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In this essay I would like to consider my understanding of such complicated concepts like sin and salvation and explain my own attitude to these concepts. It should be noted Catholic Church considers sin like direct or indirect violation of religious precepts, rarely sin is considered as violation of dominant moral and ethical rules, regulations, established in society. The most common definition states that sin is the result of an act of the will of the individual that implies guilt and carries a reward, as described in Why Talk About Sin?
In turn, salvation – is the recognition of guilt and the desire of the person to atone for his sins. Confession gives the Christian an opportunity to receive forgiveness from God himself (contrary to popular belief, a confession in Christianity has always been given only by God; the priest is only a witness). As a fact, penitent must show the desire to avoid further repetition of the old life of sin, in which he has repented. Closely with the concept of sin is connected a central doctrine of Christianity for salvation. Christ suffered and died atoned for the sins of humanity as a whole and for each individual in particular, as stated in Christian’s understanding of salvation.
According to The Holy Bible: “But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar: and His word is not in us” (John 1:7-10). In my opinion, this quote states that after the Fall, man becomes “sick”, but the Son of God has given everyone the opportunity to be healed. Our Church teaches that the Son of God comes to the suffering of unfathomable sacrifice and His love had an opportunity to save every human being. And the only reason for salvation and incarnation – is the love of God. Sacrament of penance is the beginning of treatment, a prerequisite of which is humility – awareness of their sinfulness and damage, as well as a desire to fix this nature. Repenting of sin and showing the desire to be with God restore the shattered relationship, which were broken by sin. Every sin is a sin against love, because God Himself is love. Therefore, getting rid of sin, man returns to love, returns to God, as described in A God-Centered Understanding of Sin, 2010.
It should be noted that nowadays, people, as a rule, refer to the sin lightly and ironically; they consider sin as only human weakness or lack of will. As a matter of fact, 300 years ago more than 90% of people who had believed in God, kept the faith until the end of life. Today, this number is probably less than 5%. It can be said that unlike that time, the humanity has changed the perception of the world. As a fact, most people do not believe in the Creation and Fall, as described in Why Talk About Sin? As a result, sin has been given new meanings – the loss of self-esteem or residual aggression. So when evangelicals are trying to preach about sin, repentance, instead of people and invocation to God for mercy, they meet strange and even hostile reactions. As a result, evangelicals’ sermons about sin and the Judgment Day reduced to a minimum by offering students the happiness here and now, instead of salvation from eternal damnation.
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There is an outstanding article Why Talk About Sin?, where is described very interesting example of modern attitude to sin and salvation: “If the flight attendant asks you to put on a parachute to make you feel better during the flight, you will soon remove the parachute, because you will feel uncomfortable with it and, in addition, other passengers will laugh at you. However, if the flight attendant asks you to put on the parachute because the plane will crash soon and you need to save your life – you will not care, convenient it is for you or not, or how people will react – you still will be sitting with the parachute. The same way youth live their lives. They just do not care what sins they do and what consequences there may be for their souls and conscience, as stated in Why Talk About Sin?. In my opinion, this example describes how people just do what they want to do and think that in the end of life they can come to a church, confess and receive a salvation. But they have forgotten that to receive a salvation your confession must be sincere and truthful, they just can not cheat God. Moreover, many of them do not live up to the moment of confession, many people die suddenly in car accident for example and have no a chance for salvation and eternal life.
It should be noted that among Christians is widespread the opinion that sin – is the fall of the soul, I disagree with this statement. I think that sin – is an inevitable manifestation of humanity, because all people are sinners. In other words – there is no sinless people. In some extent, our sinfulness separates us from God. So, there is the main question that every person should be asked: “Did you recognize the power of God and repent in your sins?”. If the answer is yes and it is sincere truthful (and the priest is witness of this action) – the person can expect a salvation, if the answer is no – the person will be in hell for eternity.
To sum it up, I would like to say that sin is the result of an act of the will of the individual that implies guilt and carries a reward. In turn, salvation – is the recognition of guilt and the desire of the person to atone for his sins. I believe that God gave us an opportunity to have eternal life in paradise, everybody decides for himself should he believe in hell and paradise or not. In the end, time will put everything in its place.
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