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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : You Can Be Holy

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Joined: 2009/11/21
Posts: 7


Regarding 1 Jn 1:8 Charles Finney said, “This verse is immediately preceded by the assertion that the "blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." Now it would be very remarkable, if immediately after this assertion the apostle should mean to say, (as they suppose he did,) that it does not cleanse us from all sin, and if we say it does, we deceive ourselves; for he had just asserted, that the blood of Jesus Christ does cleanse us from all sin. If this were his meaning, it involves him in as palpable a contradiction as could be expressed…. This view of the subject then represents the apostle in the conclusion of the seventh verse, as saying, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin; and in the eighth verse, as saying, that if we suppose ourselves to be cleansed from all sin, we deceive ourselves, thus flatly contradicting what he had just said. And in the ninth verse he goes on to say, that "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" that is, the blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin; but if we say it does, we deceive ourselves. "But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, all unrighteousness is sin. If we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, we are cleansed from sin. And now suppose a man should confess his sin, and God should in faithfulness and justice forgive his sin, and cleanse him from all unrighteousness, and then he should confess and profess that God had done this; are we to understand, that the apostle would then affirm that he deceives himself, in supposing that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin? …. This then appears to me to be the meaning of the whole passage. If we say that we are not sinners, that is, have no sin to need the blood of Christ; that we have never sinned, and consequently need no Saviour, we deceive ourselves.” (Finney’s Systematic Theology, Lecture LXX)

That is a great explaination of 1 John 1:8. I believe John Wesley also understood verse 8 to be talking about those who say that they have never sinned in their lives, as opposed to those who say that Jesus Christ has saved them from sin.

1 John 1:8 is by no means contrary to the Biblical doctrine of Christian perfection. In fact, 1 John was written so that we wouldn't sin. John also tells us that the test of a true believer is that they keep the commandments as opposed to break the commandments.

To ever use the Bible to defend or excuse having sin in your life is a misuse and abuse of the Bible. The Bible teaches perfection.

To deny that we can be perfect in this life is to say that the grace of God is powerless to save us from sin. It is to say that Jesus Christ is not really our Savior.

 2009/11/21 20:47Profile

Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


Jesse Morrell aka GeorgeFox,

The verses in 1Jn 1:8-10 are crystal clear. The meaning is unambiguous. Please stop your distortion of God's Word to fit your own false concepts. The opinions of mere men carry no weight against the truth of Scripture.

You speak exactly like JMorrell, truefaithsav, TheArminian, and NSCalvinist. Your endless deceptions with regards to your identity reveal more about you than your messages. You always misread God's Word to serve your own purpose, and you presume to speak of the thoughts and intentions of the Lord in your posts as if you were privy to divine wisdom.

You are the one who said:

I would sooner become an atheist than to become a Calvinist.

You love yourself and your false doctrines more than God. You will never succeed.

 2009/11/21 23:42Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7511


You speak exactly like JMorrell, truefaithsav, TheArminian, and NSCalvinist. Your endless deceptions with regards to your identity reveal more about you than your messages.

This bothers me. Some posters have implied you may indeed be Jesse Morrell and you never denied it, so I assume these posters are correct...

If this is so, I would like to ask you one question, Jesse. If you have read my post addressed to you on the thread that was locked, you know I am not being critical, at least I hope I am not...

My question is: why do you preach with a hat on? This bothers me greatly. I have seen pics of you/Jesse preaching and you wear a hat most of the time. Why? Do you not know what 1 Corinthians 11:4 says? Why do you choose to dishonor your head? Is this being holy?

I wish I could get the answer to this question.


Sandra Miller

 2009/11/22 9:09Profile

Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991



nasekom wrote:
I agree with what Leo_Grace said.

1Jn 1:8-10 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."
AMEN to that.
Not that we use it as an excuse to sin,no way!And yes,we can be and must be Holy in Jesus Christ!
But if all what TheArminian says here is right then apostle John must be wrong.
With love in Christ,Nasekom.

Although i dont believe in sinless perfection as in perfect in our every thought, action, motive i do believe it is possible to walk as the Lord Jesus walked. But i want to say that it is important to remember why John wrote this epistle, that there where many gnostic teachings that had stated to creep into the church, also i think John is addressing the fact not that the believers have sin always in them or in their life, but rather to the fact we need a savoir, we need Christ, if i have no sin i have no need for christ.

The best i have read, or the closest i have seen a man put this in writing outside of the bible, without falling into either of the ditches on any side of the road was John Wesley. And what we need to watch out is to say we can be perfect as Christ was perfect here on earth, the bible does not say we can, but also it does not say we can live in sin and wait til death saves us and not Christ, as John Wesley points out below, if we can only be totally free from sin when we die, then death is our real savior, and Christ merely a bandage til then to get us by. But as with everything, many promote perfection to make others conform to their view of it. my self have not reached the point where i can say i am perfect in all my ways, all the time the Lord shows me more and more i can lay away, the main problem is not acts of sin, as all sins flow from PRIDE and SELFISHNESS. All sins flow from these two, and just as an union has several layers we can peal one of at the time, we se some sin in us and we peal that layer away, and alas, a new one, we can not entirely get the whole union out but if we walk in his light and in truth the union will be smaller and smaller all the days of our lives until we one day will be perfect.

Be ye holy, is not a recommendation. But also i can sy as i believe it was jonathan edwards or Whitefield , "in me i see a sea of infinity, infinites of iniquity" and when having read how they spent their lives, what shall i say? anyway, i hope many shall find this small article of encouragement to seek more of Christ in them.

Christian Perfection

“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”
(Philippians 3:12)


The teaching of Christian Perfection causes more offence among believers than any other doctrine. Why? Because many cannot tolerate the word ‘perfect.’ Those who teach it are considered to be the worst of heretics. Some warn us that it is best not to use such terminology, but does not Scripture make use of it? We cannot make room for the devil by modifying the words. In our text Paul indicates that he was not as perfect as he should be. Some who deny the idea of perfection use this as an excuse for their own ungodliness, forgetting that Paul adds, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded” (Philippians 3:15.)
In this sermon we will endeavour to find out in what sense a believer is not perfect, and in what sense he is perfect.

In what sense is a believer not perfect?

(1) Scripture and personal experience reveal that we are not perfect in knowledge. We may understand many wonderful truths, yet there are many areas where we verge on total ignorance. There are apparent mysteries both in the spiritual and natural world we will never fathom out. Do we fully comprehend the doctrine of the Trinity, or how Christ could empty Himself and take upon Himself human flesh? Are we able to interpret all the signs and the seasons? Do we know the exact moment of Christ’s return? We fail to understand the way God works, especially in our own generation. Without revelation we would find no answers for the many questions we have. In reality we are not perfect in knowledge.

(2) Christians are not perfect to the extent that they cannot make mistakes. Errors are the result of our limited capabilities. True, we do not err regarding the plain teaching of salvation and sanctification, but we all go astray on everyday matters. How often we have been mistaken about facts and have presented them in a false light? How many times have we misunderstood the intentions of others? Do not even the wisest of Christians disagree regarding the interpretation of some Bible text?

(3) Christians are not perfect with regards to personal infirmities or failures. We often lapse in the areas of morality, worldliness, evil speaking, and even taking God’s name in vain. By infirmities we also refer to physical problems such as slowness of understanding, muddled thoughts, and loss of memory. Do we not all have flaws in manners, speech, and personality?

(4) Every day we have to contend with many temptations. The devil constantly tries to fill our minds with his lies. The fact that we are tempted proves that we have not reached absolute perfection, for do we not give in to it? Except for our Lord Jesus Christ, because we are in the flesh, we are prone to lapses and find it easier to sin than obey God. Nevertheless, those who seek holiness are always moving to higher ground.

In what sense is a believer perfect?
We have to agree that there are several stages of growth in the spiritual life, just as there is in the natural. The apostle John writes to “little children,” “young men,” and “fathers” in the faith

(1 John 2), indicating that this is true, however at no stage is ungodliness acceptable. If we are truly under grace then “sin shall not have dominion over” us (Romans 6:14.) Genuine Christians are free from outward sinful deeds … “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. 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” (1 John 3:8-9.)
Some suggest that these verses teach that believers do not sin to the same extent as the unsaved, but what support is there anywhere in Scripture for such a view? Is this not the same as saying that Christians must sin? We agree that even the holiest of men, Abraham, Moses and David for instance, committed some terrible sins, but this does not mean that there is no victory over it. Also we ought not to measure the Christian life against the failures of men. John makes it abundantly clear that all who commit sin are of the devil (1 John 3:8), and that the child of God does not sin (1 John 3:9.) Does this not speak of the need of Christian Perfection?
To answer the question, “In what sense is a believer perfect?” we submit the following:

(1) Believers have freedom from evil and sinful thoughts. Genuine Christians do not meditate on ways to carry out wickedness, to steal, murder, or lust. Evil intentions come from within an evil heart, but if it has been cleansed through Christ’s blood the evil heart no longer exists. Whenever the devil seeks to implant evil thoughts in our minds we can use the spiritual weapons at our disposal to defeat them … “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12) … “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5.)

(2) Believers have freedom from evil attitudes. The Lord Jesus Christ has called His followers to love their enemies, abusers, and persecutors. This means that they do not retaliate or seek revenge for the wrongs done against them; instead they have a forgiving spirit. Only a purified heart can contain such love as this.

(3) Believers have freedom from an evil nature. The apostle Paul states, “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” (Galatians 2:20.) Do not these words reveal that Christians have been delivered from both inward and outward sin? All true believers have had their hearts cleansed by faith, and seek to be pure and holy. They have a new inward nature that affects the outside. Instead of anger, bitterness and unforgiveness there is the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and self-control. If, as some say, we are only freed from sin at death, then does not this make death the saviour? Yes, we do allow sin into our lives, but through the Holy Spirit our consciences tell us that we must “confess our sins” so that the faithful and just Lord would “forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9.)


To suggest that Christ does not give us power over sin is to establish justification by works. But, sin no longer has dominion over the child of God (Romans 6:14.) We do not have to commit sin, have evil thoughts and wicked attitudes. God has created a new and clean heart within us (Ezekiel 36:25-36.

These are wonderful promises! But listen, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1.) Instead of looking back to the way we were, let us look forward to what we ought to be, to the provisions won for us through the blood of Christ … “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13.)


 2009/11/22 10:09Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7511


removed by poster

Sandra Miller

 2009/11/23 2:00Profile

Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2676
Nottingham, England


Anyone who can say they would rather be an atheist than anything else, has to be one.

Out of your own mouth...

 2009/11/23 5:53Profile

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