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gracesosweet
Sep 14th 2007, 04:24 PM
I would like to share something with you and ask for your input. I am in a small group within our church that has some very strong, mature Christians in it. Just recently, however, a couple of them have referred to the fact that they are "horrible, wretched, nasty sinners" saved by the grace of God. Of course I believe that - that is not what I'm hung up on. They say that they are these horrible sinners using the present tense. It is one thing to describe themselves as such prior to receiving the gift of salvation - that describes all people who have not repented and placed their live in God's hands. And I also realize that even after we are saved, we will continue to sin. 1John 1:8-10 clearly states that. What is bothering me is the idea that they are continuing to describe themselves in that way, when I believe that they are new creations, just as 2Cor. 5:17 states. I can't put my finger on exactly why it bothers me so much. I sort of feel like it's somehow disrespectful to see yourself that way after you've been covered by the blood of Jesus. After all, when God sees me after salvation, he sees me as righteous, because of that very same blood.

I hope this makes sense - I look forward to your comments...

Friend of I AM
Sep 14th 2007, 04:56 PM
I would like to share something with you and ask for your input. I am in a small group within our church that has some very strong, mature Christians in it. Just recently, however, a couple of them have referred to the fact that they are "horrible, wretched, nasty sinners" saved by the grace of God. Of course I believe that - that is not what I'm hung up on. They say that they are these horrible sinners using the present tense. It is one thing to describe themselves as such prior to receiving the gift of salvation - that describes all people who have not repented and placed their live in God's hands. And I also realize that even after we are saved, we will continue to sin. 1John 1:8-10 clearly states that. What is bothering me is the idea that they are continuing to describe themselves in that way, when I believe that they are new creations, just as 2Cor. 5:17 states. I can't put my finger on exactly why it bothers me so much. I sort of feel like it's somehow disrespectful to see yourself that way after you've been covered by the blood of Jesus. After all, when God sees me after salvation, he sees me as righteous, because of that very same blood.

I hope this makes sense - I look forward to your comments...

Hey Grace. Well all I can do is speak from my personal experience. Sometimes, despite the fact that we walk in grace, despite the fact that we know we're loved and renewed - theres just an emptiness sometimes that one knows can only be filled by being with the Lord. Perhaps that's what the couple is feeling. A longing a desire to be with God, because they at times realize their state of helplessness and unhappiness has to do with not totally being in His presence.

It's kind of like when the woman with the scented perfume went to the feet of Jesus and annointed his feet with her perfume and wiped his feet with her tears. She knew that Jesus's kindness and Love and Grace knew no bounds - but she just felt so much guilt and sadness over being able to give him so little and being so wretched. I guess the Love of God, more so than anything is what makes us cry out "O wretched man/woman I am" sometimes.....it's so awsome that you just can't do anything but look at yourself and what you do with disgust. Thanks be to God that he is loving, and understands our thoughts and motivations.

Much Love for ya -

Stephen

gracesosweet
Sep 14th 2007, 05:27 PM
I totally see what you are saying, Stephen, but these are people that just IMMERSE themselves in the Word and time with God. Obviously, I can't know their heart - only God knows that - but I really don't think they are experiencing any emptiness or anything like that. They are strong, joyful, bold Christians, but they will tell you in a minute that they are miserable sinners, and I just don't agree with that view. :confused

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 06:09 PM
I totally see what you are saying, Stephen, but these are people that just IMMERSE themselves in the Word and time with God. Obviously, I can't know their heart - only God knows that - but I really don't think they are experiencing any emptiness or anything like that. They are strong, joyful, bold Christians, but they will tell you in a minute that they are miserable sinners, and I just don't agree with that view. :confused

It's probably the fact that they are SO HUMBLE that they in no way could see themselves other than lowly sinners saved by grace. They truly understand their position in Christ and are not prideful. A person that reflects on how much they have been saved from is a person I want to be around.

It's not a contradiction of terms or an indication that they are living double-lives as a super-sinners..... I believe they are a model of humility and meekness that should make us all take notice - like you did.

VerticalReality
Sep 14th 2007, 06:12 PM
Personally, I think many times such statements are either false humility or ignorance of what the Word says about the children of God.

You hear Christians all the time say that they are nothing but a bunch of sinners saved by grace.

I prefer to say that I'm a saint who occasionally may sin. I'm not worthless. I'm not just a filthy sinner. I'm a saint. I'm a child of God. That's who I am, and I'm not going to take on a false sense of humility and call myself something that the Word of God disagrees with.

Sold Out
Sep 14th 2007, 08:17 PM
Personally, I think many times such statements are either false humility or ignorance of what the Word says about the children of God.

You hear Christians all the time say that they are nothing but a bunch of sinners saved by grace.

I prefer to say that I'm a saint who occasionally may sin. I'm not worthless. I'm not just a filthy sinner. I'm a saint. I'm a child of God. That's who I am, and I'm not going to take on a false sense of humility and call myself something that the Word of God disagrees with.

Then you will disagree with what the apostle Paul had to say about himself:

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am (present tense) chief. " I Tim 1:15

"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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:23,24

VerticalReality
Sep 14th 2007, 08:42 PM
Then you will disagree with what the apostle Paul had to say about himself:

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am (present tense) chief. " I Tim 1:15

"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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:23,24

I don't disagree at all. Jesus did come to save sinners. However, now that I'm saved, I'm a child of God. I'm no longer a child of darkness, but I'm a child of light.

And you bolded the question in Romans 7, but you omitted the answer. Paul is delivered from being a sinner by the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, he's not just a worthless ol' sinner anymore. He's now a child of God and he's been given victory over sin. So, no longer is he just an old rotten sinner.

Brother Mark
Sep 15th 2007, 04:02 PM
I would like to share something with you and ask for your input. I am in a small group within our church that has some very strong, mature Christians in it. Just recently, however, a couple of them have referred to the fact that they are "horrible, wretched, nasty sinners" saved by the grace of God. Of course I believe that - that is not what I'm hung up on. They say that they are these horrible sinners using the present tense. It is one thing to describe themselves as such prior to receiving the gift of salvation - that describes all people who have not repented and placed their live in God's hands. And I also realize that even after we are saved, we will continue to sin. 1John 1:8-10 clearly states that. What is bothering me is the idea that they are continuing to describe themselves in that way, when I believe that they are new creations, just as 2Cor. 5:17 states. I can't put my finger on exactly why it bothers me so much. I sort of feel like it's somehow disrespectful to see yourself that way after you've been covered by the blood of Jesus. After all, when God sees me after salvation, he sees me as righteous, because of that very same blood.

I hope this makes sense - I look forward to your comments...

We do not find our identity in our sin. I agree with you 100%. We are saints, children of God, cleansed. How can I call unclean that which God has cleansed?

I am a new creature. I am as righteous as God himself is. Do I sin? Yea. But that is not who I am. It is what I do, sometimes. But I am in Him. I am a new creature in Him. I am righteous. I am a saint.

Time to go run around the building. :pp:pp:pp

The Holy Spirit will convict his children of righteousness. Once they realize they are as righteous as he is, it is a freeing moment indeed.

Sold Out
Sep 15th 2007, 04:39 PM
I don't disagree at all. Jesus did come to save sinners. However, now that I'm saved, I'm a child of God. I'm no longer a child of darkness, but I'm a child of light.

And you bolded the question in Romans 7, but you omitted the answer. Paul is delivered from being a sinner by the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, he's not just a worthless ol' sinner anymore. He's now a child of God and he's been given victory over sin. So, no longer is he just an old rotten sinner.

I agree that we are children of God, but we still battle the sin nature daily, which Paul clearly demonstrates in his writings. While in this physical fleshly body....we are still sinners, just saved ones.

The point I was trying to make is that these folks the OP referenced are not confused about who they are in Christ...they are just humble. We should all be so humble.

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6

Brother Mark
Sep 15th 2007, 04:42 PM
We are dead to sin. How can I consider myself a sinner when I am dead to sin?

VerticalReality
Sep 15th 2007, 09:34 PM
We are dead to sin. How can I consider myself a sinner when I am dead to sin?

Exactly! What's so humble about saying something about yourself that isn't biblically accurate in regards to who we are in Christ?

Sold Out
Sep 15th 2007, 10:27 PM
We are dead to sin. How can I consider myself a sinner when I am dead to sin?

Do you still sin?

VerticalReality
Sep 15th 2007, 10:30 PM
Do you still sin?

As has already been shown in another thread, a born-again Christian committing a sin doesn't change who they are in Christ. When are the same regardless of whether or not we mess up and sin sometimes.

Sold Out
Sep 15th 2007, 11:04 PM
As has already been shown in another thread, a born-again Christian committing a sin doesn't change who they are in Christ. When are the same regardless of whether or not we mess up and sin sometimes.

I know that......

The point I'm making is that we are still SINNERS even though we are saved. Our eternal destiny is sure, but the fact remains that as long as we are in the body, we are still sinners and will sin until the day we die.

Brother Mark
Sep 15th 2007, 11:08 PM
Do you still sin?

Occasionally. But that is not how I identify myself. Nor am I taught to identify myself that way from scriptures. I am as righteous as God is and that is taught over and over in scriptures for those that are new in Him. ;)

Put another way, are you identified with Christ? Are you in Him? If so, does He sin?

VerticalReality
Sep 16th 2007, 01:25 AM
I know that......

The point I'm making is that we are still SINNERS even though we are saved. Our eternal destiny is sure, but the fact remains that as long as we are in the body, we are still sinners and will sin until the day we die.

How can you keep from sinning if you are already with the mindset that it's impossible?

It's not impossible to keep from sinning. We simply choose to be disobedient when we sin. The Lord said He would always provide a way out. If you don't take that way out, it's not because you didn't have a choice and sin was inevitable. It's simply because you chose to disobey.

If you're a sinner . . . it's because you choose to be one. However, thank the Lord that He has given us victory anyway, and He is patient with us.

Sold Out
Sep 17th 2007, 01:08 PM
How can you keep from sinning if you are already with the mindset that it's impossible?

.

Sinning is part of our nature....we are sinners by birth, nature & practice. Of course we sin due to disobedience. Every act of sin is disobedience. What I'm saying is that it is impossible to not sin after we are saved. Our own thoughts condemn us, and to be honest, there are thoughts that pop into my head that I can't figure out where they came from.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 01:15 PM
Humility is something that should be judged by God, as oppossed to by what a man says. There may be some men who say "I'm a wretched sinner saved by grace" who may do so with a humble spirit, and likewise there may be some men who say "I'm as righteous as God himself is" and are of a humble spirit. Ultimately, whether or not a man is truly demonstrating Godly humility and agape love is up to God to determine.

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 02:33 PM
Sinning is part of our nature....we are sinners by birth, nature & practice. Of course we sin due to disobedience. Every act of sin is disobedience. What I'm saying is that it is impossible to not sin after we are saved. Our own thoughts condemn us, and to be honest, there are thoughts that pop into my head that I can't figure out where they came from.

It's not my nature. I'm not the same person I was when born into this world. I was born again into a new nature when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. My nature doesn't change because I may stumble because the blood of Jesus Christ is better than that. If you're saying that my nature changes every time I sin, you're saying that Jesus' blood wasn't enough to conquer sin. This is not biblical. My nature is the same all the time. I have a righteous nature now. The reason the Jews had to continuously offer blood sacrifices is because the blood of bulls and goats was only good to cover the sins of Israel. The blood of Jesus Christ is a one time sacrifice that cleanses us of all sin and transgressions. If your nature changes every time you sin, you need another sacrifice to cover that sin. Scripture tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed every sin that we would ever commit. Because of that, our nature does not change. We are not like Adam and Eve in that our nature changes because we sin. They didn't have the blood of Jesus Christ to wash them clean.

And why do you think thoughts condemn us? This sounds like the baptist teaching that we sin in thought, word and deed constantly. This is one of the most defeated teachings I've ever heard.

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 02:35 PM
Humility is something that should be judged by God, as oppossed to by what a man says. There may be some men who say "I'm a wretched sinner saved by grace" who may do so with a humble spirit, and likewise there may be some men who say "I'm as righteous as God himself is" and are of a humble spirit. Ultimately, whether or not a man is truly demonstrating Godly humility and agape love is up to God to determine.

What I'm saying is that it's one of two things. Either they are presenting false humility or they are ignorant of what the Word says about the born-again believer. If you say you're just a wretched sinner saved by grace, you aren't describing yourself the way the bible describes you. Therefore, you are either presenting false humility or you just don't know what the Word says about your true nature.

gracesosweet
Sep 17th 2007, 02:38 PM
Oh my! It is very difficult for me to get on the forum on the weekends, so I had no idea how many replies had been posted! They have all been very insightful. Some of you had worded what I am feeling much better that I did. Brother Mark and Vertical Reality, I tend to agree with you. Once I am saved, I'm no longer identified by my sin. I don't think that indicates pride in that area, just acceptance of what Scripture tells me. And I agree that it is NOT impossible to sin. What does Luke 1:37 tell us? NOTHING is impossible with God. Is my sinful nature more powerful than the very power of God that lives in me? But I can (and do) choose to sin, much to the grief of the Holy Spirit.

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 03:28 PM
Regarding Paul as the Chief of Sinners:


1 Tim 1:12-17

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul is not saying that he is living in sin. He is saying that Christ came to save sinners, and He is chief among the sinners Christ saved because of what he had done in the past. He obtained mercy from God even though he had done some really horrible things, and this is a pattern for anyone who will believe -- we can be saved too, we can obtain mercy too, even though we too have done horrible things.

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 03:35 PM
Regarding Paul as the Chief of Sinners:


1 Tim 1:12-17



And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul is not saying that he is living in sin. He is saying that Christ came to save sinners, and He is chief among the sinners Christ saved because of what he had done in the past. He obtained mercy from God even though he had done some really horrible things, and this is a pattern for anyone who will believe -- we can be saved too, we can obtain mercy too, even though we too have done horrible things.

I agree, Tanya. Nice addition.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 05:32 PM
What I'm saying is that it's one of two things. Either they are presenting false humility or they are ignorant of what the Word says about the born-again believer. If you say you're just a wretched sinner saved by grace, you aren't describing yourself the way the bible describes you. Therefore, you are either presenting false humility or you just don't know what the Word says about your true nature.

How are they presenting false humility? We don't know that. Only God does. Why should we condemn a man for saying "Oh Wretched sinner I am..thank the Lord God who is All Loving and Righteous who saves me" and shout praises to a man who says "I'm righteous because He gives me strength, though I am a sinner - I am still righteous through Him."

With their words -- both men are attributing righteousnous to God, not to themselves. It would be as if I were to say the Centurian was more humble before Jesus, than the thief on the cross. I can't really make that determination. Only God can. All I know is that both men came from sinful lifestyles, but both demonstrated humility before God in different ways - as both were sinners. So sometimes people have different ways of communicating things, but it doesn't mean that any one person is more ignorant or incorrect scripturally than the other.

gracesosweet
Sep 17th 2007, 05:38 PM
I'm not sure I would say what they are presenting is "false humility". As I mentioned earlier, it almost sounds as though the sacrifice of Christ is being discounted. It is lovely to be humble and remember where you came from, but I am a daughter of God now, not a pitiful, miserable sinner. To identify myself as anything lower than that seems disrespectful. I hope that makes sense....

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure I would say what they are presenting is "false humility". As I mentioned earlier, it almost sounds as though the sacrifice of Christ is being discounted. It is lovely to be humble and remember where you came from, but I am a daughter of God now, not a pitiful, miserable sinner. To identify myself as anything lower than that seems disrespectful. I hope that makes sense....

I understand where you are coming from. Which is why I think that Paul's testimony is so profound in this area. As it has been pointed out by Many -- Paul himself referred to himself as a "wretched sinner" saved by only Christ's grace- but again as it has pointed out by many, Paul also referred to himself and others as a "child of God" and one annointed with the righteousnous of Christ.

There's a definite balance that needs to be looked at here I guess. I don't think Paul was trying to take away from Christ's sacrifice in either scenario. In both he was demonstrating the righteousnous of Christ, His own weakness and infirmities, and the fact that he was able to receive a renewed mind and spirit through Christ Almighty and become a Child of God.

Brother Mark
Sep 17th 2007, 05:51 PM
False humility could describe it. Why? Well, not that the humility itself is false, but what it is based in.

For instance, if a man 10 feet tall, saw himself as a midget, and as a result, never lived up to his giant hood. His humility may be real in the sense that he does not recognize his true stature. But it is based in a falsehood of who he is. So, it could be labeled a false humility. ;)

Perhaps someone who sees themselves still identified with sin may be truly humble about it. They have not yet come to recognize their full stature in the Lord. But once they do, they stay truly humble recognizing who they are is all because of Him. But on the other hand, their humility no longer has with it any condemnation.

Is it not weird to hear words concerning the fear of God yet confidence in God coming from the same man? When a man walks completely in who he is in Christ, he will fear God, all the while completely resting in his identity in Christ.

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 05:53 PM
We should think of ourselves in Scriptural terms. It seems to be popular in certain Christian groups to focus on the sinfulness of man because it seems that by doing so, we exalt Christ more. I wouldn't go so far as to say that people who think this way about themselves are exhibiting a false humility -- how would I possibly know? The problem with the view though, is that it doesn't acknowledge the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, and as such dishonors Him. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We need to believe that about Him, and about ourselves because of what He has done for us. People who think this way need to meditate on Romans 6-8, rightly interpreting chapter 7 rather than zeroing in on a certain part that when misinterpreted (as it so often is), cancels out 6 and 8.

This mentality can lead some to turn God's grace into licentiousness. If we are still truly vile sinners after salvation, we may as well behave like it.

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 05:58 PM
Paul himself referred to himself as a "wretched sinner" saved by only Christ's grace-

Paul never says he is a wretched sinner saved by grace. Read Romans 6-8 together as a unit. Romans 7 was not written to cancel out 6 and 8. Paul uses the gnomic present in some of the verses to emphasize a universal truth -- that those who are trying to be righteous according to the works of the law will fail and fail miserably.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 06:01 PM
False humility could describe it. Why? Well, not that the humility itself is false, but what it is based in.

For instance, if a man 10 feet tall, saw himself as a midget, and as a result, never lived up to his giant hood. His humility may be real in the sense that he does not recognize his true stature. But it is based in a falsehood of who he is. So, it could be labeled a false humility. ;)

Perhaps someone who sees themselves still identified with sin may be truly humble about it. They have not yet come to recognize their full stature in the Lord. But once they do, they stay truly humble recognizing who they are is all because of Him. But on the other hand, their humility no longer has with it any condemnation.

Is it not weird to hear words concerning the fear of God yet confidence in God coming from the same man? When a man walks completely in who he is in Christ, he will fear God, all the while completely resting in his identity in Christ.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling...didn't Paul mention that too? ;)

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 06:01 PM
How are they presenting false humility? We don't know that. Only God does.

I didn't say it had to be false humility. I said it could either be false humility or ignorance of what the Word says. It's one or the other. Either they are just trying to make themselves appear to be humble, or they are simply ignorant to what the Word of God says about a born again believer.

It may not be false humility. However, if it's not false humility it is ignorance of the Word.

gracesosweet
Sep 17th 2007, 06:02 PM
We should think of ourselves in Scriptural terms. It seems to be popular in certain Christian groups to focus on the sinfulness of man because it seems that by doing so, we exalt Christ more. I wouldn't go so far as to say that people who think this way about themselves are exhibiting a false humility -- how would I possibly know? The problem with the view though, is that it doesn't acknowledge the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, and as such dishonors Him. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We need to believe that about Him, and about ourselves because of what He has done for us. People who think this way need to meditate on Romans 6-8, rightly interpreting chapter 7 rather than zeroing in on a certain part that when misinterpreted (as it so often is), cancels out 6 and 8.

This mentality can lead some to turn God's grace into licentiousness. If we are still truly vile sinners after salvation, we may as well behave like it.

Excellent post, Tanya, and I fully agree!:)

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 06:21 PM
I don't think certain groups are trying to "focus on sin" to insinuate "licentuous." And I don't think anyone was trying to zero in on one verse. Individuals just have different ways of expressing their gratitude towards Christ and exalting Him above themselves, or any righteousnous He can impart upon them. When we are weak, He is strong. That doesn't mean that I think I am weak in Him, but it means that I know my weakness makes Him strong in me - because His strength is perfected in my weakness. This is case when I sin. Does the fact that I sin mean that Christ's grace isn't strong enough to overcome? Of course not. I can't make it through this life without him, but my salvation comes by Him staying with me even though I was/am a sinner. How is that taking away from God's grace any? I don't think it is. His grace is everylasting and in abundance for all of those who love Him. And more than any of us as children of God can comprehend.

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 07:28 PM
Hi Friend,


When we are weak, He is strong. That doesn't mean that I think I am weak in Him, but it means that I know my weakness makes Him strong in me - because His strength is perfected in my weakness. This is case when I sin.

This isn't Biblical though. What you are suggesting here, is that God's strength is made perfect in us when we sin. If that were the case it would be good for us to sin, and in fact the worse the sin and the less resistant we are to it, the more God's power is perfected in us. That just isn't the case. The weakness Paul is speaking about in that passage is not sin, but physical weakness. Here is how Paul described himself to the Corinthians:


1 Cor 2:1-5

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling . 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

His weakness was not in reference to sin. In another place he speaks of how he dealt with human weakness when it came to sin:


1 Cor 9:24-27

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

It is very clear from what Paul says about himself in these passages (and many others could be cited as well), that his life was characterized by physical infirmity and weakness, but was not characterized by sin. He also repeats what others had said about him when questioning his authority in the gospel:


2 Cor 10:10
"For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."

Paul sternly warns his readers many times against believers allowing sin to have dominion in our lives. He warns us not to be deceived about such things. He didn't practice the very thing he warns us against, disqualifying himself from the inheritance, but he also lived in the power of the Holy Spirit.



my salvation comes by Him staying with me even though I was/am a sinner. How is that taking away from God's grace any?

His grace is what enables us to live godly lives. The confusion many people have, is that grace means God will overlook the sin we continue to indulge in our lives. That isn't the Scriptural teaching.


Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Romans 6 tells us that because we have been saved, we can walk in newness of life. Every believer who is fighting a losing battle against a habitual/addictive sin is doing so unnecessarily. Through Christ we have been given power to overcome, and each one of us can learn how to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 07:49 PM
Yes you are correct sin is not what glorifies God. My wording with that one was very poor and I'll admit to err with it. His Grace, love, humility, and righteousnous are what glorify him. But, I ask you this Tonya -though you are righteous through Christ, does that mean that you are no longer a sinner? And if one admits themselves to be a sinner saved by God's Glorious Grace, does that mean that they are essentially automatically disregarding the grace, power, and mercy of Christ to overcome sin?

Before I you answer though, let me just say that I see where many of you all are coming at from this perspective - In terms of identifying with yourselves as saints as oppossed to sinners. I must admit I like the positivism of that message, and it's good that you all have pressed on with this position - as it has given me an opportunity to look at the glass from a half full instead of a half empty perspective. That being said - I still think that one should be careful in the deliverance of that message as well...seeing as How one can indeed get themselves caught up in thinking that they are above reproach before God almighty as well as above reproach from any man who challenges their position....

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 08:20 PM
Hi Friend,


Yes you are correct sin is not what glorifies God. My wording with that one was very poor and I'll admit to err with it. His Grace, love, humility, and righteousnous are what glorify him. But, I ask you this Tonya -though you are righteous through Christ, does that mean that you are no longer a sinner? And if one admits themselves to be a sinner saved by God's Glorious Grace, does that mean that they are essentially automatically disregarding the grace, power, and mercy of Christ to overcome sin?

I always prefer, whenever possible, to use Biblical terms, ideas, and concepts. This is the only way our minds can be renewed. Otherwise I am imposing my own ideas onto the Scripture and by so doing, I am very likely to misapply or misinterpret it, or even misuse it.

Scripture says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That means Jesus died for me when I was a sinner. Is there any passage of Scripture that describes believers as sinners? I know of many passages that warn believers against sin, and the whole book of 1 John teaches us to NOT think of ourselves as sinners. Yet there is an acknowledgment that believers sin, which is why John wrote:


1 John 1:5-10
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

and also


1 John 2:1
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

I would encourage you to do a study of 1 John. I don't think the Scripture teaches us to consider ourselves as sinners. If we think of ourselves as sinners, will we not be more likely to behave like sinners? But we are to think of ourselves as new creations, dead to sin and alive to God. Because of this we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies. The fact that there is SO MUCH about this subject throughout the NT, which was written to Christians for our instruction, is evidence that Christians do sin. Yet the teaching we have been given is that we are to put it off, get rid of it, remove it from our lives, letting God do His work of sanctification in us.



I must admit I like the positivism of that message, and it's good that you all have pressed on with this position - as it has given me an opportunity to look at the glass from a half full instead of a half empty perspective. That being said - I still think that one should be careful in the deliverance of that message as well...seeing as How one can indeed get themselves caught up in thinking that they are above reproach before God almighty as well as above reproach from any many who challenges their position....


I understand. I think Paul is a good example for all of us. This is how we can think of ourselves, and how we can live our lives:


Phil 3:8-16
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained , let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the response Tonya. Taking biblical verses into perspective and not out of context is good on both sides. So I assume the answer to my original question is yes, you are indeed a sinner - saved by Christ's Grace and Mercy based on 1 John 1:8

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

So obviously as we both have already stated -- it ain't the sin that's all powerful. God's Grace is..as well as is confession of one's sins before God. If we don't confess ourselves as sinners before God, How then can we be called righteous and repent? So the acknowledgment of one being a saint before God is only accurate, when one first acknowledges themselves before God as being a sinner.

Let me ask you another question Tonya..

Was Job's righteousnous enough to qualify him a "saint' in God's eyes, or was the repentance and acknowledgement of his sins that qualified him as being righteous?

Tanya~
Sep 17th 2007, 10:21 PM
Hi Friend,


If we don't confess ourselves as sinners before God, How then can we be called righteous and repent?

An unbeliever confesses himself as a sinner before God, repents, believes the gospel, and receives Christ. Now he is a believer. A believer doesn't continue to confess himself as a sinner. When he sins, he confesses his sin. But he doesn't confess HIMSELF as a sinner. The purpose of the passage and the whole of this little epistle is not to perpetuate a cycle of sin/confess/get forgiveness/sin again/confess again... but to go through a process of sin -> confess -> receive forgiveness -> be cleansed of unrighteousness. It is a process of sanctification where we are progressively becoming more like Christ. Paul's encouragement from Philippians quoted above speaks of a forward progression, and that is what we need to see in our lives as well. Not that we have already attained, but we keep pressing forward. To the degree that you have attained, you keep pressing forward from there, you don't go back to the same junk.


So the acknowledgment of one being a saint before God is only accurate, when one first acknowledges themselves before God as being a sinner. To call oneself a sinner is to identify oneself as having a life characterized by sin. What does 1 John tell us about a life that is characterized by sin? The purpose of the teaching is that we would learn to walk according to the will of God. :)



Let me ask you another question Tonya..Okay, but my name is Tanya, with an a. :)


Was Job's righteousnous enough to qualify him a "saint' in God's eyes, or was the repentance and acknowledgement of his sins that qualified him as being righteous?His faith qualified him as righteous. He believed in the Redeemer, in the resurrection, in the judgment (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=job%2019:23-29;&version=50;). Believing in a future judgment gives a person the fear of God (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20cor%205:9-11;&version=50;), and having the fear of God causes people to shun evil (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=prov%2016:6;&version=50;). Those who shun evil will live a life characterized by righteousness (not self-righteousness, but the righteousness of God). Job lived a righteous life, but it wasn't self-righteousness, it came from the fear of God.
Job 2:3
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause."
I think that you will like this passage as well:
Ps 34:11-22

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
I highlighted verse 18 because this speaks of the contrition of the believer when he commits a sin. When a believer sins, he will be broken about it. He will be contrite. David wrote:
Ps 51:17
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart —
These, O God, You will not despise.
He had sinned so grievously against the Lord, and when he was convicted, that was his response. He was broken in spirit, his heart was broken and contrite. And God accepted him, forgave his sin, and restored him. It is because David was not "a sinner" that this sin caused such turmoil in him. David was a righteous man who sinned. His life was not characterized by sin. Here is how David's life is characterized:
1 Kings 15:5
David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
He did sin, but he wasn't "a sinner." David was a righteous man. Every king that followed him was compared to him with regard to his righteousness. If you go through the Kings and the Chronicles, you will see that one of the first things it says about every king is whether or not he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and in many cases he is compared to David's righteousness.

1 Kings 15:11 - Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did his father David.

2 Kings 14:1-3 - ...Amaziah ...did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like his father David; he did everything as his father Joash had done.

2 Kings 16:2 - Ahaz ...did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as his father David had done.

Friend of I AM
Sep 17th 2007, 11:02 PM
I see what you are saying. So to simplify, you're trying to state that we're only sanctified once in the name of Christ Jesus.

But what does that mean for those who sin and don't repent? Are they still sanctified? The word tells us they are not:


John 15:4,6
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

6 Whoever doesn't live in me is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Branches like this are gathered, thrown into a fire, and burned.

Romans 10:10
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

I can agree with you that faith in Christ is the first step in the process of sanctification, but without continued confession/repentence following that faith - one isn't truly sanctified or abiding in Christ. God will make the determination as to who he really deems a sanctified saint in the end. But until he comes and does this, my faith only enables me to come before him with the realization that only Christ himself is the true saint, and I am gracefully imparted with his righteousnous when I confess my sins before him.







.

TEITZY
Sep 17th 2007, 11:46 PM
I would like to share something with you and ask for your input. I am in a small group within our church that has some very strong, mature Christians in it. Just recently, however, a couple of them have referred to the fact that they are "horrible, wretched, nasty sinners" saved by the grace of God. Of course I believe that - that is not what I'm hung up on. They say that they are these horrible sinners using the present tense. It is one thing to describe themselves as such prior to receiving the gift of salvation - that describes all people who have not repented and placed their live in God's hands. And I also realize that even after we are saved, we will continue to sin. 1John 1:8-10 clearly states that. What is bothering me is the idea that they are continuing to describe themselves in that way, when I believe that they are new creations, just as 2Cor. 5:17 states. I can't put my finger on exactly why it bothers me so much. I sort of feel like it's somehow disrespectful to see yourself that way after you've been covered by the blood of Jesus. After all, when God sees me after salvation, he sees me as righteous, because of that very same blood.

I hope this makes sense - I look forward to your comments...

I think these people are just seeing themselves as Isaiah did when he saw God in all His glory:

Isa 6:5 So I said:
“ Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts.”

Ezekiel (2:1) & John (Rev 1:17) had a similar reaction when they encountered the unveiled glory of God. Now like some on this thread, these three were not lacking when it came to the matter of personal righteousness, however when sinners (no matter how righteous they may be) come into the presence of God, they become acutely aware of their sinfulness. Someone in close communion with God will have a greater awareness of their sin than those who are not walking in close fellowship with Him (1 John 1:5-10). I don't think this attitude indicates a lack of understanding of their position in Christ or of the new life that has been infused into them by the Holy Spirit as some here have intimated.

If it is really worrying you perhaps you should speak to them about it. I sense you are beginning to develop a negative attitude towards them because you perceive it is false humility on their part. It may be or it might not be and perhaps you will never know but at least if you find out where they are coming from it may ease your mind somewhat.

Cheers
Leigh

Tanya~
Sep 18th 2007, 12:12 AM
I see what you are saying. So to simplify, you're trying to state that we're only sanctified once in the name of Christ Jesus.


I can agree with you that faith in Christ is the first step in the process of sanctification, but without continued confession/repentence following that faith - one isn't truly sanctified or abiding in Christ.

I am afraid I didn't make my point very well and as a consequence, you misunderstood the point I was trying to make.

Whenever a believer sins, we are to confess, repent, receive forgiveness, and then walk in the cleansing that is promised to us. Then when you get conviction of another sin you go through the process with that one. This is in contrast to the idea that we can keep sinning the same old sins over and over, or that it is normal for believers to be in bondage to habitual sins. We have the promise that He will cleanse us. I was struggling with a particular sin and kept doing it, feeling bad, confessing and praying about it, but then I did it again and again. Part of my problem was the mentality "I am a wretched sinner." I was that, but unnecessarily so. I thought it was normal for Christians to be in bondage to sin because it was what I was taught. When I learned differently, my experience changed because I learned how to overcome through faith in Christ and belief in the Scriptures. That sin I struggled so hard with is long gone and no longer part of my life. It doesn't even tempt me any more and hasn't for a very long time. You can get past this junk.



God will make the determination as to who he really deems a sanctified saint in the end.

We are sanctified through faith in Christ and by the indwelling Holy Spirit. God is the one who does it, we are the recipient of it. This is a present reality for every believer. The process of the other aspect of sanctification whereby a Christian, through Christ, puts off the sin in his life is something each believer can know for himself because the Holy Spirit speaks to him in his conscience about that. It's really not that mysterious. :)


But until he comes and does this, my faith only enables me to come before him with the realization that only Christ himself is the true saint, and I am gracefully imparted with his righteousnous when I confess my sins before him.

That sounds pious Friend (and I don't mean that in any way to offend), but it isn't Biblical. Only Christ is without sin but the Bible doesn't say only Jesus is the true saint. Through Him we are sanctified and we are called saints. I think people think of the word "saint" in either the Catholic sense, or in some other sense as if it means sinless. Scripturally, a saint is a believer, cleansed by the blood of Christ, holy and set apart for God's use.

Friend of I AM
Sep 18th 2007, 01:01 AM
I only responded to the points where I have slight disagreement with you...


I am afraid I didn't make my point very well and as a consequence, you misunderstood the point I was trying to make.

Whenever a believer sins, we are to confess, repent, receive forgiveness, and then walk in the cleansing that is promised to us. Then when you get conviction of another sin you go through the process with that one. This is in contrast to the idea that we can keep sinning the same old sins over and over, or that it is normal for believers to be in bondage to habitual sins. We have the promise that He will cleanse us. I was struggling with a particular sin and kept doing it, feeling bad, confessing and praying about it, but then I did it again and again. Part of my problem was the mentality "I am a wretched sinner." I was that, but unnecessarily so. I thought it was normal for Christians to be in bondage to sin because it was what I was taught. When I learned differently, my experience changed because I learned how to overcome through faith in Christ and belief in the Scriptures. That sin I struggled so hard with is long gone and no longer part of my life. It doesn't even tempt me any more and hasn't for a very long time. You can get past this junk.


Agreed here for the most part. Sometimes we can obsess over sin more so than God's grace. Likewise though - one can obsess over God's grace and forget about confession and repentance of sin. That was the point I was trying to make. Indeed no sin can overcome the grace and love of God. It's the approach as to how we should go about receiving the grace which we disagree on. If I come before God - TBH..I just feel more comfortable coming before Him and stating that I'm a sinner in need of grace, as oppossed to stating I'm a "glorified saint" in need of grace. Question: Which one do you think received more grace when they stood before God and prayed -- was it the Pharisee or the tax collector?





That sounds pious Friend (and I don't mean that in any way to offend), but it isn't Biblical. Only Christ is without sin but the Bible doesn't say only Jesus is the true saint. Through Him we are sanctified and we are called saints. I think people think of the word "saint" in either the Catholic sense, or in some other sense as if it means sinless. Scripturally, a saint is a believer, cleansed by the blood of Christ, holy and set apart for God's use.

This is incorrect Tonya. We are sanctified by the righteousnous of Christ as he was the fulfillment of the law - and not through any righteousnous that we have done by abiding by it. So yes Christ indeed is the one true saint - and through our faith in Him and repentance to God in his name, we become saints as well.

This has been an interesting discussion as I have learned a lot when it comes to approaching this situation which will assist me in my testimony to others. Thank you all for sharing your testimonies with me. I feel as if you and others are indeed correct about forgetting about past sins, and moving forward with Christ - which is something that I am going to attempt to apply to my current walk with Him. Grace, peace and Love to you all.

Stephen

gracesosweet
Sep 18th 2007, 01:20 PM
I think these people are just seeing themselves as Isaiah did when he saw God in all His glory:

Isa 6:5 So I said:
Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts.

Ezekiel (2:1) & John (Rev 1:17) had a similar reaction when they encountered the unveiled glory of God. Now like some on this thread, these three were not lacking when it came to the matter of personal righteousness, however when sinners (no matter how righteous they may be) come into the presence of God, they become acutely aware of their sinfulness. Someone in close communion with God will have a greater awareness of their sin than those who are not walking in close fellowship with Him (1 John 1:5-10). I don't think this attitude indicates a lack of understanding of their position in Christ or of the new life that has been infused into them by the Holy Spirit as some here have intimated.

If it is really worrying you perhaps you should speak to them about it. I sense you are beginning to develop a negative attitude towards them because you perceive it is false humility on their part. It may be or it might not be and perhaps you will never know but at least if you find out where they are coming from it may ease your mind somewhat.

Cheers
Leigh

Thank you, Leigh. My devotion this morning was actually about these very verses that you posted. (I just LOVE how God works it so that this discussion is intertwined with my personal devotions, my Sunday School lesson, etc.)

This whole discussion has been very helpful to me. Through it all, I see where I might be hung up on semantics. I don't believe that believers should view themselves as nasty, miserable sinners, but as saints being sanctified by the grace of God. However, we do still sin after salvation, thus I guess we could technically be called sinners. I just feel sad, not really negative towards them, that they see themselves as such. We are the bride getting ready for the groom - why see ourselves as nasty and dirty? He loves us with a perfect love!