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 How?

During my recent readings, I have found a movement of 'holiness preachers' who are popular but they are not preaching the doctrine handed down to the saints and the results are that they gain a name for themselves but are not leading others into the pathways of holiness as understood by the great teachers in the past.

They are commendable in that they stress the need for holiness in the church, but they are preaching a gospel of self effort. Although their preaching leads others to examine themselves, and the immediate results are indeed better and more godly behaviour, the reults cannot be long lasting as the only answer to the old man is to crucify him and not tidy him up somewhat.

Worse though, they are a discouragment to those who have not 'settled on their lees' and need stirring up. These ones already have a heavy burden on their backs and long to find out how to be holy because they have tried and failed, sometimes over and over and may be at the point of despair.

These are the ones that Pilgrims Progress speaks to, the ones who are like Christian with the burden on his back. Note that he is called Christian right from the start and that he is reading the word. No-one can help him get rid of the burden and he feels comdemned by it and knows that he does not have peace with God.

A believer did have peace with God though at one time when he first heard the gospel and came to Christ for forgiveness. He was filled with joy and felt cleansed but later he began to compromise with sin and found that he had fallen from his first love and now does not know how to get back although he longs inside for those days again.

And so he tries to discipline himself and do all of the things that he knows that are his duty but their is an emptiness inside and it does not feel real any more. He wants to be holy inside but how to do it escapes him. So he reads about others who speak about holiness to find the answer but they do not help him, they only can quote scripture to him and tell him that his position with Christ is above all. But he knows that he is below all and in a worse state then he was before he came to Christ.

The answer is that he must come once more to Christ and that his failure has been to enable him to do it and to give him the strong desire needed even to cry out 'O wretched man that I am'. There he will find like Christian of PP that his burden will fall off him and roll into the ditch. It is called the second blessing by some but it does not matter what term is used other than to see that it is necessary.

He does not need anyone to tell him what he should be like - he knows his failures well enough. St John writes about this in the Dark Night of the Soul. We must be taken apart before the Lord can build us up.

The fact that he is suffering shows the work of the Holy Spirit in him and He will continue to work until the man can no longer stand his old man and he will consent to having him on the cross.

The Lord will lead every man there unless the man stops the work himself and turns away in unbelief like the children of Israel who did not enter the promised land.

It is good that these preachers increase the burden if by that means they will drive believers to Christ but they do not have the answer because they are the blind leading the blind and they do not know how to break the power and presence of sin.

Christ is the answer and He is waiting.

blessings
Brenda

 2010/3/11 3:30
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re: How?

Quote:
krautfrau said
During my recent readings, I have found a movement of 'holiness preachers' who are popular but they are not preaching the doctrine handed down to the saints and the results are that they gain a name for themselves but are not leading others into the pathways of holiness as understood by the great teachers in the past.

The great teachers in the past called for repentance as we do. The great teachers in the past told people to stop sinning as we do.

Quote:
They are commendable in that they stress the need for holiness in the church, but they are preaching a gospel of self-effort.

No, it’s called obedience. If you think that obedience is called “self-effort”, then so be it. However, this “self-effort” is commanded.

Quote:
Although their preaching leads others to examine themselves, and the immediate results are indeed better and godlier behavior, the results cannot be long lasting as the only answer to the old man is to crucify him and not tidy him up somewhat.

We are not telling people to tidy up, but to repent & stop sinning as you are supposed to do.

Quote:
Worse though, they are a discouragement to those who have not 'settled on their lees' and need stirring up.

What?

Quote:
These ones already have a heavy burden on their backs and long to find out how to be holy because they have tried and failed, sometimes over and over and may be at the point of despair.

That is their problem, when trying; they are attempting to earn holiness by their obedience. Obedience is not supposed to be earning holiness, but a response of love because they were always loved.

Quote:
These are the ones that Pilgrims Progress speaks to, the ones who are like Christian with the burden on his back. Note that he is called Christian right from the start and that he is reading the word.

Yes, however, Christian is still not saved and asking, “What shall I do to be saved?” on page 12.
He said to Evangelist, “I perceive by this book in my hand that I am condemned to die after that to come to judgment ...
Christian has not yet even come to the Wicket Gate.

Quote:
No-one can help him get rid of the burden and he feels condemned by it and knows that he does not have peace with God.

Because he has no faith yet. However, this is not Scripture to be ruled from.

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A believer did have peace with God though at one time when he first heard the gospel and came to Christ for forgiveness. He was filled with joy and felt cleansed but later he began to compromise with sin and found that he had fallen from his first love and now does not know how to get back although he longs inside for those days again.

The answer is obedience of repentance mixed with faith (Rom 9:31-32 & Heb 4:2-3).

Quote:
And so he tries to discipline himself and do all of the things that he knows that are his duty but there is an emptiness inside and it does not feel real any more. He wants to be holy inside but how to do it escapes him.

The answer is trusting God that what he feels is not the truth (if he is actually ceased from sin) & also trust God that he is truely holy. Holiness is not a feeling and no one should gage their holiness upon feelings. Holyness is a way of life being that of Christ's life on Earth.

If one continues to do his “duty”, which is faith, repentence & obedience (Luke 17:9-10), he will continue to be holy; set apart.

Quote:
So he reads about others who speak about holiness to find the answer but they do not help him, they only can quote scripture to him and tell him that his position with Christ is above all. But he knows that he is below all and in a worse state then he was before he came to Christ.

What do you mean by “he knows that he is below all”?

Anyway, what is wrong with quoting scripture?
The thing he must do is to be a doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving himself (James 1:22-25).

Yes, I just quoted Scripture, however, that is all I can do. I can not make him apply it to himself & his life. I can not make Him obey. God will not & can not either.

Now, concerning the reason for him being in a worse state then he was before he came to Christ; He now has the Holy Spirit in him so that he can't get away with the sin he did before he came to Christ.
Before Christ, the Holy Spirit wasn't grieved within him (Eph 4:30), but only convicting him from without.

Quote:
The answer is that he must come once more to Christ and that his failure has been to enable him to do it


What? Failures do not enable.
His failuer only proved that he did do what he should have done.
Furthermore, he shouldn't have left Christ [b]to come to Him once more[/b]. (this may only be semantics though)

Quote:
and to give him the strong desire needed even to cry out 'O wretched man that I am'.

If he should be crying that out, it proves that he is still not saved, because he has not been delivered from the bondage to his flesh which is the “body of this death”.

If he still feels condemned, it means that he has no faith in Christ in order to have “no condemnation” (Rom 8:1). If that's not the case, then it means that he is still walking after the flesh & not after the spirit, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. The “law of sin and death” is his condemnation.

Quote:
There he will find like Christian of PP that his burden will fall off him and roll into the ditch.

It was the cross of Christ that caused his burden to fall (Chapter 6 page 98).

The cross is the selfless, loving sacrifice on our account is to break the heart of the sinner and cause him to acknowledge his sin and the judgment of his sin. A revelation of the suffering of Christ should break and subdue ones heart and bring him to complete surrender to God. The atonement should so affect our hearts that we turn from our disobedience in humble, sincere, and deep repentance, repenting out of a motive of love, remorse, and sincerity (1 John. 4:19) ). The Atonement transforms and liberates through [b]reciprocation[/b]; when men obey the gospel of Jesus Christ from the heart because God was loving them all along, from the beginning.

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It is called the second blessing by some but it does not matter what term is used other than to see that it is necessary.

No, it does matter what term is used. The way you put it sounds as if we don’t need to do anything.
You totally take out of the picture our own volitional choice of forsaking our sin. God will not make you quit your sin, you must do it yourself. This is called the “firstfruits” of the spirit; the first influences of the Spirit, or the first influences in newly converted Christians. This is repentance; forsaking all of your sins because one is influenced to do so by the great love that was shown to him.
This is proving that the one being atoned for understands the true value of the one who is forgiving him and that he does not take this whole thing lightly.
If one refuses to acknowledge the true value and worth of God and refuses to meet the set conditions (faith and repentance) in order to be forgiven; if he takes lightly all that God has said and done to forgive, he cannot be forgiven.(Matthew 18:23-35, John 15:8)

Quote:
He does not need anyone to tell him what he should be like - he knows his failures well enough.

Yes, but the question remains; is he following through with his duty? That duty is repentance in obedience; a willful choice to stop sinning.

Quote:
St John writes about this in the Dark Night of the Soul. We must be taken apart before the Lord can build us up

This is called salvation, it is not anything after salvation.
God takes the sinner apart by convicting them of sin, then they put their faith in/on Christ and what He has said & done with repentance as proof of their faith. Then God builds them up by making them part of the “holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:19-22). (if that is what you mean by "taken apart before the Lord can build us up")

Quote:
The fact that he is suffering shows the work of the Holy Spirit in him and He will continue to work until the man can no longer stand his old man and he will consent to having him on the cross.

The “old man” is done away with at conversion. If he still walks according to his “old man” he is not saved; he is still walking after the flesh, they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, [b]if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you[/b]. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Rom 8:5-9).

A saved person puts off concerning [b]the former way of life[/b] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (Eph 4:22)... seeing that you have put off the old man [b]with his deeds[/b] (Col 3:9)

If one is still living concerning the former way of life with the deeds, he should be doing that which he is supposed to do. Which is what Eph 4:25-3 & Col 3:10-15 tells us to do; in other words, repent and stop sinning.

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The Lord will lead every man there unless the man stops the work himself and turns away in unbelief like the children of Israel who did not enter the Promised Land.

Yes, but he gets there when he becomes saved.

Quote:
It is good that these preachers increase the burden if by that means they will drive believers to Christ but they do not have the answer because they are the blind leading the blind and they do not know how to break the power and presence of sin.

Well, if you actually listen to them, you will hear them give the answer. The answer is obedience of repentance because of faith.
If one has repented, they are not sinning. If one is not sinning, they should not feel guilty &/or condemned. If they still feel guilty &/or condemned but not sinning, then they must trust God and not trust their own heart. If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things (1John 3:20).

Quote:
Christ is the answer and He is waiting.

Yes, but our obedience in faith to Christ is essential.

 2010/3/11 12:10Profile
osandoval
Member



Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


 Re:

Logic, i agree that the answer is genuine repentance and faith in Christ(true conversion or salvation). But by your post it seems to me that you adhere to some sort of sinless perfectionism. If so, it is sad indeed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 2010/3/11 13:10Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
osandoval said:
Logic, i agree that the answer is genuine repentance and faith in Christ(true conversion or salvation). But by your post it seems to me that you adhere to some sort of sinless perfectionism. If so, it is sad indeed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes, you are wrong.
However, there is a such thing as moral perfection.

This means that one who is walking in/after the spirit as to not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Rom 8:4 - Gal 5:16). This is done by love, which is the bond of perfection (Col 3:14).
Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has [b]fulfilled the law[/b] (Rom 13:8). However, A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34).

Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore [b]love is the fulfilling of the law[/b] (Rom 13:10). For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Gal 5:14). Bear you one another's burdens, and so [b]fulfill the law of Christ[/b] (Gal 6:2). but [b]the end of the commandment is love[/b] out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith not pretended (1 Tim 1:5). If you do this, you do well (James 2:8) And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God loves his brotheren also (1 Jonn 4:21).

I like what Leonard Ravenhill says about this:
Quote:
You say I'm preaching sinless perfection. You say, "Well, do you think you can get to a place where you can't sin?" I know nothing of the kind. It is not impossible (for a Christian) to sin, but it's possible not to commit sin.

Quote:
Some bumper stickers say, "Christians Aren't Perfect, Just Forgiven"; they say, "Christians are nor sinless, they just sin less." Well, I got news for you; if you're a Christian, you don't sin! You've got victory over sin! The Lord Jesus Christ came to purify us unto holiness and nothing but purity will satisfy Him!

 2010/3/11 14:31Profile
osandoval
Member



Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


 Re:

so to you what is the difference between sinless perfection and moral perfection?

 2010/3/11 15:59Profile









 Re:

Logic

What standard of obedience are you using? Is it the ten commandments? Is it the sermon on the mount? Is this your experience - that you have lived a sermon on the mount Christianity since the day you believed?

You see, most men find that once they come to Christ for forgiveness, they find that they can obey in order to live a life that one can class as not a sinful lifestyle, but they find that the day of forgiveness did not heal them of all of the damage which was done to their souls previously and they are left with certain problems which although will not stop them obeying most of the ten commandments, will not stop them from heart sins from the sermon on the mount and they will find difficulty for example in the area of lust, they will not want to look at women in this way but try as they may, they will think of sex when they see a very attractive woman or if they are faced with financial ruin they will revert back to feeling rather anxious or they will react with anger towards a brother who cheats or deceives them.

But you say you do not have these sins since you believed and if any do then your answer is that they did not come to Christ when they said they did.

My testimony is water tight in that regard so you will have to find another answer for me as I was brought up totally unchurched or evangelised in an ungodly area in a country that turned from God a long time ago. None of my relatives were believers and I had never met one till I was 23. The power of the HS though their witness led me to see myself as a sinner in need of saving and one night - the time and date are etched clearly on my mind, I saw that Christ had died for me and I came to Him for forgiveness. And in the next ten years before I was entirely sanctified and able to live in sinless perfection, my father, son and father in law came to Christ too through my witness.

Now many believers have a very similarly strong testimony and then found out that the power of sin had not been broken despite their desire to live in holiness. In fact many of these type of believers went on to be used in great revivals and they all said the same thing - their testimonies are easily availabe.

So I wonder why there is a difference in what people like you say.

Is it that the interpretation of what is sin is not the same? I have been reading past discussions here, on this subject, and those who were in my camp, could not seem to get your camp to say exactly what you mean by sin personally. For example what does a pure heart mean to you? Is it a heart that does not have any evil thoughts? Is irritation a sin?

The only other theory I can come up with is that there are degrees of service and for the higher ones believers are to have a higher degree of obedience and we are called accordingly.

When I said 'below' I meant that the man sees that sin has a power over him that makes him cry out whereas before in his unbelieving days he was quite happy to sin unless he was brought up in a religious environment which unfortunately is a bad thing unless he comes to Christ himself early. I meet many like this who are confused about many things whereas for me the change from the devils kingdom to Christ was stark.

The problem is that your theories do not match with real life for many.

I see that sinless perfection is a dirty word here but I will stand and say I am a sinless perfectionsit and it does not mean that one can never sin again - one always can fall from that state, but if we are walking in the light then there is not such thing as unintentional sin.

blessings
Brenda

 2010/3/12 5:14
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
osandoval asked:
so to you what is the difference between sinless perfection and moral perfection?

Sinless perfection is that one can't sin anymore; it's imposible to sin.
This is what I've heard it means.

However, if you can choose not to sin once, then it is posible to choose not to sin all the time. Furthermore, if sin can not be avoidable, then we can't be culpable for it.

Are you culpable for your sin"?

 2010/3/12 10:45Profile
osandoval
Member



Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


 Re:

Logic, from I've understood, sinless perfection means you can live a sinless life on this earth. I think that's the common understanding of that doctrine. So its the same as your "moral perfection". And that is heresy. If you think you can go on a complete day without sin, you are deceived, and the truth is not in you. You place a heavy burden on believers that you yourself do not and cannot keep. I hope and pray you will humble yourself and realize that you are not "morally perfect", but like the rest of us. I believe in repentance unto obedience, and growing in holiness. But your view is extreme and unbiblical, and the results are sad, to say the least. You develop a pharisaical, hyper-critical view point, in which you exalt yourself and look down on others. How sad indeed.

 2010/3/12 11:01Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
krautfrau asked:
What standard of obedience are you using?

The only standard to obedience there is; obey.

Quote:
Is it the ten commandments?

Did you not read my post? I have written the standard in it.
The standard is love.
Furthermore, the commandment is: You shall love the Lord your God with all [b]your[/b]...

Notice that it doesn't say to "love the Lord your God with more than your..."

Quote:
Is this your experience - that you have lived a sermon on the mount Christianity since the day you believed?

That's not the point. The point is that we are able to never sin again. If we aren't, then we can not be culpable for sin.

Quote:
You see, most men find that once they come to Christ for forgiveness, they find that they can obey in order to live a life that one can class as not a sinful lifestyle, but they find that the day of forgiveness did not heal them of all of the damage which was done to their souls previously and they are left with certain problems which although will not stop them obeying most of the ten commandments, will not stop them from heart sins from the sermon on the mount and they will find difficulty for example in the area of lust, they will not want to look at women in this way but try as they may, they will think of sex when they see a very attractive woman or if they are faced with financial ruin they will revert back to feeling rather anxious or they will react with anger towards a brother who cheats or deceives them.

Are you saying that people can accidently sin?
Like, "Oops, I sinned."

Quote:
But you say you do not have these sins since you believed and if any do then your answer is that they did not come to Christ when they said they did.

No, I'm saying that no one sins accidentally.
If anyone sins, they do it because they were not with Christ (in their heart) to flee from the temptation (James 4:7). If anyone sins, they were not submitted to God.

Quote:
And in the next ten years before I was entirely sanctified and able to live in sinless perfection, my father, son and father in law came to Christ too through my witness.

Why do you sin? Is it because you can't help it?

But praise God for your father, son and father in law.

Quote:
Now many believers have a very similarly strong testimony and then found out that the power of sin had not been broken despite their desire to live in holiness.

What is the "power of sin"?
Isn't the cross sufficient? Is Jesus your deliverer from the power of sin or is death your savior from sin?

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or obedience to righteousness?

Quote:
So I wonder why there is a difference in what people like you say?

Because you think sin can be accedental, like, "Oops, I sinned".

The difference is that Sin is always a willful, volitional choice; and we are all culpable for our own decisions to sin.

Quote:
Is it that the interpretation of what is sin is not the same?

Yes, you make us to be not culpable by our inability to avoid it.

Quote:
For example what does a pure heart mean to you?

A pure heart is one that is choosing to love.

Matthew 15:19-20, Jesus said: out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man.
Do not use this as your proof that no one has a pure heart.
God created our heart and it is included with the same things that God called creation "good" in the beginning.

Fact is that our heart is still good even today. God calling it "good" only means it to be useful, serving a defined purpose. This is what God meant by calling creation good.

God created our heart as good and it remains good. But it isn't created for the purpose for which some use it.

Therefore, that which comes out of the heart is from what we let come into it.
We fill it ourselves with evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies...

Fact it that we are supposed to guard &/or to keep our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23), for out of it are the issues of life.
Therefore, it is our fault that what proceeds out of it is evil...

We are supposed to fill it with good thing so that we may have a pure heart.

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Is it a heart that does not have any evil thoughts?

Yes.
However, not all thoughts are your own, until you adopt them as your own, or dwell on them to make them your own.

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Is irritation a sin?

No.
Nothing which you can not control is a sin. I can not control that which irritates me, but I can choose to not act upon the irritation (which may lead to sin).

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The only other theory I can come up with is that there are degrees of service and for the higher ones believers are to have a higher degree of obedience and we are called accordingly.

No one is responsible for more than what they are able.
Miner Raymond said, “It is self-evident or obvious that for which any agent is morally responsible must be within his control. If man be responsible for obedience or disobedience to the divine commands, then obedience and disobedience are both equally within his power. Which of them shall result is not determined by anything external to him. His own power of choice selects the one, it being at the same time a power equally adequate to select the other. That for which an agent is morally responsible must be an election; that is, a selection with an alternative.”

Quote:
The problem is that your theories do not match with real life for many.

Yes, they do match up, but they only think that they can't stop sinning when they really can. All they need to do is always choose not to. If they don't think they can choose not to sin, then they are not culpable for those so called "sins" of which they have no control over. And if they are not culpable, then why grieve over them, for they are not at fault. and if they are not at fault, then they are not really sin at all.

Furthermore, sin is always repentable (sin must be able to be repented of). IF we can't stop from sinning, then how are we supposed to repent from those sins of which we can't stop?
Truth is, we can't repent from those sins of which we can't stop; therefore, they are not really sin.

Quote:
I see that sinless perfection is a dirty word here but I will stand and say I am a sinless perfectionist and it does not mean that one can never sin again - one always can fall from that state, but if we are walking in the light then there is no such thing as unintentional sin.

I agree.

 2010/3/12 11:34Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
osandoval said:
Logic, from I've understood, sinless perfection means you can live a sinless life on this earth. I think that's the common understanding of that doctrine.

I think some believe it to mean that one can't sin again while others think the way you do. That is why I call it "moral perfection".

Quote:
And that is heresy.

How so?
It is only if you have a bad definition of sin.

Quote:
If you think you can go on a complete day without sin, you are deceived, and the truth is not in you.

Aaaahhh!!!
I hate it when people destroy that verse!

Notice the two surrounding verses of 1 John 1:8?
They say, "Jesus Christ cleanses us from [b]all sin[/b]."
&
"he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from [b]all unrighteousness[/b]."

Now, if I can't say 1 John 1:7 & 1 John 1:9 because, if I do, I deceive myself, and the truth is not in me; then why did John say verses 7 & 9?

The truth is that we can all say that we have no sin currently, but if we say that we have no sin on our record, that is when we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Quote:
You place a heavy burden on believers that you yourself do not and cannot keep.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Care to rethink that last statement?

Quote:
I hope and pray you will humble yourself and realize that you are not "morally perfect", but like the rest of us.

I hope and pray you will humble yourself and realize that you [b]able to be[/b] "morally perfect", but like the rest of us.

Quote:
I believe in repentance unto obedience, and growing in holiness.

How do you repent of a sin which you didn't choose to commit?
If you did choose to commit that sin, it means that you could have not chosen to sin.
If you can choose not to sin once, then you can always choose not to sin.

Quote:
But your view is extreme and unbiblical

Jesus said to "go & sin no more" (John 5:14 John 8:11).
Did Jesus mean to go and sin less?
Or did He mean what He said and commands what He knows we are capable of?

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and the results are sad, to say the least.

How could stopping from sin be sad?

Quote:
You develop a pharisaical, hyper-critical view point

No, I develop a glorious truth that anyone can be free from sin as Jesus came for that reason.

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in which you exalt yourself and look down on others.

No. I don't "look down on others"; I would like to come underneath and lift them up. But they have this ridiculous definition of sin which condemns them every day; making them think that they can't stop sinning.

They may have power over sin and glorify God by living victoriously.

 2010/3/12 11:57Profile





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