I would use the term sanctification rather than moral perfection. For me anyway, it's easy to get caught up in our concept of perfection versus the Biblical definition of it.
As far as the text in Phillipians 3 goes, I agree with Randy and would add this from Adam Clarke's commentary "[b]St. Paul, therefore, is not speaking here of any deficiency in his own grace, or spiritual state; he does not mean by not being yet perfect, that he had a body of sin and death cleaving to him, and was still polluted with indwelling sin, as some have most falsely and dangerously imagined[/b]; [i]he speaks of his not having terminated his course by martyrdom, which he knew would sooner or later be the case. This he considered as the teleiwsiv, or perfection, of his whole career, and was led to view every thing as imperfect or unfinished till this had taken place."[/i]
Why would Jesus tell someone to go and sin no more if it were not possible. I don't believe God plays shell games.
I'm short for time today but may post something when I have time to pray over it and ponder it a bit. One site that has much information on this topic is [url=www.enterhisrest.org]Enter His Rest[/url].
| 2006/6/28 12:11||Profile|
Has anyone here ever met or heard of anyone who was born again and never sinned again. If you have I would love to meet them or read about them. The only person I know who was sinless was Jesus.
It's really not a doctrinal thing. It's just common since. ;-) J-bird
| 2006/6/28 14:16|
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
1 John 1:8
| 2006/6/28 14:36||Profile|
Romans 7:25 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.
Paul says many times we are perfect in Christ. In Christ, that is the whole of even our perfection. In self that is the flesh, he says nothing good dwells in him. But, he says with mind being renewed to the Mind of Christ, which we already have, he serves the Law of God.
This is how he serves the Law of God, by the Christ that is in Him. That is why he can say:
Romans 7:22-24 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
That is why Christ in him is his perfection. The flesh as we are in this world will never be perfect. That is why God has made it possible to give us total rebirth. Born again in Spirit by the Spirit of Christ, which takes place at the birth of Christ in you the Hope of Glory. The mind is quickened by the Holy Spirit and is the center of our learning about this Christ that is in us. This quickened is for the mind:
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit and made alive in our soul which was dead to God. 2227. zoopoieo
Search for G2227 in KJVSL
zwopoiew zoopoieo dzo-op-oy-eh'-o
from the same as 2226 and 4160; to (re-)vitalize (literally or figuratively):--make alive, give life, quicken.
This quicken is to our new spiritual birth in Christ Jesus by His Spirit having taken over the old spirit of man which was Satan and put the old man to death. Bringing us into life in Christ. Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Making us perfect before God our Father by seeing in us Christ Jesus. 4806. suzoopoieo
Search for G4806 in KJVSL
suzwopoiew suzoopoieo sood-zo-op-oy-eh'-o
from 4862 and 2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively):--quicken together with.
Perfect in Spirit by Christ in us, and will be perfect in Flesh on resurrection day, which I like to See as New Body Day, then Perfect like the Body of Jesus Christ and with the full capacity to inter the Kingdom of God with His dear Son.
Our mind is coming to this perfection. Thus the scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Saved, being Saved and Will be Saved. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
"who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:25 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.
IN Christ: Phillip
| 2006/6/28 15:30||Profile|
As one who is learning what it means to follow Christ in terms of my entire life, I don't profess to know much but am thankful that the Holy Spirit is teaching me. I do know, however, it's tempting to prooftext and here's a definition from Wikipedia. Prooftexting is the practice of using decontextualised quotations from a document (often, but not always, a book of the Bible) to establish a proposition. Critics of the technique note that often the document, when read as a whole, may not in fact support the proposition.
As far as not sinning, I suggest reading the entire book of 1 John. Verse 8 is oftentimes quoted out of context. Here's a few verses from 1 John to pray over.
1 John 1:6-7 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 2:1 1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defenseJesus Christ, the Righteous One.
(Chapter 2: 3-7,29) 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 7Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.
29If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
(Chapter 3:4-10) 4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
(Chapter 5:18) 18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
When one is truly born again, his heart is to obey the Lord Jesus not wickedness. The natural inclination then is to obey God, rather than serve myself or look for some way to justify sin of any sort. That's where I've been crying out to the Lord for and I'm trusting that He is doing this work in my heart.
I believe justification and sanctification are both works of faith in Jesus' completed work at the cross plus nothing. That being said, it will cost everything that I hold dear as I take up my cross and follow Jesus.
Victory over sin is only in Jesus and as I submit to Him. One can never have victory in the flesh, if so why would we need Jesus? That being said, I think we need to be very careful that we not rationalize any sin. If we do, the effect will be to harden our heart and reading the Bible and prayer will become ritualistic and we'll cease to walk in the Spirit and we'll wonder where God is. I've been there before and it's a very barren place and wouldn't recommend it to anyone...
| 2006/6/28 16:15||Profile|
"I believe justification and sanctification are both works of faith in Jesus' completed work at the cross plus nothing. That being said, it will cost everything that I hold dear as I take up my cross and follow Jesus."
I believe Justification and sanctification are both works of Jesus Christ by the faith of Jesus Christ that is in me. Christ in me is the completed work of the Cross. By His Faith in me I hold dear all that He is and the only Cross I have is the one that I was crucified on with Him.
Galatians 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
As far as not sinning: 1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and He cannot sin, because he is born of God.
I am born of God. I don't sin in my Spirit because my Spirit is Him. Jesus Christ cannot sin. The two edged sword is what separates my Spirit from my soul, and my flesh. We cannot sin in Spirit because it is Jesus Christs' Spirit that lives in me.
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.
We love God, because He begat Jesus Christ and we are born of God and love them Both by the Christ that is in us.
1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.
We are the whatsoever that is born of God. Our faith which is the Faith of the Son of God is what overcomes the world. Galatians 2:16-17 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
1Jo 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but He that is begotten of God keepeth Himself, and that wicked one toucheth Him not.
Jesus is the One that is begotten of God, the only Begotten of God, and He keeps Himself because He is begotten of God by the Father's Seed. We are born from above by the same Seed by Jesus Christ birthed in us. Jesus Christ keeps Himself in the Father just like we keep ourself in the Son. In Christ we cannot sin, in the Flesh is the only place we can sin. That is why Paul says it is no longer him that sins but sin that dwells in him, that is his flesh. Paul says 146 time he is in Christ, that is the only way he cannot sin. Again: Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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.
This comes from a long time careful study of Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We can sin in the flesh, we cannot sin in the Spirit.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2006/6/28 17:55||Profile|
I agree, this is good, but what does verse 1:8 mean then to you? My heart is not to sin, this I know. I've been focusing on obeying God since I was saved and healed in 2001, but are you saying you don't sin, even with your motives or intentions or attitude?
I'm not justifying sin by that verse but I am being honest with myself. I don't cater to my weaknesses and neither does the Lord, but I believe that GOD is acquainted with our suffering, broken for our souls. He came in humility, in a manger, not with a gavel. That will come with His 2nd appearing, but I do not claim to be sinless, nor would I even dare to.
And I do believe I walk in the light, I have been set free of many drug addictions and sexual perversions and lying and cussing and stealing and slandering and hate and anger. Do you think that I am not grateful to God for the miracle He has done in my heart, by transforming my entire life, by giving me the Holy Spirit, new desires and purpose? No, no, no, trust me I cry everyday because of the awesome grace that has swept over my entire being, but I do believe there is a difference between stumbling and falling away, there is a difference between a mistake and being taken captive by Satan, is that not true?
I do not continue in sin by any means, I feel inclined to love Christ through obedience, that is how I worship God, by obeying Him, but the Holy Spirit testifies within me that I am not perfect and that areas of my life need strength.
"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
| 2006/6/28 18:11||Profile|
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
The object of the apostle is to show that it is implied in the very nature of the gospel that we are sinners, and that if, on any pretence, we denied that fact, we utterly deceived ourselves. In all ages there have been those who have attempted, on some pretence, to justify their conduct; who have felt that they did not need a Saviour; who have maintained that they had a right to do what they pleased; or who, on pretence of being perfectly sanctified, have held that they live without the commission of sin. To meet these, and all similar cases, the apostle affirms that it is a great elementary truth, which on no pretence is to be denied, that we are all sinners. We are at all times, and in all circumstances, to admit the painful and humiliating truth that we are transgressors of the law of God, and that we need, even in our best services, the cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ. The fair interpretation of the declaration here will apply not only to those who maintain that they have not been guilty of sin in the past, but also to those who profess to have become perfectly sanctified, and to live without sin. In any and every way, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. We deceive ourselves. We have wrong views about our character. This does not mean that the self-deception is willful, but that it in fact exists. No man knows himself who supposes that in all respects he is perfectly pure.
So while we still have the ability to self-deception and the willful capacity in the flesh to a propensity to sin, John immediately give the way of escape. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Then making, "all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God", a truth that cannot be denied he writes by the Hand of the Holy Spirit, 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Then above all this, John makes it plain that in Christ, if we are in the Spirit of Christ and truly have the Spirit of Christ in us. We are perfect in Him. 1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His (Christ) seed remaineth in him:(Us) and He (Christ) cannot sin, because He is born of God.
1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.
1Jo 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but He that is begotten of God keepeth Himself, and that wicked one toucheth Him not. Jhn 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2006/6/28 19:33||Profile|
Peace River, AB, Canada
A couple quick thing that I would mention.
1)There is a great gulf affixed between the statement "He that says he has no sin" and "He that says he [b]does[/b] no sin". Do you understand?
I have heard many people use this verse in defence of the idea that not even Christians can live without sin.
Another main objection to the doctrine of "Christian Perfection" is found in Romans 7. I do not have much time, otherwise I would love to explain my view and the early church view of Romans 7. I will simply encourage all here to read Asa Mahan's Misunderstood Texts of Scripture.
Please forgive the typos. It is still in the works.
PS There are those who profess to be freed from sin, however, there are none who can say that they have never sinned and this is the obvious import of the passage "He that says he has no sin is a liar." Besides this fact I will say that it is utterly false to develope the possibility of a thing by whether or not it has ever occured. Just because it may never have occured that does not mean that it was not possible.
For the purpose of clarifying let me add that I understand moral perfection to be a wilful conformity to all the known will of God. Moral perfection cannot be "intire" perfection because we are finite beings with a finite understanding of the will of God.
The man in Romans 7 (whoever he is) was "carnal sold under sin" and had a "law in his members, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin". My question would be can this be the same person contained in Romans 8 who is by "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made free from the law of sin and death"? It seems that there would be an obvious inconsistency in the scriptures if these verses were speaking of the same person.
| 2006/6/28 21:42||Profile|
I've mentioned this before in the topic on holiness. Methodist theology in its core teaches sinless perfection as being obtainable. I disagree. The question asked here is moral---(external)--perfection obtainable. I do believe one can train themselves, or discipline themselves and be morally (outwardly) perfect, how ever that doesn't nessarily take God's help. I know most on this board will disagree. The jewish leaders in Jesus day were outwardly perfect, but Jesus called them white washed sepulchers, He admonitioned His disciple to be careful to wash the inside of the cup, and much more. Can we have victory over sin? Absolutely, however if there's anyone who really believes they can attain to a state of sinless perfection, they are decieved and have lowered thier view of God's Holiness. God's Holiness is infinate in its essential nature.
So really a better question would have been to make a difference between sinlessness vs. moral perfectionalism. That might have been a better place to start. :-(
| 2006/6/29 0:45||Profile|