Not our holiness but HIS, we all know HIS holiness should have a change on our sinful hearts. Perfection no, not until we are glorified by HIM. We have been justified by HIM through HIS blood, and if we are still breathing through HIS WORD and HIS SPIRIT he is also sanctifing us. His sanctification working in us. Not by our works but his. He saved unto good works. If we don't see any unto!!!! UMMMMMM.
24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
| 2007/8/6 14:21|
I think when people confuse holiness with sinless perfection they can become very frustrated with their walk.
Or very prideful as you well stated.
In Christ - Jim
| 2007/8/6 14:28|
We cannot be absolutely perfect, with finite minds we are bound to make mistakes, but we can be absolutely free from sin! Jesus is a perfect Savior from all sin.
There is no reason that a sin-hating God would not make it completely possible for everyone to be free from sin! If God wants you to be totally free from sin, and you want to be free from sin, there is no reason for you not to be free from sin!
Nothing stops a man from completely repenting from all sin, and walking in love-obedience to God, other then his own unwillingness. You cannot blame the devil, Adam, God, or nature for what your own freewill is to be blamed for.
I like what one already said on this thread, holiness is not merely a possibility but a requirement - those who are not holy will not go to Heaven! Amen! The unholy must go to hell or else God is unjust! The sinful must perish for their rebellion and their utter refusal to get right with God!
We are commanded to go and [b]SIN NO MORE![/b] That's what Jesus said. He wouldn't have commanded it if it wasn't possible. God does not give impossible laws, lest He cause people to bring unavoidable damnation upon themselves!
But God's moral laws are not the author of damnation, for God's moral laws are good and reasonable, they have the welfare of His creation in mind, they have the well-being of all in mind. It is not God's Laws the cause sin, since the Law of Love is able to be kept, but it's man's own freewill that is to be blamed for sin and for rightly deserved damnation!
But the truth is, [b]ALL SIN is OPTIONAL and AVOIDABLE![/b] What does the Word promise? God always puts more on us then we are able to bear? God never provides a way of escape? NO! Rather, the opposite! God always provides a way of escaping sin, God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we are able.
There is no moral character in anything that is not voluntary and optional. You cannot send a man to jail for being born with dark skin, because there is no criminality in it. Likewise, you cannot send a man to hell for unavoidable "sin" so called. Criminality lies in it's voluntariness!
I think it is very important for every professing Christian to compare themselves to Romans 6 and Romans 8, which describe the normal Christian life of being "free from sin".
What does the bible say? Cursed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they are dreaming of the impossible?? No! But blessed are they, for they shall be filled!! We are to be spotless and blameless, we are to pure in heart in this life!
But many Christians have misplaced their trust. Death is not the cure, the grave is not the Savior. The moral condition that you die in in this life will be the moral condition that you awaken in in the next life! See Rev 22:11
Your fallen body doesn't force you to sin, likewise a glorified body will not force you to be holy. One is subjected to death and the other is not subjected to death, but freewill exists in both! Moral character can be derived from freewill alone. Your moral character is not derived from your physical body!! And if your heart, or will, is not right with God in this life, it will never be right with God in the next life.
We must free ourselves from sin in this life. We must choose to love God and love neighbor in this life! And if we love God we will refuse to sin against God, and if we love our neighbor we will refuse to sin against our neighbor.
Our focus can't merely be "don't sin" but our focus must simply be to love. And that covers all of it. The one who sins against God and neighbor hates God and neighbor. But the one who loves God and neighbor refuses to sin against God and neighbor. Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments" and the Apostle tells us that His commandments are not burdensome, that is, His commandments are not impossible!
God is reasonable and has given us reasonable commandments. But sin is always unreasonable. Sin is always harmful and hurtful, to God and to His creation. So we must always, on a daily basis, choose to "die daily" rather then to sin daily. We must always choose, on a daily basis, to pick up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Christ.
[b]That is the decision everyone must make - [u]to sin or not to sin[/u] that is the question.[/b] To love others or to live selfish, to help others or to hurt others, that is for you to decide.
| 2007/8/7 0:34|
Runge, TX USA
| Christ is sufficient|
As has been said, our holiness is found in Christ. A reality that is present in God's promise and whose fullness will be seen when our Lord comes again.
However, in the present we are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling trusting that God is at work within to will and act according to his purpose.(see Philippians 2:12-13) I know God is able to do His part within us, and thus for me to say that present holiness or perfection is not possible is like saying the gift of God's Spirit is not sufficient.
In recognizing His great ability, however, I am humbled by my lack of it. Without Him, I cannot do my part, and for that reason, I am a bit suspicious when one claims perfection. In my mind they claim a perfect relationship with the Father. I fear and tremble too much to suggest that for myself.
In Galatians 6, Paul advises the spiritual to restore gently to fellowship those who have sinned in the church, but he says this with a warning: "But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." If he would warn these of the dangers of temptation, then certainly the "perfect" among us must also keep watch.
This may sound odd, but I thank God when He convicts me of sin. I want to be in right relationship with Him, and I know He reveals these things to me because He loves me. I repent and am saved from sin's destructive force in my life. I am so thankful for this work of the Spirit, because without His revelation I am blind to my faults (especially ones such as pride).
I believe perfection is possible. However, I also believe it is better left unsaid. The Spirit will likely prove us wrong anyway, and we will wonder why we had never seen it before.
Thank you for enduring my musings. I am no expert, but trust to one day know as I am fully known.
| 2007/8/7 3:07||Profile|
| Re: Christ is sufficient|
Truly we have been given all things as pertain to life and Godliness. We have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by which we might be partakers of the Divine Nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Truly death is not the Savior- Christ is the Savior. He shall save His people from their sins and again... Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sin (singular) of this world. Though all are born 'in' Adam and are by nature the children of wrath- yet when we sinned we could have chosen otherwise. We have noone to blame but ourselves. Paul knew what was right in his mind- but found another law working in him bringing him into captrivivty to the law of Sin that was in his members. With his mind he wanted to do right- but something in him was working against what he wanted and knew to do mentally. I believe even in his heart he desired to do right. But he saw another law working... bringing him into captivity...
I don't know if we have worked this out or not, but I have observed in life that there are short and long term desires that each of us have. If you ask a person if they want to go to heaven they will likely say yes- it is a long term desire. Yet, many give in to temptations to fulfill short term natural desires in a bad way (sin), that gives the impression that the person has NO concern for their soul or going to heaven. The short term desire- seems to be the one in which the heart focuses.
Many things bring our focus right into the moment. Anger is one of them. When a person is angry they cannot see past 2 minutes many times. They will say and do things they would never said or have done had they 'zoomed out' to examine the consequence of their actions. So when anger comes- sin is close at hand. Noone is forced to sin while angry. The moment and circumstance brings a particular vulnerability at that time that is not always there. This is how a person might act out of character.
In Psalm 51 David asked God to teach him wisdom in the inward parts. This is crucial I think. Do we have wisdom in the secret places of our hearts and lives? Does our wisdom extend to the deepest parts of our being and in the secret times of our lives? I think David was asking God to teach him a wisdom to handle the times when he is out on the roof walking and is tempted. I think he wanted God to teach him wisdom when he is tempted to [i]go out[/i] on the roof. This is wisdom in a crisis moment. Everyone is wise once the smoke clears. Hindsight is always 20/20. But who has wisdom in the heat of the battle? David believed God would teach Him this wisdom. Surely He will likewise teach it to us.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2007/8/7 8:34||Profile|
Bowmansville Penssylvania USA
| Re: Christ is sufficient|
I really appreciated your post. What it brought to my mind was the saying of Duncan Campbell "I don't believe you can get the place where it's impossible to sin but blessed be God I believe you can get to the place where it's possible not to."
| 2007/8/7 8:47||Profile|
We must free ourselves from sin in this life.
Can you explain this? For some reason I thought Jesus was the one who saved from sin in this life.
| 2007/8/7 11:43||Profile|
Lazarus1719 said: We must free ourselves from sin in this life.
Can you explain this? For some reason I thought Jesus was the one who saved from sin in this life
I was referencing these scriptures:
Jas 4:8 - Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. [b]Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.[/b]
1Pe 1:22 - Seeing [b]you have purified your souls in obeying the truth[/b] through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
In regards to conversion, I believe in the doctrine of synergy:
* Jesus has given us an "example" as to how we should live - John 13:15
* The grace teaches us to live holy and to deny sin - Titus 2:11
* God calls us to repent - Acts 17:30
* the Spirit convicts us of sin - John 16:8
* and the instrument used in setting us free is truth - John 8:32.
* But we ourselves need to voluntarily repent (cleanse ourselves) - James 4:8; we ourselves need to voluntarily obey the truth (thus purify our souls)1Pet 1:22.
Jesus, God, the Spirit, the Truth, God's grace, and freewill have a role in a sinner turning from sin (being cleansed from sin).
Jesus gave us an example, we must follow. God calls, we must obey. Grace teaches, we must listen. The Spirit convicts, we must yeild. Truth reveals, we must believe. And repentance is an act that [i]we ourselves do[/i], (it is not forced) and repentance is brought about by Jesus - God - Grace - Spirit - Truth.
These all influence us to repent (turn from sin, cleanse ourselves) and we ourselves must yeild to or obey that influence.
And if we do this, if we obey by repenting, then the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin - 1John 1:7 - that is, the blood of Jesus Christ justifies us, God pardons us because of Christ's blood upon condition of repentance - Luke 13:3
Justification by the blood (cleansed from all sin) is upon condition of our own repentance, which is brought about by Jesus - God - Grace - Spirit - Truth. The blood cleanses (justifies) those who "walk in the light" and who "confess" their sin - 1John 1:7, 1:9
So we ourselves must repent, and then the blood justifies us.
[b]More on Synergy[/b]
The doctrine of synergy defined, as I understand it: God saves man, by influencing man's freewill with truth, and man voluntary obeys the gospel.
- God says He gives man a new heart:
Eze 36:26 - A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
- God commands man to make his own new heart:
Eze 18:31 - Cast away from yourselves all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make yourself a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
- God reconciles the world unto Himself:
2Co 5:19 - To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself
- God commands men to reconcile themselves unto God:
2Co 5:20 - God did beseech you by us: we beg you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
- Jesus saves men:
Mt 1:21 - JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
- God commands men to save themselves:
Ac 2:40 - And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
- God purifies men through revelation:
Eph 5:26 - That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
- Men purify themselves through obedience to revelation:
1Pe 1:22 - Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth
Men purge themselves:
2Ti 2:21 - If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
1Co 5:7 - Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.
God purges men:
Heb 9:14 - How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
[b]SALVATION REQUIRES THE CO-OPERATION OF MAN![/b] God wants all to be saved, but man must make a freewill decision to turn from all his sinning and put his faith in Jesus Christ.
All of these scriptures simply go to prove the biblical doctrine of synergy, and are utterly opposed to a calvinistic monergism. God calls men, convicts men, pleads with men, all to influence their freewills to voluntarily surrender their lives to Him, so that they give their hearts voluntarily to Jesus Christ.
[b]GOD WANTS ALL TO BE SAVED, BUT IT ULTIMATELY DEPENDS ON MAN'S FREEWILL:[/b]
Isaiah 30:15-16 - For thus said the Lord Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, In repenting and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. And ye would not: but ye said, No
If it were God's choice, everyone would repent and be saved, God's will is not that anyone should sin or continue in sin:
Acts 17:30 - And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
2Pe 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
But it's man's choice to repent and believe:
De 30:19 - I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;
Jos 24:15 - And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
Mt 23:37 - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Lu 7:30 - But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
Lu 13:34 - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
John 5:40 - But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Ac 7:51 - You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Revelation 2:21 - And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent.
Re 22:17 - And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
God's Holy Will is not for any man to live in sin, die in sin, and go to hell for sin. God's Holy Will is that all men give up their sinning, trust in Jesus, and spend eternity with Him - a loving God.
| 2007/8/7 13:40|
Just want to insert this thought into this discussion for your consideration: the NT writings are addressed to the 'saints' not the sinners...something to think about when you consider yourself a 'sinner'...
EDIT: something to consider: what makes a person a saint? or a sinner?
| 2007/8/7 15:38||Profile|
How many times did Paul lament the battle between his flesh and his spirit?
As far as I can remember right now, only once (Rom 7:14-25).
Paul said that the things he didnt want to do... he did. And the things he knew he should do... he didnt.
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [b]I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.[/b] So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
"[b]For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.[/b] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [b]That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.[/b]"
"Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe..."
"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men."
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from [b]all[/b] filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
I think when people confuse holiness with sinless perfection they can become very frustrated with their walk. I believe anyone who says they have reached sinless perfection (and I know some! Met one on here a few weeks ago) they had better watch their back because the sin of pride may well be sneaking up behind them.
If we ever did reach a state of sinless perfection in this life, we would no longer need God's grace and mercy... which are the main ingredients of salvation.
I don't really want to open up another long debate which leads to more contention, division, and misunderstanding.
But it really grieves my heart to see Christians repeatedly bringing up the same straw-man arguments against the doctrine of "entire sanctification," or what some derisively call "sinless perfection."
Can we not at least make an effort to listen to the arguments of brothers and sisters who we disagree with BEFORE coming to conclusions and begin attacking gross distortions/misrepresentations?
| 2007/8/7 16:31||Profile|