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What Does It Take To Be Rid Of Sin?
I Corinthians 1:18-25
The question is, "What does it take to be rid of sin?"
What sort of surgery of the soul is required to bring about a
lasting cure of life's most deadly malady?
Very few would argue the personal presence of sin, even
though they may have different names for it. In this day
nations and families talk of peace and start wars. There is
talk in the daylight of remorse for wrong and nightfall finds
the same sin coming back, bringing seven others with it. When
our best efforts to master our fate, captain our souls, and
work out our destinies are damaged and destroyed by the con-
tradictions in us, we identify with Paul's words of Romans 7:
"O wretched man that I am! Who will set me free frbm the
body of this death?"
There have been some classic answers to that question.
There was the answer of the Jew. This is the claim that sins
are taken away by an elaborate sacrificial system; the claim
that we can find release through the rites of religious ritu-
alism. It is to this fallacy the book of Hebrews asserts:
"It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should
take away sins.
Something of the Hebrew in our constitution keeps bringing
up an answer like that, revised of course and brought up-to-
date. Something tells us that surely in the externals of re-
ligion we can find some solution to the inner struggle of our
souls. Somehow we feel if we do twenty-five spiritual push-
upS in the nmame of holiness, it can't hurt.
No greater mischief has ever befallen Christendom than
that particular distortion which has imagir-ed divirie grace
could be materialized, fractionated into units of varying
value to facilitate transactions, and administered through
the rites and requirements of an authoritarian, ecclesiastical
organization. This malignant perversion has filled the re-
cords of Christian history with many a bloody page in its ef-
fort to establish a ...
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