Oct 24

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not — 1Jn 5:18

Faults, lacks in social deportment that may be offensive, and mistakes in opinion, judgment, and actions are not sins – unless they include a voluntary act of disobedience against a known commandment of God (1Joh 3:4; 5:17).

What may be sin for one person may not be sin for another due to difference in light and understanding of what God requires (Rom 14:22,23; Joh 9:41; Jam 4:17; Rom 3:20; 5:13). The position that mistakes are sin and therefore all believers are sinners will tend to lead people to the conclusion that willful acts of disobedience are compatible with salvation.

As the scriptures are very clear that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin (1John 2:3,4; 5:18). The view that Christians sin is not only unscriptural but harmful as it will weaken the believer’s resolve to resist all willful acts of disobedience.

Wesley held and taught the position that sin was “an actual, voluntary transgression of the law; of the revealed, written law of God” (The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God section II.2) and that “even babes in Christ are so far perfect as not to commit sin” (Plain Account of Christian Perfection section 12.2).

The early Methodist leaders taught that under the new covenant sin is rated by light and understanding and where they is no law there is no sin. Further they taught that faults, errors, and mistakes in opinion and action were not sins as the will and temptation were not involved and they were compatible with love, and love is the fulfilling of the law.

The danger of the position that most Christians takes is that they mixes faults, errors, and mistakes in opinion with acts of willful sins calling both sin, thereby causing the Christian to profess to be a sinner, to daily confess his sins, and bow to the concept that he can’t live with out sin as we all know we will commit faults, errors, and mistakes in opinion and action.

This naming convention is faulty for the following reasons. 1) it is unbiblical as the new covenant scriptures clearly state that Christians don’t sin and whoever sins is not a Christian; 2) it uses the same name (sin) for two completely different acts, one that a Christian will do regularly (faults, errors and mistakes) and the other that they are completely saved from (willful sins); and 3) if faults and willful sins are both call sins and it is allowed that sins are consistent with the Christian experience many will not confine the sins they allow to faults.

While some many be able to operate under this system and keep involuntary transgressions (faults, errors, mistakes in opinion and action) separated from voluntary transgressions (what is called sin in under the new covenant) I have yet to hear or see anyone do it. They profess to be a sinner, and confess that they commit sin and nothing or little is said about what kind of sins.

Here is how John Wesley deals with this subject.

A Plain Account of Christian Perfection 19. Q5:
“(5.) The best of men still need Christ in his priestly office, to atone for their omissions, their short-comings, (as some not improperly speak,) their mistakes in judgment and practice, and their defects of various kinds. For these are all deviations from the perfect law, and consequently need an atonement. Yet that they are not properly sins, we apprehend may appear from the words of St. Paul, `He that loveth, hath fulfilled the law; for love is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 13:10.) Now, mistakes, and whatever infirmities necessarily flow from the corruptible state of the body, are noway contrary to love; nor therefore, in the Scripture sense, sin.

To explain myself a little farther on this head: (1.) Not only sin, properly so called, (that is, a voluntary transgression of a known law,) but sin, improperly so called, (that is, an involuntary transgression of a divine law, known or unknown,) needs the atoning blood. (2.) I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality. (3.) Therefore sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself. (4.) I believe, a person filled with the love of God is still liable to these involuntary transgressions. (5.) Such transgressions you may call sins, if you please: I do not, for the reasons above-mentioned.

Q. What advice would you give to those that do, and those that do not, call them so?

A. Let those that do not call them sins, never think that themselves or any other persons are in such a state as that they can stand before infinite justice without a Mediator. This must argue either the deepest ignorance, or the highest arrogance and presumption.

Let those who do call them so, beware how they confound these defects with sins, properly so called. But how will they avoid it? How will these be distinguished from those, if they are all promiscuously called sins? I am much afraid, if we should allow any sins to be consistent with perfection, few would confine the idea to those defects concerning which only the assertion could be true.”

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20 Responses to “Biblical Definition of Sin”

  1. 1. John Banman Says:

    Hmmm, much to chew on brother. I’ve never embraced this doctrine yet never used it as an excuse to sin. I’ll meditate and pray over it and get back to you with any thoughts the Lord might give me.

  2. 2. Jake Siemens Says:

    “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not” 1Jn 5:18

    Faults, lacks in social deportment that may be offensive, and mistakes in opinion, judgment, and actions are not sins – unless they include a voluntary act of disobedience against a known commandment of God (1Joh 3:4; 5:17).”

    Brother Bob,

    I was considering the above atatement and immediatley I thought of Paul’s account with Peter that is recorded in Galatians. I realize that you believe that Peter had a lapse of Judgement and therefore he did not sin, but let me use your own definition to show you otherwise. “A voluntary act of disobedience against a known command of God” did Peter do that?

    Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

    1.Peter was to be blamed, now that word blamed is used 3 times in the N.T and the other 2 times are found in I John 3:19-20 where it is translated condemn now that sounds a little bit more than a error in judgment. If this was just an error in judgement then and not voluntary then he need not be condemned by Paul.

    Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

    2. Fear: was this fear a voluntary act of disobedience to a known command of God? Surley Peter knew that the Fear of man is a snare and I ‘m sure He had read:

    1Sa 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

    What was Sauls sin? Fearing the people! Just like Peter Feared the Jews.

    also:

    Isa 8:12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

    Isa 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

    The above is clear command that Peter disobeyed “don’t be afraid of the people.”

    Peter was here tempted to Fear and willfully feared the Jews rather than God! So temptation and willfullness were both involved.

    3.

    Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

    dissimulation is defined as hypocrisy. They wrere all being Hypocrites is Hypocrisy a sin? I don’t believe that you would call it a lapse of judgement would you? It is what Jesus accused the Pharisees of over and over again and Peter here was acting no different than a Pharisee and I can imagine that some he was eating with were Pharisees.

    4. Not Uprightly:

    Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

    What is not uprightly? Not righteously, they were walking unrighteously. I don’t know how you can justify Peters actions here.

    I believe your desire to see all Christians walking in Holiness and sin free is very clear and is my desire also, but this teaching of Christians cannot sin and if they do they forfiet Salavtion is forcing you into the position of allowing hypocrisy , fear and unrighteousness as I have shown above. I believe it is a very dangerous doctrine to hold and will cause many to do the opposite of what you hope… excuse sin!

    I’m praying for you

    Jake Siemens

  3. 3. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Jake; Thanks for posting your comment.

    >>>I realize that you believe that Peter had a lapse of Judgement and therefore he did not sin, but let me use your own definition to show you otherwise.

    I feel like if Peter did what he did willfully that he sinned. But if he had a serious lapse of judgment in the heat of a moment I would not charge him with sin. Clearly what he did was wrong and need to he needed to be rebuked. Whether he did it willfully or not is some thing that is hard to judge and I will leave that to the Lord as I can’t see Peter’s heart and I don’t feel like the Bible makes it clear where he did or not. Either way what he did was wrong and needed to be strongly rebuked.

    >>>1Sa 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
    What was Sauls sin? Fearing the people! Just like Peter Feared the Jews.

    Saul’s sin was willfully disobedience to the Lord and was the results of fearing the people. I think as humans it is not abnormal to fear man but to fear man to the degree where it causes you to willfully disobey God is wrong and a snare.

    >>>What is not uprightly? Not righteously, they were walking unrighteously. I don’t know how you can justify Peters actions here.

    First I am not justifying Peter’s actions here at all. I am not sure where you get that. The Greek for “not uprightly” in this passage is “οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσιν” and means ‘not straight footed’.

    >>>but this teaching of Christians cannot sin and if they do they forfiet Salavtion is forcing you into the position of allowing hypocrisy , fear and unrighteousness as I have shown above. I believe it is a very dangerous doctrine to hold and will cause many to do the opposite of what you hope– excuse sin!

    First I don’t hold that Christians can’t sin but I do hold that if they sin they do forfeit salvation. And I think the scriptures will agree with that. James tells us if you offend in one point the law you are guilty of it all (Jas 2:10). Then Paul gives us a list of sins and tells us that “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:21).” John tells us that some one that hates his brother is a murder and then tell us that “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1Joh 3:15). So it is the Word of God that tells us that a person that hates their brother doesn’t have eternal life. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell me a Christina can hate a brother and still be have eternal life when you have the Word of God clearly stating that he doesn’t.

    Second holding this teaching in no way forces me into the position of allowing hypocrisy, fear, and unrighteousness. In my opinion holding the teaching that salvation is forfeited for willful sin puts harder judgment on the sin not a less judgment.

    I stand against all actions that are rooted in hypocrisy, fear of man, and not walking straight footed. What Peter did was clearly wrong and he was rightly strongly rebuked for it. But whether Peter did what he did willfully knowing he was wrong or whether he had a serious lapse in judgment in the heat of the moment after a life time of influence against Gentiles I don’t feel like the account tells us clearly.

    I don’t think it is incompatible to say that what Pete did was hypocrisy, not straight footed, and caused by the fear of man and at the same time to say if he had a serious lapse in judgment in the heat of the moment after a life time of influence against the Gentiles – that what he did was not sin.

  4. 4. Mrs. Kelly Gazendam Says:

    Hello Bob,
    I am one of the women that you spoke to in Tim Horton’s in Tillsonburg. I am always interested in looking at what other Christian brothers and sisters viewpoints are and prayerfully consider what they say. I am impressed with the plain-ness in which you write in. God’s Word is not meant to be difficult to understand but is spiritually discerned. God bless you and keep you until that day when Jesus returns to take His faithful Home.

  5. 5. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Kelly; Thank you. I guess I write plain because I am not very educated. I didn’t do very good in High School and if I remember right I just got a 65% pass each year. I was rebellious and had a substances abuse problem.

    I love the Word of God and may times it blesses me so much I cry. It has changed my life is completely it is hard for me to believe it. I am a ex-crack head off the street. It is just like I am not the old Bob but that I am a new person. I guess that is what the Bible says. Glory!

    I am not much for dogma that doesn’t do anything for our walk but I love the practical things in the Word of God. I know I get a blessing writing these short posts and if you can get a bit of a blessing from reading them that I say all glory be to Jesus!

  6. 6. Haz Sams Says:

    I totally agree with Jake Siemens above and believe that the doctrine here is an error, albeit a genuine error. I was ‘born again’ in a holiness church and I thank God for that. However, I was not blind to the errors in some of their doctrine because I chose to rightly divide the word of God. [For questioning this doctrine I was called a demon-possessed]. I have personally witnessed the danger of this doctrine and how people who adhere to it can actually practice hypocrisy (and I pray for them every day).
    I really love the Lord and am dedicated to live for Him everyday. I am also concerned about the lack of teaching on practical holiness in most churches and can almost understand where ‘Holiness Churches’ are coming from in this matter. However, only the truth, not error, sanctifies. Throughout church history there has always been a tension between those who try to add to the gospel – and this is clearly forbidden (Revelations 22:18) and those who subtract from the gospel (Revelations 22:19). Both Legalism and licentiousness have always been very real and big problems. If God says you are saved by grace alone, why add to the doctrine and say you need to work for it (as Catholics have done). If God says pursue holiness without which you will not see God, why subtract from the word of God by not teaching the importance of pursuing holiness. (Revelations 22:19) But equally dangerous is the highly moralist view which claims that one can attain a state of sinless perfection. If God makes it very clear what is sin so why add or subtract from that definition?
    Below, I wish to highlight 2 very important things. The first point highlights what i believe is the biblical and therefore, God’s definition of sin and the second positions is what I believe is the consequence of this definiton for the born again Christian.
    1. God does not make a distinction between wilful sin or sin committed in ignorance.
    See an example in (Numbers 35:9-28) According to the book of Numbers (15: 22-29) there was a need to offer a sacrifice for sin committed unknowingly. Notice the definition of the act is still ‘sin’ notwithstanding that the person did so unknowingly. For wilful sin, off course, there was no sacrifice for it (vs 30) and this position remains [Hebrews 10:26-27.]
    2. We must daily ask for God’s forgivenss
    If God sees something as sin and we call it something else i.e mistake or error we are in fact calling Him a liar. (1 John 1:10). If he calls it sin then we must agree with Him and ask for forgiveness. If we (born again Christians) walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) In other words when we constantly expose ourselves to the light i.e the truth of God’s word and confessing and agreeing with God on His definition of sin, the blood of Jesus will cleanse us. (We need the cleansing every single day till He comes back for the second time)
    Jesus just had to teach his disciples in Luke 11:4 to daily pray ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’ because God is so Holy and his standard, as we have seen, of what is ‘not sin’ is so high.
    The fact that we need cleansing from our sins everyday is seen in the Old Testament shadow of how the Jews had to offer a sin sacrifice every day (Numbers 28: 1-8, 15 etc.) We are not tempted any less than the Jews were and we are in fact warned in 1st Corinthians 10: 12, after being told how the Jewish history is an example to us, that ‘let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’
    But praise be to God that Jesus died on the cross of calvary for my sins: past, future and present. In His eternal wisdom and mercy He gave us the body of Christ which was offered once and for all for sins past and future (Hebrews 10:12,14). Oh how wonderful and how glorious is the death of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Unlike in the old Jewish days, all I need to do is to plead the blood of Jesus. This is why Jesus died!
    However, this truth that Jesus died for our sins past and future is not available so that we may sin gratuitously (1 John 2:1) but so that if we do (and God knew that we would) we should remember that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only (that is for us born again Christians), but also for the sins of the whole world (that is for those not yet born again who will through election and grace come to the knowledge of Christ. (I John 2:2) [Many Holiness Christians do not quote verse 2 of 1 John.]

  7. 7. BLuewater Says:

    Hello
    I am In Seok
    I am wondering that why is a bibilican definition of sin important?
    I really want to know that….^^
    Thanks for reading me..

  8. 8. Bob Mutch Says:

    Hi Bluewater,

    The Biblical definition of sin is important because the New Testament teaches us that whoever commits sin is of the devil (1Jn 3:8). Therefore we need to know what sin is.

    The sin question is one of the most important questions for believers and non-believers alike.

    Is sin any short coming as in getting irritated, going 5km over the posted speed limit, being late for an appointment? If these “small sins” are sins is there any difference between them and the “big sins” like lying, lusting in your heart, and stealing?

    Is sin just something we will have to commit daily for the rest of our lives? Are our sins all forgiven past, present, and future?

    Is so what does the Bible mean when it says “He that committeth sin is of the devil” (1Jn 3:8)? Is God able to “make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear” (1Co 10:13) every temptation? Does God expect us to take the way of escape?

    When Jesus told the woman taken in adultery to “go, and sin no more” (Jn 8:11) did he really mean that or was that just an ideal to aim at and she was only expected to try to sin less?

    These and many more questions are very important!

    I am trying to address these questions in a fair and Biblical way.

  9. 9. Don McMahon Says:

    I do not know the original biblical language; but, from my research the answer is found in the tense of the verb sin. If someone “goes on sinning”, “habitually sins”, then they are not Christians. Here is a helpful link: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1822

  10. 10. timothy sauder Says:

    This is a good issue in that I am tired of hearing the Lutheran Calvinist thing we sin everyday in thought word and deed. It can not be true if we are called saints and the seed of Christ is in us helping us not to sin. Do Christians sin? Yes. Should they sin everyday? NO. For a Christian walking in the spirit we should be above sinning willfully. I know it does happen but then we have an advocate with the Father. As I come nearer the end of my life I now see God has me on a tighter leash. I step out of line and he lets me know fast. But then again it is my choice and I want to be there. I am a Christian after all.

  11. 11. Rob Says:

    To Haz Sam & Bob Mutch,
    Today I write this as a saved individual that has a ‘real’ personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How do I know? I love not in word but in deed, 1 John 3:18 “….let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” I can only do this through the grace and strength that Christ gives every day.

    Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Paul, the apostle did not say some things…but all! What I can do is…. ” [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
    I had someone within previous correspondence with me, ask me this question concerning sin.:

    1. If you recognize something to be wrong in your life, thought, word or deed… is this sin? If so, must you ask forgiveness for every standard broken that is not exactly Christ-like? If so, have you backslid every time forgiveness must be asked? If you have to ask forgiveness of another, for anything, have you sinned against them?

    I can only go to scripture for my reference as to what sin is. The word of God (with the spirit witnessing) alone is my teacher. If any man or woman teaches anything that the word of God does not reveal to me as truth or is contrary to what God has shown me personally through his word then I am to reject that or shelve it until (unless) God reveals it to me in the future.

    Galations 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” When a person gets saved they are a ‘babe in Christ’, reborn of the spirit. Just as a baby doesn’t know how to walk, talk, stand or do things neither does a babe in Christ. As a child grows they are taught (and disciplined to teach) what is right and wrong. This is the same for a Christian.

    I pray that God will reveal to you my desire is not to judge you or your knowledge of his word or your understanding (light) of his word. It is my desire only that you pray, seek his face diligently that he reveal ‘all truth’ that you may be, and remain clean before God. I pray that you will have his love and peace on a day to day basis with no regrets or guilt. I am no one to judge your fruit. God does that through his word and what he reveals to you personally. It is possible that you (or anyone for that matter) can get saved in a location that does not teach ‘all truth’ concerning sin and what Gods standard is. But, God will show each of us more truth which possibly will expose any error in teachings or previous beliefs. We then have a decision to make whether to ‘obey God rather than man’(Acts 5:29).

    When I refer to ‘standard’ typically I know most individuals minds will go immediately to the ‘outward standard.’ I am not referring to this at all! I am referring to the ‘inward standard’. 1 Peter 3:4 ‘But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible,[even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit…” In this chapter the Apostle Peter deals with outward ‘standards’ but he brings it down to point out that if we have the right ‘heart condition’ one which is not corruptible, then it is easy (and our desire) to listen to and do all that the word of God will ‘teach us’ as far as obedience in our walk with God and even outward standard as he reveals it to us. 1 John 1: 7 tells us to ‘walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,…’ Walking in the light is being obedient to what scripture teaches (trains) us as we grow in Christ.

    What is sin? James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin. 1 John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

    The definition of Unrighteousness is: injustice (properly the quality, by implication the act); moral wrongfulness (of character, life or act):- iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.—Strong’s Greek & Hebrew. To commit unrighteousness (sin) I must do (commit an act) something that is ‘morally wrong or something unjust to God or not do what I know to do that is good!

    1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    Definition of committeth means to: to make or do; perform or execute (as in an act)—Strong’s Greek & Hebre. Of the law, means: illegality, i.e. violation of law; wickedness :- iniquity,, unrighteousness.—Strong’s Greek & Hebrew (G & H)Iniquity means: evil, sin (Strongs G & H).

    If we do (perform or execute and act of) sin we violate God’s law. What law is the Apostle John writing about? The law of God brought through Christ! This law of God comes from the commandments Christ taught and ultimately what his disciples/apostles taught, as they were taught by him first hand. Jesus said in John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. Vs 21 ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:…’
    John 15:10 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.

    Jesus is clear that ‘If we keep his commandments’ we shall ‘abide in his love.’ This thought can only lead us to the conclusion (along with multiple other scriptures) that if we ‘don’t keep his commandments’ we shall NOT ‘abide in his love.’ What are some (just a few) of his commandments? A few listed that are writings of his own words and the Apostles that knew him best and heard his words/teachings first hand:

    1. Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you (Matt. 5:44).
    2. Bless them that curse you; let no cursing come out of your mouth (Matt. 5:44).
    3. Pray for them that despitefully use you and afflict you (Matt. 5:44).
    4. Be not conformed to this world: love not the world (1 John 2:15).
    5. Deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off (Titus 2:13; Matt. 5:30).
    6. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate (Rom. 12:16).
    7. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Matt. 22:37).
    8. Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7).
    9. As you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12).
    10. Take Christ for an example and follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21).
    11. Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things; yea, than your own life (Luke 14:26
    12. Confess Christ freely before men (Luke 12:8).
    13. Beware lest the cares of life or the allurements of pleasure weaken his hold on your heart (Matt. 24:44).
    14. Let your light shine before men: hold forth the word of life. Do good to all men as ye have opportunity (Matt. 5:16).
    15. Be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15, 16). Conversation means: behavior *Strongs Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
    20. And certainly not least, Go and Sin No More (John 5:14)‘….sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’(John 8:11)‘…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’
    21. The definition of ‘No’ more means: no further :- any longer,(not) henceforth, hereafter, no henceforward (longer, more, soon), not any more.—Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
    22. 1 John 3:5-6 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    23. This is the same John who wrote the Gospel of John.

    John 15:10 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.

    The question I must ask of myself is:

    ‘Am I keeping his commandments every day?’

  12. 12. Jim Says:

    “I feel like if Peter did what he did willfully that he sinned. But if he had a serious lapse of judgment in the heat of a moment I would not charge him with sin.” (From post 3).

    Really? Bob, I’m glad to know that you would not have charged him with sin. I wish you would have had that power in the Garden of Eden when Adam had that serious lapse in judgement in the heat of the moment. However, you do not have the power to charge or not charge with sin, as you should already know. This type of comment (I would not charge him with sin) is typical from people who know little about Greek and systematic theology, and these comments are made because of the need to explain away the errant theological positions they hold. Teaching the Bible is more than just hauling out some scriptures and trying to make them fit your system of beliefs. You need to know the original languages, and you clearly do not. If you did, you would have discussed salvation from the perfect tense of the Greek instead of the present tense. You cannot defend the present tense as a continuous present in relation to salvation. There is a reason that Bible scholars (all of them) differ with your opinion on the continuous present relative to salvation in John 3:16. (For those who might read this post, please consult ANY Greek grammar and research the perfect tense in relation to Ephesians 2:8. It’s not hard to do). You also need to become acquainted with systematic theology as well as basic principles of interpretation. A Christian cannot sin? Paul wrote that “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” Romans 7:15. If a Christian cannot sin, then 1 John 1:9 was a waste of paper. Before you teach others, Bob, go back to the grindstone and learn the subjects I mentioned. Get it right.

  13. 13. Matt Says:

    I may be mistaken, but I believe the Bible say in Romans 10:8 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I’m not aware of any part of Scripture requiring you to keep the commandments to maintain you salvation, or how can you call it “grace” if we are earning it?? The Word says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” If we allow sin to separate us from God, that is suggesting God takes back the gift He gave us, meaning it isn’t a “gift” but a payment for our labors, which is in clear contradiction to Scripture.

    I only wish that you ponder these Scriptures. I don’t doubt your intentions; I am sure that you want to help. I just feel you may have come to the wrong conclusion.

    Matt

  14. 14. bob Says:

    It says “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13) but it also says “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk 13:3), and it also says “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). So there are conditions to be saved.

    Also there appears there are conditions to stay saved.

    – IF you forgive you will be forgive.
    Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you

    – IF you continue in the Word then you are a disciple.
    Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed”;

    – IF you don’t abide in Christ you will be cast forth as a branch.
    Joh 15:6 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 you don’t continue in his goodness you will be cut off.
    Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    – IF you continue in the faith you will be presented holy in his sight.
    Col 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    – IF you hold fast unto the end you are Christ’s house.
    Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

    – IF you hold your confidence steadfast unto the end you are a partaker of Christ.
    Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

    – IF after you are saved you sin willfully there remains no sacrifice for your sins.
    Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    – IF you keep his commandments you know Christ.
    1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    – IF what you have heard remains in you, ye will continue in the Son.
    1Jn 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    >>>I’m not aware of any part of Scripture requiring you to keep the commandments to maintain you salvation, or how can you call it “grace” if we are earning it?

    There are conditions for many of God promises. If you have read much in the OT you will see lots of promises and lots of conditions.

    There is no merit toward your salvation for keeping the commandments but they still are a condition.

    >>>If we allow sin to separate us from God, that is suggesting God takes back the gift He gave us, meaning it isn’t a “gift” but a payment for our labors, which is in clear contradiction to Scripture.

    The promises of God come with conditions. If you don’t keep the conditions you don’t enjoy the benefits. We are not paid with salvation if we keep the commandments, we are given salvation with the condition of keeping his commandments and his commandments are not grievous.

    Bob.

  15. 15. Matt Says:

    I don’t doubt that SOME of the promises in God’s Word are conditional; I am merely suggesting when we refer to salvation it doesn’t say it is conditional. None of the passages you gave deal strictly with salvation.

    1 John 2:3 says that if you are saved you will exhibit these fruits, it doesn’t say that exhibiting those fruit keeps you saved, or justifies you in God’s eyes. If we are justified by faith, how can we say that our works. Galatians 3:10-11 says “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” If we are to “live by faith”, how can we add to Scripture and require works?

  16. 16. Matt Says:

    I’m sorry if it seems like I am attacking you, because I don’t mean to. I just think it is good for brothers in Christ to sharpen each other and to try and understand all sides. I don’t desire to offend you and readily admit I am not the best scholar in the world. I just would like to see Christ glorified and that sometimes involves discussion. Sorry again if I was offending in any way.

  17. 17. bob Says:

    Matt,

    >>>I am merely suggesting when we refer to salvation it doesn’t say it is conditional. None of the passages you gave deal strictly with salvation.

    All the messages I gave you have to do with salvation. Forgiveness Mat 6:14, being a disciple Joh 8:31, abiding in Christ Joh 15:6, continuing in his goodness Rom 11:22, continuing in the faith Col 1:21-23, being Christ’s house Heb 3:6, being a partaker of Christ Heb 3:14, knowing Christ 1Joh 2:3, and continuing in the Son 1Joh 2:24 — these are all issues of salvation.

    Bob.

  18. 18. bob Says:

    Hi Jim,

    >>>Really? Bob, I’m glad to know that you would not have charged him with sin. I wish you would have had that power in the Garden of Eden when Adam had that serious lapse in judgement in the heat of the moment. However, you do not have the power to charge or not charge with sin, as you should already know.

    Seems like you feel like you can charge Peter with sin. With what judgment you judge it will be judged to you. Personally I don’t see where the Bible says he sinned and seeing how in the NT sin is rated by light and understanding I don’t want to be quick to think I can read Peter’s heart and judge him to have committed willful sin.

    >>>This type of comment (I would not charge him with sin) is typical from people who know little about Greek and systematic theology

    I am not sure what charging a person with committing sin or not has to do with Greek or systematic theology.

    >>>If you did, you would have discussed salvation from the perfect tense of the Greek instead of the present tense.

    I didn’t discuss any Greek in this article at all nor did I discuss salvation. The article was about the definition of sin.

    >>>There is a reason that Bible scholars (all of them) differ with your opinion on the continuous present relative to salvation in John 3:16.

    I didn’t even discuss John 3:16. You must be thinking for someone else.

    >>>A Christian cannot sin? Paul wrote that “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” Romans 7:15. If a Christian cannot sin, then 1 John 1:9 was a waste of paper.

    I never said a Christian can’t sin, I do hold that a Christian doesn’t have to sin. As far as Rom 7 that has to do with a person under the law that is in bondage to the law of sin and death. A person in that condition needs to be saved.

    Christian love,

    Bob.

  19. 19. Believer Says:

    Hi!

    It seems to me that everyone has a desire to become sinless, at least those who claim to be Christians and do not love their sin so much that they take every opportunity to defend their right to it. For a true believer, any act of sin brought to their attention should break their heart. We must understand that sin is not the long list of fun things that God as a stern and heartless parent refuses to allow us to do. Sin is always something that leads us to death, and because God is love and because He loves us, He does not wish to see us perish. Sin hurts the one who sins.
    However, I would like to point out that sinlessness, or holiness can not be achieved nor attained, nor can salvation. Let us take an example. Supose that God’s requirement for salvation, holiness, perfection and sinlessess was for a person to touch the end of their nose with their fingetip and say “I believe”. A corny example, but please bear with me. If there was just that one single thing to be done in order to be saved, then anyone who did it would be able to boast because the fact would be that salvation could not have occurred without their contribution. They could look at those who refused to touch their finger to the end of their nose and say “Aha! I did what was right, I am better than that person. I deserve salvation!” The glory would not be God’s alone, but a person could rightfully take credit for their salvation and glory in it if it required even one single thing to be done to be received.
    Salvation is a free gift of God. Salvation encompasses justification and sanctification and glorification. Salvation begins at the moment of receiving Christ as Savior and never ends for all of eternity if you are a believer.
    Please also consider, if God made it so that it required one single thing to be done or accomplished for a person to be saved, then, from our previous “silly” example of touching your nose, what about the person who has no fingers or has no nose? They would be excluded from the possibility of salvation! If you believe that confessing with your mouth is necessary for salvation, do you also believe that the mute are excluded from the possibility of salvation?
    So how is salvation received? It is received freely by accepting the truth that God accomplished it ALL at the cross and at the resurrection of Christ. If God did all that He did to leave us to fend for ourselves by our own ability the sinful nature of Adam into which we were born, and this same God says “Be holy as I am holy” and “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”, then your God is a God who is trying to make you be a harlot, to live a life born into the sin nature of Adam and yet sleep with the Holy Spirit!
    I encourage you to read the book of Hosea to discover what God thinks of harlotry between the “Kingdom of the world” and the “Kingdom of God”. You see, only an unjust God would allow you to remain in the sin nature of Adam and ask you to receive the Holy Spirit in your heart. The fact is, God is just and He accomplished the crucifixion of your sinful Adamic nature at the cross and you received it the moment you were saved. You are to reckon yourself dead to sin (the nature of Adam) and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
    If God did not crucify your sinful nature at the cross with Jesus, then God is unjust and makes you to be a harlot with Him as you remain alive in your sin.
    So why do we “see” another law in our memebers trying to bring us under captivity to sin when in fact our sinful nature has been crucified and we have been taught by God to reckon it dead? For the same reason a child “sees” imaginary monsters in their closet at night. Until that child accepts the truth in their heart that there is no imaginary monster to attack them from the darkness of the closet, they will live in bondage to an imaginary monster. So too most Christians, having never heard the truth of the gospel as Paul and John and Jesus taught, and as I have just briefly shared, live their lives in continuous bondage to something that no longer exists except in their minds.
    The purpose of Romans 7 is not to undo the facts laid out in Romans 6 about how we are dead both to our sin nature and to the law because WE died on the cross with Christ and now Christ lives in us, rather it is to illustrate how unbelief in the finished work of Jesus Christ through a desire to DO or ACCOMPLISH righteousness by our own “I” empowered ability leaves one in the sorry state of “carnal Christianity”, a life of living in sin because you are afraid of the sin nature in you that Christ crucified with Him and no longer exists.
    The only way that you can be saved is to accept the free gift of salvation through the only means by which it has been made available, Jesus Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life. If you have been saved, then your sin nature has been annihilated by God and you have been born again into the lineage of Jesus Christ. You are no longer a son of Adam, you are a son of God. If you think God did not take away and utterly destroy your heart of sin and replace it with a living beating heart of love, you are living under the mistaken assumption that God is demanding you to be one with Him while still being one with the nature of Adam. Your God is therefore unjust and is not God at all, but a clever counterfeit. Satan transforms himself into an angel of light…..
    How do you live sinlessly? By accepting that God has crucified your sin nature and believing (believing is NOT a work nor can it be gloried in, faith is given by God!) that you ARE perfect and sinless and Holy and a Saint even as God says you are repeatedly in the New Testament. We are not asked to DO holy, we are called to BE holy. We can only be that which we are. We are holy because Christ is holy and Christ indwells us with His resurrected life.
    There is no excuse for a believer to ever sin. Nor can a believer ever make being sinless his goal. A goal can only be achieved by self effort, the power of the flesh, and the flesh profits NOTHING. NOTHING of the flesh can please God.
    Living sinlessly is to receive salvation and allow it to be lived in your life by God’s power so that He alone may glory. Sinlessness is effortless because effort is a work of the flesh. Faith is a work of the Spirit. If you believe your flesh still exists and was not crucified with Christ, you have yet to experience salvation – the saving resurrected life of Christ imparted to you freely! You believe in self not Christ, and by definition you are an unbeliever. All unbelievers believe in SELF. Only Christ can save us and has saved us if we accept His free salvation.
    Only unbelief can bring someone who is saved to a point of sin which leads to death, although there are sins not leading to death which may also only occur through an evil heart of unbelief. (See 1 John, Hebrews).
    I pray for those of you who truly desire Christlikeness that you do not fall into the trap of Romans 7 by making Christlikeness a goal instead of accepting it as the completed work of Christ on the cross imparted to you by God.
    You ARE sinless. You ARE holy. You ARE Christlike. You ARE a child of God. You ARE dead to your sin nature in Adam. You ARE alive in Christ. When the Holy Spirit convicts you of this truth, you will live it. You will live a life not sinning, not by your own efforts or self control (which is really named “temperance” in the Bible and is a fruit of the Spirit), but by the power of God lived in you every second of every minute of every day.
    If you find yourself struggling to stop yourself from sinning, you are not there yet. The imaginary power of your dead self can never overcome the power of self, it only makes you believe more strongly that your crucified self is still alive. It brings you to animate the rotting corpse of your Adamic nature that was dealt with at the cross.
    As for the definition of sin – Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh Gal 5:16, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit Rom 8:4, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit Romans 8:1.
    Any second of your day spent not walking in the Spirit of God is a moment during which you are walking in the sinful nature of Adam (which God crucified for you and no longer has any power over you except that which you imagine). You can only fulfill the righteous requirement of the law, not sinning, by walking in the Spirit.
    But if you have been saved then you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:9.
    Your old man, the flesh is dead. Accept that God did it. Now live perfectly the more abundant life God accomplished for you to live by His sacrifice and His power through Christ Jesus. Live sinlessly because you are sinless, not because you strive to become sinless by your own efforts.
    This is the truth God gave to me the moment I was saved from a life of alcoholism and lustful sin. I have been sharing this truth, the gospel, with people for over 12 years. Some reject it and remain in their sin. Some seem to receive it but the cares of this world choke it out and bills, medical emergencies or television cause them to take their eyes off of Jesus. Some receive it an live it and are empowered to accept that “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17b.
    It is a fact. You cannot make Christlikeness happen because God already did it in you and for you. It is to be accepted and received as the truth it is, not to be sought after through self discipline nor learning nor praying nor scripture reading. It is done. Christ said so, and that is exactly what He meant.
    Be a believer.
    I love you all and thank you for your consideration of the truth I have shared. May you receive it not from carnal knowledge nor intellect but through the Holy Spirit. I pray now that you receive the fullness of Christ’s life in you and that you be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. He is your Father if you have received Jesus as your salvation and He loves you with a love inextinguishable. Rejoice in His love. Allow your life to be lost that the life of Christ in you may be received. He who loses his life for my sake will find it…..Jesus said.

  20. 20. John Says:

    Wonderful post .. agree wholeheartedly .. with the exception of this talk about a sin nature. There is no such thing. It is the flesh the Bible talks about .. not some “sin nature”. The flesh is crucified with Christ, not the sin nature. Otherwise, great post.

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