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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The vileness of the saint

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You might have skipped over this one a bit but it clearly recognizes David's righteousness is by faith (note vs 6-8). Good thing too because with his adultery, murder and the like David certainly didn't keep the law, but he is certainly among the saints by faith. 

Romans 4

1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight...

  Galatians 2:16   Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Not Abraham, not David, not Isaiah, not Paul not anyone. 


 2012/4/1 21:49


This was the Love and Grace of Solomon to look beyond his beloved's undesirable features. This is what Christ does with us, we are undesirable but by Grace we are desired.


As quoted earlier the understanding of BOTH our vileness and our belovedness grows as we get closer to God, making Christ ever more precious to us.

"The nearer to God—
  the more we discover our depravity,
  the more we loathe ourselves, and
  the more precious does the person and work of Jesus become!"


 2012/4/1 21:50

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


"The nearer to God—
the more we discover our depravity,
the more we loathe ourselves, and
the more precious does the person and work of Jesus become!"

This is so true.

The more I just want to behold Him because there is nothing else worth looking at or for.

Even in my brothers and sisters who I no longer know after the flesh (and I don't want to know after the flesh), I am looking for Jesus in them, His Spirit, His grace, His character. He manifests Himself in vessels of flesh.

Wondrous and amazing!


 2012/4/1 22:58Profile

Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1089


White Stone

I will now try to answer some of the things you asked.

As for the statements Paul made in Rom.7:14-25,..I do not understand
all things,...(he may have been talking of his foremer life,I do not know.)

I DO Know, that the Holy Spirit has came to do a WORK in our lives,
through the Grace of God.

Let me give a little example:Jesus, says in Jn.,was full of Grace, (He was full of God drawing Him to Himself.,..Grace has power,.it is a Devine Drawing,..Jesus did / said / spoke,ONLY what God showed / told Him.
( It was THAT Strong in Him.)

Jesus said,it is the Father that did the WORKS.( because whatever the Father showed / told Him,He did. It was the Fathers work,He just was obedient .
Same goes for us that is the work the Holy Spirit has come to do in us.

So I do know that Paul,when he was converted,made a complete turn,was filled with the Spirit of God,...and I believe,with all my heart , and through his testamonies that he walked pleasing to God ....being Led by the Spirit of the Living God.,...a follower of Jesus Christ.

Because,we must read on farther,..
Chap.8:1,..There is therefore,Now no more condemnationTO THEM who
Walk NOT after the FLESH,but after the SPIRIT.

Verse 2,'For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus,hath made me Free
From the law of Sin and Death.(because the Life of God had came into Paul,..the Power of the Living God.)
(note,in this next verse,he says ,the law was weak and could not work the things of God in us, but God sent His Son,..and His Son sent back the Holy Spirit into our hearts,.Power, enablement,..that the righteousness of God might be worked in us....the Holy Spirit which Paul had already received.
Verse 4,That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled IN US,WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH,BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.
Verse 5,they that are after the FLESH Do Mind the Things of the FLESH;
but they that are after the SPIRIT The Things of the SPIRIT.

Do you not believe that Paul was after the things of the Spirit ?
He said, at one time in the scriptures,'but we have the Mind of Christ.'

Next verse,he says,to be carnally minded IS DEATH,But to be SPIRITUALY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE.
....goes on to say,they that are in the FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD.

But ye are Not in the flesh,but in the Spirit,IF SO be The SPIRIT DWELL
IN YOU.( don't you believe the Spirit dwelled in Paul ?)

He goes on to say, we all ,are DEBTORS, not to live after the Flesh,
Because,if we live after the Flesh ,we shall Die...but if we live after the Spirit we shall live ( or have Life )

Goes on to say, For as many as are LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD,They Are the sons / children of God.

Do you not believe Paul was led by the Spirit of God ?

As for being vile,...I never really think about that word much,..IDo think of the word that was used with Jesus,when this man called Him GOOD,..
and He said, Why calleth Me good,..there I ps NONE good ,but the Father.
So,..I am NOT GOOD,I am but apiece of clay / dirt.
But the Holy Spirit that is in me is GOD', who is WORD /SPIRIT IS
EVERYTHING that is good and perfect.

Though I be noththing,..He is everything

Am I being too strong, ..I do not want to offend,...but this is where I am

Lovingly from my very heart,

(note above,he had just said,"There is therefore Now NO 'CONDEMNATION' to THEM Who Are IN Christ Jesus,WHO WALK NOT

 2012/4/1 23:22Profile


Here's Wesley's take on Romans 7 -

"Rom 7:7 What shall we say then - This is a kind of a digression, to the beginning of the next chapter, wherein the apostle, in order to show in the most lively manner the weakness and inefficacy of the Law, changes the person and speaks as of himself, concerning the misery of one under the Law. This St. Paul frequently does, when he is not speaking of his own person, but only assuming another character. The character here assumed is that of a man, first ignorant of the Law, then under it and sincerely, but ineffectually, striving to serve God. To have spoken this of himself, or any true believer, would have been foreign to the whole scope of his discourse; nay, utterly contrary thereto, as well as to what is expressly asserted, Rom 8:2. Is the law sin - Sinful in itself, or a promoter of sin. I had not known lust - That is, evil desire. I had not known it to be a sin; nay, perhaps I should not have known that any such desire was in me: it did not appear, till it was stirred up by the prohibition."

 2012/4/2 0:21

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1502
Dothan, Alabama


"While he cries out, O what love have I to thy Law! all the day long is my study in it. He sees daily, in that divine mirror, more and more of his own sinfulness. He sees more and more clearly, that he is fullness a sinner in all things -- that neither his heart nor his ways are right before God, and that every moment sends him to Christ. Therefore I cannot spare the Law one moment, no more than I can spare Christ, seeing I now want it as much to keep me to Christ, as I ever wanted it to bring me to Him. Otherwise this 'evil heart of unbelief' would immediately 'depart from the living God.' Indeed each is continually sending me to the other--the Law to Christ, and Christ to the Law."

"The second use {of the Law} is to bring him unto Life, unto Christ that he may live. It is true, in performing both these offices, it acts the part of a severe school master. It drives us by force, rather than draws us by love. And yet love is the spring of all. It is the spirit of love which, by this painful means, tears away our confidence in the flesh, which leaves us no broken reed whereon to trust, and so constrains the sinner, stripped of all to cry out in the bitterness of his soul or groan in the depth of his heart, 'I give up every plea beside, Lord I am damned but thou hast died.'"
These quotes by John Wesley seem to reflect an awareness of the "vileness" of the saint.
Wesley also contends heavily against the "almost Christian" and clearly states that the true measure is wether one is "born again" as it is only one who has been born again that can please God in that they reward Christ in His sufferings with faithful obedience to His Lordship. The scripture clearly states from beginning to end that he who is lowly/meek/humble will be exalted by God, but he who exhalts himself will be abased by God. Having followed this thread, praying God will reveal the truth of His Spirit through it as it truly seems to reflect the Kingdom perspective. "blessed are the poor of spirit for theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven" not blessed are the righteous, because to say so is to require a work from us, not being content to rest in faith on the finished work of the cross. God has already answered our every question/need/prayer with Christ and Him crucified! tho' only the one who counts himself less than all others (hence vile) can receive it. It's simply a matter of sheep and goats; sheep will follow but goats want to lead-
Wesley illustrates the principal at the end of the first paragraph above in the "proper" use of the Law; law brings me to Christ who in turn brings me to the law that the work may continue bringing salvation unto eternal life+:)
Old_Joe, thank you for your perseverance on this thread+:)

Phl 3:9   And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Phl 3:12 ¶ 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.
Phl 3:16   Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Phl 3:18   (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Phl 3:21   Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
In Faith,
James Fletcher Whaley


 2012/4/2 2:17Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1569
Scotland, UK


A little testimony of mine basically I was a thug who was marvelously saved and delivered from violence, drugs and the whole lifestyle that goes along with it.. I did attended church for 10 years I was personally discipled by one of the pastors and for two of those years I attended bible school.

Most people go from Bible school to ministry not so with myself as after attending bible school, I walked out of the church because of what I saw going on in it. On the day I decided to leave the church I walked across the road I started to pray about the calling of God on my life and why I was leaving the church… at the end of the prayer I said this God I don’t know how your going to do it (the calling on my life) but I believe you’ll do it but I am not going back to church. The Holy Spirit spoke to me he said “you’ll be like Job”

Years later on a Oil rig of the coast of West Africa parts of my body broke out in blisters. This took me right back to the words the Holy Spirit said to me “you’ll be like Job” This led me to go into a time of fasting and praying during my time off work, when it was time to come back to work at the end of fasting and praying, I had this thought what makes a Man of God that does great things for God different from your normal Christian. In my search I came across Duncan Campbell’s testimony, which I down loaded ionto my IPod so I could listen to it on the plane. (That’s how I became a member of sermon index)

As I sat on the plane listening to Duncan testimony amazed at what I was hearing of revival there was a few words that Duncan said “Go for God whatever it takes” these words cut me to my core. I had to get up and go to the toilet with tears streaming down my face, on entering the toilet I cried out to God, I will do it God just help me…

For that month in Africa everytime I went to pray all that I could do was get on my knees and weep, during that time God made me aware that that my old man was very much alive and is so closely intertwined with Sin that we think it’s us our nature but it’s not me, it’s Sin, but at the same time that Sin tricks you into believing it’s is you…

So here is a guy who before even going to church was filled with the Spirit one night as I was wanting to be changed from the violent person he was and by a simple prayer the Holy Spirit came as physical wind and blew into me and I started to talk in tounges, when I did attend church around a month later God send a man from India, I mean the preacher traveled from India to the Pastor’s House and knocked on the door and said God told me I have to preach at your church and I was delivered from the violence, then Ex-triads from Jackie Pullenger church in Hong Kong came to the church to testify of what God had done in there lives and I was delivered from drugs, I wept so much that night as God made me aware of just how much Jesus loves me…

Now I tell you all these things not to boast in myself but to give you an idea just what God has done in me and for me, just how good God has been to me….

But after all that God has done for me, he has went one step further to show me “I am rotten to the very core of my being” By my core of my being, I don’t mean my Spirit it has been born of the incorruptible seed, what I mean is my mind, my will and my emotions which is my soul. That is what basically makes me me.

But at the same time he gave me hope through Duncan Campbell’s testimony that there is a cure for my condition, and because Job also testified “but now my eyes see you” which would say to me that God purified his heart (soul) because blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God…

Colin Murray

 2012/4/2 6:40Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860


Beautiful testimony brother, thank you for sharing.

I am the exact opposite in lifestyle but found that to my very core am vile. I was a holy roller, bible thumping, worship leading, prayer warring, all around likeable guy. What was my problem? I didn't know what was in me. The day I saw a glimpse of how Holy God was, was the day I saw who I really was, all my righteousness becamse filthy rags and I had no choice but to cast them off.

Only Christ is Righteous, Holy, and True. I have learned that whether you live a good life or have a rough life, whether you are drug free or a drug addict, whether you are a good citizen or a criminal, when standing before God we are all the same, Nothing. It took me a long time to learn this lesson and now I'm no better than hitler, Stalin, or any other individual.

The beauty of Our Lord is His blood has the same cleansing and atoning effect on ALL sinners. We battle the flesh till the day we are given glorified bodies but until then there is grace upon grace.

Matthew Guldner

 2012/4/2 7:31Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri



May I ask how you reconcile Romans 7:15-25 with what you posted?

Absolutely. Again we must see that Romans 7 is to be read and interpreted in the context of chapters 6-8 as well as in the context of the remainder of Paul's letter to the Romans. Paul is making a very strong case for salvation by grace through faith and not through works of the law. Again and again he has pointed to the law as utterly incapable of bringing about true righteousness.

In Romans 6, Paul demonstrates that we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection. We are dead to sin and alive unto God. The body of sin has been crucified with Christ. So he asks the question, how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein. A couple of observations from this passage. First, if we are truly dead to sin, if the body of sin has been put to death, if we have been resurrected with Christ, if it is no longer us but Christ that lives in us, how can we be vile? Second, he tells us to reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin but alive unto God. We are to consider the reality of the situation and reckon it to be so.

As Paul continues into chapter 7 he brings up two important points. The first is that we are now dead to the law so that we might be married to another, that is Christ. Second, he makes a distinction that he teaches in other places and that Jesus taught to Nicodemus. That is that although we are born again we still live in a body of flesh.

The wretchedness that Paul describes in Romans 7 is not that of a born again man with two competing natures. If we are dead to sin as he states in chapter 6 then how can we still have a sin nature? To assume that we have duality of nature is to negate what he said in chapter 6. This duality is also negated by Paul's own words in chapter 7. Read carefully the context of the first 5 verses. Paul is setting us up to show the utter futility of trying to do good, to be good, to please God by keeping the law. The problem was that he was trying to keep the law carnally. He was not empowered to live by the Spirit of God, but was attempting it through unregenerate flesh. Paul continues his though in chapter 8 by saying that what the law could not do in that it was weak in the flesh.... You see, Paul's conundrum is not a born again man trying his best and finding within himself a vile nature that keeps confounding his best efforts, but rather Paul is describing, in context of contrasting death to flesh and life in the Spirit, the wretchedness of attempting to please God in the flesh as he had previously done.

Then Paul goes on in chapter 8 to speak of the born again man's need to walk in the Spirit and to put the flesh to death. You see, we are not born again in our flesh. Our spirits are born again. But we, as righteous and truly holy believers, must still battle the flesh including our body, mind, will, and emotions. We must continually submit those things to God and allow Him to transform us as Paul goes on to speak of in Romans 12.

Another note: When Paul says in Romans 3 that there is none righteous we must again take this verse in context to understand what Paul is and is not saying. His contrast is between the Jews and the Gentiles. He is not speaking of born again believers made righteous by the blood of Jesus. He is talking of two groups. One who, because of being "God's chosen" might consider themselves righteous and another who might look at the Jew's unfaithfulness and consider them unrighteous. The key is verse 9. We have proved both Jew and Gentile under sin. There is none righteous.... Again, context is everything. To simply claim that Romans 3:10 speaks to even believers and points to the vileness of the saint is to create a tremendous Biblical problem for then for the sake of one private interpretation of one verse we must attempt to reinterpret a great host of other scriptures where Paul and Peter proclaim that we have been made righteous. We cannot be both righteous and unrighteous at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive.

Hope that helps.


 2012/4/2 9:48Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri



You are pointing out an important distinction that is true. There are two types of righteousness. One is of the flesh and is filthy rags. The other is not of myself, but is imputed. Absolutely true.

But when righteousness was imputed to me I became, nonetheless, righteous. Not of myself by ANY means. But still righteous. And not false righteousness that is of self, but TRUE righteousness that is of God. Praise God I am righteous through HIM. What I could NEVER obtain He has given me through faith. And I stand before Him in righteousness and true holiness. He no longer sees me as sinful or vile. He sees me as righteous. Praise God for His great grace on me who was worthy of DEATH and CONDEMNATION, but am now given LIFE and LIBERTY.


 2012/4/2 9:53Profile

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