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KeithLaMothe
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Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Historical interpretations of 1 John 1:8

1 John 1:8
If 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

 2004/5/6 20:55Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: Historical interpretations of 1 John 1:8

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.

Quote:
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


It is simple and I am no theologian. But sometimes simple is best. :-D

In Him, chanin


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Chanin

 2004/5/6 21:34Profile
KeithLaMothe
Member



Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

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 :) )

 2004/5/6 22:11Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: 1 john

oh, sorry. :-(

And here I was, thinking I was so smart. :-)

In Him, Chanin


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Chanin

 2004/5/6 22:35Profile
KeithLaMothe
Member



Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

I don't think there's any reflection upon your intelligence, merely upon my uncharacteristic narrowing of the topic.

 2004/5/6 22:41Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Chanin

Quote:
Jer. 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?



This is the stony heart of Jer 17:1. This is why we can't give our hearts to Jesus or invite Him into it, but Jeremiah also holds the promise of a new covenant (Jer 31:31ff) with God's law written on it. Ezekial tells us quite clearly that the old heart and the old do not coexist...
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Eze 36:26 NASB)


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Ron Bailey

 2004/5/7 2:36Profile





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