1 John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.It seems that if Holiness doctrine is presented, this verse is usually brought up. Reasonably so.I won't get into the whole Holiness debate (though I am greatly looking forward to the upcoming treatment of the issue by Philologos), I just want to know what the historical interpretation(s) of this verse have been down through the ages.The two main interpretations I know of are:"The text means everyone, Christians included, regularly sin, and saying that one no longer sins is a lie."and"The text means everyone, Christians included, has a sinful nature that influences him/her towards sin, [b]though he/she does not necessarily commit sin on a regular basis[/b], and for one to deny that they have a sinful nature is to lie."I'd just like to know the positions of the Church on this verse. For instance, is it true (as someone I know claimed) that 90% or Christians in the past have believed the first interpretation?As I understand it, the second interpretation is not unique to Wesleyan/Holiness/etc movements that believe in Christian Perfection, but that (for example) Charles Ryrie believes the second interpretation (or something like it) as shown in his study Bible's footnote on 1 John 1:8.Anyway, have at it :)May God's will be done in all of us as it is in Heaven,-Keith
Keith, The very first thing that comes to my mind is: Jer. 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? and:Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. I think it seems more a matter of pride and denial of our own unworthiness.
such persons must be ignorant of themselves, and put a cheat upon themselves, thinking themselves to be something when they are nothing; flattering themselves what pure and holy creatures they are, when there is a fountain of sin and wickedness in them; these are self-deceptions, sad delusions, and gross impositions upon themselves: -John Gill
Thank you for the comment, I'm fairly aware of that objection and others like it, I can discuss some other time why I think that it is an argument that holiness is much more comprehensive than we initially think, rather than an argument against the possibility of holiness, entirely by the grace of God (that no one can boast), in this life.What I'm looking for is what Christians have believed through the years regarding this particular verse. (edit: and thank you for John Gill's :) )
oh, sorry. :-( And here I was, thinking I was so smart. :-) In Him, Chanin
I don't think there's any reflection upon your intelligence, merely upon my uncharacteristic narrowing of the topic.
Jer. 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?