Baptists/Is It Possible?
We were in conversation about a topic concerning "Is it possible to cease from doing those sins of the flesh." You're last response did not allow me to respond, so I took liberty to start afresh a new email. Your last reply was:
"Greg, I have answered your questions repeatedly with God's word. I too know what you believe and reject. You believe in "sinless perfect." By your statements you once believed what the New Testament teaches but now reject it. That Sir is your privilege to do. God will not force His truth on you. I know that you sincerely believe what you have stated and that is your choice. However, 1 John 1:5-10 refutes sinless perfect and many scriptures in God’s word."
Cooper, I also do not believe in "sinless perfection." I too believe that it's not possible to be perfect in this life, as that perfection will not be attainable until we receive our new bodies, as our new bodies will not be subject to entropy even like it is now. But it is possible to cease from doing those sins of the flesh in 1 Cor. 6: 9-10 and Gal. 5: 19-21; and not only is it possible, but it is expected of Him of us that name the name of Christ to do so (2 Tim. 2: 19).
If a believer in Christ should "fall" and give into doing one of those sins of the flesh then they are to immediately confess that sin and repent, with godly sorrow, and He will forgive them: "not seven times, but seventy times seven" (until the end of this age of time), but we (with His Help, the Holy Spirit) must overcome those sins of the flesh, which can only be done by having an abiding relationship with Him: "...for without me you can do nothing" (John 15: 4-5).
So I propose this a question to you. In His word it says,
"Every branch in me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15: 2),
My question to you is, how then can someone be in Him and not bear fruit, as the one in Him that bears not fruit He takes away to be burned? (vs. 6)
You continue to say in your reply,
"In God's eyes I am without sin because my sins are covered under the blood of Jesus Christ, that means all my sins, past, present and future. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13) I also do not commit the sins of the references you sited....but that does not mean that I am not capable of such sins. I still have the old nature that has not be eradicated. It is still there but not in control as with an unsaved man. I do not have to chose to sin and that is what the new nature of Christ gives the believer."
My response to the above is I agree with you, as all believers in Christ still have that propensity to sin, and I praise God that you do not allow yourself to give into doing those sins of the flesh, as those sins are willful sins, and anyone who does those sins will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5: 21). But it is presumptuous for any believer to think that He continues to abide in the believer, even in the midst, if they should give into doing one of those sins of the flesh, as light and darkness will never cohabit at the same time ever: this is both a physical and spiritual law.
This is the issue with most of Christendom today, as they teach that He continues to abide in the believer, even in the midst of them doing one of those sins of the flesh, as they misconstrue Heb. 13: 5; that they can never lose their salvation, which is a lie from hell! This then takes us back to the abiding relationship with Him (John 15), in which Heb. 13: 5 is patterned after the physical temple, with Him abiding in the holy of holies (out heart), which our bodies are the temple of God (1 Cor. 6: 19-20).
Then you say,
"Sir, when God made reference to those sins He was identifying the life style of the unsaved. I sin and God says I do and His propitiation for my sins was absolute and complete. (Col. 2:10-15) I don't commit those sins, but my sins are more subtle. Paul battle the same problem in his life as Romans 7:14-20, plainly reveals. Paul said he sinned...”Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:20)."
I totally disagree with you about Paul, and his struggling with sin in Romans 7. Paul was simply, as a believer in Christ, speaking of his former life when he lived as a Pharisee, and how he could not stop doing those sins of the flesh by the law, "for the law is spiritual, but I am carnal..." (vs. 14), as he then concludes that through Jesus Christ (the doctrine of Christ, which substantiates His gospel, that teaches us to "go, and sin no more". "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God."
And they you continue to say,
"I have no righteousness of my own and even though I do not commit the grosser sins, I have nothing to brag of and my keeping myself from these sins is the evidence of God's salvation, grace, and indwelling presence in my life. If I through my will and human endeavor do not these gross sins, if I accepted your premise, then I would be by my own righteousness keeping my self from sin and earning my continuing salvation."
Do you not see that by the doctrine that you believe, which I also once believed for over 28 years, keeps one from being a doer of the word and removes that expectation He has of us to be holy, as that doctrine teaches that there is nothing that we can do, but rather ascribes to it as being works if you should keep ourselves?
But quite the opposite, as scripture tells us to, "be YOU doers of the word" (James 1: 22); cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit" ("2 Cor. 7: 1); "And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (1 Jn. 3: 3), " to preserve ourselves holy (1 Thess. 5: 23), etc.
And then you say,
"No...I do not these sins because of the Holy Spirit that I yield to and who is the source of all righteousness. I am not in my own power no sinning, but in the power of God who in me. When I turn from temptation I do so in the power of God, not in myself. My old carnal nature it the source of temptation. (James 1:14-18). Sir, the unsaved man cannot be righteous nor can he keep from sinning. The believer can because he has the new nature, the nature of God in him."
To what you said immediately above I agree. Amen! But after reading all that you have said it appears you are under the notion that He clothes us with His blood, which many are taught this metaphorical clothing of His blood represents our holiness, even if we should give into doing one of those sins of the flesh. But the truth of the matter is, the only thing He represented for us was our sins on the cross. Yes, His blood does cover our initial sins, which comes through confession of sin, and true repentance of sin, in which we will be forgiven and cleansed of all our past sins, even as He will continue to forgive us of our sins IF we should sin in the future, but to take the mindset that we will continue to sin in the future turns His grace into cheap grace.
You then say,
"I have studied God's word of over thirty years....I have not blindly accepted anything I was taught in college, I investigate each teaching on my own and I rejected those things that were in error."
What things did you find in error that you rejected? You say,
"I am not perfect...but I know that I have God's promise of eternal security and I cannot be lost. You cannot convince me other wise with human wisdom or misinterpreting God's word."
Again, I agree with you that we cannot attain "sinless perfection," but we can cease from doing those sins of the flesh in 1 Cor. and Gal. 5. You then say,
"1 John 1:7 says that if the believer sins He falls from “fellowship” not salvation."
If we're not in fellowship then it's not possible to be saved, as He says, "without me, you can do nothing." Therefore, if we are not in Him then it's not possible to cease from those sins of the flesh. And if we are doing those sins of the flesh, then we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Therefore this entire passage of scripture in 1 John 1 informs us of the things of God, in which the apostles had first hand knowledge of, and declares to us, so that we may have fellowship with the Father and Son, so our joy may be full, and to cease from doing those sins of the flesh, so to be saved.
You then say,
"Verse 8 says if we confess our sins, He forgives and cleanses us from that sin. A believer is already forgiven....so the forgiveness in this verse means in to put away our sins."
As you are already aware of, Gnosticism was rampant, and had crept into the churches at that time. This general epistle from John was his declaration, having heard from Him, "that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." John's purpose to write this letter in written form is to declare the things he had heard of Him, so that they that read it could also share in the fellowship they had in Him. To share in that same fellowship that the apostles had is to share in the understanding of His love and joy and expectation to cease from doing those sins of the flesh.
Then you say,
"The power to overcome the sin is with God, when we confess we have sinned against him. It is our willingness to yield to God’s convicting power that works in us to overcome the continuation of sins and this is because of our being the child of God who is indwelled by the Holy Spirit."
This is true, but I don't think you fully understand what you said, because if you did, then you would not be contending with me, but would be in agreement. You said, "The power to overcome the sin is with God." The key word here is "with," which means: you and Him together are all things possible. Jesus says, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes."
Therefore, if all things are possible, why then is it not possible to keep our sin nature in control and under our feet at all times, as one of the attributes of Him that He gives to us is self control? (1 Cor. 10: 13; Gal. 5: 23).
In conclusion of to you say,
"If we do not sin...why does God address it in the believer’s life so often in the Scriptures? Why does he give assurance of salvation to those who believe, and say we have eternal life, if we can by our sins lose it?"
You asked me, "If we do not sin...why does God address it in the believer’s life so often in the Scriptures?" My answer is because that is how you hear to perceive to believe the scriptures. One who is born again in Christ is taught that they "do not commit those sins of the flesh, as they keep themselves, and the wicked one touches them not" (1 Jn. 5: 18).
Jesus says, "Except you repent and be converted in heart, and become as little children, you will in no case enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 18: 3).
God expects holiness, and He has given to us all tools necessary to preserve ourselves holy.
In the love of Christ,
Would you E-mail met firstname.lastname@example.org and answer one question? Do you believe you can lose your salvation if commit one of the sins Paul makes reference to. Just yes or no.
It is not convenient to us Allexperts. If we continue please address one thing at a time. I apologize but my time is very limited. You have many different questions in this submission. I can answer each of these questions but it is difficult to pull them out individually.