Thursday, April 20, 2006

Romans 7 Under the Microscope

Right away in 7:1 Paul points out who he is speaking to and about: "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?" He's talking to them that KNOW the Law.

What does he mean, the Law has dominion over man as long as he lives? Does this suggest as long as we live sin has dominion over us? Not so. Remember: "He that is dead is freed from sin." (Romans 6:7). This is not talking about physical death but death to self, as we see in it's context: "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." (Romans 6:6) Brothers, this verse 6 is imperative!

Romans 7:2-3 then goes on to explain how a woman is bound to her husband by law so long as he is alive. This is likened to our relationship with the Law.

"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (Romans 7:4) Here is mentioned this death again, not a physical one, but a death to the Law... and why? Because of what Christ did on the cross! Jesus' death wrought about OUR death! His death snapped the power of the Law over us. We are considered dead to it because of Christ.

"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." (Romans 7:5) Now we jump to a past tense... When we were still in the flesh, the Law was at work in the members of our bodies producing death. THIS is the condition of the Romans 7 struggle. The Law working fruit unto death in us - sin. "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23)

"But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6) BUT NOW we are delivered... being dead... that the members of our bodies serve in a new way, not in the old way, trapped by the Law.

Now Paul shifts the topic. He begins to talk specifically about the Law, since to this point he has made the Law sound something terrible. Paul reminds: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." (Romans 7:7) The Law was beneficial in revealing sin to us, though because of our sinful nature, the knowledge of sin worked death in us... just like in the Garden of Eden with the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil. Once we knew what good and evil were, we chose evil. We suddenely fell captive to the power of the Law.

"But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me." (Romans 7:8-11) This text reads as if Adam was writing it. Powerful!

The next two verses reinforce this thought, and shows us that sin is by the Law now "exceedingly sinful." This is no light thing by which God shrugs away. The full wrath of God was upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ at Calvary.

Now in verse 14, Paul assumes the position of a man under the Law, hence the present use of tense. We know he is talking about someone under the Law because of the content of the subject. It is "the law working in his members bringing forth the fruit of sin." There are more clues to this which we find later on...

"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7:14-20) Here is the miserable condition of this Law. The next three verses nail this point home:

"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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 7:21-23) This is painfully clear. Paul has just pinpointed the condition of 7:5.

The cry and the remedy! "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24-25a)

Paul then sums up verses 14-20 in verse 25b: "SO THEN with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." The mind serves God, the body does not. It is not that this is the final condition after Paul exclaims "thanks be to God!" It's almost like Paul couldn't wait until the end to write verse 25a because the condition of being under the Law of death is so horrible! (Of course, this is my speculation!) Regardless, verse 25b takes us back into the deathtrap.

Now here you may argue: "This is not so!" We come now to the dilemma: Is this our condition? Do we now serve God IN THE SPIRIT but remain under the Law IN THE BODY? The answer is a strong no. Remember Romans 6:6?:

"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." Are we still under Law? "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." (Romans 7:5) No, next verse: "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." And that is the key... being dead. "He who is dead is freed from sin." (Romans 6:7)

"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) Everything around this verse is wonderful, verse 17, 18, 19, 21! Read them!

NOW we can move on into Romans 8! "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2)

This is vital: "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4) Read this in view of 7:7-11... Adam and the knowledge of good and evil. But now, Christ has made it so that the righteousness of the Law CAN be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit!

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)

What then do we do? "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:12-14) So then brothers, we live by the Spirit of God!

Thus it is possible to "mortify the DEEDS of the body."

Brothers, I conclude with this Scripture:

"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:11-14)

Love in Christ,
-Eli

44 comments:

Gramp said...

This posting shows a very clear picture of what Paul was trying to get across to his readers, in my opinion. The problem with many believers, when they come to Rom 7 is that they have been told that Christians have 2 natures, because a new natrure has been added to their old "Adamic nature" at salvation. This is a false teaching that many people have believed!

As you point out from Rom 6, this old Adamic nature we were all born with was crucified with Christ on the cross of Calvary. Now as a believer in Christ we only have one new nature, which is a "Christ like nature". What is referred to by some as the old nature, or thew old man, is really the "flesh". This we will have to contend with until the resurrection. It has all the characteristics of the old narure we were born with, but is not the same thing.

The answer to dealing with the "flesh" is to walk in the "Spirit" (Gal 5:16)

I enjoy your blog Eli! Keep up the good work of preaching the word!!

Paul West said...

Amen, Gramps. It is a false teaching. The Spirit puts to death the deeds of the flesh. A true child of God has been completely liberated from all sin. Temptations still beseige him or her, but the person is now indued with the power of God and can withstand all the fiery darts and not sin against Him. If a person has been born again, he does not continue in sin. The Bible teaches that if he does, he is deceived and still serving Satan.

Leonard Ravenhill loved to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those that are dead IN sin, and those that are dead TO sin.

I know it is possible for genuine Christians to sin, but IF (notice, John didn't write WHEN) this happens, the Bible says we need to confess (not DEFEND, which implies a lack of sorrow and hints of future repeatings due to something beyond our control) and the Blood of Jesus will cleanse us. But I sincerely believe that these situations are to be the exception, and not the rule. The Christian is to completely cease from sinning: Jesus told the woman to sin NO MORE. Paul said, "Let him who stole, steal NO MORE."

I truly believe it is God's will to free us from all sin. He's stronger than the devil. He can cast more infuence over our lives than the devil can. We sin by our own volition. If you say you can't stop sinning because of your fallen and fleshly "Adamic" nature, well, what sin CAN'T you stop sinning? Stealing? Masturbating? Drinking? Fornicating? Lying? Gossiping? Lusting? You'll never be set free as long as you believe God cannot or will not set you free from these things. You'll never be set free as long as you resign yourself to the curse of Adam. You'll never be set free as long as you refuse to mortify the deeds of the flesh. You'll never be set free as long as you continue to feed your carnal desires by remaining friends with the world. You'll never be set free as long as you refuse to totally abandon yourself to God and allow Him to nail the very essence of your being to the cross. Those who refuse these things (alas, freedom from sin IS very costly) cannot possibly know the ressurection life in Jesus Christ, no matter how well-versed they are in theology or how many divinity degrees hang on the wall.

Friends, I couldn't pass this topic up! This is a real pet peeve of mine. I sincerely believe the lack of power in the North American church system today is directly related not only to the lukewarmness of prayer and true worship of the believer, but by the total absence of holy lifestyles and a refusal to deny self and die daily. A refusal by the church to divorce herself from secularism also plays a tremendous part.

Why do you think there were so many gospel explosions and nation-quaking revivals and fire-baptized, weeping preachers that changed demographics, turned entire regions upside down, and started whole new denominations and missionary movements...and all but 250+ years ago! Well, these guys stressed holiness, purity, divorcement from the world - and they LIVED it. Satan has tried to replicate this holy lifestyle in his children through monasteries and convents, but we know that these things are falsifications of God's true ideals of holiness and sanctification.

Now, in 2006, the North American church has no power. Instead of holiness and signs and wonders we have the "Purpose Driven Chruch" and skateboard ramps and volleyball for Jesus. Whatever. God beckons the church to "return to the old paths." This is wrought when we surrender our lives to Jesus, and when we do this, the sin will go, and the holy, true Christian lifestyle will come. Christ will then use us to magnify Himself through our bodies to a blind and hellbound world to save all those who are granted repentance.

Guys, I really think it's sad that instead of running from hedonism, we defend it by twisting scripture to pacify our carnality. I believe Eli did a great job on this Romans 7 thing. I agree with his interpretation; I agree with John Wesley's interpretation also; I agree with the doctrine of progessive holiness because my life and countless others are true and living testimonies to the efficacy of Jesus' blood over not only the guilt of sin, but the POWER of falling back into it.

I welcome discussions; I only ask that if you disagree with anything I wrote, please show me why by a cross-reference of multiple scriptures. May God bless you all.

Your servant in Christ, Paul

Eli said...

Quote: "The problem with many believers, when they come to Rom 7 is that they have been told that Christians have 2 natures, because a new natrure has been added to their old "Adamic nature" at salvation. This is a false teaching that many people have believed!

As you point out from Rom 6, this old Adamic nature we were all born with was crucified with Christ on the cross of Calvary."

Well put, Mr. Jamers!

Amen Paul.

Quote: "I know it is possible for genuine Christians to sin, but IF (notice, John didn't write WHEN) this happens, the Bible says we need to confess (not DEFEND, which implies a lack of sorrow and hints of future repeatings due to something beyond our control) and the Blood of Jesus will cleanse us."

Also very well put. IF we sin... do we confess and repent and forsake or defend and justify ourselves? Well put brother.

We have much to learn from history, men of faith you "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions..." (Hebrews 11:33)

Matt Sears said...

What about 1 John 1:8: "If we claim to be without sin, then we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." In the Greek, this is a "present general" condition, implying that "if we claim to be without sin, in our current (ie saved, redeemed) state..." I agree with Paul West about an idea of "progressive holiness" in the sense that as we continue to grow closer to the Lord, we achieve victory over more and more sin in our lives. Bless you, Paul, for attaining such victory in your life! I, too, realize that this is something we all, myself included, need to place as our goal. However, though theologically and logically possible, I do not believe a totally sinless life is PRACTICALLY possible in this life. I don't want to be defeatist, but rather pragmatic. Nevertheless, we all must strive, through Christ's power, to "be perfect, therefore, as our Heavenly Father is perfect" -Mat. 5:48. I tend to believe that a claim to be without sin, as is a doctrine is several denominations, including Wesleyanism, is in itself a sin. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Matt

Paul West said...

Bless you Matt, and thank you for the gracious reply!

I in no way claim to be without sin. Before I came to Jesus and got born again, I was a fornicating drunkard, a blasphemer, an idolator - a deservedly hellbound child of the devil. But after I confessed these things and God granted me repentance, I was cleansed of my sins.

By the power of the Holy Ghost and by God's amazing grace I now walk in the light, as He is in the light and the Blood of Jesus continues to cleanse me. Matt, I am not expecting to sin, but IF (IF IF IF) I do, I have an advocate (For I no longer walk in darkness).

Look for a minute at the verses that sandwich I John 1:8: "He that committeth sin is of the devil"; "Whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him"; "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin"; "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God"; "He that keepeth not His commandments is a liar" These verses show us plainly that a person who still commits sin after professing to know God...well, is a liar and is still a child of the devil.

Now, the Greek for "commit" in I John 3:9 is "Poieo", the meaning likened unto a tree bringing forth fruit - the same root used by John the Baptist for his "bring forth fruits meet of repentance" statement to the Pharisees in Matthew 3:8. It denotes habitual activity, not the random act that is immediately confessed and repented of. Where we run into problems is with the so-called Christian who sins regularly and defends the sin remorselessly by claiming "I'm not perfect, only forgiven" or some other kind of deplorable nonsense.

Now, do I believe that a person can gain sinless perfection before glorification? No, I do not. The possibility to sin will always be with us this side of eternity. We're stuck inside this fleshly tent for the vapor of time we sojourn here on earth, and we know that the flesh and spirit are sworn enemies. Jesus was sinless, but even He was tempted (which implies He also had the possibility to sin), but even more importantly - since Jesus was tempted on all sides, yet sinned not, we see that temptation is NOT SIN! We sin when we GIVE IN to temptation, and I believe that as long as we walk in the Spirit, indued by the grace and power of God ("These things I write to you that ye sin not"), we can follow the example of Jesus (the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead now abides in us) and henceforth NOT GIVE IN to sin, and allow it master us.

This is a glorious truth, Matt! Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil! Oh, that more Christians would see it, trust God for it, wrestle with God like Jacob and resist the devil like Jesus, put on the armor like Paul and be victorious over sin and live holy, sanctified lives in Jesus' Name. I tell you, this glorious life of victory is the REAL Christian life that this godless, defeated world needs so desperately to see! How else dare we preach the resurrection life and victory in Jesus without victory over even the base sins in our own lives! Man, it's hypocrisy if we do, and that's why most of the world wants nothing at all to do with us. And you can't blame them. They see themselves in us, only without the do's and don'ts and the Jesus crutch. Not so! We are to be a peculiar people, a royal priesthood and sin is not to reign in our mortal bodies - and how in the world can it, with the consuming and purifying fires of God ablaze on the altars of our new hearts!

I can go on and on and on, but I'll step down from the pulpit. Let me just say that I firmly believe it to be a satanic lie that: 1) We all sin everday, and 2) It is impossible to stop sinning...even with the power and grace of God behind us.

I used to tell people that I was nothing more than a sinner saved by grace. This is like saying that I'm a child molestor that's still molesting children, but I'm innocent by law because I now "know" the judge. I never say this anymore, because it's not true. I'm NOT a sinner; to say this would denote that I'm still a child of the devil, a liar and I do not know God! If Jesus has freed me from the power of sin, why then say that I'm still under its bondage and call myself a "sinner"? My sins are forgiven, under the blood, Jesus has cleansed me from ALL (ALL ALL ALL) my sin (verse 7), which means I have ZERO sin remaining. Instead of being a sinner saved by grace (and thus turning the grace of God into laciviousness); I am now a Saint with the POSSIBILITY of sinning if I stray from my Father's protection and lower my guard.

Now, to close this, and avoid any confusion you may have (I know what you're probably thinking - this guy is speaking heresy!), let me clarify, dear brother: I am a vile, wicked creature. My only merit is in the cross of Jesus Christ. My righteousness is in Christ alone; without Him I am nothing, I am dirt, I am indeed a sinner deserving of the blackest, deepest pit of hell forever. (I think this is why Paul can say "I am the chief of sinners" and "I am a wretched man, who can save me!") Like the Apostle Paul, I lament and bemoan who I am without Jesus. It is only by the bloodstained cross and God's merciful granting of repentance on February 26, 2001 that I can now cry, "Hallelujah! My SIN is nailed to cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord!"
I dare not boast in my flesh, but I certainly boast in the cross of Jesus that the power of sin has been broken, and I no longer need to obey its lusts.

God bless you Matt, as you ponder the possibility of living an empowered, holy life by the grace of God where sin does not have to hold empire over the souls of God's redeemed.

Brother Paul

Ricky said...

Great articles brother Eli. I agree with all who state that we must be set free from sin, after all that is one thing the Word says He would do (Matthew 1:21). Who the Son sets free (from sin and death) is free indeed (JOhn 8:36).

Indeed we need to get back to preaching repentance and sanctification from sin, "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

Anonymous said...

West,

I have read your post and have one question. You continuously talk about how you do not have to sin and how one should not sin after they have been saved. It is obvious that you have a high view of sanctification. My question is this: how do you feel when you actually do sin? I would imagine, from your post, that you probably destroy yourself - or want to.

I have also noticed that you say that zero sin remains in you now that you are saved. So where does the sin come from that you commit? If you say that there is no sin after salvation left in you, it must mean that you make a conscious effort to sin. I'm sure you feel pretty horrible about that. I know I would. Especially sin I put so much pressure on myself beforehand.

I would love to meet you and conduct several psychological tests. I'm sure we would all be shocked at it's findings. haha.

Paul West said...

Anon,

By reading your last sentence, I see that you are mocking me, that you're not being sincere, that instead of wanting to delve into scripture to examine my beliefs, you instead laugh at how I understand sanctification. I would understand if we were talking about less important stuff like pretrib or postrib raptures or sprinkling or immersion - but we're talking about sin here, a very, very serious topic.

You are right: I do hold a very high view of sanctification. I sincerely believe Christians should avoid sin at all costs. Is this so laughable? I've got scripture to back me up in every single book of the Bible, that if Jesus has set you free, you're free indeed. And if I post on here that Jesus has set me free indeed, why are you implying that I'm psychologically deranged?

The old man is a sinner. I am not an old man, I am a NEW man in Christ, and if I CHOOSE to sin (which I have done plenty of times since my conversion), I am brought immediately under Holy Ghost conviction and led to confess and repent. My Advocate, Jesus, then washes it with His blood and I am made sinless once again in Christ.

I'm sorry, but this is how I understand the scripture. Can you prove that I have a wrong understanding? Pragmatism is always overruled by scripture. Call me crazy, call me a liar, call me a heretic, or a holier-than-thou, arrogant jerk, but I can look you dead in the eyes right now and rejoice that I'm not living in premeditated sin.

I am careful to keep watch over the gates of my senses - my eyes, ears, tongue, etc. I know how alluring sin can be! I am learning how to conduct my lifestyle in a way that is well-pleasing to my Father, how to walk worthy of my royal calling and maintain my body in honor before both God and man. I do not want to bring pain to His heart and blight the image of Christ being magnified in my body. I fear grieving the Holy Spirit! And I certainly do not want to be guilty of crucifying the Son of God afresh! I've thrown the whole world into a garbage can, and now God's all I have. I've decided to follow Jesus, all the way, to the death. He's all that matters; I'll give up my wife, children, house and head for His glory. I am careful not to take for granted what He has done for me, I love Him and I fear God greatly, for God will destroy any person who defiles his temple with sin.

I don't wake up in the morning and resign myself to a sinful day, or think about how I might grieve Him. I fear grieving Him! He's all I have; the last thing in my heart is to grieve the One I love more than life itself. Do you wake up in the morning and think about cheating on your wife or husband or murdering you kids and defrauding your parents?

I am not alone in my beliefs. Leonard Ravenhill, in his last interview at 84, went so far to say that since the day God called him at 14, he has not so much as even LOOKED back to the world. Now, that's radical devotion.

jedd said...

PW,

Your comment on the Greek verb 'poieo':

"Now, the Greek for "commit" in I John 3:9 is "Poieo", the meaning likened unto a tree bringing forth fruit - the same root used by John the Baptist for his "bring forth fruits meet of repentance" statement to the Pharisees in Matthew 3:8. It denotes habitual activity, not the random act that is immediately confessed and repented of. Where we run into problems is with the so-called Christian who sins regularly and defends the sin remorselessly by claiming "I'm not perfect, only forgiven" or some other kind of deplorable nonsense."

'Poieo' is used in two general senses: 1) to make, produce, create, and 2) to do. The second meaning (but not necessarily the less common) does in fact account for random actions.

jedd

PS: I thought you said you weren't going to post here anymore.

jedd said...

Matt,

Excellent point about the present general condition, by the way.

jedd

Paul West said...

Jedd:

"I thought you weren't going to post on here anymore." ANSWER - I considered what I had stated, and decided that to stop fellowshiping and corresponding with Eli on his blog on account of a few hecklers that disagree with my posts was stupid and childish on my part.

"Poieo" means to make or do or create. It is used in Matthew 3:8 in relation to genuine repentance. What happens when one truly repents? He begins to bring forth the true FRUIT meet of repentance. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit.

If the "random action" shade of poieo applies to this passage of scripture, then you're in big trouble, jedd. You're admitting that you're still a child of the devil, and that you're a liar who doesn't know God (because of the random sin you still committ). Surely, you don't imply this.

So, again, what is the excuse for the born again Christian to continue in sin after conversion? The answer is simple: There is no excuse, for sin now is a choice. Failure to walk in the Spirit and allow the Word of God to richly indwell us is also a choice. Failure to take God's promised escape from each temptation is also a choice we make. Again, please - if you disagree, prove your point through multiple scripture reference, and not just by word-shade polemics.

your servant, PW

Eli said...

Brother Matt,

Quote: "However, though theologically and logically possible, I do not believe a totally sinless life is PRACTICALLY possible in this life."

If our theology is not practical it is useless to us, a dead corpse. When God says something in His Word, He means it. He doesn't just say it for mere intellectual ascension. We must not have this view towards God's Word, a theological message of impracticality! We must believe God for what He says and act upon it. If God says we can live in victory over sin, then that means we can. Let us not doubt God!

You can't take 1 John 1:8 out of context like that. A few verses later it says: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not..." (1 John 2:1) Verse 1:8 is either talking about the unregenerate or unconscious sin, but definitly NOT sin as we know it: "With Knowledge." There is absolutely no contradiction. The entire Bible is clear: Be holy.

1 John is not a good book to argue against sinlessness. In fact, the entire book is about complete holiness. Some other verses from 1 John to think about:

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:3)

"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." (1 John 3:6-9)

"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." (1 John 5:2-3)


Now we could get into a whole new topic about 1 John 3, but the initial fact remains, we CAN overcome temptation by the power of Christ, we CAN live holy, we CAN mortify the deeds of the body. There is no other message.

Matt Sears said...

Eli,

Do you think that you're sinless? Seriously, do you? Do you go a single day without sinning? If you say you do, I don't believe you. I for one sin every single day. I strive to avoid sin, I acknowledge that I must flee from sin and not use my fleshly nature as a crutch to excuse sin, but I sin nonetheless. Question my salvation if you will. Personally, I am not worried about your opinion since you are not my judge. But I do not believe that there are ANY believers who never sin. Absolutely none. I shudder at the thought of those who believe that they are totally sinless. I don't care what Ravenhill says; even after he was called by the Lord and turned his back on the world, he still committed sins. No question about it. I'm not arguing semantics here about the difference between habitual sins and random small stumbles that we immediately confess, since they are still sins.

In 1 John, the apostle was writing to a church affected by Gnosticism, a doctrine which at its most extreme dismissed the misdeeds of the body as meaningless, since the flesh is meaningless and the spirit is all that matters. John was simply exhorting those deceived believers to shun the wanton libertinism that Gnosticism fostered, stressing that the deeds of the body do matter in the eyes of the Lord. In order to turn them away from this false teaching, he emphasized the importance of demonstrating one's faith by following the Lord's commands regarding the body since they are still meaningful. It is a stretch to say that he was claiming that everyone can, and should, reach a state of absolute sinlessness, ie NEVER committing a sin again. He was merely saying that, in spite of spiritual regeneration, the sins of the flesh do still matter and that all people should strive to avoid them.

As to the impractibility of some scripture passages, do not even get me started. Have you sinned with your eye? If so, did you gouge it out? What about your hand? Are you perfect as your heavenly father is perfect (that is, apart from Christ taking on the sins that you have committed, are committing, and WILL committ)? In passages like this, Christ was pointing to the futility of trying to be holy by adhering to the Law, thereby pointing to the need of the cross. Likewise, when Paul tells us that the Lord will always provide a way out of temptation, he is stressing that if, and WHEN, we sin, it's OUR fault because the Lord will always provide a way out. By no means does this passage imply that a person will ever avail themselves of these "ways out" all the time.

I am not trying to excuse my sins. I know they are all evil and totally my fault, and as Paul West has said, they grieve the Lord. Therefore, I, like all men, must strive to flee from all sin and temptation. However, I will sin in the future nevertheless. This isn't a cop-out. It's reality. If you say that you're sinless, or that anyone else is sinless for that matter, I truly believe that you "deceive yourself and the truth is not in you."

jedd said...

PW,

Don't tell me what 'poieo' means.

Yes, Paul, because of the "random sin [I] still committ," I must be a "child of the devil, and . . . a liar who doesn't know God." There can be no other explanation for when I mess up. Very well put.

your servant, jedd


Matt,

Again, well said. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

jedd

Adam Wright said...

I think we should read a few commentaries on 1 John if we're going to make comments on what it says, literally. It's easy to pull verses out of the bible and make them sound like they fit our point. What about context? Matt is right: 1 John is talking to a Gnostic influenced church. Part of Gnostic beliefs is to say that one is without sin. I think it has nothing to do with our discussion right now, Eli. You should be careful when you accuse others of misquoting scripture.

Paul West,
I've been studying Greek for a long time - as long as Jedd and Matt. I think you're reading too much into the meaning of "poieo". Sure, it may be used in another instance, but you can say that about many words. The word is as Jedd says it is. Very common word. I don't think we should add theological significance to it, we might be getting ahead of ourselves.


thats all for now.

peace

Nathan Staples said...

Matt Sears, hello my Calvinist brother, I hope you are doing well. Just curious (I'm sure you will not be surprised) about when you wrote "I tend to believe that a claim to be without sin, as is a doctrine is several denominations, including Wesleyanism, is in itself a sin." I was hoping to get some more of your thoughts; specifically why you think it would be a sin to believe one can live without sin. I plan on doing some research on this matter and talking to some pastors about this. I was aware that this was part of the beliefs of my denomination but haven't really put much thought into the issue before, done any reading or really talked to anyone about it. I look forward to your response


Nathan

Paul West said...

Jedd,

"Don't tell me what 'poieo' means." Okay, I won't. Let's please try to remain humble as we attempt to understand each other.

I am not saying that you're a child of the devil and a liar when you "screw up." You completely misinterpreted my post. I have no idea who you are or what your walk is like. I was simply saying that if you interpret the Greek (poieo) as to mean "random acts of sin" in verse 4, then by your own admission you accuse yourself of lawlessness in accordance with the same verse. But I don't believe you're a practicer of lawlessness; I believe you're a child of God just like I am.

It seems to me that our differences are here: I understand the Greek for "commit" to mean continuously doing, like an apple tree continously yielding apples. And since I (and hopefully you also) do not habitually sin everyday in word, thought and deed, but rather flee from inquity and thirst after God's righteousness, we cannot say that we habitually 'poieo' sin and lawlessness (like as before we were converted). Only false converts remain sinning like this, saying that they know God and are born-again. I agree with John: they are liars.

Every person born of God is given a NEW heart (in exchange for the old, wicked one) that loves God's righteous, good commandments, and they also receive a fully regenerated spirit that delights in doing His pleasure. They are also given the Holy Spirit to keep them from falling back into the "habitual" sin of their former life (but they must choose to walk in the Spirit, and mortify the flesh daily). If this is still too doubtful to believe and an insufficient explaination for how a Christian can stop sinning, what in the world do you do about verse 9: "Whoever has been born of God DOES NOT SIN, for His seed remains in him; AND HE CANNOT SIN, because he has been born of God."

You accept this on the written page of God's word, but if I or Eli or Ricky or anyone else substantiates it, we are accused of being in error. I'm on your side, Jedd, I promise you! I'm just trying to understand of how you came to your interpretation.

At the risk of sounding monotonous, I'll humbly say it again: Please provide scriptural reference if you believe born again Christians have no choice but to sin everyday. So far I've gotten nothing but personal opinion, and by the looks of your last post, ungodly sarcasm (thought you wouldn't post anymore, your servant, very well put, etc.) Friend, I fear the next posts will be even uglier. Please, let's remain humble before the Lord and respect brother Eli's commenting rules.

God bless, Paul

Nathan Staples said...

Matt; I found an article that I found insightful and maybe you or anyone else will too. http://www.drurywriting.com/keith/sin.htm I am meeting with a pastor next week so I'm going to bring this up, then i'll at least get the Wesleyan side of things. I think I agree with the author when he stated "Christians can live above sin if you mean sin in the stricter sense—purposeful premeditated sin". It seems that the Wesleyan denomination believes one can live and not sin but there's more to it than that that needs further explanation. However i'm still looking into this and will continue asking questions and getting more input on the matter. Anyway that's all for now, let me know what you think


Nathan

jedd said...

PW,

Please explain how I "completely misunderstood" your post.

I've never once suggested that "born again Christians have no choice but to sin everyday." I apologize if I made a comment that sounded this way.

My beliefs on this matter line up 100% with those put forth by Matt Sears. I feel no need to elaborate since he is articulating his views so well.

jedd

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eli said...

Dear brothers in Christ,

I am continually amazed at the way we completely misinterpret one another, or read over the lines!

First of all, anonymous, you have no grounds to comment like that against brother West. You obviously do not understand him at all, nor the message he is giving. To accuse him of feeling inadequent and inferior? Brother, if you are a Christian I rebuke you. That is very unChrist-like, you do not even know this person. I could say a lot more but for the Lord restraining me, I will be quiet... afterall, no one would understand it anyway and fly off the handle.


Okay Matt and Jedd, you have to clarify some things to me, because to my little brain you aren't making any sense:

I've written an article on Romans 7 that is unmistakable clear: the Bible does not leave us in the place of defeat, we have the power to overcome sin because of the power of Christ in us. This, in my eyes, is 100% Biblical and I cannot see how this is can be argued. What I'm finding is that because you don't like to hear that teaching, you are argueing against it but without any reason for it... you are just arguing, but now you are arguing against the Bible.

Ex: You are now saying "Though the Bible says it's theologically and logically possible, I say it is not practically possible." So you admit the Bible says we can overcome (and rightfully so, for it does say that and no one can deny it) but you contend that the those words aren't actually possible! This is in my sight absolutely absurd. The Word of God is true, quick and powerful, what it is says is what it says. God doesn't play around with us. God does not lie.

To answer some of your questions, brother:

Q: "Do you think you're sinless? Seriously, do you?"

A: I seriously think I am sinless apart from Christ. But He died for me and LIVES in me and His Spirit fills me that I no longer have to serve the law of sin. With Christ I am not a sinner, I am a saint.

Q: "Do you go a single day without sinning?"

A: Absolutely! Don't you love Jesus enough to say no to sin for at least ONE DAY? (I'm talking about conscious sin here)


Brother Matt, I'm not questioning your salvation... this isn't even a matter of salvation, it's a matter of walking holy and being filled with the Spirit, being useful to the Master. A sin ridden life is a stuffy glove that the Lord can't use.

You say you don't believe there are any Christians who don't sin... how many do you know? You are generalizing from those you DO know, and I imagine it is from a tight Baptist circle (please correct me otherwise). If you are taught that you cannot stop sinning you certainly won't. The saddest thing in life, is that a Christian will call another Christian who is living holy "fanatical" "legalistic" and "heretical." This is my saddest thought. And for what? For obeying God? This is the retribution from BROTHERS AND SISTERS? Oh this is sad.

As for Ravenhill, he is not Scripture, but he was a man who knew the Lord and it is not wise to throw these people aside. Why feed only on one source? Everyone is bound to get some doctrine wrong. We ought to take heed to these brothers, for unto each one of us is given a portion of insight and wisdom. Just as you should listen to some things I say that I can input into your life the very same way I should listen to the things you say as you have much to pour into my life. All this takes humility, patience and love for one another. I love you brothers, I do! It doesn't make me happy to have to argue like this. I pray the Lord will work our doctrines out together that we may serve Him in unity.

As for "habitual sins" (I really don't like that term though) and "stumbling sins", this all comes into the part of sanctification, which I hope to write a post on very soon. We are never made instantly perfect... the old fleshy desires are extracted painfully and bloody like pulling a tooth, as Tozer said it once. This takes some time... faster for some, slower for others, depending on how earnest you are... but the issue is here, can you achieve the holy life or not? The answer from the Bible is yes! So then, we are not so much talking about the process, where we WILL find "stumblings sins" as we work them out, but the end... victory or defeat. Brothers, I declare: VICTORY!

As for 1 John, it is not right to isolate the book into a cylinder of gnosticism (not saying you are). It is good to know that was the context, it is good to understand that... but even so, the book was written for us just as much as it was written for them. The truths in that book are directed to us, they stand today, they stand for our instruction, regardless if we are falling into gnostic influence or not. That is why the book is in the Bible.

Therefore, when John says "I write these things that you will not sin" (2:1) it stands for today as well. I do not see how you can overlook this verse. I believe this verse overshadows "if any man says he has no sin he is a liar." I have already admitted I am a full blown unrestrained worst of sinners than all without Christ. I say "I have sin and am a sinner in my present state." BUT! With Christ it is no more, it is reckoned dead! If something is reckoned dead, why would we declare, "I have sin! I have sin?!" Brother, reckon your sin dead. When you do, you will not say "we will sin forever"... you will says "I am redeemed from all iniquity, I no longer serve sin."

Okay, and now as for the theological/practical issue where you raised the point of gouging out your eye: There is a vast difference between "Mortify the deeds of the body" and "gouge out your eye." One is literal, one is figurative. We all know Christ did not mean for us to afflict ourselves with physical bodily harm (as some devilish cults do)... but as a matter of fact, gouge out your eye and cut of your hand IS "mortify the deeds of the body!" Those verse go hand in hand, they mean the same thing. You have actually brought up a wonderful verse that confirms the doctrine of holiness. Jesus himself said it the best: "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30)

As for 1 Corinthians 10 about escaping temptation, there is no other meaning than that which it says. Every temptation we are able to resist IF we choose to do it. The basis of our choice is on our love for God or our love for ourselves. "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3) And it is IF we choose, just like it is IF we sin, not WHEN we sin. Nowhere, anywhere does it say WHEN.

Finally brothers, if you have skipped my lengthy comment (sorry for the length) I would humbly ask that you go back and read it carefully. Let us not settle for less than Christ has died for! Let us walk even as He walked, and even as certain men and women "of like passions" have also walked, in the fullness of Christ, in victory, and in triumph over sin and the works of the devil!

"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." (1 John 3:8)

Paul West said...

As the Lord is my vindicator, I make Christian peace with all of you. I am hurt at the hostility I've received here - I expect this from unbelievers, but not from my own bretheren in Christ; obviously there's some serious issues here that go way beyond religion. If you don't agree with my views on sanctification, fine, but why treat me with sarcasm and defame my character? Don't you fear the Judgment Seat of Christ, Mr. Anonymous? You will give an account for that last post, I promise you. As for me, I forgive you and hold no contempt for you. I am your servant, despite what you think about me! You say I am full of you-know-what. If this is true, then God will expose my dishonesty before all to see, before all the people I teach and preach to. I accept this, and I am prepared to die and give an account for everything I've said this far. But remember - He's also going to expose you, and the motive for writing the hurtful, spiteful words that you did.

Beneath you in all things, Paul West

Anonymous said...

I wonder, Mr. West, if my words didn't spark a hint of truth in your mind. I expected as much from someone like you.

Spiteful? I wonder if that's what Stephen's killers thought about his words? Like I said, Mr. West, it's all about perception and I think I've singlehandedly exposed your perception.

I even wonder if I'll stand before your God. I wonder if it's even the same one that Eli is talking about? You see, Mr. West, many people create their own realities. What is yours? I guess you enjoy that of a martyr. I've been watching this site for a long time and you seem to fit that one very well. Let me add - in your own mind.

So continue to dispose of my posts if you please. Afterall, you did INTERPRET it as negative. Perhaps the issue isn't with me, but with you? Or maybe you have some verses to back that one up as well? I wouldn't be suprised if you did.

As for you empty threats about my judgement: do you think God will destroy me? Am I not sanctified enough? Perhaps I'm not even saved? I curious as to how you will respond. Do you think God will judge those who speak the truth? What about those call a sin a sin? Did you not like how I told you that you'll never be completely sinless because I doubted you know how deep your sin runs? I'll say it again, good luck with your attempts at perfection. I wonder if God is actually behind you. hmm.. I guess we'll see someday.

Adam Wright said...

Eli,
I guess things heated up in here! What was the post that was deleted all about?

Anon,
You sound pretty angry man. I wish I could have read the post that was deleted, I'd love to talk with you. I think you're pretty intense, at least from what I read in your two posts. While extremely dangerous to say, I DO enjoy your thoughts on perception. Could you elaborate on that a little further? Are you saying that people make their own realities? What about absolute truths in the bible? Looking foreward to hearing your response.

Eli,
"You say you don't believe there are any Christians who don't sin... how many do you know? You are generalizing from those you DO know, and I imagine it is from a tight Baptist circle (please correct me otherwise). If you are taught that you cannot stop sinning you certainly won't. The saddest thing in life, is that a Christian will call another Christian who is living holy "fanatical" "legalistic" and "heretical." This is my saddest thought. And for what? For obeying God? This is the retribution from BROTHERS AND SISTERS? Oh this is sad."

I think you are selling Matt short. He's a smart guy! I think he can think outside of the box of his baptist upbringing. I truly believe that Matt can and does step outside of his personal biases to make a decision on something that is so important to him. I wonder what someone might say of your upbringing that would cause you to think the way you do? See? We need to be careful about what we say.

For the record, though, I dont think Matt is saying that it's not possible to avoid sin.

As much as I may not want to read into it, the recent Anon posting had an interesting point at the end: how deep does your sin run? Sometimes I am unaware that I am hurting people by my actions. That needs to be learned and changed - as you grow up! Do we really know everything about ourselves? Interesting post Anon.

Also, your comment about loving Jesus enough to not sin in a single day. I remember the story about Jesus asking Peter if he loved him. Of course Peter would have thought about the denials. What about when Jesus says to forgive 77 times?

I think there's something to be said for the grace of Jesus. He knows we're going to mess up and freely forgives us. I think you'd agree, Eli.

Think about this though, tell me what you think: do you think there is potential for more glorification of God though the world seeing our failures day to day and still being loved by God? Contrast that with someone who works so hard not to sin (as we all should do) and becomes frustrated when he or she doesn't make it.

Overall, I dont think Matt or Jedd are necessarily saying anything different from you in terms of our gift to overcome sin. What they're having a problem with is your motive in saying it.

Think about how it may look for a second. Someone is claiming to know more about grace than others around them (even though everyone has the unlimited grace of God) and is saying there is more to life. We all agree with this, no question. What, then, is the issue is saying that you are one up on everyone else. This doesn't really make any sense to us because we have the same forgiveness that you do and the same grace.

How you are comming across to us is that you feel you are better somehow. This is interpreted as arrogance. Maybe Matt or Jedd could correct me if I'm putting words in their mouths. But this is certainly how I perceive it.

The struggle here isn't about Grace, forgiveness, or theology at all. It's about perceived attitude. You may not like me for saying this, but I'm starting to really understand where Anon was comming from in the post just before me. Maybe you are causing others to stumble somehow? I'm not suggesting you stop preaching or teaching, but maybe just think about how it looks from another's perspective? I think Paul became all things to all people so as to win them. Is this bad advice?


peace.

Paul West said...

"How deep does your sin run?" ANSWER - What sin? It's gone, nailed to the cross, forgotten by God, on the bottom of the ocean floor, as far as the east is from the west. Only Satan comes and alludes that we still have it, and tries to rub our face in something that's not there. I implore you, please don't fall for this trap, brothers. Anonymous is no Christian, this is certain. His last post exposed this for all to see, and I hope brother Eli doesn't delete it.

This, by the way, happens all the time on the streets. You start preaching on holiness and sin and suddenly the masks come off. People begin attacking the preacher. I'm sure brother Eli can attest to this. Nothing infuriates darkness more than the spotlight of God's sin-purifying flame. This is what is happening. I stand my ground and say to Anonymous: Prepare to meet thy God. You cannot escape hell, friend. Please humble yourself and beg God to grant you repentance before you fall into His hands without Jesus.

jedd said...

PW,

I'm going to preface this post by saying that I'm not taking sides. I'm also not trying to pick a fight with you or with anyone. I want to make this crystal clear.

Do you not realize that the more you post these types of comments, the more you prove Anonymous' points about you?

If you really feel that he is no Christian (and I'm not saying that he is or isn't), why do you feel the need to defend yourself so ruthlessly? If you really do feel that God is your vindicator (as you boldly proclaimed above), why do you continually defend yourself in this public arena?

Honeslty, I initially thought Anonymous' comments about you went too far. I didn't put much stock in them. But now I'm thinking that he/she is on to something.

Again, I'm not taking sides. Perhaps you don't realize how your dialogue comes across to onlookers such as myself? I dunno. Anyway, just something for you to consider.

jedd

jedd said...

Hey Eli,

All we're (I saw 'we' because my name has been tossed in with Matt's) saying is that nobody actually denies sin 100% of the time.

If you know of anyone who does in fact deny sin 100% of the time, please let me know. I would love to meet with him/her/them.

jedd

Paul West said...

Jedd,

Please tell me how pleading with Anonymous to repent signifies defending myself?

I suppose by your logic that I shouldn't post anything at all (and truthfully, I get the feeling you wouldn't mind me disappearing from this blog altogether). I haven't attacked anyone here, yet I have encountered nothing but hostility, sarcasm and resentment from the moment I began my holiness message. As far as my critics go, Matt has been the only one who has shown me grace. You, sir, have not.

Go ahead and align yourself with an unbeliever against me. I pray that perhaps one day we can meet face to face and embrace each other and put an end to this cyber-criticism. This would be pleasing to God! May God open the door for this to happen!

God bless

Paul West said...

Jedd,

I read your post again and considered what you wrote. I think you're right. Maybe I don't realise how I come across. If I've come off abusive and unchristlike towards you or anyone else while discussing this topic, I truly am sorry. I repent and ask your forgiveness. I have tried to be as honest and sincere as I could. I hope, at least, you can see this as well. But if all you perceive is inadvertant arrogance on my part, then I probably need to take notice and do what you recommend.

That said, I will pray about what you've pointed out. May God's blessing increase in your life!

Brother Paul

Adam Wright said...

PW,
You seem pretty harsh on the Anon poster. I don't really like it either. How do you know he's not saved? That's a pretty harsh assumption. By the way, what exactly do you want this guy/girl to repent from?

And to side with Jedd, your posts do come across as beligerint. A lot of tone is lost on the net so we do need to be careful as to what we are saying.

Anonymous said...

Mr West,

You seem suprised almost that I would ask you how deep your sin goes. You ask me "what sin?"? Well, you have already admitted that you sin willingly in this thread. So, I'm confused, Mr. West, which is it? I think you need to forgive yourself, you've become very disillusioned.

Which statement of mine has convinced everyone here that I'm not a Christian? Was it the comments that question your intentions? Again, I'll remind my readers about Stephen: I wonder what everyone was thinking when he pointed out exactly what they were? Strangely, I can almost picture Mr West gnashing his teeth and loving every second of calling me unsaved. Does it make you feel better, Mr West? Of course it does. In the post that was deleted I've already pointed out your greatest fear. How badly do you want to be known, Mr West? How badly do you want to scramble to get to that place of recognition?

I am sure I'll stand before God as one judged. But not your God. Do you enjoy hiding behind your theology Mr West? Do you like being the ring leader in educating people to my state of sinfulness? I think you do. I wonder what biblical character that sounds like? I think you love it. I've been watching you for a long time Mr West. I think it's about time you prove to this site what's really inside. Go ahead. Call heaven down on me. Do you think God will listen? It goes to prove that the mind can convince the conscience of anything. I'll make my point clear so you can understand: I'm sure I'll stand before God, but not the God you are describing and believe in.

I laugh as I read your statements. The masks really do come off don't they? Everyone will see because it'll be shouted from the roof tops, right, Mr West? Tell me this: who tells you more about yourself, God or Satan? Be careful how you answer that one Mr West - you could end up being a blasphemer.

I think the only light that you've shown here is your own perception. You keep eluding my question, Mr West. What is your reality? I think people are finding out rather quickly.

Mr Wright, anger comes from fear. I don't fear anything that has no power. Unlike Mr West here. He fears me and this is shown by his words. I think Eli fears me too. They both offer such harsh rebukes, but in who's name? They'd agree to Jesus Christ but I wonder if it isn't Jesus actually working here to point these things out. What do you think? People can become disillusioned with their grandeur very easily. It's easy to hide behind a theology and call it faith. However, their perception of who that faith is about has been distorted I fear. I wonder how many people will be suprised when they actually see God in heaven and not a mirror?

Finally, Eli. If I am a brother you rebuke me. What for? Asking questions? If you had paid attention to your own words you would have realized that every Christian feels inadequate and inferior. What I'm worried about are those who do not; those like yourself. I should think that such a wise, educated, and learned man in the Spirit would realize that feelings of inadequacy go hand in hand with faith in a sovereign God. Has God restrained you? Or are you afraid? Maybe you're not really sure what you're thinking at all? Perhaps my words to Mr West have brought about a troubled heart for you too?

I hope Logic reads this closly, he speaks in such a grandoise fashion about philosophical ideas that he should know of whom I'm about to speak. Tell me who the greatest gadfly in Greece ever was. Then tell me this: what happened to him (Mr West, be sure to close your eyes at this part since you don't like Greek philosophy very much)? Do you think that when a person's perception which leads him to power and prestige is challenged, it makes him hostile? I wonder if those people that persecuted this man have a similar story to Mr West here, what do you think?

The answer to that question is yes. Hostility comes from some kind of fear. Maybe Mr West's true motives have been revealed?

Paul West said...

Wow. Looks like I'm really in a quandary right now! If I answer this personal attack, my brothers will fight against me and side with this devil, accusing me of being "too hard" on him; If I say nothing, I guess it means that he's got me licked and truly exposed who I am. In weighing the two matters, I have decided to remain silent.

Only answer me this: Which post did I put up here that warrants an attack like this? If you scoll up, you'll see that all my posts' objectives stress a holy lifestyle in accordance with scripture and victory over sin. Seriously - what have I done wrong here? All these ungodly remarks because of a so-called 'belligerent' tone? Do you not know how YOUR posts come off sounding to me? Highly sarcastic and condescending. Does this matter at all or am I the one perpetually at fault? I guess if I agree that no Christian can live sinless as God wants them to, even WITH the help of God, none of this would have happened.

My last post was entirely unmentioned; every attempt I make at peace is rejected here. Indeed, if I apologize, the replies get even more ugly and accusatory!

Brother Paul

Eli said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. Anonymous, what is your problem? Why are you attacking Paul in this way? He has solely wrote about Christian holiness and you then blasted away about his salvation? No wonder Paul responded in the way he did... as a matter of fact, I came to the same conclusion.

The important question to ask yourself is: Am I born again? Do I love Jesus more than the world? Do I love my neighbor? Am I a soulwinner? Am I filled with the Holy Spirit? If you cannot say yes to these questions you have no right or authority to come on this blog and blast away another brother about his salvation, doctrine or whatever. Get real.

The thing I hate most is the thought that there are people that comment on this blog about doctrine this and doctrine that are not even lovers of men's souls, praying men, faithful, zealous for good works, mindful of the poor, Bible hungry, righteous hungry, Jesus fixated, Spirit seekers or Spirit filled. Honestly, examine your prayer life before commenting on here about doctrine. God knows!


The doctrine of holiness is so clearly Scriptural... I haven't heard one of you guys argue against my Romans 7 exposition, and that alone should be enough to submit to God.

Okay, so you say we agree that we can overcome temptation... then why do we disagree in walking in victory? Sounds silly and unbiblical to me. I can overcome sometimes but not all times? Ridiculous, unbiblical and wrong. If you can overcome once why not twice? Why not four times? Why not the next 24 hours? Week? 3 months? If you can obey God for 3 months why not obey him for another 6 months? A year? We're talking about conscious obedience to God.

Repent of your sins. Dear me, how plain can that be? God says repent, why say: "I can't?"

Dear God... people, from now on before you comment examine your own life.

Eli said...

Brothers,

I am shocked how you side with the malicious post of anonymous. Why? I don't care if he said one thing right... his attitude is cleary unChristlike. He sounds like the Pharisees he was talking about. Why side with such a man?

It scares me to think that Christians would choose a wicked heart just to prove their point.

Matt Sears said...

Hello all,

To return to the original issue at hand, I just stumbled across John Calvin's commentary on Romans 7. Here's the link:

http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol38/htm/xi.htm

He believes that the condition of Romans 7 applies to the regenerate man, and he makes some good points. Just some food for thought. I think we should all read it.

Peace

Anonymous said...

Mr West,

I think your words do you the most harm. Your disillusion comes from the evidense that you think you are being personally attacked. As far as I can tell, you're the one who is telling everyone that I'm unsaved, a devil, a certainly no Christian. So tell me which bible character that sounds like? I'll give you a hint: he appears in the book of Job at the beginning.

Mr West, I also think the only reason your brothers are standing against you is because of your own words, can't you see? You've had issues on this site far before I got here. So what is it then, me? I find it interesting how you react to me, Mr West. I ask you some questions, I make some comments based on your posts and you seem to fly off the handle. I'm going to respect the intelligence of everyone who reads this and not suggest the obvious reasons for why this is. It's time to prove yourself Mr West, are you ready?

The reason your "apology" was not accepted is because you really don't mean it, Mr West. If you did, you wouldn't dramatize everything you read. I think people are becomming tired of our dialogue, don't you think, Mr West? But keep talking, the best parts are yet to come.

Eli, you're confused, aren't you? Of course you are. You think you've made infallible statements concerning theological issues. Here's the catch, Eli: your perception of scripture doesn't seem to resemble that of anyone else here. Yet you fight, make the same points, ridicule others because you think it's very "simple". Maybe it's not so simple, Eli. Maybe your mind isn't seeing the entire picture?

Gentlemen, here I stand. You don't like my remarks, do you? I wonder how close to home I hit each time I type. Your replies are getting more and more frustrated and malaligned. Maybe I am right, gentleman. So tell me, what will it be? Will God destroy me and save you? Or will I have to give account to a God that you've created in your minds? Perception is a dangerous thing, gentleman.

Paul West said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Logic said...

Anonymous,

you are well spoken and ask excellent questions. I find you questions thought provoking and revealing.

well done.

I would like to say that those who claim that 'anonymous' is a devil or non-Christian based on what he says on this blog are jumping to irrational conclusions. Simply because someone argues here, regardless of what they say, has no bearing on their salvation whatsoever. I find it intriguing to see people advocate so strongly that you are saved by grace, yet accuse people of being unsaved based on what they perceive as bad works. I think anonymous has exposed those of whom I speak.

No one should ever suggest that someone who posts here is not saved unless that person admits it. Why? Because nothing anyone can say here could ever be sufficient to prove they are not saved. No one knows if the person writing even represents the views they type. Presumption and jumping to conclusions about someones salvation or lack thereof only reveals who the ignorant truly are.

-Logic

Eli said...

I am forever confused how you side with anonymous, who has been the godless attacker and tell people not to accuse of being unsaved, when it was anonymous who first accused Paul of being unsaved.

QUOTE:
I would love to meet you and conduct several psychological tests. I'm sure we would all be shocked at it's findings. haha.

I even wonder if I'll stand before your God. I wonder if it's even the same one that Eli is talking about? You see, Mr. West, many people create their own realities. What is yours? I guess you enjoy that of a martyr.

I wonder if God is actually behind you. hmm.. I guess we'll see someday.

I think you need to forgive yourself, you've become very disillusioned.

Strangely, I can almost picture Mr West gnashing his teeth and loving every second of calling me unsaved. Does it make you feel better, Mr West? Of course it does. In the post that was deleted I've already pointed out your greatest fear. How badly do you want to be known, Mr West? How badly do you want to scramble to get to that place of recognition?

I am sure I'll stand before God as one judged. But not your God. Do you enjoy hiding behind your theology Mr West? Do you like being the ring leader in educating people to my state of sinfulness? I think you do. I wonder what biblical character that sounds like? I think you love it.

Do you think God will listen? It goes to prove that the mind can convince the conscience of anything. I'll make my point clear so you can understand: I'm sure I'll stand before God, but not the God you are describing and believe in.

I laugh as I read your statements. The masks really do come off don't they? Everyone will see because it'll be shouted from the roof tops, right, Mr West? Tell me this: who tells you more about yourself, God or Satan? Be careful how you answer that one Mr West - you could end up being a blasphemer.

I think the only light that you've shown here is your own perception. You keep eluding my question, Mr West. What is your reality? I think people are finding out rather quickly.

don't fear anything that has no power. Unlike Mr West here. He fears me and this is shown by his words. I think Eli fears me too.

t's easy to hide behind a theology and call it faith. However, their perception of who that faith is about has been distorted I fear. I wonder how many people will be suprised when they actually see God in heaven and not a mirror?

Has God restrained you? Or are you afraid? Maybe you're not really sure what you're thinking at all? Perhaps my words to Mr West have brought about a troubled heart for you too?

I hope Logic reads this closly, he speaks in such a grandoise fashion about philosophical ideas that he should know of whom I'm about to speak. Tell me who the greatest gadfly in Greece ever was. Then tell me this: what happened to him (Mr West, be sure to close your eyes at this part since you don't like Greek philosophy very much)? Do you think that when a person's perception which leads him to power and prestige is challenged, it makes him hostile? I wonder if those people that persecuted this man have a similar story to Mr West here, what do you think? (This is the most disgusting pride and I hate it)

Hostility comes from some kind of fear. Maybe Mr West's true motives have been revealed?

Eli, you're confused, aren't you? Of course you are.


This is the most disgusting words I've heard come from a "Christian." I hate it.

Adam Wright said...

Eli,

I appreciate your concern here. It's obvious that this person has made some serious comments.

I, honestly, do not know what to make of these comments. I know how they look. But if you read into them carefully, you find several interesting points. From what I can tell, they are REACTIONARY. They mostly play on the words and vocabulary that you and Paul West have used. This person, of course, makes a few statements on his own.

I'm not sure this person is understanding you, Eli. What I mean by that is, from what I can tell, he is exposing that what is typed here is not very clear. I, myself, will have to read posts a few times over to understand the meaning behind what a person is trying to say. It becomes quite daunting at times.

Eli, I think this person is making EXTREMELY interesting points about what is being said here. Remember, we can't read this person's tone. Could it be that his words aren't quite as 'disgusting' if they were said with a loving tone? I don't know, I'm just shooting that one out there.

I don't know man. I'm baffled. I've read them over quite a few times and cannot agree with your assumption that they are completely negative. I think they force you to ask hard questions about yourself. They've allowed me to do that. I think this person has a keen insight.

Anonymous, if you so choose to post again, please explain your comments.

peace

Anonymous said...

Mr West,

I can see that you have revoked your comments. Interesting choice. So you've finally decided to stop speaking here. You haven't in other places, however. It seems to me that when the going gets tough, Mr West goes to another thread. Apparently he doesn't like my questions. I think we all expected as much though. Thank you for concluding my research, Mr West. You've done quite well.

Logic, it is easier to suggest that I'm a devil than to think about difficult issues. This is what happens to people when they refuse to think outside their own perceptions. History is full of people dying because of new ideas. Wouldn't you agree?

Eli, where do I begin? You've made quite the collection of my statements. I do laugh, though. I am noticing an amazing trend! You are very good at taking things out of their context and making them say what you want them to. I could do the same with Jesus, if I wanted to. Take certain verses out and read them on their own and he becomes anything you want him to be! Amazing, isn't it? I'm sure you've heard of our friends the Mormons. They do very similar things as you Eli! Very good!!

I'm going to let you keep going, Eli. Keep denying the statements I have made. Call it disgusting pride. Keep deleting my posts. Maybe it was in the post that you deleted that I "first accused Paul of being unsaved". Of course, no one would ever know because it's gone now. You have quite the habit of doing that, don't you Eli? You like to go back and erase comments that you've made so that you don't have to be responsible for the mistakes you've made. What does this tell us about your character? Not taking responsibility is quite in concert with your words, too. You don't like to be wrong, do you Eli. Especially since you've received such a strong word from the Lord! How could you be wrong? Hasn't God spoken clearly to you? I have pointed out that Mr West has called me various things. The only thing you can rely on is a FALSE accusation that I first called Mr West unsaved. I promise you this: if anyone has called Mr West unsaved, it's been himself. Again, Eli, you are becomming a master at making people say what you want them to! You should apply for a job on CNN.

No worry gentlemen. I could have predicted how this thread would go before I even began to post. It's amazing how predictable these people are! One in the same, all as one. Maybe you aren't so different from Mr West, Eli? Maybe it's more about perception than you think, Eli. What do you think? haha.

Oh, by the way. Can you tell me who tells you more about yourself? God or Satan? Have you thought about that one, Eli? You should. I'll give you a hint: The Father of lies will try his hardest not to be exposed. So why are you reacting so harshly to my comments? Do you not like thinking about yourself? Maybe you've forgotten who Eli really is. Maybe you want to forget who Eli really is. Now I ask you, do you think God is really concerned with Pious Eli or with the real Eli? Tough questions, Eli. I wonder how you'll respond to these (as if we don't all know).

Mr Wright, my comments need no further explaination. You've read them a few times, hmm? Congratulations. Maybe you're getting closer to solving the puzzle.

Logic said...

Anonymous,

I am intrigued by your intellect and capacity to ask thought provoking and pointed questions. I also would like to conduct psychological tests on Mr. West, he would certainly make a good case study. I find the whole martyr thing rather amusing; its text book manipulation. hahhaha

you've also got an excellent ability at recognizing patterns in people. Well done.

Anyway, before I get deleted for saying some unnecessarily harsh things....

If you know who I am, please identify yourself to me somewhere other than this blog. I'd love to chat about your psychological and philosophical insights.

-Logic

Logic said...

Eli,

I have not sided with Anonymous. You have sided against Anonymous. I simply complemented him/her, Christian or not, on his/her ability to ask questions and assess a situation. Obviously anonymous has superior intelligence to most readers, which is probably why you are unable to answer his/her questions.

In my post, I did not assume Anonymous' salvation, or anyones salvation. I said only that nothing anyone can say here can prove or disprove salvation.

to quote myself, "Presumption and jumping to conclusions about someones salvation or lack thereof only reveals who the ignorant truly are."

If you read what Anonymous said very carefully, you will find he/she only makes suggestions or implications about Mr. West's salvation, and only likens your behavior patterns to that of the devil or the mormons (something i have also done in claiming you reason like a cult leader at times).

You ought to learn to differentiate between comparing behaviors and making accusatory statements. When I say 'you reason like a cult leader', I do not mean 'you are a cult leader', merely that you ought to re-examine your reasoning because it may be fallacious. Learning to differentiate between accusation and comparative observation would probably permit you to be less offended or hurt by what people say here. I am consistently surprised at how upset you get by the criticisms launched at you. Especially since I have never claimed to be deeply hurt or grieved over many of the accusations made about me.

You have called me a coward, unkind, unloving, unchristian, 'a lover of PhD's' (something negative), and Mr. West has accused me of not being a Christian. Yet when I suggest things you become hurt and play the martyr. I could play the martyr just as easily, but fortunately i respect myself more than that; and I also recognize that persecution comes from non-believers, not believers like yourself, Eli.

I do not side with anonymous because I do not know anonymous - just like you should not side against anonymous becuase you do not know anonymous. He/she is probably a Christian asking questions that he/she knows will provoke you. The funny thing is that you and Mr. West play right into Anonymous' hands. Its hilarious. Maybe you and Mr. West ought to pray for the gifts of discernment and wisdom, perhaps then you wouldn't fall into the traps set before you.

Anyway, I really think you and Mr. West ought to lighten up about things because most of the time, at least when i'm saying something, I'm laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Hope you enjoyed more of my antagonistic banter.

Eli said...

Brother, if you come on here and find yourself laughing I would ask that you not come back. I take all this very seriously, the gospel of Christ is serious and people's souls are serious.

I don't see what is funny, and I'm not laughing. This website would be better off without a 'laughing anonymous poster.'

Good day and God bless you.
In Christ,
-Eli