunaway and I were approaching the same problem from two different angles. Both of us said that remaining ignorant of the sins you are committing is not a reason for sinning. A child of God must always grow, learn, and make corrections in his life. If you sit back and do nothing, then you will be accountable for your sins. Brother Dunaway's point is that sins of ignorance are still sins.

My point in What if I don't know I'm sinning? is that when a Christian is growing, learning, and making corrections in his life he is always a work in progress. Not one of us is perfect and without sin. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). Yet, we know that people will be saved. When we learn of sin that we are committing, then we ask God for forgiveness and make corrections in our lives. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). And where we fall short, we depend on God's mercy to get us through. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7). In other words, we do all that we can do, and God will take care of what we cannot do.

But that doesn't mean we can remain in our sins. The battle must be done. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). We know the safety net is there, but it doesn't mean we can be careless in our war against sin.

Brother Dunaway's point is don't get complacent. My point is don't give up.