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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Anyone got clarity on habitual sin and salvation?

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

 Re:

Quote:
1John 3:6 (KJVS) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1John 3:8 (KJVS) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1John 5:18 (KJVS) We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

I had picked out these verses and promised to return to look at 1 John 3:8.

Young's renders this:“he who is doing the sin, of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth sin; for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil;” (1John 3:8, YNG) That 'doing' is the word translated 'commits' in the KJV. It is a general purpose Greek word: Strongs 4160. poieo which can be translated 'to do' 'to work' 'to execute a function'. What is interesting here is the way it describes Satan as the one, who from the beginnings, 'does/performs sin'. There are other attributes of Satan, which are said to be 'from the beginning' eg “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44, KJVS) This plainly speaks, not of a single act of sin but, of a whole disposition of sin. We have the same idea as the earlier verse that we are reading of someone whose 'characteristic' is that he sins. Just as the reference in Mark to "John, the one baptising' might be translated as "John, the Baptiser". Here we are reading of "Satan, the Sinner" and the one whose life is characterised by the same characteristic or disposition is described as being 'of Satan'. ("of" in this way is one of John's ways of identifying the source: “Whosoever is born [u]of God[/u] doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born [u]of God[/u]. In this the children [u]of God[/u] are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not [u]of God[/u], neither he that loveth not his brother. Hereby” (1John 3:9-10,16, KJVS)This raises a question about a Ray Comfort concept. If you listen to his methods of sensitising someone to their own sin Ray Comfort asks the question "Have you ever lied?" The answer, of course, will always be 'yes' from which point Ray seems to conclude that the person is now a self-confessed liar. (If I have mistaken him here, please correct me) My question is "does one sin make a person a sinner?" It is something of the old question does sin make me a sinner or did I sin because I was a sinner? There is an old English saying "one swallow does not a summer make" but does one sin make a person a sinner. The word 'sinner' is not used as frequently in the NT as we sometime think (Matt. 9:10-11,13; 11:19; 26:45; Mark 2:15-17; 8:38; 14:41; Luke 5:8,30,32; 6:32-34; 7:34,37,39; 13:2; 15:1-2,7,10; 18:13; 19:7; 24:7; John 9:16,24-25,31; Rom. 3:7; 5:8,19; 7:13; Gal. 2:15,17; 1Tim. 1:9,15; Heb. 7:26; 12:3; James 4:8; 5:20; 1Pet. 4:18; Jude 1:15) and it is frequently used to distinguish someone who is distinctively a 'sinner'; a notorious sinner. To me one of the most significant verses is “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19, KJVS) At the risk of opening up again the whole question of 'original sin' this plainly states that 'many' sinners came from 'one' sin.

I am not trying to minimize the seriousness of 'sins' but I am trying to understand what the Bible teaches about 'sinner-hood'. In my youth a learned to dance, I have danced, I still have the power to dance. BUT I do not dance. Am I a dancer? Is it true, as is so often said, the Christians are 'just saved sinners' or does regeneration have a radical effect upon the nature? In my unregenerate state I sinned, I have sinned, I still have the power to sin BUT am I what the Bible means by a "sinner". Is my identifying characteristic and disposition still to be described as 'a sinner' or am I now a 'saint'?

My conviction is that only genuine regeneration can effect this change and someone who 'characteristically' continues to practise his 'sinner-hood' must re-examine these passages in John's letter. John's letter was written as a specific time in history when the visible church was sliding into decadence (before the end of the first century, approx 60 years after Pentecost). This 'church' had begun to experience 'textualism' in the sense that they were making 'biblical statements' but not living 'biblical lives'. This is why John so frequently distinguishes between a person's 'testimony' of lip and a person's 'testimony' of life. "if we say... and do not". Can I remind folks that the Greek present tense is more akin to our 'present continuous' tense. The man or woman whose pattern of life, not a single transgression, is that they 'are committing sin' is 'of the devil, for that is his disposition and characteristic behaviour.“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1John 3:8, KJVS)

“he who is doing the sin, of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth sin; for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil;” (1John 3:8, YNG)I hope you are beginning to see the pattern in these 1 John verses...


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/8 4:03Profile
beenblake
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Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re:

Dear habakkuk3,

Quote:
We can be free from sin by the blood of Jesus, not because we're trying harder.



I agree. We need Jesus, not once, but always.

Blake


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Blake Kidney

 2005/11/8 8:20Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
1John 3:6 (KJVS) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1John 3:8 (KJVS) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1John 5:18 (KJVS) We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

I think we can turn to the last of these 1 John references now. It's interesting to note that there is no speculation in this verse...'we know...' 1 John is full of such certainties. On occasion he produces the wonderful statement 'we know that we know...'. John says that we know that 'one having been born 'of God' is not sinning'. Remembering the sense of continuation in the Greek present tense, it is a plain statement of truths which have been encountered earlier in the book. The 'having been born of God one' is not a 'sinning one'.

The next phrase is significant. The one 'having been born of God' This word 'keep' is often used in the sense of the sense of “preserve” in a number of different contexts. Keeping the faith is indicated in 2Ti. 4: 7. trereO refers to believers being kept or preserved for the coming of the Lord, the eternal inheritance for the people of God (1Th. 5:23; 1Jo. 5:18; Jude 1: 1; 1Pe. 1: 4).

Jude 1:21 contains the commandment to keep oneself in the love of God. In Rev. 3:10, the risen Christ promises to keep the church at Philadelphia safe from the “hour of trial” that will come upon the whole world. This is in response to their faithful endurance in obedience to his command. Several texts also indicate God’s intention to preserve the wicked for the day of judgment (cf. 2Pe. 2: 4, 9; 3:7; Jude 1:13). The command to keep oneself pure is found in 1Ti. 5:22; Jam. 1:27; and the instruction to maintain the unity of the Spirit in Eph. 4: 3.
Renn's Expository Dictionary of Bible Words It has the sense of 'keeping as with a garrison. This is not a passive existence in which one just floats through life in a state of 'not sinning' but demands energetic response to God's keeping power. I am often brought back to Paul's simple testimony 'when I became a man, I put away childish things'. There is a strong sense of personal responsibility here. It is absolutely compatible with John's emphasis on 'abiding' which continues throughout this book. 1John 2:6 (KJVS) He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. and also [1John 2:6,10,14,17,19,24,27-28; 3:6,9,14-15,17,24; 4:12-13,15-16;] The conflict is not over, we are required to be vigilant and awake at our post; but the expectation is that the one having been 'born of God' will not be a 'sinning one'


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/8 10:15Profile
Forevidence
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Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 711
Riverside

 Re:

I recommend listening to a sermon I just recently listened to by Charles G. Finney:

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=226&min=0&orderby=titleA&show=20]Any Form of Sin Persisted is Fatal to the Soul[/url]

Listen to all three!


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Giancarlo

 2005/11/8 12:25Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Anyone got clarity on habitual sin and salvation?

Hebrews 12 talks about besetting sins, that is, sins that we find so easy to commit, and have a hard time always being victorious over. That is, a sin that we commit, repent of, and later find ourselves doing it yet again. You aren't in danger of hell fire just because some things more easily trip you up than other things. Different people might find different sins more difficult to deal with than others.

If you commit a particular sin, repent of it, and don't do it again. But if you do it again, repent yet again, and get back up. So long as you keep getting back up after you stumble, and never give up, then you don't have to worry about where you stand in your relationship to God. So long as you don't remain in that sin, and remain unrepentant in regard to it, you will do fine. Don't however, think of this as a license to sin though. It's not.


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Jimmy H

 2005/11/8 12:46Profile









 Re: Anyone got clarity on habitual sin and salvation?

Quote:
Hebrews 12 talks about besetting sins, that is, sins that we find so easy to commit, and have a hard time always being victorious over.

(KJV) Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, [u]and [b]the sin[/b][/u] which doth so easily beset, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith;

Hi KJ,

I'd like to pick up on the phrase 'besetting sins' which I've come across in more than one Christian internet forum. The verse does not use the plural. I am not here attempting the kind of analysis which the more learned brethren may offer, but simply to say this: that in the context of the book of Hebrews, 'the sin' is UNBELIEF.

At first, this may be a slight disappointment to contemplate, and I take nothing away from what you said about not staying down when we stumble (or fall), however, the way 'unbelief' works, is by offering sin a lifeline in the form of us NOT EXERCISING FAITH towards the keeping power of God; or, by not exercising [u][b]the faith[/b][/u] that tells me I [u]can have victory[/u] over this [i]presenting temptation to sin,[/i] if I [u]want[/u] that victory.

In other words, if we are aware of the opportunity to sin, we should also be aware of the opportunity to exercise faith. Sometimes we honestly do not see a temptation arising or we don't interpret what is happening as a temptation to sin. In this case, our responsibility is to bale out at the earliest time we finally realise what's happening; [i]that[/i] would qualify as 'exercising faith'.

 2005/11/8 13:38
habakkuk3
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Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

Amen Dorcas,

My pastor describes faith as a verb, as an active thing.

Quote:
I can have victory over this presenting temptation to sin, if I want that victory.

You're sounding much like William Law here and I wholeheartedly agree.

In order to get victory over sin, we must make a conscious and intentional choice to choose not to sin.

As far as whether it's related to unbelief, I don't know. I see it a bit broader because the same word is used throughout the New Testament but I'll defer to the Greek scholars on that one.


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Ed Pugh

 2005/11/8 14:44Profile
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Posts: 9192
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 Re:

Blake,

Quote:
Many people say that Paul's thorn was a physical ailment. However, do we need God's grace for physical ailments? Paul needed God's grace. Why? Because He sinned. Paul had a thorn, a secret sin that caused Paul to stay humble. Paul could never say, "I am perfect." Rather, Paul gave Himself to Jesus everyday. The thorn reminded Paul how much He needs Jesus.



II Corinthians 12:7-10
7. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Where do you find that Paul had a 'secret sin' from this? That is a mighty charge you are leveling there...

[i]a thorn in the flesh was [u]given[/u] to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me[/i] lest...

Break it down and look what is being said, would a sin be given to stop someone from exalting himself? Of all the possibilties given as to 'what' Paul's thorn was, surely this was not it. Beyond that, think through the ramifications of Paul asking to have it removed, if it was a 'secret sin' and the Lord denied him now you have a very large problem in contradiction.


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Mike Balog

 2005/11/8 15:56Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Hebrews 12 talks about besetting sins, that is, sins that we find so easy to commit, and have a hard time always being victorious over.

Hi Jimmy
I'm not sure that it does. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and [u]the sin[/u] which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Heb. 12:1, KJVS) [u]the[/u] sin which clings so closely... I think, in the light of the whole thrust of Hebrews, is unbelief.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/8 17:14Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Many people say that Paul's thorn was a physical ailment. However, do we need God's grace for physical ailments? Paul needed God's grace. Why? Because He sinned. Paul had a thorn, a secret sin that caused Paul to stay humble. Paul could never say, "I am perfect." Rather, Paul gave Himself to Jesus everyday. The thorn reminded Paul how much He needs Jesus.

Mike B is right. This became accepted teaching among Lutherans but the notion that God will 'allow sufficient sin to keep you humble' is certainly not a Bible idea.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/8 17:19Profile





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