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 A SINLESS LIFE - Is It POSSIBLE?

"A SINLESS LIFE - Is It POSSIBLE?"
-by Andrew Strom.

Let me be very clear in opening this topic: We are talking about
the "inner man" here. And this is the secret to the 'sinless' life.

Paul wrote about it in Romans - John too in 1 Jn 3. Much of
Wesley's powerful preaching revolved around this one issue. And
Finney wrote about it this way: "I could not feel a sense of guilt or
condemnation by any effort I could make. My sense of guilt was
gone, my sins were gone, and I do not think I felt any more sense
of guilt than if I never had sinned... I felt myself justified by faith,
and, so far as I could see, I was in a state in which I did not sin."

Wow! Shock! Are we saying that it is possible to live in a state in
which there is no consciousness of "present sin" at all? Am I
saying that this is actually "normal" Christianity? -Yes, that is
exactly what I am saying.

"Normal" Christianity is this: Walking before God with a totally
clean conscience and a pure heart - as our 'normal' state before
Him. -Utterly clean. No STRIVING or "TRYING to be good". This
is clearly what the New Testament describes as normal. -Literally
walking before God with "no consciousness of present sin". Notice
that Finney (above) refers to this as a state of "justification by faith".
And he is absolutely right. That is exactly what it is. It is as basic
as that. -Elemental Christianity.

The saddest thing of all is that we never hear it preached today.
It is almost as though such a thing is too "lofty" - out of reach
of the average church-goer. Or perhaps the preachers themselves
do not believe it is possible to live in such a state. They do not
experience it themselves, and therefore they do not preach it. How
awful beyond words! How we are robbing people blind with the
neglect of these basic truths! No wonder so few are getting truly saved.

I tell you, this is the basic Gospel we are talking about here. It is
nothing less. Today we somehow think that we preach the 'gospel'
simply by relating the facts of Jesus dying for our sins, rising again
and offering salvation freely. -Yes, these things are important. But
what about becoming a "new creature" and walking in it? What
about the fact that Jesus came to 'TAKE AWAY' our sins? What
about a 'new birth' that utterly transforms us from the inside out?
-That actually MAKES us clean and KEEPS us clean? Where is
this basic stuff in our preaching? Where do we actually describe
what happens inside a "truly saved" person?

We have so reduced the gospel today to make it more "convenient"
that it is no gospel at all. And thus we have entire church-loads
of people who are completely unsaved. They go down the front
and pray the "little prayer", then they spend the rest of their lives
paying their tithes and "trying to be good". -This is what a lot of
our Christianity amounts to. And it is all garbage. It is no "new
birth" at all. Wesley would be rolling in his grave to see what we
preach as the 'new birth' today.

Such was Wesley's preaching of the 'sinless life' in his day (and
Finney too) that both of them were accused of "perfectionism".
But I think that what a lot of people misunderstand is that it is
the 'INNER LIFE' that we are talking about here. -Yes, we are still
attached to a "fallen" body - which sometimes stumbles - much
as we hate it. Paul says, "Oh wretched man that I am, who will
deliver me from the BODY of this death?" (Rom 7:24). But in the
very next breath he answers: "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord..."

So it is not the 'outer' life, but the INNER one that we are speaking
of here. (-Though the 'outer' will be affected, of course. We must
walk in "NO KNOWN SIN"). It is Jesus who gives us robes of
righteousness to WALK IN - in the "Inner Man". That is what
Romans chapters 5 - 8 are all about. That is what 'justification by
faith' is all about: WALKING in a "sinless life" inside. Pure white
robes - given to us by God - for us to walk in and keep "unspotted".

That is true Christianity: To walk before God with a totally clean
conscience and a pure heart before Him. -No known sin. Anything
less is no Christianity at all. It simply cannot be found in the New
Testament. You are either a "new creation" and WALKING as a
'new creation' - or you are not. There is no room for a "half-way" house.

Today, we are no longer bringing people into this state with our
preaching. And therefore I say to you - "WE HAVE LOST THE
GOSPEL". And when we lose the gospel, we lose Christianity itself.

Wesley spent much of his life preaching on this stuff. (Go and
read his sermon "Marks of the New Birth" for instance. -One of
the most convicting messages of all time). Little wonder that
sometimes when he preached, thousands of people would be left
on the ground under agonizing conviction. Little wonder too that
after Finney preached, sometimes church-goers were in such
shock that they could not speak or stand for days - they were so
stricken. These were people who thought they were 'saved' but
Finney had shown them that they were not - in the most direct
and piercing way.

We say we want "apostolic preaching" and true "Revival" preachers.
I don't think we realize what we are asking for. -Such searching,
direct, bold and convicting preaching as we have never heard in our lives.

In August 2003 God woke me up at 4:00am one morning with a
sudden insight into Finney's preaching - how he would expose "false
assurance". God showed me that I had to start preaching that way
too. From then on, every time I preached this message I began to
notice a big increase in anointing and conviction. I have seen whole
congregations of up to 1000 people stand as one when the altar
call was given, and people coming forward weeping and confessing
sin. And I have noticed a similar impact when I preach on "A Sinless
Life" (-ie. Walking before God with a pure heart and conscience as
our NORMAL STATE). But I'm convinced that there is a greater
anointing yet unseen, waiting for us all in future days.


So are YOU walking in a 'sinless life' today, my friends?

God bless you all.

Kindest regards in Christ,

Andrew Strom.

 2005/12/8 18:34
PaulWiglaf
Member



Joined: 2005/8/31
Posts: 61
Hartselle, Alabama

 Re: A SINLESS LIFE - Is It POSSIBLE?

Thank you, Brother. This is the stuff that makes my heart sing! Hallelujah, for God is (as the Seraphim say,) "Holy, Holy, Holy"!!! May God continue to awaken our hearts to living purely for Him (my youth pastor has informed me that the college [Lee University: Cleveland, TN] he attends has started a new Holiness course; wish there was one at my school).

Man, I don't know, but when we allow God's Spirit to pour down in His true form--a consuming fire--He'll continue to refine us as gold and purify us as silver...oh, that's something to pray for!

God bless you, Brother, as you keep seeking to preach the full gospel of our Risen King Jesus. Amen.

In the Lamb,
Benjamin

 2005/12/8 18:58Profile
deutsixv23
Member



Joined: 2005/10/3
Posts: 22
Plano, TX

 Re:

Holiness is not preached because as the saying goes: It takes a crucified preacher to preach a crucified Savior. As Christians, we are willing to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to hear a preacher who challenges us to live a holy life. Alas, preachers willing to expound the truths about holiness are few and far between. Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. The sermons on SI are also a great source of encouragement. Tozer quotes someone who prayed: Lord make me as holy as a saved sinner ever can be. Tozer himself had this deep desire to walk in holiness of life. His ministry reflected that inner holiness.


_________________
Albert Meyer

 2005/12/8 20:15Profile
habakkuk3
Member



Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

My pastor recounted the end of Wesley's life when Wesley was on his death bed and he was asked if it was possible to lead a sinless life. With a glimmer in his eyes, he said something like (can't recall the exact quote) "yes, it is but I'm not there yet" and tears begin to stream down his face.

I love Tozer's quote. Will have to pray over that one. May the Lord God of heaven raise up some true Holy Ghost holiness preachers who are sold out for Jesus in these the last days...


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2005/12/8 23:00Profile









 "MY EXPERIENCE of a CLEAN HEART"

NOTE: Below is a very good reply that I got from a reader about
the "SINLESS LIFE" article. But first some reflections of my own...

1) "MY EXPERIENCE of a CLEAN HEART"
-by Andrew Strom.

I have been walking with God now for 22 years. I was filled with
the Holy Spirit when I was 17 - and that was really the turning
point. It was an overnight transformation in my life. And after I
read a few 'Revival' books, that was all I cared about. -The glory
of God coming down and transforming people. I was hungry for
God to move.

Something happened to me when I was converted that I always
assumed was "normal" - and still believe it should be. God gave
me a true 'fear of the Lord' from the start, and a deep repentance
where I literally went right through my life and repented of everything
I could find that was not godly. So I was "clean" and newly filled
with the Spirit - filled with His love and power. And I found that I
could literally WALK in this 'clean' state before God - without any
"effort" or striving whatsoever. I just figured this was normal. It
became my 'natural' state - walking with a clean conscience and
clean heart before God.

Did I have to "strive" to maintain this constant "clean heart" state?
No, not at all. I simply avoided sin and kept walking in this inner
purity that God had given me. No effort at all, really. It just seemed
"natural". The Scripture, "There is no condemnation to them in
Christ Jesus" was very real to me. I could sense that indeed I walked
under a new "law" - the 'Law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus'
which had made me free from the law of sin and death.

Whenever I discovered any 'darkness' in me that I had not seen
before, I instantly would repent of it because God had given me a
deep hatred of sin. This is one of the keys to this kind of walk. I
could not stand for anything to come in between me and God.
I simply walked before Him in this permanent state of communion
and fellowship. If I inadvertently "tripped up" in such a way that I
noticed a kind of "spot" on my white robe, so to speak, I was very
quick to deal with it because I hated sin and loved walking in total
transparency before God. -But it was not common for me to have
to do that. Sometimes weeks would go by without me having to
seriously "repent" of anything. 'Clean' had become my natural state -
a wonderful gift from God.

This is not to say that temptation never came along. Of course it
did. I just had to choose not to entertain it. I hated sin and loved
God too much to indulge it. But did this mean that I was outwardly
"perfect"? No! -Just that I was inwardly walking with Him in
righteousness and "purifying myself as He is pure". And so the
years went by...

I read the book, "The Normal Christian Life" by Watchman Nee,
and along with some other Revival books, etc, - this helped me
to understand better the state I was in - and to assume it was
"normal". But I would often come across other Christians who
seemed surprised when I would share a little about what I was
experiencing. Many did not seem to live in any genuine "victory"
over sin - and seemed to be always 'repenting' with little real
result. They told me I needed to keep "short accounts with God"
which seemed to mean that I had to repent every half-hour or so.
What kind of "victory" this was, I could not discern.

Didn't Jesus die so that we could walk with God as ADAM
did before the fall - communing with Him in the "cool of the
evening"? Isn't that the whole point? -To give us a clean heart
and restore us to full communion with God - as an actual STATE
OF BEING? Isn't it just that simple?

Another thing God taught me later on was to "RENOUNCE" things
that were serious temptations in my life. This did not affect my
"righteousness of heart" before God one way or the other, but
it did affect my mind - and the clarity of it. I was no longer
bombarded with temptations anywhere near as much after
'RENOUNCING' those strongholds out of my life.

I have now been walking with God in this "clean-heart" way for 22
years. It does not seem to be an "effort" or anything 'hard'. I have
been made a 'new creature' and I simply walk in it as a "natural"
state. My heart and my conscience are continually clean before
God - washed in the blood of the lamb.

So what are the pre-requisites for this kind of walk? -Simply to have
a true "fear of the Lord", to have experienced "thorough repentance"
and also to have been baptized and Spirit-filled, I believe. -Simple
stuff, really. For most of us the door is wide open to walking in this.
Can you trust God for it, my friends? Will you enter in?
-God bless you all. -Andrew Strom.
-------------------------------------------------

2) A Reader, Lyall Scheib, writes:
The Bible is very clear about it's expectations of sinlessness in
1John 3:6- "Whoever abides in Him does not sin" and verse 8, "He
who sins is of the devil," and then verse 9, "Whoever has been
born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he
cannot sin because he has been born of God."

That verse says the one born of God cannot sin! Most Christians
I know say the opposite, they cannot NOT sin. I am amazed at
Bible believing, Spirit filled, tongues speaking, signs and wonders
embracing Christians who believe God can raise the dead and heal
cancers, calm storms, etc, but they don't believe that one little
phrase - "he cannot sin...." Seems to me if we don't believe it we
won't get it, just like healings and miracles. It is time we started
believing every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

John actually wrote his epistle with that purpose in mind. 1 Jn 2:1-
"...these things I write to you so that you may not sin." Of course
there is the possibility that we might sin because we are still
human so the next phrase begins with an "if" like it's a rarity.
"And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous." I actually believe the blood of Jesus is not
for continually practised sin but only for repented-of and departed-
from sin. Look at Hebrews 10:26. "For if we sin wilfully after we
have received the knowledge of the truth there no longer remains
a sacrifice for sins but a certain frearful expectation of judgement..."

While I am on the subject I have to mention Romans 6: such
phrases as, "sin shall not have dominion over you," and "that we
should no longer be slaves to sin," or, "how shall we who died to
sin live any longer in it?" and, "having been set free from sin."
These verses all say the same thing: it's an odd thing for a Christian
to continue to sin. The key to how we might be able to live that
way is in verses 11 to 13. Briefly:
1. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
2. Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, and
3. do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness
to sin but
4. present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead and your
members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Blessings on the Righteous in Christ Jesus,
~Lyall Scheib.

 2005/12/9 8:57
RobertW
Member



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

 Re: "MY EXPERIENCE of a CLEAN HEART"

This is an interesting topic indeed. I think it would be a good one to explore because so many have their own versions of what it means to be 'sinless'. It would be a wonderful study to look into the biblical concept of 'sinless' so as not to find ourselves in some sort of Humpty Dumpty-'ism'. What are the variables? What if my conscience is seared and I am sinning in an area and have mastered the art of resisting conviction from the Holy Spirit in that area? Another topic we should look at is what does the passage "whatsoever is not of faith, is sin" mean? Is it sin to transgress my conscience? Am I supposed to be in a state that I could transgress my conscience with impunity? Can I sin and just not be conscious of it? Etc.? What are the standards of holiness in this model? Whats the difference between holiness and discipline? Those topics are often mingled as if they were one and the same. What about relationships? Can I be in a sinless state and not be in harmony with my parents or other Christian brothers and sisters? Can I be sinless and in some ways reflect an unchristlike spirit?

Lots and lots of things to sort through. :-D


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/12/9 9:12Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re: "MY EXPERIENCE of a CLEAN HEART"

Quote:
Sometimes weeks would go by without me having to
seriously "repent" of anything. 'Clean' had become my natural state -
a wonderful gift from God.



Here is an example of what I mean about our definitions of being clean and sinless. When I hear 'clean' and 'sinless' I am hearing an Oberlin, Victorian age, early 1930's Missouri bread hair trigger perfectionism that keeps ones salvation on the line at every moment. I am hearing a perfecting that would make Finney rejoice. This means a person does not watch TV, listen to secular music, drink Coffee ever (much less alcohol), smoke, chew or date girls who do (as the cliche' goes here in Missouri). They do not lust with their eyes ever and do not covet anything whatsoever that is not edifying. Their mind is on God 24/7 and thats all they care about. They don't use slang if they can avoid it and never cuss. They are totally non-combative and peacemaking. They don't have crossed words with folk and they never allow the sun to go down on their wrath. They have one coat in the closet and not two. All their clothes are modest and no women wear make-up. Men don't wear long hair and women don't braid theirs; and if they do- how could they possibly be saved? THIS is the type of step on the crack and your damned salvation I was raised under.

My understanding of 'perfection' caused me much grief in my early days on this forum- drawing swords with folk unnecessarily. This is why I believe we need to establish what we mean when we talk about this because to me- a few weeks of victory is a backslidden state. I'm not trying to be hard here at all, but I am interested to hear others opinions of this. Victory to me is being able to go perpetually without falling back into [u]any[/u] type of previous sin or new sin. So when I have said I don't think 'perfection' is attainable - this is the perfection I am referring to.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/12/9 9:32Profile
Onfire
Member



Joined: 2005/11/20
Posts: 49


 Re: A SINLESS LIFE - Is It POSSIBLE?

Good topic! Not only is it possible it is expected of us in order to obtain salvation. Sin literally means to be separated from God. Without exercising our faith in Him we are separated from Him. Cleanness was mentioned and that is so true. We confuse the process of sanctification as being still sinful. The fact of the Holy Spirit doing a number on us doesn't mean that we are sinful.

 2005/12/9 10:34Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

RobertW's

Quote:
It would be a wonderful study to look into the biblical concept of 'sinless' so as not to find ourselves in some sort of Humpty Dumpty-'ism'.

It is interesting that the Bible never speaks of sinless-ness. It is also interesting that the only person specifically declared to be 'without sin' is Christ Himself.John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is [u]without sin[/u] among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet [u]without sin[/u].

Heb. 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time [u]without sin[/u] unto salvation. Room for thought?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/12/9 10:53Profile
jimbob
Member



Joined: 2005/9/25
Posts: 131


 Re:

Quote:

Onfire wrote:
Good topic! Not only is it possible it is expected of us in order to obtain salvation.



Onfire,

The above statement is the line of reasoning that seperates Reformed believers from Arminian believers.

As a reformed type, I believe nothing is expected of us but faith in Christ, and that that faith is itself a gift from God.

I can concure with the article by Andrew Strom, although I think he downplays his sin by saying he "inadvertently trips up".

So I believe sanctification is a result of salvation, not something we do to obtain it.

 2005/12/9 11:07Profile





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