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JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
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Kentucky

 Re:

If we are speaking of perfection as being cleansed of sin, having confessed all things before God with no sins hidden, then I agree that a Christian can be perfect before God.

However, once that lust, pride or whatever comes along we must confess our sins again.

My impression from Jesse was that a Christian can live in a state of perfection before God in which the Christian never ever sins again.

Am I misreading this?

 2007/3/23 13:31Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:

2 Peter 1:10 ...His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness...

I think this verse is pivotal when trying to understand the Biblical doctrine of Christian perfection. It says that God has granted us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. When one understand this, then they will understand they don't need extra "zaps" in their Christian life in order to walk in victory over sin.

Rather, victory over sin is theirs by simply walking in what Christ has provided you by faith. No amount of fasting, praying, reading your Bible, or going to Holy Ghost filled revival meetings will do this. It is about walking in the newness of life provided by the Holy Spirit. It is about depending on the power of His resurrection to sustain one at every moment.

Quote:

My impression from Jesse was that a Christian can live in a state of perfection before God in which the Christian never ever sins again.



Thank God there is not one promise in Scripture that ever says we must sin again! Will we? Probably. However, as John reminds us: "I have written these things to you that you might not sin..." (1 John 2:1) There is the promise from Scripture: "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Sadly, many of us think that growth in our faith is measured by how we sin less and less. The fact of the matter is we are not supposed to be sinning at all. True growth is not measured in sinning less and less, but true growth is measured by the abundance of fruit one produces in their life. For this is exactly how Jesus grew in regard to His faith (Luke 2:52). We prove to be His disciples not by the sinning less and less, but rather, we are to "bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." (John 15:8) And this is what Peter also said: "For he who lacks these qualities [the virtue/fruit of the preceding verses] is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you." (2 Peter 1:9-11)

Now, please don't misunderstand me with all this. Practically speaking, both in and out of Scripture, we see the fact that Christians do sin. And with such, as 1 John 2 says, we have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus the Righteous. However, what we do not see in the Scriptures is where it is the norm for Christians to live defeated lives bound by the flesh. Rather, victory over sin is the expected norm.

So much so that Jesus said things like "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11) to the woman caught in adultery, or Paul near the end of Corinthians, "Become sober-minded as as you ought, and stop sinning!" (1 Cor 15:34) And why is this the expected norm? Because we are a people of the resurrection! And this was the context of 1 Cor 15:34, the greatest single chapter in all of Scripture devoted to the topic of the resurrection. We are amongst those who have believed that a dead man named Jesus Christ was brought back to life after three days. Therefore, how can we ever live the same ever again?

Amen!


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Jimmy H

 2007/3/23 15:35Profile
JaySaved
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 Re:

Quote:
Now, please don't misunderstand me with all this. Practically speaking, both in and out of Scripture, we see the fact that Christians do sin. And with such, as 1 John 2 says, we have an Advocate with the Father, Christ Jesus the Righteous. However, what we do not see in the Scriptures is where it is the norm for Christians to live defeated lives bound by the flesh. Rather, victory over sin is the expected norm.



I am glad you said this. Victory over sin is the norm and we should never make room for sin in our lives. I desire to live a life that is free from sin but I also see another desire in my flesh. These two war against one another.

I protest against the doctrine of 'Christian perfection' because I have heard preachers speak about it as they have stopped sinning. They say that they do not sin anymore as if they are above temptation and never have anymore slip-ups. It is in my opinion them pretending to be sinless while being sinful. This is what I protest against.

Now, if we are referring to the doctrine that Wesley expounded in that:

"Wesley was clear that Christian perfection did not imply perfection of bodily health or an infallibility of judgment. It also does not mean we no longer violate the will of God, for involuntary transgressions remain. Perfected Christians remain subject to temptation, and have continued need to pray for forgiveness and holiness. It is not an absolute perfection but a perfection in love. Furthermore, Wesley did not teach a salvation by perfection, but rather says that, “Even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ.” (A Plain Account of Christian Perfection)

Wesley did not use perfection to describe sinlessness. Similarly, perfection is not the state of being unable to sin, but rather the state of choosing not to sin. Wesley's perfection represents a change of life, a freedom from willful rebellion against God, impure intentions, and pride. Wesley also did not view perfection as permanent"

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_perfection]Wesley link[/url]

If this is what we talk about then I agree with Ron:
Quote:
do you believe you have known Christian perfection?' I would answer "Yes... ...frequently" ;-)

 2007/3/23 15:56Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
Ron, would you say christian perfection is being clean of known sins, not having habitual sin, being obediant to the light (knowledge) given you?



All of the above! :-)


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/23 16:33Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
JaySaved on 2007/3/23 18:31:27
My impression from Jesse was that a Christian can live in a state of perfection before God in which the Christian never ever sins again.

Am I misreading this?


He must speak for himself but I think you are misreading him. I have never heard of anyone who professed a state where sin is impossible. Although Robert Barclay thought that George Fox had come to this grace.

Christian Perfection is a snap shot on the route not an arrival at a destination.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/23 16:37Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
KingJimmy on 2007/3/23 20:35:09
2 Peter 1:10 ...His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness..


I felt sure you would have gone on to the next phrases... ;-) “As all things to us His divine power (the things pertaining unto life and piety) hath given, through the acknowledgement of him who did call us through glory and worthiness, through which to us the most great and precious promises have been given, that through these ye may become partakers of a divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world in desires.
And this same also — all diligence having brought in besides, superadd in your faith the worthiness, and in the worthiness the knowledge,”
(2Pet 1:3-5 YNG)The tenses of the verbs are fascinating...

1. "all things [u]have been given[/u] to us..."
2. "exceeding great and precious promises [u]have been given[/u] to us..."
3. so that by these "[u]ye may become[/u] partakers of the divine nature..."
4. "[u]having escaped[/u]..."
5. and KJV "and beside this [u]add...[/u]" Imperative

and then a whole list of 'additions' to all the things that God has already done which [u]we[/u] are required to 'provide'.

and then this glorious promise...“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(2Pet 1:8 KJVS)
...and surely that is what we want. Not sterile sinlessness alone but lives which bear much fruit... (John 15)


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/23 16:53Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I protest against the doctrine of 'Christian perfection' because I have heard preachers speak about it as they have stopped sinning. They say that they do not sin anymore as if they are above temptation and never have anymore slip-ups. It is in my opinion them pretending to be sinless while being sinful. This is what I protest against.


but, as you rightly say, that is not the doctrine of Christian Perfection as taught by John Wesley but a distortion of Wesleyan Sanctification.

Wesleyan Sanctificatin is much more than choosing 'not to sin'. His more favoured term was 'perfect love' and that is a whole lot bigger than 'choosing not to sin'.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/23 16:57Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:

It should be noted and especially emphasized that the Biblical doctrine of Christian perfection should not be confused with what Wesley taught. God bless John Wesley that he got so much right about Christian perfection. But he also got so much wrong. Instead of seeing Christian perfection as something that occurs at regeneration, Wesley made it a post-conversion happening. A secondary experience.

To do so, in my opinion, robs a believer of some of his spiritual armor, and cheapens the work of regeneration. Thus, you have accounts such as we read about in the [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=15779&forum=35]Brengle's Account[/url] thread, which is a great example of classical Wesleyan-sanctification doctrine. This view states that even though you were born again, the "old man" has yet to die, and thus you need to come to a crisis experience in which you once-and-for-all deal with the old man, and put him to death. But where this view falls apart theologically is that Romans 6:6 makes it clear that the death of the old man is part of the conversion experience. The thing we are called to do as believers is not to kill off the old man, but rather, to make sure we don't put him back on the throne. Thus, we should no longer "lie to one another, since you have laid aside the old self with its evil practices" (Col 3:9)

The thing we have to drill in our heads is that verse from 2 Peter 1 which says that we have already been given all that pertains to life and godliness. In other words, no further work of grace is necessary to purge us from sin. For that was done with the blood of Jesus. As one brother I know has asked, "How can you get cleaner after having been washed with the blood of Jesus?" The fact of the matter is that you can't. All that remains after conversion is that you grow in the grace by which you stand, to develop character, and to abound in the fruit of the Spirit.


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Jimmy H

 2007/3/23 22:20Profile
PaulWest
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 Re:

Quote:
This view states that even though you were born again, the "old man" has yet to die, and thus you need to come to a crisis experience in which you once-and-for-all deal with the old man, and put him to death.



Dear brother, I'm not so sure it means exactly this, cut and dry. Many venerable men and women of God throughout history have spoken of an identical occurence; it runs throughout traditional hymnody; Leonard Ravenhill spoke of the cleansing, Zac Poonen speaks of the cleansing, Keith Daniel does, Moody did, Fox, Andrew Murray. I don't believe it has anything to do with "the once-and-for-all killing of the old man" - for the old man has been slain with Christ - but I [i]do[/i] believe it is wrought when a believer comes to a place of absolute surrender and abandonment to God. When he finally "lays all his trophies down" and exchanges them for a cross. I believe at this point God is able to do work of grace where hitherto he was unable. It's different from conversion. Listen to Zac Poonen's "Christian Reality" message where he explains how he lived the first 15 years of his Christian walk in "unreality" though he spoke in tongues and wasn't living in secret sin. But it wasn't until he layed it all down where God finally met him and filled him with the Holy Spirit and cleansed his heart and gave him "reality". After 15 years of Christianity!

We can't repudiate the testimonies of the men and women who have been witnesses of this experience. The question, rather, should be how does one enter into this place of total surrender whereby this work of grace can abound. There's simply no mistaking the person in whom this blessed work has been done. Keith Daniel's face shines like an angel - the man is so radically different from other Christians. I'm going out on a treacherous limb here, but I'll say it anyhow: when you see a man like brother Keith, you can't help but think: "This brother has the real thing. This is what Jesus Christ can actually [i]do[/i] to a man!" It's stultifying. And Keith preaches absolute abandonment and being filled with the Holy Spirit. But I certainly agree with you - I don't believe man enters into a state of perfection where the prospect of sinning becomes impossible because the "old man" is now irretrievably slain.

This is a level my heart yearns for, a place where man can not arrive through sheer willpower, nor through pumping up his flesh by protracted periods of prayer and by profuse Bible reading which is independant of the leading of God's Spirit into these deeper waters.

My question to Jesus has simply been "How do I surrender, Lord?" What has to happen in my life? I want it, I accept it, I can taste it...but I just can't relinquish the inner depths of my being without some mysterious key. It's maddening. I absolutely loathe my sin, that which dwells within, which, at any moment is capable of breaking out into an open flame should I stop dealing death blows to my members. But, alas...the surrender. How is it wrought? Oh, who can save me from this cursed body of death!

As Ravenhill said, the Son of God didn't redeem us so we could fumble around like spiritual cripples. We should be turning the world upside down and stirring up the Jews to envy what we have.

Oh, brethren, how I feel we settle for less. What does it take to "lay it all down"? We sing it almost every sunday in my church: "I surrender all" and I sing right along with everyone else. Oh, I can't imagine how different my life would be were it true...

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/3/23 23:03Profile
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 Re:

When are we going to understand that Christian perfection comes only when we are in Christ. Nothing we do will ever attain it by anything we do. It is said, "when we are weak then we are strong." 2Cr 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. wallowing around in our own thoughts and works of righteousness gets us no where. When we, like many have said on this forum, that when we finally give us our recognition and desperate works to achieve our self interest in becoming like Christ instead of being like Christ by what God has already done in us that are already In Christ and Christ in us, then we will begin to do the works of Christ that He said, are greater that what He has already done.

Our perfecting is Christ and Christ is in us and us in Christ. What more could we do or want than to become son's of God our Father by Christ Jesus Birthed in us. We truly are perfect in Christ, we just don't want to turn loose of control of our salvation and sonship, that is Lambship.

Jhn 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jhn 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Let us become the lambs of God lead to the slaughter and die to self and be resurrected in Lambship and sonship.

Revelation 5:8-10 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Since we are already a kingdom of priests by the Lamb that birthed in us, let us act like it and trust Him that has redeemed us to God our Father, by His own Blood, making us also lambs of God by our association with His suffering.

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

1Cr 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

By the Lamb of God my fellow lambs, be ye Perfect.

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Phl 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Jam 1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

In Christ, perfect by the Lamb: Phillip


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Phillip

 2007/3/24 2:37Profile





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