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 Re:

In reply to Giancarlo:

(the bold characters are his words, the italicized my initial words in the article, and the regular font is my response to his previous post)

[b]Just some thoughts as I read your article...[/b]

[i]Some, in attempting to combat the error of cheap grace, even go so far as to preach sinless perfection. This is error, serious error, and must be avoided as a deadly plague, lest we fall into the snare of the wicked one and cause the faith of God’s people to be shipwrecked. What is “sinless perfection”? It is a doctrine that teaches that true Christians live in a state of sinless-ness, having no sin. It teaches that from the moment one is truly born again, they will never sin again, and that anyone who does not live and walk in such a state is not saved. It teaches a standard of absolute perfection, and that if a Christian is not perfect and without sin, then such a person is no Christian at all. It teaches that if somebody gets born again, but then stumbles into any form of sin, no matter how small, then they are immediately thrust back under the wrath of God until they repent again (and there are greater and lesser sins; see Matthew 23:14, Luke 17:1-2, John 19:11, 1 John 5:16). Thus, there is no assurance for the believer in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, or in the one and perfect offering for sin by the precious blood of the eternal Covenant. Instead the life of the Christian becomes a fearful and vicious cycle containing bouts of assurance and happiness when they think they are being holy enough, and condemnation and depression when they fail to meet the standards of perfect holiness. [/i]

[b]Well, if this is damnable heresy then many Methodist's are in the bruning lake of fire, because they believe this very thing. That I saint can live in a state of sinlessness...[/b]

Did they preach “sinlessness” in terms of committing no known sin against God and in being free from all willful sin, or did they preach it in terms of having no form of present unworthiness and unwillful, ignorant and unknowing sin dwelling within at least in some measure? If they preached it in the sense of the former, then they are no heretics. If they preached it in the sense of the latter, then they most assuredly are. And, if in the sense of the latter, they deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. If this is what they preached, and it is damnable heresy, then all I can do is agree with your statement – then they must be in Hell. A great portion of the Methodist movement got sucked into the error of legalism. Just because they are Methodists doesn’t necessarily mean they went to heaven, either. Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? We will commit such things to God.

Furthermore, whether a number of the old-school Methodists got into error, or didn’t, or went to Heaven or Hell, doesn’t change anything concerning the truth of Scripture. Even if a number of them did get into the heresy of sinless perfection, it doesn’t prove the doctrine true. If anything, it should cause us to shudder in fear lest we get sucked into a similar error, seeing that a number of such devout men of the past were ensnared by it.

[i]Over-emphasizing a high degree of holiness causes those who sit under such teaching, if they believe it, to examine themselves vigorously, over and over, to see if there is the smallest or tiniest degree of anything unholy in them. As extreme holiness is continually emphasized, they continue to examine themselves, and as soon as they find something unholy, they condemn themselves for it and fall into the trap of self-condemnation. They then continue to examine themselves almost endlessly, and their focus gets removed from Christ and His love, grace, and mercy, and their focus gets put on themselves and their works. Their righteousness becomes based on their deeds, works, and performance before God, rather than in the finished work of the Cross through the faith of Christ. Perfection becomes an obsession, and the sight of the Cross is at a loss. [/i]

[b]Not necessarily since you can't over emphasize holiness ever, because holiness is constantly the emphasis of heaven, and those who are headed their must emphasize it. Also those who are scared out of their justification by 'over emphasis on holiness' have not witness of the Spirit. Holiness should never scare a true saint of God, only encourage him or her. A Perfected saint would never take his eyes off of Christ, because Jesus becomes his Urim and Thummim (Light and Perfections) and he dare not look to his works for sanctification, that is legalism and a perfect man or woman, free of all sin would never look to himself for a moment.

A trully justified saint would never lose his confidence of the witness of the Spirit until he is completely sanctifeid. Because God does not begin a work He does not finish. They would never lose their confidence from scary what you call an over-emphasis on 'holiness' preaching.[/b]

First, the “holiness” that I am talking about is not holiness in the true sense of the word, but a false and hyped-up view of holiness that results in serious error. I lay down the necessity of true holiness at the very beginning of my article so as to make it as clear as possible that I believe in and preach holiness myself. It is not the doctrines of the holiness of God, or the necessity of holiness in the life and heart of a believer that I am coming against, but the false view of hyped-up holiness of sinless perfectionism.

Second, let me ask you a question in response: Do you not believe that a justified saint can lose the assurance of his salvation by staggering at the promises of God and falling short of entering His rest through unbelief, and thereby shipwreck his faith? If not, you must certainly be a once-saved-always-saved Calvinist, which I know you're not. If so, your entire argument falls apart because that means a truly justified saint CAN lose his confidence toward God. Therefore, a truly justified saint can come under condemnation by a false and hyped-up emphasis on the essentiality of holiness.

Obviously, the Pharisees in the time of Jesus over-emphasized holiness to the point where they thought themselves more holy than Jesus Himself. They rebuked him for healing on the Sabbath and eating with unwashed hands, for eating with sinners, and drinking wine, for not fasting, and other things as well, something that someone as “holy” as a Pharisee would never dare do! It was not that they were too holy; it was that they presented a false view of holiness. It is against a similar false view of holiness that I am coming against.

[i]The fact is: preaching and overemphasizing an extreme degree of holiness destroys the assurance and faith of the saints. No one is perfectly sinless. Ask any saint, any true born again child of God that has been walking with the Lord for a number of years; ask them if they have sinned even once since their conversion. Ask them if they’ve ever committed a single sin against God since they got born again. If they are not blind and stupid to the laws of God, they will most certainly and ashamedly tell you they have. Does this mean they weren’t born again? Does this mean that as soon as they sinned, God cut them off and declared them children of the devil and bound them fit for destruction in Hell? [/i]

[b]Even a person who is a saint sins, then that does not mean living a sinless life is not the desire of God. It is and sin in believers deserves a half excommunication from the Son of God 'Get behind me Satan' to even his choice disciples.[/b]

1. Most certainly, God does desire that we walk in the light as He is in the light. He knows we’re not perfect in the sense of being sinless, but He is pleased with faith in the shed blood of His precious Son, and seeing this faith in us, imputes the righteousness of Christ unto us.

2. What is this talk about having a “half-excommunication from the Son of God”??? What is this strange new doctrine of half-estrangement? We are no longer accepted in the Beloved, only half accepted? We are no longer made perfect by the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ, but any believer who stumbles is immediately half-way estranged from God? Strange doctrine that is!

3. God is more holy and more omniscient than what you make Him to be. He knows more about you than you do. He knows more about his saints than they know of themselves, including the hairs on the their heads. God, in the splendor of His holiness and the glory of His perfection, looks does upon no son of man, other than Christ Himself while on this earth, as being sinlessly perfect. Even if you or any other person claims to be sinlessly perfect, God doesn’t see that. If you were to translate into His immediate presence, you would immediately cry out like Isaiah in chapter 6: “WOE IS ME, I AM UNDONE”!!!

4. Which is why no man may see God’s face and live, only the sinless Christ. Because no man is sinlessly perfect. If they saw God in all His glory, they must die because of indwelling sin.

5. Surely, the anointing of one who is sinlessly perfect must be tremendous! He must be raising the dead and casting out the mightiest of devils left and right! Seeing He has perfect communion with God based on his sinlessness, he must be much more mighty in the Spirit than any one we see today! Show me the man who is sinlessly perfect, and I will see if he is in such fellowship with God as to do at least the same works that the Apostle John did, who didn’t claim to be sinlessly perfect.

[i]IF WE SAY WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

The beloved Apostle John, in inscribing these words on the sacred parchment of his first epistle, being a holy man moved upon by the Holy Ghost to record these holy words, has clearly said in the most plainest and straightforward language, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. This epistle is addressed to saints, warning against various dangers, extremes, and heresies that were attempting to creep their way into the Church in John’s old age, and as a guideline to the faith of Christ and the nature of true conversion. [/i]

[b]If your premise is true that John wrote this including himself when he said 'we' then John was not a holy man filled witht the Holy Ghost. Jesus gives his Spirit to those who obey Him, not to sinning apostles to write scripture...

John God not have been in sin that very moment otherwise he would not have the fellowship close enough to write holy scripture.

John Wesley has great explanation on this verse and so does the greek language. This is not talking about sanctification, but about justification. If one never admits he has sinned as verse 10 states, then one can't properly be cleansed from his sins and ALL unrighteousness.

Verse 9 makes not sense if you continue to confess sin in your life, you can't be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

Justification pardons all sins, but sanctification cleanses all unrighteousness!

So the what John is fighting against the denial of any sin ever! Not we still to this day. Otherwise it would defeat the purpose of the letter, 'I write to you so you do no sin!'

You also do not need sin to be humble. John in his old age was not admitting 'transgression of the law' here to be humble, no he was acknowledging that one who never admits his sin cannot be properly cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

Robertson's Word Pictures points out here that the picture John was developing in this verse is the same one he stated in the gospel he wrote.

Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

The Pharisees would never admit any of their sins therefore they were blind, but once a person admits his sin, he is forgiven and then God begins to cleanse from ALL unrighteousness.[/b]

1. No where did I say John was a sinning Apostle that disobeyed Christ. God forbid! I make the clear distinction of what sense of sin I am talking about. Christ didn’t command us to be sinlessly perfect, so he certainly wasn’t disobeying Christ. Jesus, when He said, “Be ye perfect” was speaking of striving for perfection, inwardly and outwardly, and having a perfection of pure heart motives before God.

2.John Wesley does not say that unless you read your doctrine into his words, and, even IF he did, he would be wrong anyway. The Greek does not put it in the past tense and no Greek scholar says it does. It is in the present tense, undeniably. I laid this down in the article. Hundreds of Greeks SCHOLARS agree, along with every English translation of the Bible. You are reading your preconceived ideas INTO scripture to try to prove your pet-doctrine when the scripture in context teaches no such thing. This is the first and most vital rule of proper scripture interpretation – not reading your own ideas into scripture.

3. Sanctification does not cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness. And it is through faith in the blood that we are sanctified.

4. Obviously, John would write so that they do not sin. That is, sin willfully against God, not that they would be eradicated from original sin – HUGE difference. All scripture is written so we do not sin. Some, in reading the latter part of chapter one, may take his words as a license to sin, because they do apply to the saint and not the sinner, so he makes it clear first thing in chapter two that he is not writing to justify any sin whatsoever, but that they won’t sin. Then, he goes on to say if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, because He knows at sometime in our walk we will.

5. A person is cleansed from ALL unrighteousness through faith in the blood. This doesn’t mean he is sinlessly perfect, it means he is cleansed from every known form of sin, and that there is not a single blemish in his life that he is presently aware of that is not being dealt with and repented of.

[i]Even the Apostle Paul agreed and admitted to the personal imperfections of his righteousness before God: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). This was written at about 61 AD, which was after his third missionary journey. If sinless perfection could be obtained, then without a doubt it should have been obtained by the Apostle Paul after enduring so much hardship, living in such devotion, and following hard after God for so many years, being “not a whit behind the chiefest Apostles”. In context of the perfection of which Paul is speaking, he is speaking of “attaining unto the resurrection of the dead” (verse 10) by being found in the righteousness of Christ by faith (verse 9). So, namely, he is talking about righteousness, and admitting that even he didn’t have a perfect righteousness on this earth, looking forward to full and final redemption, which would take place in the final work of redemption at the time of glorification. [/i]


[b]Paul is neither admitting sin or denying need. Paul was not in sin here. The greek clearly shows that his talking about two perfections. One of which he had acheived...

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

That word in greek is teleio or morally perfect. Paul was morally perfect and states here and in plenty other verses.

The perfection Paul says he had not attained too is this....

Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

This word here is different and implies a perfection of glorification. It is the same word Jesus used in this verse...

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Was Jesus sinless. Yes! But he saw a perfection in the glorifcation that had not been attained. The same thing Paul is stating.

Paul was not claiming he had sin in his life, just as much as Jesus was not saying he had sinned in that Luke verse. Both were acknowledging the consummation of salvation the redemption of the body in glorification.

Also....
John could not have been talking about himself presently in 1 John 1:8. For if he was then he was sinning that very moment as he was writting the epistle.

Both greek dictionaries imply presently but verse 10 explains what verse 8 means.

This the gnostics that John fought constantly denied. They denied ever having sinned. This a perfected saint would never deny, but would also acknowledged he has ceased from sin.[/b]

1. I never said Paul was in sin. Once again, you are building a straw man and attacking it in your arguments. Paul was not in any willful or known sin, but he was aware of his present imperfections before God. The word “sin” means “to miss the mark”. Paul knew that no matter how perfected he was, he would always miss the mark of God’s glory and perfection in some way because of original sin.

2. I am SHOCKED at the way you lump Jesus and Paul together in the same sense of being sinlessly perfect. This in itself shows your error.

3. The greek dictionaries are right. You’re misinterpretation of scripture is what is wrong. Once again, you are violating the first rule of sound scripture interpretation: reading your preconceived ideas into the scripture to justify your own pet-doctine.

[i]In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” This is how the Lord Jesus taught His holy Apostles to pray! Just prior to Him teaching them to pray for forgiveness for their sins, He said, “give us this day our daily bread”, clearly implying that this is a daily prayer that should be prayed. In other words, we need to constantly, in humility, recognize our shortcomings in the sight of God and humble ourselves under His mighty hand to ask for His mercy and grace to cover our offenses before Him. If we say we have no offenses before the all-seeing eyes of His holiness, we only deceive ourselves.[/i]

[b]One is able to reminisce on past sins and be just as humbled. Would a saint in sin everyday pray for his constant trangressions of the law of God! No! We are taught to pray that but Jesus never taught us to constantly have indwelling sin like prdie and envy and all those damnable things in us while we pray! We would never be heard.[/b]

1. No a saint does not every day transgress God’s law! But he does fall short of God’s glory by missing the mark because of original sin.

2. There will always be a root of some sort of indwelling sin until glorification. Go a week without praying or getting spiritual nourishment, and you will see, the monster is not on the outside trying to get in, it’s on the inside trying to get out and manifest itself as an act of disobedience toward God. This monster is called original sin, and it is still in saints. Saints, however, have power and victory over it and sin does not have dominion over them.

3. Sin still dwells in the flesh, and will until the day of glorification. That is why Jesus commanded us to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily, because sin is in the flesh and must be denied daily. They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts, because they know sin dwells in the flesh and the flesh must be crucified to be free from the dominion of sin.

[i]Saints aren’t perfect, but they are striving for perfection, and while they are on the journey toward this perfection, they despise and even abhor themselves for their own imperfections. [/i]

[b]Most saints are not perfect, but some are... Otherwise who was Paul speaking to here...

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect...

or here...

1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

or here...

Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

or here...

Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did(make men perfect); by the which we draw nigh unto God.

and here...

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

That is talking to saints.[/b]

1. Paul never claimed to be sinlessly perfect. To the contrary, he claimed he wasn’t repeatedly thru his epistles.

2. The verses you quote are talking about a spiritual maturity, not sinless perfection. It is absolutely ridiculous to even claim they are talking about sinlessness.

3. Once again, you are clearly reading your pre-concieved views into the scripture, rather than using sound methods of biblical interpretation.

[i]This own self-abhorrence for inward corruption is not a self-condemnation or self-pity. These things come from the evil one. It is a self-abhorrence that produces “godly sorrow (which) worketh repentance”, and not “the sorrow of the world (which) worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This godly sorrow is completely different and distinct from depression. It is what Jesus meant by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, and “Blessed are those that mourn”, speaking of recognizing our own spiritual state before God, our personal guilt, helplessness, and of the utter emptiness of our own nature of everything good, and a conviction and realizing sense of being shut up to the grace of God alone for help. According to Jesus, this is a characteristic of the “blessed”, or in other words, a characteristic of true saints. There is a huge and fundamental difference between such godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world.[/i]

[b]Not necessarily for one that is perfect can still mourn and be broken before God even when they have no sin. Their is an abasement for those who are still in sins, but for those who are perfect they are able to echo Job's statement...

Job 9:21 I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life.

Still not in sin but able to regard not himself ot his life. Jesus did the same![/b]

1. Job was blameless, but he wasn’t perfect. Otherwise, God would not have accused him at the end of the book of being foolish. And if he was sinless he needed no Savior. But the scripture says, “all have sinned”.

2. Far cry from sinless perfection Job was! He was a righteous man, not sinless. He had faith in God, not moral perfection according to works. Big difference.

[i]THE REVIVALISTS AND GIANTS OF THE PAST AGREE TO THIS DOCTRINE [/i]

[b]You quoted Matthew Henry and Finney, but Matthew Henry was a calvinist and like most % pointers they rejected Entire Sanctity.

Finney although believe a Christian could sin, amde it clear that living a sinless here and on this earth is possible. Half of his systematic theoloy was on this truth.

Whitefield and Wesley fought over Christian Perfection countless amounts of time. Wesley wrote a whole book on living a sinless life, called the Plain Account of Chrisian Perfection.

He did beleive saints could sin, but he also believed in the second work of grace which was Christian Perfection and Second Blessing Holiness or Entire Sanctification. John Weseley describes the perfect saint over and over again throughout his sermons. [/b]

1. This is not a minor theological issue (i.e. Calvinism VS Arminianism). This is about a serious doctrine of the truth. Which is why understanding it is so important.

2. Wesley, first of all, repeatedly changed his views on “Christian Perfection” throughout his life. If I’m not mistaken, the book “A Plain Account” was written over a number of years and even contains his changes of views. He himself admits it plainly. (Please correct me if I’m wrong)

3. John Wesley made the same distinction between willful and unwillful sin as I made. He explains it as being an imperfection of knowledge, and of human frailties, and thereby that ignorant sin is committed due to such an imperfection of knowledge. It is not sin the believer is aware of, but it is present. Wesley explains clearly that there will always be an imperfection of knowledge until glorification, and thereby a coming short of God’s glory until that day.

4. A large portion of Finney’s systematic theology is garbage. He promotes government theology and denies original sin. That’s some serious theological garbage and was his chief error. However, it does not change what he said in regards to sin in believers, as I quoted in my article.

[i]This is what he taught; a perfection of love and of the heart’s motives toward God and man, not a perfection of being without sin. There is a huge difference, and the understanding of this difference among those who claim to follow Wesley’s teachings can be the difference between sound theology and heresy.[/i]

[b]No, Wesley taught a sinless life. Not only in motives in actual heart soul mind and body. Love perfected which he emphasized, was the love that would not sin against God. He did say knowledge and frailties of body could not be perfected, but living a sinless life was the expectation and hope of all who believe it.

John Fletcher who was second too Wesley in the people called the Methodist's understood Wesley to teach that Christians and one point in time cease from sinning. So did many of the other Methdoists. This is a distinct doctrine of the Methodist and all holiness groups, including that are fallen away to this day.

Sinless perfection was a heresy but that heresy is not living a sinless life, it is saying you have no sin when you are still in sin. That is what the gnostics taught a believed.

"In conformity, therefore, both to the doctrine of St. John, and the whole tenor of the New Testament, we fix this conclusion: A Christian is so far perfect, as not to commit sin."

-John Wesley

He goes on to say...

""This is the glorious privilege of every Christian, yea, though he be but a babe in Christ. But it is only of grown Christians it can be affirmed, they are in such a sense perfect..."

Seems clear he bleived that the whole New Testament taught a sinlessness that is not a heresy like 'Sinless perfection.'[/b]

1. John Wesley taught a perfection of love, not a sinless perfection. You are wrong. I’ve seen it clearly laid out in many of his sermons. He says that because of this divine love, your heart is purified, and you won’t commit sin. That is, you will not willfully sin against God.

2. However, as I said, he taught a perpetual shortcoming due to lack of knowledge and frailty of human nature. He even believed in and preached the doctrines that go with original sin.

[i]WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOES NOT COMMIT SIN [/i]

[b]In this section you are still missing the fact that John wrote the epistle so that they don't sin. So that they may be perfect in love.

And what you said and what John says here can't both be true. We can't constantly admit to sin and say that we are born of God, no. WE can't continue in indwelling sin and still expect to be children of God. It must be rooted out of the heart, and God has made provision for that.

Now blievers do sin, but not perfect believers. If any person sin in thought word or deed they are being sanctified, but if one does not offend in thought word and deed they are perfect.[/b]

1. I am not missing that point, but you are twisting it out of context and running to the extreme with it. Of course we do not sin, that is, sin willfully against the knowledge of the truth. A true saint will not sin in such a way, But if he does, he has an advocate with the Father.

2. All are sanctified immediately when they are justified in the initial sense of being consecrated to God and set apart for service. However, there is another type of sanctification which involves a lifelong process, and it is a continual and perpetual work until final redemption (see 2 Cor 7:1). Perfecting holiness is a life-long process.

3. Furthermore, the experience and testimony of the saints further confirms this. No saint can say they are sinlessly perfect, for if they continue for even 10 whole years without ANY sin, known or unknown, willful or unwillful, but then they sin, then that cancels out their perfection, proving that they were never initially perfected to begin with, otherwise they would not have stumbled again.

[b]I could say so much more. But I will see what you think about what I wrote. But I will leave it there, I just wanted to comment a bit on some of things you said. You asked our opinions so therefore I gave it. I think that you did a good job exhorting people to not be condemned by the accusations of the devil and all that. I also think you pointed out some good things about legalism and what not.[/b]

I, too, could say so much more. But that is what I think about what you said.

[b]But none of those mean you cannot live a sinless life, legalism and condemnation are not legit arguments to tell people they are not live a perfect life. Jesus was not afraid to do it, neither should we. 'Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.'[/b]

1. The scripture itself is reason enough to reject sinless perfection. I do not reject it for fear of legalism, I reject it for fear of heresy because scripture rejects it.

2. Jesus did not have original sin. He had no earthly father thru which to inherit it. He was conceived of the Holy Ghost and created as sinlessly perfect. He was the only man to be so. We are to strive to be perfect, following with all our hearts Christ as our great example, not that we can be sinlessly perfect like him, but that we forsake all to endeavor to strive for such a perfection, fighting the good fight of faith until God be please to take us home in final glorification.

3. I am shocked, once again, by your putting us on equal ground with Jesus, the Lord of all lords and King of all kings. Of course Jesus was perfect, and of course we’re not. No man ever has been. Only CHRIST.

In summary, let me say I love you as well and do not intend to *clash*. Let us discuss this in love if we must discuss it. I may not have time to reply in the next week, though, I’m on the road, so know I may be unable to respond. Look forward to hearing your response!

 2007/6/18 10:02
IRONMAN
Member



Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

brethren
Greetings in Jesus' Name by whose Blood we are Reconciled to God.

i suppose bro Josef you are talking about a Pharasaical holiness which is more an show for men from the outside rather than the inwrought work of Perfecting done by Holy SPirit from the inside out?

i believe this is the formation of Christ in us which is the Desire of God and i believe also that it is possible to live a sinless life on this side being empowered by Holy Spirit. It seems to me that such Perfecting of His saints would be a really big thumb in the eye of the powers who are hellbent (no pun intended) to keep us in bondage to sin while on this side and so for God to loose us completely from sin on this side would be a thwarting of that big time. of course in Heaven we will be sinless, then again HE is coming for a spotless Church...well i guess all the same we are to strive to be sinless through Holy Spirit, after all He does only what He hears from Heaven so if we follow Him, we [i][b]can't[/b][/i] sin.

Grace and Peace be yours in Jesus' Name. AMEN


_________________
Farai Bamu

 2007/6/18 11:47Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Cheap grace certainly is a vexing problem to consider when proclaiming true grace.

There is also the paradox of humility here to consider. That is to say, the closer one comes to grasping what God's holiness entails, the more miserable they are likely to become...unless the grace of God lifts them up. In this way, the lowly child of God is broken and contrite, but many a hardened 'holiness' preachers walk tall and speak loudly, seemingly on the basis of their own lives. (Unless they are simply poor communicators, who are having a hard time conveying the very essence of the gospel they have given their lives to convey.)

Compare some 'sinless' preachers to the very angels of heaven who are most certainly sinless in thought and deed, beings without our Earthly corruption, and yet even they cover themselves from the unequaled holiness of God. In fact, they are beings designed with multiple sets of wings for just such protection. (As witnessed both by Isaiah and John.)

The point here is that none of us dare approach God on any other basis then by the blood of Jesus.

Quote:
Greetings in Jesus' Name by whose Blood we are Reconciled to God.



Blessings,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/6/18 12:51Profile
IRONMAN
Member



Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

BRETHREN
Greetings once again in Jesus' Name by whose Blood we are Reconciled to God. AMEN.

Bro Mike thank you for your response! Indeed the closer one gets to God, the more of one's iniquity is exposed and the deeper the contrition one feels. Bless God for His Grace which lifts us up! Indeed the feeling of brokenness and contrition helps to maintain humility by reminding us of what we are apart from Christ, wrecthes, lest we think more of ourselves than we should and less of the Grace and MErcy afforded us by the Blood making it a cheap thing. Heaven keep us from such!AMEN.

My wife shared with me some time ago about how God would point out her shortcomings to her daily which she would repent of, then she would think "surely i have repented of it all" when this thought came, He would show her something more to repent of...He does the same with me, revealing things to us both which we had no hope of even considering to be issues needing repentance except for His Mercy. This is an inwrought work from the inner man out which is the true nature of God's dealings with us vs the holiness of the Pharisees which is an outward show sustained by the flesh without a corresponding inward work the end of which was shown in the accusation and subsequent crucifixion of the Messiah; this was the exposure of the nature of the spirit behind their "holiness", the devil himself!

EDIT

As the Jews killed the Christ, proving the nature of the "holiness" professed by the Pharisees to be spurred by the spirit of satan, the parallel in the Church is the persecution of those who have had this inward work wrought in them by God by those who are behaving as Pharisees thinking themselves to be doing God a favour. of course i believe some Pauls will come out of this!

Quote:
Compare some 'sinless' preachers to the very angels of heaven who are most certainly sinless in thought and deed, beings without our Earthly corruption, and yet even they cover themselves from the unequaled holiness of God. In fact, they are beings designed with multiple sets of wings for just such protection. (As witnessed both by Isaiah and John.)



this right hits home...smack in the nose! If even those angels which attend the very throne of God must avert their own eyes, even cover their whole bodies from head to toe in the presence of a Holy God...whoa do we see the gravity of this?!

something which perhaps we ought to consider though is that Ezekiel, Isaiah, John all saw God on His throne though and had no need of being covered. Perhaps this is one of those things which angels long to look into, the unique nature of the relationship which man has with God. We are told by God through Paul we can boldy approach the throne of Grace being vovered by the Blood and make our requests known to God.

Praise God for the Blood of Jesus!

Grace and PEace be yours in His Name. AMEN.


_________________
Farai Bamu

 2007/6/18 14:48Profile









 Re: Holiness Preaching: a testimony

Quote:
Josef_Urban said:...Over-emphasizing a high degree of holiness causes those who sit under such teaching, if they believe it, to examine themselves vigorously, over and over, to see if there is the smallest or tiniest degree of anything unholy in them. As extreme holiness is continually emphasized, they continue to examine themselves, and as soon as they find something unholy, they condemn themselves for it and fall into the trap of self-condemnation. They then continue to examine themselves almost endlessly, and their focus gets removed from Christ and His love, grace, and mercy, and their focus gets put on themselves and their works. Their righteousness becomes based on their deeds, works, and performance before God, rather than in the finished work of the Cross through the faith of Christ. Perfection becomes an obsession, and the sight of the Cross is at a loss.

Rather than preaching in such a way as to convict sinners and strengthen the faith of the saints, many go to the error of extreme holiness and preach in such a way as to condemn both sinners and saints alike. Now, this is not to say that a true saint will never need to be convicted about anything, or that we should never preach hard messages. Our preaching needs to be designed in such a way that it convicts instead of condemns, and that it is useful for spiritual growth and not spiritual destruction. If our preaching doesn’t pierce through and cut asunder the hearts of men like a sharp, two-edged sword, then what we’re preaching isn’t the true Word of God! But, at the same time, if it doesn’t apply the healing properties of that blessed Balm of Gilead after it wounds, and bind up the broken hearts with the bandages of Christ’s love, then it is potentially destructive to the souls of men. There is a fine line, and that line is determined by the perfect orderly balance of God’s wisdom according to the leading of the Spirit...

Thank you for this thread, Bro Josef. I know exactly what you are talking about, having been (until fairly recently) in a state of almost constant guilt and self-condemnation for all of my life.

Maybe, as some have said, there are "technical" faults with some of what you wrote, but the danger you warned of is only too real.

In the 1970's and 80's I used to go to conferences of a certain holiness group that grew out of the house church movement. There were some wonderful speakers and some wonderful truths expounded that weren’t normally preached in other circles.

And yet, to someone who already lives in condemnation, it indeed has a danger.

At least once, someone from that tradition asked me if I was born again, as if they doubted it very much. The concept of having a "new pure heart" was much preached on, yet my heart felt anything but pure, and in the end drove me to despair, and to doubting if I was born again.

But in that case, the Lord had allowed me to be very deeply deceived, because the cry "Abba, Father", that had then been in my heart for at least 16 years (from the day after my conversion late one night), was a lie!

And if you can't trust GOD, who can you trust?

For the only time in my life I dimly understood why people commit suicide. For if God Himself has deceived you then there is no-one else, no ground of appeal, no hope in heaven or earth.

It shook my soul to its very foundations; but when the shaking stopped, I found I was still on the Rock.

For that reason I KNOW that nothing can separate from the love of Christ.


In the years since, I began to climb slowly and painfully out of the pit of guilt and discouragement, and of constantly striving to be holy and as constantly conscious of failure.

A year or so ago the Lord at last freed me from this huge burden of guilt (though I still have to be careful of this weak spot)

As you say, there has to be a balance...

Blessings

Jeannette

 2007/6/18 18:01









 Re: Sinless perfection/entire sanctification

The way I have come to understand this is that the perfection IS commanded of us, and IS real, (as some have shown and quoted from scripture) and can be outworked in practice.

And yet, it is not OUR perfection, not OUR righteousness, but HIS.

This takes all the strain and striving and legalism and self-righteousness out of living a holy life.

"...not I but Christ lives in me..."

"The LORD our righteousness".

I have no righteousness, no perfection of my own, and never shall have. But as He increasingly lives in me, so His life is outworked in the midst of my life.

It isn't my responsibility any more. For this perfect life is not of the will of the will of the flesh , nor of the will of man, but OF GOD(John 1:13)

My responsibility is to receive and co-operate with that life of Christ within. AS Mary did in hte natural when she agreed to let the Lord use her body to bring forth the Messiah.

Striving for personal perfection or holiness is an insult to His perfect Holiness who dwells within us, when we receive Him.

Blessings

Jeannette

 2007/6/18 18:31
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
MC: The point here is that none of us dare approach God on any other basis then by the blood of Jesus.



Amen. I have enjoyed reading through all of this. I have enjoyed more being on the streets ministering with these men- [i]turning our swords upon the enemy.[/i] Hope to do it again soon. ;-)


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2007/6/18 22:39Profile
IRONMAN
Member



Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

sis Jeannette
Greetings in Jesus' Name by whose Blood we are Justified and Perfected. AMEN.

Quote:

LittleGift wrote:
The way I have come to understand this is that the perfection IS commanded of us, and IS real, (as some have shown and quoted from scripture) and can be outworked in practice.

And yet, it is not OUR perfection, not OUR righteousness, but HIS.

This takes all the strain and striving and legalism and self-righteousness out of living a holy life.

"...not I but Christ lives in me..."

"The LORD our righteousness".

I have no righteousness, no perfection of my own, and never shall have. But as He increasingly lives in me, so His life is outworked in the midst of my life.

It isn't my responsibility any more. For this perfect life is not of the will of the will of the flesh , nor of the will of man, but OF GOD(John 1:13)

My responsibility is to receive and co-operate with that life of Christ within. AS Mary did in hte natural when she agreed to let the Lord use her body to bring forth the Messiah.

Striving for personal perfection or holiness is an insult to His perfect Holiness who dwells within us, when we receive Him.

Blessings

Jeannette



i bless God for what He said through you here. Indeed this is the thing, the Perfection which we are to become is that of Christ which is an inside-out work rather than the pharisaic outside only type. The former can only be done by Christ, the latter, only by the arm of the flesh.

and yes we need to be coworkers with Holy Spirit in this endevour by (as my dear bro Rahman would say) submitting and surrendering. Srtiving for personal holiness out of the flesh will betray us because when we are confronted with the truth of God, the spirit behind that false holiness (if we can even call it that) will manifest violently.

Grace and Peace be ours in Jesus' Name. AMEN.


_________________
Farai Bamu

 2007/6/19 2:08Profile
death2self
Member



Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area

 Re:

I'm reminded of what my pastor's pastors told them "Preach judgment with mercy" with a long finger pointing at both of them.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2007/6/21 10:31Profile
Forevidence
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 711
Riverside

 Re:

[b]This is a rebuttal to all those who misinterpret I John 1:8, and lay a stumbling block for saints on there way to entire sanctification....[/b]


[b]Exposing Bad Exposition:
Answering Opposition to True Holiness[/b]
[i]
By G.A. Jarquin[/i]

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Now some have labored long and hard to overthrow the saints’ holy faith by exclaiming that this passage of scripture is proof that a perfect sinless life is not possible on this green earth. I hope to refute and expose that faulty doctrine by making it plain and easy for all saints to understand this passage of scripture. It is true that there are many hard passages that seem to contradict a holy sinless life after conversion, but these are just that: seemingly hard passages. With a true and unbias look at scripture one is able to come to a conclusion that perfection is God’s heart for all His saints. This verse is one of those seemingly contradictory passages; however with the a brief view of context and proper scriptural exposition, such a fog and smoke screen that has been put up by the devil and mislead men will quickly vanquish as the light and the path of the Just grows brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

I will begin by stating briefly the belief of those who misinterpret this scripture. Erroneously, some believe that this passage applies to believers always. In other words, that if a believer claims to have no sin, then he is deceived and the truth is not in him. This conclusion is drawn from the following:
1.) That the Greek language is in the present tense; therefore it must mean that we as saints still actively sin whether through indwelling or outward sins,
2.) That because John is the author, the Apostle John includes himself under the category of those who still do sin,
3.) Therefore, this scripture proves perfection to be impossible, and
4.) Anybody to claim they have no sin implies they are deceived.

Now all these statements have scriptural answers and rebuttals and I will get to that before this article is through, but first I want to exposit this text properly so that none are left in the dark and without a hope for a present deliverance from all sin including indwelling sin.

[b]Interpretation of the Verse[/b]

First to understand this verse one must look at the connection that John has just made with the previous verse which says, “1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Note the end of the verse that states that when we are in the light as He is in the light, we are then able to fellowship with brethren of the household of God, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from ALL SIN.

This is often overlooked by those who would try to use its proceeding verse as a stumbling block for those who are on the highway of holiness. The Apostle clearly taught that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from ALL SIN, including indwelling and outward sins, all sin! So if the Apostle is stating that “we,” including himself, all presently sin, then the Apostle is not only in complete contradiction of his previous statement but also living in sin that very moment. This is a ridiculous conclusion to come to and one that would only be conceived in a heart that is not cleansed completely. If the Apostle John was stating that he too was in sin, then indwelling sin has become the inspiration of this text and not the Holy Ghost. Holy men wrote the Holy Scriptures! Not unholy prideful men struggling with sin who called themselves apostles. Such ministers would be ministers of so called righteousness, when they are nothing but devils in a false light. No the scripture says, “holy” men! Further, a blatant contradiction would be present if the “we” in these verses includes the person who claims to be cleansed. But not so; simply, the connection goes like this: "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, . . . the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
So the question is this: “Is the cleansed person that states ‘we’ actually cleansed or sinning?” Which one is it? John would have never written such a foolish and contradictory statement, and neither would the Holy Ghost. God makes no mistakes. Those who include John in this statement and believe he was in sin, bring down the Apostle to be an absurd writer. Only bad exposition can reduce John to such absurdity. It is like a medic telling all the people in the world that there is a medicine that cures all disease and then he himself is suffering of the same disease. No, the Apostle had experienced perfect love and holiness and could therefore speak of it. He had been cleansed by the blood of Jesus of both inward and outward sins.

So the question remains, “who is John talking about?” I believe that the “we” in the text is speaking of mankind: all those who have come from Adam and Eve. It is important to understand that one of the reasons John wrote this epistle was to come against the heretical teachings of the Gnostics of his day. One of their false teachings was that hey had never sinned. Sin was only a figment of imagination and sin only appeared upon the body but never really touched the soul and spirit. Therefore the soul was free from all pollutions of sin and its nature. Moreover, the Gnostics never really saw their need for a cleansing by the blood of the Lamb. Neither will any person who goes on thinking that they have never ever sinned. One who is like the Pharisees would never admit to committing any sin at all. This brings me to my next point.

Robertson’s Word Pictures correlates this verse in I John to a passage that the same author penned years before: “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:41). This word picture is the same word picture that John is using in this First epistle. The Pharisees would never confess their sin to Jesus therefore their sin remained! Some of them were like Paul in believing themselves blameless in light of the Law; therefore were strict in their useless works. They gave their alms, encompassed land and sea to make disciples, believed in the coming of the Messiah, preached, and did all things that seemed good. But their problem was that they had not internal righteousness: they did not have universal conformity to the perfect law of God inwardly. Some were deceived by this and so never sought to be justified by faith alone in prayer to God. The apostle is referring to these. He is talking about those who would never even consider themselves unworthy of coming before God. He spoke of those who looked straight into heaven without a bowing down in penitence; those who would not ever consider themselves sinners. Those are the self deceivers that John warns us against. But those who, like the Publican, were willing to beat their breast at their inward and outward sins, come to Jesus humbly, and confess their sins were cleansed from all sin and all unrighteousness. Precisely what our text in the proceeding verse: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So not only is our sin pardoned but all unrighteousness is then cleansed, including what some would call indwelling sin. Praise God He does exceedingly far above all we ask or think!

The scripture here clearly states and eradicates the idea that one is able to cleansed from indwelling sin. The verse says that by His blood we are 1. Pardoned of all our sins, and 2. Sanctified by the cleansing of all unrighteousness from our hearts.

This clearly the Apostles intention, for he goes on to say later in the same epistle, that “he who has this hope in him, purifies himself as He is pure.” He also says that, “1Jn 3:5-7 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” What are we to believe but the plain truth of this text. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil which is sin; both and its inward and outward workings. In Him there is no sin, neither indwelling or outward, and the Apostle says that we should be deceived by no one, that he who does righteousness is as righteous as He is righteous, and how was Christ righteous, well He hand neither indwelling nor outward sins. This is our hope and great expectancy in this life, for sin to be rooted out in all its forms. Jesus was not just outwardly righteous as the hypocrites of his day, He was inwardly and outwardly righteous. Perfect righteousness as the one of Christ is what we are to have after we are pardoned and completely sanctified , for as verse 9 declares He cleanses us not only from all our sin, but ALL our unrighteousness, so we can be righteous as He is righteous. Glory!

The next verse states, “1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

This, as many commentators state, is the verse that explains verse 8; it comments on the idea in verse 8 that says, “If we say we have no sin.” Now obviously none could say that; none should dare say. If so, the truth is not in them and the blood cannot atone for them. The blood is not able to cleanse what we are not willing to confess when we come to Christ, but once it is confessed it can be cleansed and pardoned. God can go on to perfect the work in us by cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

The great deception the apostle is writing against is not the so called deception of living a sinless life after believing in Christ. Instead he seeks to destroy the delusion that a man before conversion never has had any sin or any transgression, and therefore has no need of a Savior. But we know that the scriptures have completely confined all men without Christ under sin.

If this is not the plain meaning of text then all the verses written are a contradiction. It is a contradiction to say that all men, especially saints, must confess they have indwelling, and sometimes outward, sin everyday so that the blood of Jesus cleanses those sins but can’t or doesn’t remove the unrighteousness. No, God is able to forgive all sins and remove all unrighteousness. Either we confess everyday to sinning or we confess everyday He is, and He is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! I would rather choose the latter: to believe God is able o remove all unrighteousness in my heart, mind, soul, and body. Such faith would not be beyond what the Bible says. Jesus Himself told me to be holy as He is holy. Not to mention that the Beloved Apostle wrote to us so that we sin not! ( I John 2:1). So which one is it? Did he write so that we continue to confess our sin to stay humble? Or did He write to us to not sin? It seems clear that from the rest of the scriptures in this epistle that he believes sin is of the devil and the Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil; that in Him there is not sin, and he who abides in Him does not sin!

Here are a few great men who believe and interpret verse 9 in the same way…
John Wesley in his book Plain Account of Christian Perfection wrote:
“But St. John himself says, 'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves;' and, 'If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.'
"I answer, (1.) The tenth verse fixes the sense of the eighth: 'If we say we have no sin,' in the former, being explained by, 'If we say we have not sinned,' in the latter, verse. (2.) The point under consideration is not, whether we have or have not sinned heretofore; and neither of these verses asserts that we do sin, or commit sin now. (3.) The ninth verse explains both the eighth and tenth: 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' As if he had said, 'I have before affirmed, The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.' And no man can say, 'I need it not; I have no sin to be cleansed, from.' 'If we say, we have no sin, that 'we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves,' and make God a liar: But 'if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just,' not only 'to forgive us our sins,' but also 'to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,' that we may 'go and sin no more.' In conformity, therefore, both to the doctrine of St. John, and the whole tenor of the New Testament, we fix this conclusion: A Christian is so far perfect, as not to commit sin.
"This is the glorious privilege of every Christian, yea, though he be but a babe in Christ. But it is only of grown Christians it can be affirmed, they are in such a sense perfect, as, Secondly, to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers. First, from evil or sinful thoughts. Indeed, whence should they spring? 'Out of the heart of man,' if at all, 'proceed evil thoughts.' If, therefore, the heart be no longer evil, then evil thoughts no longer proceed out of it: For 'a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.' -John Wesley
Adam Clarke also agreed in his Commentary of the Epistle of St. John and wrote the following:

“1Jn 1:8 -
If we say that we have no sin - This is tantamount to 1Jo_1:10 : If we say that we have not sinned. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; and therefore every man needs a Savior, such as Christ is. It is very likely that the heretics, against whose evil doctrines the apostle writes, denied that they had any sin, or needed any Savior. In deed, the Gnostics even denied that Christ suffered: the Aeon, or Divine Being that dwelt in the man Christ Jesus, according to them, left him when he was taken by the Jews; and he, being but a common man, his sufferings and death had neither merit nor efficacy.
We deceive ourselves - By supposing that we have no guilt, no sinfulness, and consequently have no need of the blood of Christ as an atoning sacrifice: this is the most dreadful of all deceptions, as it leaves the soul under all the guilt and pollution of sin, exposed to hell, and utterly unfit for heaven.
The truth is not in us - We have no knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus, the whole of which is founded on this most awful truth - all have sinned, all are guilty, all are unholy; and none can redeem himself. Hence it is as necessary that Jesus Christ should become incarnated, and suffer and die to bring men to God.”-Adam Clarke

Charles Finney, a great advocate of sanctification, believed the same. In answering objections to perfection and sinless living in his Systematic Theology, stated:
“6. Another objection is founded upon 1Jo_1:8 : "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Upon this I remark:
(1.) Those who make this passage an objection to the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, assume that the apostle is here speaking of sanctification instead of justification; whereas an honest examination of the passage, if I mistake not, will render it evident that the apostle makes no allusion here to sanctification, but is speaking solely of justification. A little attention to the connexion in which this verse stands will, I think, render this evident. But before I proceed to state what I understand to be the meaning of this passage, let us consider it in the connexion in which it stands, in the sense in which they understand it who quote it for the purpose of opposing the sentiment advocated in these lectures.
They understand the apostle as affirming, that, if we say we are in a state of entire sanctification and do not sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Now if this were the apostle's meaning, he involves himself in this connexion in two flat contradictions.
(2.) This verse is immediately preceded by the assertion that the "blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." Now it would be very remarkable, if immediately after this assertion the apostle should mean to say, (as they suppose he did,) that it does not cleanse us from all sin, and if we say it does, we deceive ourselves; for he had just asserted, that the blood of Jesus Christ does cleanse us from all sin. If this were his meaning, it involves him in as palpable a contradiction as could be expressed.
(3.) This view of the subject then represents the apostle in the conclusion of the seventh verse, as saying, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin; and in the eighth verse, as saying, that if we suppose ourselves to be cleansed from all sin, we deceive ourselves, thus flatly contradicting what he had just said. And in the ninth verse he goes on to say, that "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" that is, the blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin; but if we say it does, we deceive ourselves. "But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, all unrighteousness is sin. If we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, we are cleansed from sin. And now suppose a man should confess his sin, and God should in faithfulness and justice forgive his sin, and cleanse him from all unrighteousness, and then he should confess and profess that God had done this; are we to understand, that the apostle would then affirm that he deceives himself, in supposing that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin? But, as I have already said, I do not understand the apostle as affirming anything in respect to the present moral character of any one, but as speaking of the doctrine of justification.
This then appears to me to be the meaning of the whole passage. If we say that we are not sinners, that is, have no sin to need the blood of Christ; that we have never sinned, and consequently need no Saviour, we deceive ourselves. For we have sinned, and nothing but the blood of Christ cleanseth from sin, or procures our pardon and justification. And now, if we will not deny, but confess that we have sinned, "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "But if we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and his word is not in us."



Finney summarized and defined what he believed the inspired author was saying in the last part of the verse. If that is not clear enough, I think John Fletcher paraphrased best when he said,

“…It appears that the text so dear to us, and so mistaken by our opponents, has this fair, Scriptural meaning: -- "If we [followers of Him who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance] say, We have no sin [no native depravity from our first parents, and no actual sin, at least no such sin as deserves God's wrath; fancying we need not secure a particular application of Christ's atoning and purifying blood] we deceive ourselves, and the truth [of repentance and faith] is not in us."

This statement is what I believe, the whole meaning of the text and nothing else. It is clear that John was not stating that a saints sins all the time, nor seven times a day, nor anything of the sort. Instead he is upholding the truth of the gospel within the doctrines of justification and entire sanctification as a true holiness preacher would. A true holiness preacher would uphold the standard of living without inward and outward sin. All the previously quoted preachers were men that preached holiness. They never interpreted this passage of scripture any other way. Only those that deny a complete victory over all sin use 1 John 1:8 to propagate their views to say that it is not possible to live without sin in this life.

There are many others who viewed this scripture verse the same way, but I will not continue to quote preacher after preacher since it is clear that: 1.) John would never contradict himself so clearly while writing holy scripture, 2.) Jesus blood is efficient enough to cleanse of all sin and eventually all unrighteousness, and 3.) Those who are deceiving themselves are those who will not confess their sin and come to Jesus for justification.

[b]Other Truths to Consider[/b]

If this scripture (verse 8 ) is understood to teach that Jesus just covers our sins and is not efficient to sanctify us inwardly in all parts, then you have trampled already on the blood of the everlasting covenant. It is to say that Jesus is presently here and able to heal all our diseases, but even as people go to reach out to Him to receive some virtue flowing from Him their sickness is only suspended outwardly and under their body lies festering poisonous viruses that will not be removed until they die. No, when God heals, He heals to the uttermost removing all leprosy, and when God saves He saves to the uttermost.

If this scripture (verse 8 ) definitely confines under indwelling sin, then what will cleanse all our sin? Death is not able to purify us, and get rid of the indwelling sin. According to the following verse it is the “blood of Jesus that cleanses us (presently) from all sins and all unrighteousness,”

To further clarify, the ‘we have no sin’ has a different meaning than what is normally understood. It does not at all imply the act of sin, but instead it is the idea of guilt when examining the original language. This knowledge throws in a new spin on the whole text. In light of this, the verse could be interpreted to say, those ‘who say they have no guilt are deceived and the truth is not in them.” This view is clearly seen through the Greek word picture that only John uses in his writings and can be found to be used by no one else is the New Testament. Daniel Steele better explains the text in the following exposition,

“Bishop Westcott, the great English scholar, whose commentary on this Epistle [of First John], on which he spent most of his life, takes rank with the commentaries of Bishop Lightfoot, as most thorough and exhaustive, exceeding even German accuracy, and used by German professors themselves -- this exegete proves beyond all contradiction that the phrase, "to have sin," used only in two other texts in the Bible (John 9:41,15:22, 24) [I have quoted 9:41 earlier, here is John 15:22 ‘If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.’ and John 15:24 ‘If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.’], and only in John's writings, always signifies, not a guiltless evil tendency, but guilt. "Like corresponding phrases, to have faith, to have life, to have grief, to have fellowship, it marks the presence of something which is not isolated, but a continuous source of influence. It is distinguished from 'to sin,' as the sinful principle is distinguished from the sinful act itself." "To have sin" includes the idea of "Personal Guilt." Bengel says, "not to have sin denies guilt." With this light thrown upon the text, let us read it again: "If we say that we have no personal guilt at the present moment, although the blood of Jesus Christ has just this hour cleansed us from all sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." According to this, every testimony to the remission of the guilt of sin is a deception and a falsehood.”

That little bit of light changes the whole meaning of the text and not because we have added to it, but because a proper exegete shows that this is the true meaning of the author.

[b]Objections Answered[/b]

No matter what the objections to this doctrine of Christian Perfection are, and no matter which new ones come forth, it is plain to see that whatever might be designed by antinomians or whatever is constructed by mislead believers to make these passages say that this I Epistle of John is confining and restricting all under sin, we know (As I’ve previously discussed) that this is not so. To condescend and accept such a teaching would be to destroy the three legs that hold up this epistle: 1.) John’s purpose in writing the Epistle: “I write to you that ye sin not,” and against Antinomian heretics like Gnostics, 2.) to the context of chapter, and 3.) The pure and strict doctrine which he enforces in the rest of the Epistle which is mainly that light and darkness are separate, and that righteousness and sin are as far apart from each other as Jesus and Satan. But for the sake of clarity, let’s discuss some common objections.

“ All Greek Scholars state that this ‘we’ is in the present tense, therefore sin is in John and all believers through indwelling sin.” This is not true since I have quoted some scholars that do not believe that. “To have sin” is not an act of sin, but guilt. Guilt must be admitted by Pharisee, Publican, and any other type of sinner before he can come to Christ. If not their ‘sin’ or ‘guilt’ remains as Jesus stated in John 9:41. As I have already brought out, this clearly shown along with the very words of Jesus in the Greek word picture that is found only in two places in the New Testament: in John’s gospel and in his Epistle.

To further answer this good question, I would I would like to draw your attention the original language. Anyone that is familiar with Greek, would know that the ‘present tense’ in the Greek is not the same type of present tense we use in the English language. Actually, it is very different. It actually expresses a ‘present continuous’ action and not a single act. This would causes a huge problem since the rest of the epistle rebukes all continuous acts of sins, and according to this bad exegete, John would be saying “He who says he has no ‘present continual’ sin is deceived and the truth is not in him.” This is horrible, especially since he says to not be deceived, “he who does righteousness is a righteous as He is righteous, He who sins (continually) is of the devil!” This is utterly ridiculous as you can see. The present tense in fact brings more support to those who believe that verse 8 says “if we (continue to) say we have no sin (guilt) are deceived.”

Further, the word is not even a verb! What?!?! Most will say, that is right the word “αμαρτιαν266 N-ASF” is parced not as a verb but a noun. Now what does that mean? That means that the phrase “to have no sin” is a thing, and is describing not continual present acts of sin but instead it is describing a sin principal, indwelling sin, or the principal of guilt. This means that John, like all believers, is rightly expressing that he was guilty of crucifying the Lord of glory but not stating that he was indwelled by sin or committing sin outwardly. Truthfully, because we all have sinned in times past, and because of our sins it is that the Lord of Glory died. It was our fault! When there is a full acknowledgment of personal guilt, then the Lord cleanses from all sins and guilt, so that their no longer remains condemnation for those in Christ Jesus! We could and should say, ‘we all have guilt (to have sin)’ and remain without sinning that very moment. Which leaves room for the possibility in the rest of their lives to be without acts of sin. This many of the Greek scholars know, but will not point out to the public because of their bias. But praise God that the scripture is still God’s words not men’s!


“The Apostle John includes himself under category of those who still do sin.” This is absurd with such light that has been shed abroad on the subject already. John has not admitted to acts of sin, but instead the very opposite: that he is in perfect love and that he keeps all of God’s commandments. The only claim that can be rightly attributed to John by those who oppose this view is that John is admitting guilt of having sinned in times past, and not in the present. John was a holy man and would not live contrary to his own writings; He loved God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength.

“This scripture proves perfection impossible.” This is not true since the premise is wrong. To say he was in acts of sin in verse 8 is incorrect. He said no such thing. In fact, he states the opposite throughout the whole epistle and is one of the strongest advocates of perfect holiness in the whole New Testament. He constantly talks about the perfect love that God gives and of the one we return to him. Love is that moral action of God towards all his creatures, and we can exemplify and be imitators of God in love.

“For anybody to claim they have no sin implies they are deceived.” This point also falls apart because it is based on a false premise that implies that John is in sin in verse 8. The only ones that are deceived are those who never admit their guilt and need for a suffering Savior to atone for their sins and unrighteousness. These types of people exist amongst us today. People like the Christian Scientist’s deny sin and original sin, thus deny the need for Jesus’ atoning blood and sacrifice. They deny that His blood is needed to cleanse us of sin, which to them does not exist. There are also many Jews and Pharisees that deny their guilt in the shedding of Jesus’ blood. They deny their guilt and wash their hands free of the blood of Jesus as if water were enough to cleanse. These will not be atoned for by His blood, and will not have all their unrighteousness removed unless they repent. Christians are not to be scared away by this fall understanding of verse 8. Instead they are to earnestly perfect their holiness, and then confess it boldly when it is accomplished in their souls, for it is as much a work of God as justification.


[b]The Motive of Misinterpretation[/b]

Why would anybody misinterpret these scriptures? I believe I have a few answers such a question which of none are fitting for anyone who call themselves a saint.
[b]
1. Ignorance[/b]- in the day that we are living in, we have many apostate teachers who go forth to discourage and poison the minds of sincere believers by propagating views they don’t even know where they originated from. Some sincere Christians hear the accusing words of ‘sinless perfection’ and they are repelled by it because many so called teachers preach a watered down sanctification message. Others don’t know what they are saying or have never really studied it out for themselves. Living a sinless life was taught by many saints throughout the world, and I believe is clearly taught in scripture. It comes down to ignorance of the ‘scriptures and of the very power of God.’

[b]2. Indwelling Sin[/b] –Most believers want to excuse sins that are in their hearts and minds. They know they are saved and justified but how to overcome such wretched filthiness within them they do not know or are falsely taught by so called leaders of their church. They struggle with thoughts of sin and begin to form carnal doctrines to accommodate their sin and state that sin is within us and will not be removed until we die. Those who know the workings and the power of the Holy Ghost would never quench or grieve Him by saying such things. Only the heart that is still not completely controlled by the Spirit can muster up such justifications and we will sin until we die. I believe that those who write such things are not writing under inspiration of the indwelling Holy Ghost, but under the gall of bitterness of indwelling sin still seeping through their members.


[b]3. Bad Hermeneutics[/b]- We so often interpret scriptures with bad hermeneutics (a harmonizing of scripture) and that is not always our fault but rather just a lack of study and diligence to look at what the whole counsel of God’s word says. We can see clearly that the rest of the word of God resists sin and stands for holiness. It is especially seen in this epistle. It is so clear that John never contradicts himself throughout the whole epistle. He clearly says that all sin, indwelling or outward, is of the devil, and must be dealt with by the all cleansing blood of the Lamb. The scriptures clearly teach that one sin can cut us off eternally from God and that if we are true children of God, it can destroy our fellowship with our Father in heaven, and eventually lead to perdition because there is a sin that leads unto death, but not all of sin does. We must with the utmost faith believe that He is able to save to the uttermost all who call upon Him. So many people have not come to Christ for this thorough cleansing because so called leaders out there misuse and misunderstand the scripture as in this case. Many have been deceived to think that inward and outward sin is tolerated by God. Many saints have had to live with the idea that there is no cure for their inward struggles and indwelling sin, but according to the word of God, there is.

[b]
Conclusion[/b]

Many have been deceived to think that inward and outward sin is tolerated by God. Many saints have had to live with the idea that there is no cure for their inward struggles and indwelling sin, but there is according to the word of God. When unbelievers and believers look at this verse, unbelievers are strengthened in their sins, and believers get too comfortable in their indwelling sin. God is calling us to be cleansed of all sin and all unrighteousness.

I would like to encourage all those who are defenders and diligent studiers of truth to really look into this verse for themselves and that they be more noble minded like the Bereans, and to not just take carnal men’s doctrines to confine them under sin their whole lives. I pray that God will bless you all in your diligent study of the word of God. I would also like to end by quoting John Fletcher, “This doctrine of St. John is perfectly agreeable to that of our Lord, who said that ‘Judas had a devil,’ because he gave place to the love of money; and who called Peter himself ‘Satan,’ when he ‘savored the things of men,’ in opposition to ‘the things of God.” I hope that none fall into that snare that the devil has laid for all of us to excuse one sin or any sin.


_________________
Giancarlo

 2007/6/21 20:29Profile





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