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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The vileness of the saint

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pilgrim777
Member



Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


 Re:

Nice post, Mike. I'm certainly with you on your sentiments.

This bears repeating:

"When there is not agreement, there is a charitable spirit between us".

Pilgrim


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 2012/4/1 8:57Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1264
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

I have been reading through this thread with some interest and have wanted to weigh in several times but felt I should not at that point. But now I feel like I can put in my two cents on the matter.

The question being debated is whether a saint should see himself as vile in the sight of God. Before the atoning work of Christ I would say yes, although some men, such as King David, had a glimpse of things to come. Time and time again David speaks of his own righteousness before God, and not out of arrogance. His statements are justified by the prophet in 1 Samuel and Luke in Acts when David is called a man after God’s own heart. David understood a righteousness, a right standing before God, that comes as a result of repentance and regeneration. Look at the multitude of prophecies David was given concerning righteousness by faith.

The only picture we have of the born again believer in the New Testament is that of one righteous in God’s eyes. Some have referred to Paul’s statement that he was the chief of sinners. But lets look at that statement in the context of the rest of what Paul is saying rather than pulling it out as a soundbite.

1Ti 1:12-16
(12) And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
(13) Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
(14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
(16) Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Paul says I am now a faithful minister whereas I was vile. You see, it was for the purpose of saving people like me, the chief of sinners, that Christ came into this world and I am an example of God’s longsuffering so that others might say, “Wow, if God had mercy on Saul who was a murderer, then God will also have mercy on me.”

When we look at the verse in context we do not see a man seeing himself as vile at all.

How long would the list me if we tried to enumerate the scriptures that speak to the righteous nature of the born again believer. One simply has to look up the words righteousness, righteous, saint, etc. in a concordance and then write down each scripture that speaks to the righteous standing of the believer to be convinced of how God sees us.

True humility is not self debasement. True humility is thinking not of self at all. It is readily accepting and proclaiming what it is that God says about us regardless of how we feel about or see ourselves. Humility might be thought of as the obedience of self-image and self-thought to God. When we read that God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we should say, “Yes Lord. I feel like an unworthy worm, but because You have declared me righteous I accept that perspective and proclaim that I am righteous.”

We cannot say that because some men of old saw themselves as vile that they were right or that we should do the same. We do not know those men other than their writings, and we cannot always see the true spiritual condition of a man through writings alone. My writing may sound pious, but do you know my life?

That being said, I have found that often those who view themselves as vile and continually cast that opinion upon themselves are those who struggle with trying to please God in their own power or strength. (Please do not assume I am referring to anyone on SI when I say this. It has been my observation over the years.) If they can only see themselves as vile then they can put themselves in an emotional state that will remind them always of their proximity to hell and help them to discipline their actions. This never bears good fruit. But to grow in the righteousness that we have been given. To allow righteousness to bear the good fruit of holiness is the key.

We need to see ourselves as God sees us, righteous and truly Holy.




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Travis

 2012/4/1 10:33Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 2782
A small house with many people :)

 Re:

by twayneb on 2012/4/1 4:33:17

True humility is not self debasement. True humility is thinking not of self at all. It is readily accepting and proclaiming what it is that God says about us regardless of how we feel about or see ourselves. Humility might be thought of as the obedience of self-image and self-thought to God. When we read that God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we should say, “Yes Lord. I feel like an unworthy worm, but because You have declared me righteous I accept that perspective and proclaim that I am righteous.”

We cannot say that because some men of old saw themselves as vile that they were right or that we should do the same. We do not know those men other than their writings, and we cannot always see the true spiritual condition of a man through writings alone. My writing may sound pious, but do you know my life?

That being said, I have found that often those who view themselves as vile and continually cast that opinion upon themselves are those who struggle with trying to please God in their own power or strength. (Please do not assume I am referring to anyone on SI when I say this. It has been my observation over the years.) If they can only see themselves as vile then they can put themselves in an emotional state that will remind them always of their proximity to hell and help them to discipline their actions. This never bears good fruit. But to grow in the righteousness that we have been given. To allow righteousness to bear the good fruit of holiness is the key.

We need to see ourselves as God sees us, righteous and truly Holy.
________________

Thank you for coming and sharing this. I was always led to understand that before we came to CHRIST we are sinners, lost and completely corrupt but "after" coming to JESUS, it is no longer I that leave but JESUS who lives in me so when the Father looks upon us HE does not see the lost and corrupt sinner, HE sees HIS son!

Apart from CHRIST, I am nothing, but in JESUS I am a saint! Saved and made a new creation in HIM, by HIS blood and sacrifice.

God Bless
maryjane


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time is a most valuable thing, once spent it is gone forever.

 2012/4/1 12:31Profile
White_Stone
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 1197
North Central Florida

 Re:

twayneb, May I ask how you reconcile Romans 7:15-25 with what you posted?

Romans 7:
15 For that which I do I allow not:
for what I would, that do I not;
but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not,
I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me;
but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not:
but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that,
when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind, and
bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;
but with the flesh the law of sin.

For myself, I know I am incapable of any good thing. However, the marvelous Spirit of my God Jesus Christ has come to dwell within me. I draw strength (by faith) and comfort from the Apostle Paul's statement, Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This awareness of my inabilities is not natural to my nature. It fights the recollection of it at every occasion, seeking to lift up self. The evil one is so very tricky, be very careful. He is much smarter than we are. In my heart I can say, because I am vile, incapable of doing good. Any good done by this body is not of me. When I receive my new body and am with Jesus in the place He is preparing for us, then I will be righteous but not in this lifetime. That is what I see this thread trying to convey. We should exercise caution and not jump the gun on claiming righteousness or we can miss the boat.

Kind regards,
ws

 2012/4/1 12:53Profile









 Re:

TwayneB

Quote:
How long would the list me if we tried to enumerate the scriptures that speak to the righteous nature of the born again believer. One simply has to look up the words righteousness, righteous, saint, etc. in a concordance and then write down each scripture that speaks to the righteous standing of the believer to be convinced of how God sees us.



This is pretty explicit on the matter.

“There is none righteous, no not one.”

David as do New Testament believers had a righteousness that was not his own. It belonged to another and was imputed to him. Neither you nor I have a physical righteousness of our own to claim either, the only righteousness that we can claim is that of Christ, but it still is HIS righteousness, not ours. For the sake of HIS righteousness believers are COUNTED righteous, but as per Romans 3:10 none are actually righteous. That section of scripture (Romans 3:10-12) kills all hope of a righteousness ingrained in self.

Quote:

If they can only see themselves as vile then they can put themselves in an emotional state that will remind them always of their proximity to hell and help them to discipline their actions. This never bears good fruit.


This nothing to do with emotion, just simple fact, and it has born good fruit for centuries. Even up to the time of Tozer, only now is it being rejected.

Quote:

We need to see ourselves as God sees us, righteous and truly Holy



We just need to see ourselves as we are.

John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

And then the work continued of getting man to see what was in himself.

ETA

Rom 4:3-8 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

David's righteousness was the same as Abraham's and is the same as mine, not because of what I do, but only because of what I believe. And in the sake of all who believe, this believing is not a physical righteousness but is only COUNTED for righteousness. That is GRACE!!


OJ

 2012/4/1 13:03









 Re:

Quote:
Although a forum like this can be somewhat impersonal, we are attempting to engage deeply personal subjects!



Aye, but without getting there, we may well leave someone content in a state as an ‘Almost Christian”, who can talk about any subject with the exception of the deep matters of the heart; which is not a chance I am prepared to take. Much rather have someone hate my guts (probably succeeding a little too much with that part) than coddle them off to hell with flattery.

The TOC from Matthew Mead’s “The Almost Christian Discovered”

Question I. How far may a man go in the way to heaven, and yet be but almost a Christian?

Section I. A man may have much knowledge, much light; he may know much of God and his will, much of Christ and his ways, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section II. A man may have great and eminent gifts, yea, spiritual gifts, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section III. A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godliness, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section IV. To come yet nearer; a man may go far in opposing his sin, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section V. A man may hate sin, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section VI. A man may make great vows and promises—he may have strong purposes and resolutions against sin, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section VII. A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin in himself, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section VIII. A man may be a member of the church of Christ, he may join himself to the people of God, partake with them in all ordinance, and share of all church privileges, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section IX. A man may have great hopes of heaven, great hopes of being saved, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section X. A man may be under great and visible changes, and these wrought by the ministry of the word, and yet be but almost a Christian, as Herod was.
Section XI. A man may be very zealous in the matters of religion, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XII. A man may be much in prayer—he may pray often, and pray much; and yet be but almost a Christian. So did the Pharisees, whom yet our Lord Christ rejects for hypocrites.
Section XIII. A man may suffer for Christ in his goods, in his name, in his person; and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XIV. A man may be called of God, and embrace this call, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XV. A man may have the spirit of God, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XVI. A man may have faith, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XVII. A man may go further yet: he may possibly have a love to the people of God, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XVIII. A man may obey the commands of God, yea, and many of the commands of God, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XIX. A man may be sanctified, and yet be but almost a Christian.
Section XX. A man may do all, as to the external duties and worship, that a true Christian can; and, when he hath done all, be but almost a Christian.

OJ

 2012/4/1 13:10
Compton
Moderator



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2728


 Re:

Old Joe,

From my perspective, there are some spurious connections drawn here between the dfficulty of personal topics, flattery, and "The Almost Christian."

Nevertheless, I do feel that defining what seperates an "Almost" from an "Altogether" Christian is the honest burden in your heart for this thread. It is a discussion with great importance!

Consider John Wesley's sermon of the same name,"The Almost Christian". First off, none would accuse John Wesely of ducking his own vileness; if any man was brutally objective with himself, it was John Wesely. Yet, he concluded his sermon by defining the "Altogether Christian", not in terms of vileness but in terms of justification, grace, redemtion, peace, rejoicing, hope, and love acordingly:

"May we all thus experience what it is to be, not almost only; but altogether Christians; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus; knowing we have peace with God through Jesus Christ; rejoicing in hope of the glory of God; and having the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost given unto us!"

I do not think the arguments here are over our response to "vileness" but over our response to the Gospel. Admitting our iniquity is a precious doorway to the cross, but it is not the Gospel. I can believe in my heart of hearts that I am the most vile creature to have ever lived, and still be eternally lost and separated from God. Seeing all my vileness layed out like a dissected frog under a microscope may make me sorrowful and horrified, but still only an "Almost Christian."

Still, we must admit that even after we are a Christian we may still be recovering from the destructive effects of sin. We may feel as dirty as we were before, either because of the knowledge of own actions or those of people in our lives. Such horrible scars in our inward parts may indeed be vile, but they are no longer our indentity in Christ.

As we walk through this world, some of us may indeed continue to feel dirty and stained. And so we have a need for washing after the blood, but not in the same manner as before the blood.

"Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean."

So our sense of vileness can be met by Jesus and other spiritual saints by their ministry; not just reminding you of your vileness, but washing your feet with the ministry of the word. Perhaps we feel we must continue to remind ourselves of our "vileness" every minute of every day, just to remind ourselves we need Christ every minute of every day. Amen. Even so, are we not also bound by God's Word to remind ourselves of the justification, grace, redemption, peace, rejoicing, hope, and love we have with God every minute of every day?

None of this is offered as an argument or belittlement to any other perspective. I am only discussing the matter as someone who acknowledges the guilt the bible abscribed to me before Christ, as someone who knows something about feeling shame and guilt, and as someone who has walked a short time in the peace of the Lord.

MC


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SermonIndex.net Moderator - Mike Compton
"The most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men." John Owen

 2012/4/1 15:01Profile









 Re:


Quote:
None of this is offered as an argument or belittlement to any other perspective. I am only discussing the matter as someone who acknowledges the guilt the bible abscribed to me before Christ, as someone who knows something about feeling shame and guilt, and as someone who has walked a short time in the peace of the Lord. 



We have some grade 1 page 1 issues, and then grade 1 page 2 issues. This thread was the grade 1 page 1 of Christianity, which if we don't get past we didn't go to page 2.

Some see themselves as vile only, that is when we get to page 2. 

To err and be an 'almost' Christian, one could consider themselves 'only' as vile, it is just as great an error as considering oneself as 'only' beloved. The Christian is BOTH vile AND beloved at the same time, THAT is grace!! To deny either is the error of the 'almost' Christian. 


OJ

 2012/4/1 15:40
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1817
Kansas

 Re:

There is a song that I sing that is based on the Song of Solomon it was written by Sarah Edwards, but the chorus goes.

Though I'm poor You say I'm lovely
Though I'm dark You say I'm beautiful.

This song acknowledges the fact that yes we are undesirable but by HIS grace Christ desires us.

In the times of Solomon, to have dark complexion was an undesirable thing because it meant you have worked in the sun long hours. Pale complexion was a mark of wealth and beauty. The bride in the Song of Solomon exclaims I'm dark! but you still call me lovely and beautiful.

This was the Love and Grace of Solomon to look beyond his beloved's undesirable features. This is what Christ does with us, we are undesirable but by Grace we are desired.


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 2012/4/1 20:17Profile









 Re:

Quote:
David's righteousness was the same as Abraham's and is the same as mine, not because of what I do, but only because of what I believe. And in the sake of all who believe, this believing is not a physical righteousness but is only COUNTED for righteousness. That is GRACE!!

Abraham yes, David no. David's righteousness and Abraham's righteousness were not the same. Abraham and ours is the same, but David is not.
David was under law and the law demanded that they practise it in order to be righteous. Their faith was wrapped up in what they did in the flesh, but our faith is wrapped up in Christ in what He did.
Because of Him because of His righteousness we have been made righteous by faith, but for David all those that died under law it was not so, faith was shut up between the time the law was given and when Christ came.
When the BRANCH came faith sprouted because life had returned. David sat under the shadow of death, and in order to maintain his righteousness he had to keep performing the law. Grace was meted out to certain individuals, it was not freely given like we have today. Their salvation was not by faith, it was by practising the law, there is no faith in law, no righteousness by faith. It stands alone by itself demanding that it be obeyed in order to be righteous. But thanks be to God that our Big Brother Jesus fulfilled it's requirements and has set us free from the act of having to obey it. Faith cometh now by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
This is not a new concept but an old thing renewed. Before the law, certain men heard the voice of God and believed and because of that they were made righteous by faith. After the law and before Christ if men wanted to be righteous they had to go through the requirements of what the law demanded.
Thank God for grace! Amen!

 2012/4/1 20:43





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