Etikettarkiv | sinless

Was Paul not yet morally perfect according to Phil. 3:12?

goalPhil. 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. 

The context for this verse is the RESURRECTION of our bodies, and that’s important to keep in mind. If we don’t understand that it’s about the resurrection, there is a risk we might misunderstand Paul and believe that he is talking about a moral perfection and that he has failed to live morally upright here on earth. Paul doesn’t talk about moral perfection but about a bodily perfection, because as long as we remain in our earthly bodies we must accept that we are not physically perfect but actually rather weak and fragile. Our goal is to one day enter the kingdom of God, and get new glorified bodies. Jesus asked us to be perfect (which you can read more about here), and naturally Paul wouldn’t argue against his Master.

Phil. 3:2 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 

Those who are the circumcision (of the heart) are those who worship God in spirit, and that is in contrast to those who obey their flesh. Only those who worship God in spirit will one day inherit the kingdom of God, so this is a condition for salvation.

Phil. 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, BLAMELESS (”found blameless”, NASB). 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

The problem with the pharisees was that they were not clean on the inside but only on the outside, and Paul counted himself as a pharisee who was eager to obey God and his laws (as he understood them).  Even if Paul was a learned man with a good reputation, he feels that  such worldly glory isn’t worth anything in comparison to what he has found in Jesus Christ. We are told to not love the world or anything in it, but we are supposed to live our lives for Christ and his kingdom. Naturally Paul doesn’t suggest that it’s now less important to be faithful to God compared with before.

Phil. 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,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:

Paul’s aim is to win Christ and be found in him, and that means that he has to move forward and leave the   Jewish ceremonial laws behind him and put his faith in Jesus Christ. The eternal life that Jesus offers is by faith   (evidenced by obedience from the heart) and one is not saved only because he is born a jew and circumcised. Paul says again, in Phil. 3:2, that those are circumcised who worship God in spirit, and who rejoice in him. If we have sinned (and we have), we are not able to be cleansed and righteous in ourselves but we rely on righteous blood shed for our sake. We can be righteous if we confess our sins and repent, because then we become cleansed from our sins in the precious blood of Jesus. Paul makes a difference between works of the law (the entire Torah with its 613 laws) and obedience to God.

Phil. 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.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.13 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,14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Above is the direct context to v. 12. It’s about the resurrection of the dead, which is the goal for Paul, and when he writes to the Philippians he hasn’t reached this goal yet. Paul presses forward towards the prize, but he still calls himself PERFECT, and shows that he isn’t the only one being perfect.

Phil. 3:15 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.16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Paul isn’t physically perfect, but he is morally and spiritually perfect.  He asks us to walk by the same rule, based on  perfection.

Phil. 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.(NASB)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:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Paul – who calls himself holy, righteous and blameless  – asks others to follow his example. If he would be mixing good deeds with bad deeds (sin), he wouldn’t be a very good example for us, but he would be a big hypocrite and someone to stay away from.  Paul weeps about those who are not walking with him on the narrow path to God, and he calls them enemies of Christ. Their end is destruction! That’s because they have their mind on earthly things instead of focusing on God.

Phil. 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: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.

Paul continues to talk about the resurrection in heaven, and the new glorified bodies. He doesn’t say that he isn’t able to fight his flesh successfully unless he first gets a new glorified body. We don’t have to wait until we die before we can be faithful to God, but we can live holy lives here and now. Not even Jesus was ”perfected” until the third day in his resurrection, so it’s about the physical body.

Luke. 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

Paul about himself:

1 Thess 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:—12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

1 Cor. 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. (NIV)

Rom. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.–12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.—16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 

1 Cor. 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Is PERFECTION Attainable In This Life? Yes and No – Jesse Morell

Biblical Truth Resources

I got an email from a fellow street preacher who needed some legal help because he had been arrested. After connecting him with a Christian attorney, we began to dialog more through email. He asked a theological question relating to the doctrine of Christian perfection. He wrote to me and said:

I`d like to say that before I began preaching the way that I do today, which was a few years ago, I had a lot of influence from your bold videos. I didn`t really see such boldness until I saw your vids. So thanks for being faithful, lots of seeds you`ve planted and even watered…

(Quick off topic)

I did though, to be honest, back when I was watching a lot of your vids, wasn`t so sure about the `Perfect` Christian to the context that you say. I know the context according to what Paul is saying, and how…

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Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect Matt.5:48

Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5:48)

The Greek definition of  ”perfect” is teleios.

Definition: perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Christian character.

We are told to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect and that means we CAN since we can trust the word of Jesus. It doesn’t say that God can be perfect for us, or that we should only STRIVE to be perfect but we are told to BE perfect. So to start off  it’s clear that we CAN become perfect but the question is what that means? Evidently it could not mean to have lived a completely sinless life, because Jesus told people who have sinned to be perfect, and they of course couldn’t be required to change their past in order to obey Jesus. The best way to find the meaning of to ”be prefect” is to find similar examples of the same word in Greek – see below. When we are cleansed from our sins in the blood of Jesus we are indeed perfect and complete. God looks at us as though we have never sinned and we ARE free of sins thanks to being forgiven. But this does not mean that we are still fine even if we would continue to get filthy, because that will only get us dirty once more and again in need of cleansing. If we live in sin, we are neither perfect or complete. So a christian who sins is not perfect, but a christian who is cleansed and walk in the light is perfect. God doesn’t ask for anything impossible from us. Can we be as merciful as our Father is merciful?  Jesus says we can, and Zacharias and Elisabeth are examples of this:

Luke 6:35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Luke 1:There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

If you don’t believe we can be either perfect or merciful as our Father, what other verses don’t you trust in the Bible?  Can we argue that the the following commands are impossible to obey?

Luke 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Matt. 28:19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

The OT shows that people can be perfect as well (read my post about numerous righteous people who lived in the OT):

1 Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not PERFECT with the LORD his God, AS WAS THE HEART OF DAVID his father. 

Examples of verses where ”teleios” is used:

1 John 4:18There is no fear in love; but PERFECT love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made PERFECT in love.

1 Corinthians 14:20Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Philippians 3: 15Let 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. 16Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Colossians 4:12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand PERFECT and complete in all the will of God.

James 1:4 Let endurance have its PERFECT work, that you may be PERFECT and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Corinthians 2:6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are PERFECT: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought

Romans 12:2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and PERFECT will of God.

1 Corinthians 13:10But when that which is PERFECT is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Ephesians 4:13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Colossians 1:28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man PERFECT in Christ Jesus;

James 1:17Every good gift and every PERFECT gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:25But whoso looketh into the PERFECT law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, ”If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

James 3:2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a PERFECT man, able to bridle the whole body also.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ having come as a high priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more PERFECT tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation,

Hebrews 5:14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of FULL AGE, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Examples of people who were perfect in the Old Testament

Gen. 6:These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

1 Kings. 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.

Job 1:And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

2 Kings 23:25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

We all stumble in many ways + No man can tame his tongue? (James 3:8)

We all stumble in many ways + No man can tame his tongue? (James 3:2 NIV + James 3:8)

Some people who are searching through the Bible in order to find verses which support sinning sometimes try to use the half verse in James 3:2 to persuade themselves and others that no one can ever stop sinning and/or that it’s not that serious if we fall.

It’s interesting that many of them despise the NIV version and vehemently explain what a terrible translation it is and yet they prefer to use NIV in THIS particular case since they prefer the word ”stumble” before ”offend” which the KJV uses. The rest of the passage in James 3:2 offers a solution to the problem, that if any man offend NOT in word then he is also able to bridle his whole body – which seems like a good idea. James doesn’t say this is impossible but compares with other situations where man has successfully made horses and even large ships obey him.

James 3:2 For in many things we OFFEND all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (KJV)

What does ”offend all” mean? The transliteration is ”ptaiomen”/”ptaió” which indeed means ”to cause to stumble” or ”stumble”. The only passages in the Bible where this word is used are in the following verses, apart from James 3:2:

  1. James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
  2. Romans 11:11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.
  3. 2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.
  4. James 3:2 For in many things we OFFEND all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (KJV)

There are other Greek words that are translated as ”sinning” and/or ”falling away” such as ”pipto” and ”ekpipto” but they are not used here. Another significant word is ”skandalizo”, which is often translated as “fall away” and “stumble” and this is used when Jesus tells his disciples “You will all fall away because of me this night” (Matthew 26:31 NAS). Skandalizo also is the word used in Mathew 24:10, where Jesus talks about a “falling away” in the end times maybe due to persecutions. ”Skandalizo” is also used in Mark 4:17, where Jesus tells a parable about seed falling on rocky soil to describe believers who “fall away” in times of trials. In Luke’s parallel passage the Greek word behind “fall away” is ”aphistemi” – the root from which the Greek word for apostasy is drawn. So there are words that contain a much more serious risk for a christian than the Greek word that is translated as ”stumble” in James 3:2.

So let’s remember that when Jesus said ”Sin no more” he uses a different Greek word than in James 3:2, and the same goes for other places in the Bible when we are told to avoid sinning such as when Paul said ”Awake to righteousness and SIN NOT”. Stumbling doesn’t seem to be as serious as sinning or falling away.

Revelation 2:Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Jude 1:24 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,

No man can tame his tongue

Another verse that is often used to support sinning is ”No man can tame his tongue” which is also mentioned by James. He explains that animals have indeed been tamed by man and man can even make horses obey and large ships, but when it comes to the tongue it seems generally impossible for man to tame it. But he doesn’t conclude that this is therefore normal behaviour and totally acceptable for a christian in any way. He says that the tongue boasts, that it can lit a fire, is a world of INIQUITY, DEFILES the body and it is set on fire of  HELL. Would James ever claim that this is a totally acceptable for true christians? Of course not! He says ”Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, THESE THINGS OUGHT NOT TO BE”. Of course James would never say that something that causes INIQUITY and defiles the body is accepted and normal. Iniquities always separate us from God!

If ”no man can tame his tongue” means that it’s never possible to avoid lies and slander, then James is in contradiction with himself. He says a few verses later:

14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and LIE NOT against the truth”

Lie not? Didn’t James know that no man can tame his tongue and must always lie? Obviously James is not saying that it’s acceptable to not tame his tongue even if it seems generally impossible. He is saying that we should, because these things should NOT be so, and he says departing from the truth (which lying and slandering is) is DEVILISH, and not taming a tongue would result in envying and strife which is in turn the foundation of EVERY EVIL WORK. There is a famous commandment which says ”You shall not LIE”. Is James saying that we can just as well forget about this commandment because no man can tame his tongue? Of course not. James says:

1:26″If any man among you seem to be religious, and BRIDLETH NOT HIS TONGUE, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain”.

The entire context from James 3:

2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, THESE THINGS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE. 11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and LIE NOT against the truth. 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, DEVILISH16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and EVERY EVIL WORK17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Does 1 John 1:8 tell us that it is perfectly normal for christians to SIN?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)

This verse is often used as an attempt to support the idea that we can never stop sinning, but it must be viewed in its proper context. 1 John 1:8 seems to be way more popular to quote than 1 John 1:6 which says:

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth

The reason why 1 John 1:6 has fallen into oblivion is likely due to the serious matter – that our souls are in great trouble if we sin. People’s ears might be more tickled by the message that they can afford to sin on a daily basis and still be saved. Here is the entire context surrounding the famous 1 John 1:8, which people often misuse to support the idea that it is perfectly normal for Christians to sin (and abnormal if they do not):

1 John 1:5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But 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 sin8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

If John would suggest that 1 John 1:8 means that we can never say ”I have no sin” at ANY TIME in our lives, not even for one second, then the only outcome is that we sin around the clock. It would even mean that we still have sins in our system one second after that we have repented! What is the big idea with repenting if we always sin and can never stop?

We can read in the same passage that we can be cleansed from our sins IF we confess our sins, but if we would confess sins and continue to commit those sins then we are only fooling ourselves. Surely we are free of sins when we are cleansed from sins, or can we be cleansed from our sins at the same time as we still sin? That does not make much sense. It is those who walk in darkness who are the liars if they claim to know God, and not those who walk in the light.

The significance of 1 John 1:8 is that none of us can say ”I don’t have any sin on my record so I don’t need to repent and I don’t need a Savior” because the truth is that we have all sinned. ”If we say that we have not SINNED, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” However, after that we have confessed those sins, repented, become cleansed and born again (become a new person), then the idea is that we should avoid getting dirty again. We will accomplish this goal by maintaining a few sins and hide behind Jesus, pretending that God the Father does not detect our sins. Jesus did not die so that we can sin in peace and be saved IN our sins. WE have to carry our own cross, but we have a great help by the holy Spirit who can guide us on our path – and we must choose to obey.

John also tells us elsewhere in his writings that we can indeed obey the commandments and live holy lives. John does not contradict himself by saying in one verse that we constantly sin and cannot stop, only to give the exact opposite message in other verses.

What else does John say?

1 John 3:Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.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.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother.—22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John. 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

2 John. 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. HE THAT DOETH GOOD IS OF GOD: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.23 Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.—If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

If we would embrace the faulty understanding of 1 John 1:8 (that we sin around the clock), are we also willing to blame the apostle John for having no truth in him – since he here suggests that he has won a complete victory over sin? Read about the false idea that we can get JESUS’ righteousness imputed into us in this blog article.

A SINLESS PERFECTIONIST because you say you can obey Jesus?

Ever been accused for believing in SINLESS PERFECTIONISM when you say you can obey Jesus?

When we say that it is possible to live a life free of sin, as Jesus commands, the cry is that we are teaching“sinless perfectionism.” What is ironic is that these people who cry this false charge do not discern that they are teaching the very thing they condemn!

They make the false assumption that when a soul is converted, he will NEVER, ever sin again. After convincing you of this false assumption, they then try to disprove the claim, which we never made in the first place!  Then they will quote such passages as Heb. 12:6. They like the “chastise” passage, for this is their ‘proof’ that if a child of God never sins after being born again, then they can’t be chastised.  They like to talk about sin, being saved in sin, stay in sin, and defend sin.  They hope that you, the reader, will fall for their assumptions, and then try to convince you that you can’t be anything but a low down sinner for the rest of your life.

Now, let’s see who is really teaching ‘sinless perfectionism’.  By pronouncing condemnation on us (claiming what we do not teach), they reprobate themselves.  According to them:

  1. When you ‘accept’ Jesus, you are justified (forgiven).
  2. There was a magnificent transfer that took place, meaning Christ becomes your perfection because his ‘obedience’ was ‘transferred’ to you by faith.
  3. Because of number 2, your past, present AND ‘future’ sins are all covered once and for all.
  4. Because Jesus’ tract record is imputed to you, God is now blind to your conduct because of the blood of Christ.  God can no longer see you who sins.
  5. All this is ‘positional,’ NEVER  ’practical.’

It is interesting that Christ’s righteousness (“obedience imputed to you,” which the Bible does NOT teach) was magically transferred to you once you trusted in Him.  You are now considered ‘sinless’ because all your past, present, and FUTURE sins are all forgiven. This means that your sins, even future ones you have not yet committed, can NEVER be charged against you no matter what your conduct afterwards.

PROBLEM 1: If this were true, THERE IS NO NEED FOR CHASTISEMENT!  How can you be chastised over sins that the blood was supposed to have covered and God became morally blind to your conduct and future conduct when you accepted His Son?  If all your FUTURE sins are already forgiven, what purpose would there be in any type of correction since God does not see you anymore, just His Son Jesus?  Remember?  God can’t see you sinning, He only sees Jesus!  How can they accuse us of teaching ‘sinless perfectionism” since Christ is their PROXY? Does their teaching not EQUATE TO SINLESS PERFECTION?  Isn’t this calling the kettle black?

These people teach that you sin every day in thought, word, and deed! They even go so far to say that temptation is sin to make sure you get it – that you were saved from nothing. What they are really telling you is that sinning is proof that you are saved and in the faith! How ludicrous! This kind of Gospel is nothing but a hoax coming from frauds and liars.

Let’s clear some things up.  Those who believe we can live holy lives, as God commands, have never said:

1.  That a Christian never sinned in his life time (“For all have sinned”:)
2.  That a Christian doesn’t have the ability to sin after he is saved.
3.  And that once a person is converted that he will be forced not to sin.

What is taught is that a person cannot have salvation without repentance (forsaking all sins).  2 Cor. 7:10-11.

Scripture also says,

“No one who abides in him [Jesus] keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”  1 John 3:6

We are also told how we can know who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil.

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” 1 John 3:10

A ‘saint’ is characterized by walking a life of holiness.  A ‘child of the devil’ is characterized by walking a life of sin.

IF a child of God should give into temptation and act upon it (sin), God’s word tells us we have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).  Notice it says IF.  Sinning is not a foregone conclusion in John’s mind, nor was it in Jesus’ mind as well. (“Go and sin no more”).  Paul says, “Awake to righteousness and sin not.”  

PROBLEM 2:  NOWHERE is Jesus said to be our PROXY.  Where it concerns righteousness, we are told NOT TO BE DECEIVED in this matter.

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he [Jesus] is righteous.” 1 John 3:7

So much for the fake proxy.  One is considered righteous WHEN he does what is right, and when he does, he is considered righteous as Jesus is righteous.  There was no magical transfer that took place.

The false gospel preached today is missing the element of REPENTANCE. Jesus told the disciples to preach REPENTANCE.  Some would go so far to say that repentance is not part of the gospel!  Jesus said,

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among ALL nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47

Repentance is commanded by God to ALL men everywhere. (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:20; Ro. 2:4; 2 Ti. 2:25; 2 Pet. 3:9). (Repentance is NOT an apology for being sinful, nor being born with a ‘sinful nature,’ as they falsely teach!)  What is repentance? Repentance is to sweep, scrape, scrub and cast out of doors all defilement of the heart IN ORDER to make it clean for the reception of the holy Spirit. (Matt. 12:43-45; Lk. 11:24-26; Acts 5:32).  The holy Spirit is only given to those whoobey Him (Acts 5:32), not to those who continue in sin and hope God cleans them up later (as some suggest), which later never seems to come about until the day of physical death!  Repentance can take a process of time (a season of “godly sorrow” until there is full repentance) or instantaneously.  Repentance is not sorrow alone, it also involves a change of mind, inclinations and desires, which translates into a total change in character and conduct. (Mt. 3:8; Mk. 4:12; Lk. 8:15; Jn. 8:34; 8:36; Lk. 19:1-10; Acts 26:20; 2 Co. 6:1; 5:17; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 2:19; Titus. 2:11-12).

Repentance that is genuine is initiated by God through a crisis of conviction leading to a season of godly sorrow for sin. (Jn. 16:8; Acts 2:37; 4:8-10; 5:31; 11:18; 2 Co. 7:10). Biblical repentance from Genesis to Revelation is to “forsake” our wickedness, “purge” our heart of evil and SEEK the mercy of God. (Isa. 55:7; Jer. 26:13; Pro. 28:13; Jon. 3:8-10; Matt. 12:41; Lk. 15:11-32; Acts 3:19; 2 Co. 7:10-11; 2 Tim. 2:19; Jas. 3:7-10; 1 Pe. 4:1; Rev. 2:5; 2:16; 2:20-22; 3:3; 3:19)!

To dismiss repentance as not part of the gospel is very serious, for it nullifies reconciliation with God, and thus no conversion and no forgiveness. (Lk. 13:3; 24:47; Mk. 4:12; Acts 3:19; 2 Co. 7:10).

True repentance is a condition for salvation. (Mk. 1:15; Lk. 13:3; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; Ro. 2:4; 2 Co. 7:10; 2 Pe. 3:9).

(Thanks to Sandra)