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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Holiness Imputed? "In Christ" Phraseology

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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1572
Scotland, UK


It is possible to walk before the Lord with a perfect heart! God said to Abraham, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Genesis 17:1).

God also said to the children of Israel, "Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 18:13).

David determined in his heart to obey this command. He said, "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way... I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (Psalm 101:2).

Scripture also points out that Solomon fell short of God's command to be perfect: "His heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father... [He] went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father" (1 Kings 11:4-6).

We see the Lord's command to be perfect in the New Testament as well. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

Paul wrote, "That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Colossians 1:28); and, in the same letter, "...that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (4:12).

And Peter said, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).

David was said to have had a perfect heart toward God "all the days of his life," yet he failed the Lord often. His life was marked forever by adultery and a notorious murder.
"The Lord searcheth all hearts" (1 Chronicles 28:9). The perfect heart cries out with David, "Search me, O God, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me" (Psalm 139:23-24).

God also said to Jeremiah, "I the Lord search the heart" (Jeremiah 17:10). The Hebrew meaning for this phrase is, "I penetrate; I examine deeply." Scripture says, "For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Colin Murray

 2008/1/29 7:09Profile

Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164


Though you don't realize it, claiming perfection in the flesh is SIN in itself, not holiness! And it's heresy. Anyone who claims their flesh is sinless and perfect is a liar and a deceiever, deceiving their own selves, and such have not the truth of God in them!

What do you mean by "sin"? I don't ask to really argue, but to know what you mean by "Anyone who claims their flesh is sinless and perfect is a liar."

Do you mean:

That there is a pushing towards sin because of the flesh.

That there is always sins being committed because of the flesh. (always comitting sins)

There is always a guilt because of our flesh. (always guilty of committing sins)

We are always in a state of sin because of the flesh.


Do you see the flesh to be the same as our physical body?

Josh Parsley

 2008/1/29 11:02Profile


Hey Josh, good questions. Let me try to answer:

What do you mean by "sin"?

I will quote a portion of an article I have written some time ago:

[i]"To further re-enforce and prove the fact that some form of sin is ever present in the life of a believer, let us define exactly what sin is. According to Scripture, there are at least five basic definitions of sin. Here are the scriptures that define this for us:

1. “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Romans 7:23)

2. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

3. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

4. “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

5. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, 1 John 5:17)

Correspondingly, here are the definitions of sin in numeric order as quoted above:

1. Sin is a law that dwells in the flesh
2. Sin is transgression of God’s law
3. Sin is knowing to do good but not doing it
4. Sin is anything not done in faith
5. Sin is anything that comes short of the glory of God

Let us now take each of these definitions of sin and examine ourselves. Please don’t just read through these questions and skim over them lightly, for they undeniably prove sinless perfection to be utterly false. As you read each question, ask yourself if you’ve done or if you’ve failed in this. I am especially addressing those of you who claim to have attained to some degree of sinless perfection:

1. Have you been born of an earthly father and mother and are you a descendant of Adam? If so, you have a sinful nature that dwells within your flesh and you are inherently defiled and thereby guilty in the eyes of a holy God. (Romans 5:12, Job 15:14-16, Job 25:4, Psalm 51:5)

2. Do you perfectly obey the Law of God in thought, word and deed? Since becoming a Christian, have you ever exaggerated or stretched the truth, or said something that indirectly portrayed a false witness (lying)? Or have you lied when witnessing to someone, and a sinner on the streets asks you if you are without sin and you say you are? Have you ever looked with lust, even for half a second, at a member of the opposite sex (adultery)? Have you ever had a single impure thought? Have you ever desired to have something that does not belong to you or even entertained the thought of desiring it (covetousness)? Have you ever called somebody a “fool” or “idiot”, or any other insulting name, out of the least degree of anger (which is murder)? Have you even entertained the thought of doing it? Have you accidentally taken a pen, paperclip, or any other item that does not belong to you and failed to make restitution (stealing)? Have you kept the Sabbath holy? Have you perfectly honored your parents in everything you do and say? Have you ever done anything, even the smallest of actions, or said the simplest of words, with regard to how it will benefit you yourself supremely rather than how it will benefit God, or done anything that disobeys any single command of scripture (1st commandment)? Have you ever made a single decision out of self-will? How about loving the Lord with all your heat, mind, soul and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself? Have you totally, completely, absolutely and perfectly done that since becoming a Christian? Or have you made the slightest decision or thought the smallest thought of getting some kind of personal benefit out of something rather than your neighbor in your stead? If you are truthful, you must certainly admit your guilt in the eyes of God, at least in thought or word.

3. Have you ever not done something you know you should have done, since becoming a Christian? Did you know something to be the good thing to do, or the best thing to do, but you failed to do it? Have you always done all the good you can, in all the ways you can, by all the means you can, to all the people you can, in all the places you can, as long as you ever can? Or have you failed in this? If you’ve failed in this, you must certainly admit your sin before God, or else you deceive yourself.

4. Have you always had perfect faith before God? Have you ever doubted a single promise of scripture? Have you always done everything you have ever done since becoming a Christian in perfect, unwavering faith? Have you ever prayed for the sick and thought within your heart that they will not be healed because of your unbelief? Have you ever attempted to ask something in prayer that God promises in His word but thought within your heart of hearts that He won’t answer? Is every thought that you think a thought of perfect faith, in full conformity to the glory of God? If you don’t admit to your present imperfections in this, then you are obviously blind and fooled. You are certainly guilty of sin in the eyes of God.

5. Since becoming a Christian (or attaining to “perfection“ if you claim to have done), have you done anything that comes short of the goodness and glory of God? Have you thought a single thought that Christ Himself wouldn’t think? Have you spoken a single word that Christ Himself wouldn’t speak? Have you done a single thing that Christ Himself wouldn’t do? Or are you so deceived as to honestly think you currently meet the standards of God’s glory? Remember, anything, anything at all, that comes short of the perfect glory of God is sin. Unless you are deceived, you must certainly admit your present guilt.

And, on top of these questions, ask yourself if you have ever thought a single thought that God would consider foolish? As it is written: “The thought of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9). Even thinking something foolish is sin. Do you honestly claim to be able to walk in such a state as to never think a single thought that God would consider foolish? Therefore, offending any single one of the points listed above even in just a brief thought is considered sin in the eyes of a perfectly holy and righteous God who can read and see your thoughts just as clearly as He can your outward actions."[/i]

Do you see the flesh to be the same as our physical body?

No, not neccesarily; Although "the flesh" as the Scriptures use the term, is intricately linked with our physical bodies, which are yet unredeemed in totality.
The physical body is not sinful, Adam had that when he was yet sinless. But when sin entered, it became a part of his fallen nature, and he became a morally depraved being who begat many sons in his image, an image of corruption that all who come into the world retain to this day. Man became spiritually blind and dead. He lost the spiritual image of God in which he was created, and adopted a carnal creature, half beast, fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and half devil, hell-bent on evil and under the control of the wicked one.

At regeneration, bless God, we receive the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of Holiness, and He dwells within our hearts by faith and we are at that very instant sanctified unto the Father. But this does not change the fact that the flesh (and the "law of sin" that dwells within our fallen earthly bodies) is still there, groaning for perfect, final redemption, which will be given us when the work of redemption is finalized, at the resurrection of the dead (and this we see the great imporantance of the doctrine of the resurrection, and perhaps why the Apostle Paul preached it every where he went).

The two natures of the saint, the flesh and the Spirit, are at war with each other:

[i]Gal 5:17-For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.[/i]

This is why the saint must crucify the flesh, taking up the cross every day, denying himself every day, and letting the resurrection power of Christ empower him to walk in habitual and practical righteousness.

 2008/1/30 1:12

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1572
Scotland, UK


It is essential that we understand this to enable us to apprehend the ‘workings’ of Entire Sanctification and how to obtain it. Here is a danger zone concerning interpretation, and Satan has capitalised on it by bringing confusion over the old man, the old self and the crucified life. Paul clearly shows us in these verses in Romans 7 that the ‘I’ or ‘Self’ is something different from the Sin Nature. It was the Old Man, the sin nature, that was crucified on the cross ‘with Him’ Romans 6:6b – not ‘Self’. The crucified dying-to-self-life has to be applied (our part) before the Lord can deliver us from the Sin Nature

Colin Murray

 2008/1/30 8:05Profile

Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164


Thanks for clarifying.

Josh Parsley

 2008/1/30 10:38Profile

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3708


We are divided in spirit, soul and the flesh body.

Hbr 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Who's Spirit do we as born again believers, now have?

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

This Spirit cannot sin, because it is His Spirit that dwells in us.

1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and He cannot sin, because he is born of God.

What part of the Human being is it that cannot sin? The Spirit because it is the Incorruptable Seed of the Father Jesus Christ Himself that is our Spirit.

So, our Spirit which is the Spirit of Christ cannot sin.

What is the next portion of a man, that is body, soul, and spirit, that God is dealing with?

The Soul-Mind. This is where the Mind of Christ dwells, this is where the Holy Spirit teaches us the Mind of Christ.

1Cr 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who teaches us this mind of Christ and how we are to renew our old mind to this New Mind of Christ?

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.

How are all things brought into the renewing of our mind to all that is righteousness?

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Who teaches us this righteousness that we have been made by the Christ that is in us.

Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing (Holy Spirit) teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

Now that we know that we are perfect in Spirit and being made perfect in the Soul-Mind, where do the sins of the flesh come from.

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 1:7-10 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

So how do we reconcile this sin in first John, with the "cannot sin" in 1 John 3: 9?

First of all we know that Jesus Christ cannot sin and it is His Spirit that dwells in us.

The Spirit; Perfect. The Soul-Mind being made perfect is where the Holy Spirit Teacher dwells.

Then the Flesh is the only place a man can sin.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

What does this say, "if any man sin", here it is. "If any man sin", this is where the sins of the flesh are. A man may sin, that is the flesh sins of the believer, this is where we need an Advocate with the Father which is Jesus Christ the Righteous.

Now in the flesh we can be forgiven and must run to the Advocate, Jesus Christ and His Propitiation with the Father. The Father is who we must confess the sins of the flesh to and then what happens?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The end being, in the Spirit we cannot sin, In the Soul-Mind we are being taught not to sin by the Mind of Christ, through the Holy Spirit teaching, but if the Mind given to the Flesh, it will sin.

So we can separate the sins of the flesh from the Spirit that cannot sin and understand how we are to become perfect.

Colossians 1:27-29 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

As Paul, not that I have attained it but that is what I press on toward, that is the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-16 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 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. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Let us press toward the mark, that is, "be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect". Keeping our minds on the thing of the Spirit, not the things of the flesh and its sin.

Rom 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Do we sin? Probably. Do we have to sin? No.
Are we Sinners in Christ Jesus? No. In the Flesh still, yes.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord: Phillip


 2008/1/30 22:02Profile

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