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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : A discussion on can a believer live without sin

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 A discussion on can a believer live without sin

Since the Nancy DeMoss thread should be more focussed on that message I wanted to open up another thread on the discussion of sinless perfection. It seems some in this forum believe one can be without sin. It seems they believe they can have a Christian walk without thinking a sinful thought or engaging in a sinful act.

I personally do not believe in sinless perfection. I do not believe the scriptures support the doctrine of sinless perfection. The Bible tells us only one has ever been without sin. That person is Jesus Christ. The scriptures tells us that God made him who knew no sin to be sin in our place. So that we might become the righteousness of God.

Those who hold to sinless perfection are you so audacious to say you have such a testimony. That right now you are as pure as Jesus himself that you can hang on a cross for sinners.

Those who hold to sinless perfection. Are you so audacious to say that you are not impacted by the sin of this world? That you have never had a sinful thought. Are you so audacious to tell us that you do not need to repent of any sin during the course of your daily walk with Christ?

If any have such a testimony then let us hear it. For surely your experience goes against the norm of many Christ centered people who struggle with sin on a daily basis. I imagine that includes Nancy DeMoss and Paul Washer. I have never heard in their messages they were free from all sin. Even Nancy DeMoss shared a moment of weakness in her message. .

But for those who walk 24/7 free from sin and need not repent. Please tell us how. I will listen to you. But I will challenge you from the scriptures.


 2013/5/11 9:05

 Re: To thosr who believe in sinless perfection, a question.

Dear Bearmaster:

I know there are plenty of prior forum discussions on the doctrine, so I will not add to what has already been said other then trying to clear up whether you meant to say "Christian Perfection" and not "sinless perfection"? John Wesley is the most known for using the term Christian Perfection and he wrote to a sister who inquired about the meaning of the term below:

To Mrs. Maitland: — “As to the word perfection, it is Scriptural; therefore, neither you nor I can in conscience object to it, unless we would send the Holy Ghost to school, and teach Him to speak who made the tongue.

“By Christian perfection, I mean (as I have said again and again) the so loving God and our neighbor as to 'rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks. 'He that experiences this is Scripturally perfect. And if you do not, yet you may experience it; you surely will, if you follow hard after it, for the Scripture cannot be broken.

“What then does their arguing reprove, who object against Christian perfection? Absolute or infallible perfection I never contended for. Sinless perfection I do not contend for, seeing it is not Scriptural. A perfection, such as enables a person to fulfill the whole law, and so needs not the merits of Christ, —I acknowledge no such perfection; I do, now, and always did, protest against it.

“'But is there no sin in those who are perfect in love?' I believe not; but be that as it may,they feel none, —no temper contrary to pure love, —while they rejoice, pray, and give thanks continually. And whether sin is suspended, or extinguished, I will not dispute; it is enough that they feel nothing but love. This, you allow, we should daily press after. And this is all I contend for.”— Works, vol. vi. p. 752.

BTW, the following website is a great resource on the doctrine of Christian Perfection:

 2013/5/11 9:20

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: To thosr who believe in sinless perfection, a question.

Hi, Bear

Is their any temptation That God has not made away of escape for the Christian ?

Does God ever suffer us (Christian)to be tempted above what we are able to bear ?

 2013/5/11 9:43Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3348


I guess I will just let my signature line speak to this thread. :)


 2013/5/11 10:11Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


Perhaps it would make for a more fruitful discussion to draw distinctions between being "without sin" to that of being "free from the power of sin" - it would at least reduce the possibility of misunderstanding due to an unclear definition of one's conviction. Can we try this?

Please be reminded to play the ball and not the man here. This is an important topic. It would be a pity to see it terminated due to immaturity and fleshly wrangling.

Paul Frederick West

 2013/5/11 11:01Profile


Hi MrBillPro

At that time, there well may have not been a man walking on the earth that did not sin. There have been other times I am sure. Narrow is the path.

Thankyou for starting this thread Bear.

There is no man at any time who has never sinned. But there have been plenty who later came to be delivered from it and testified tio it and more than that, others who knew them testified to it which removed possibility of self deception. It has been recorded of certain men that they were indeed holy.

I could not see it in scripture at one time. But now I see it throughout the whole of the scriptures, it is the subject of the whole of the books. God wants to restore man to what he should have been. Those who are hard of heart will not see it though. I am not judging you - I don`t know you -I am merely stating a fact.

 2013/5/11 11:12

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5829


PaulWest wrote:

"Perhaps it would make for a more fruitful discussion to draw distinctions between being "without sin" to that of being "free from the power of sin""

I certainly agree with this, but unfortunately there still will likely be some twisting of words and meaning.

So I will ask this plainly of krautfrau:

Do you ever sin? A yes or no answer is all this required.


 2013/5/11 11:31Profile

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


Quote: Absolute or infallible perfection I never contended for. Sinless perfection I do not contend for, seeing it is not Scriptural. A perfection, such as enables a person to fulfill the whole law, and so needs not the merits of Christ, —I acknowledge no such perfection; I do, now, and always did, protest against it.

I agree 100% with Mr Wesley, sinless perfection is a counterfeit of the real thing…

I will leave it there and have nothing more to say in this thread.

Colin Murray

 2013/5/11 11:58Profile


I agree Paul West. Amen and Amen! I need this discussion for the purpose of edification and to know Jesus and the Father more.

I thought of the following verses concerning perfection or Christian Perfection:

"Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;"

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

"for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation."

"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God."

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

"and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

"the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked."

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

 2013/5/11 12:01


Brother PaulWest is right, it is a very important subject and one we must not get wrong. As this is the most important issue for us, it is no surprise that there is confusion over meanings as our enemy surely wants there to be such confusion.


It is my understanding that Wesley did not wish to contend over the term sinless perfection because there is so much misunderstanding about it, not that it is not scriptural. That statement is not in his sermon Christian Perfection and I wonder if you can give me a link to read Works vol.6.

He did teach that man can be without sin.

To make it clear - I do not believe that it is possible for a man to never have sinned in his whole life. I do not believe that once a man is entirely sanctified that he cannot sin again - he certainly can fall.

I believe that a man can have a pure heart and as sin comes out of the heart, and this is where I disagree with Paul West, not the other way around from head to heart, if the heart is pure there cannot be an evil thought coming into the head.

I do not believe that a man can be like God in that he never makes a mistake but a mistake is not a sin. It is an error of judgment and not a moral issue. Wesley says it as thinking more of a man than should be thought. Misjudging intention is a common mistake.

I agree with Wesley that a man can never not need the blood of Christ moment by moment to keep us from sin as it is not within our power.

I am not aware of any sin at this moment of time and I have walked with absolute assurance but this is not about me. It is about whether the doctrine is true or not. I don`t want the attention to be on me but I am willing to answer questions so long as they are respectful.

 2013/5/11 12:03

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