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Colossians 3:17
Apr 21st 2008, 04:09 AM
Ok, tell me how to reconcile these passages:

1:8 " If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us"

With these:

2:3-4..."By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments, the one who says 'I have come to know him' and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him."

3:6 "No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or knows him"

3:9 "No one who is born of God practices sin"

See, this first verse basically says we are ALL sinful, and if any of us claim to not sin, we are liars and the "truth is not in us" (I understand that as saying "you are not a christian")..

Then he goes on to basically say to me that anyone that is a Christian does not sin.

I think there are a few more verses in here on both sides, but I am just kind of confused.

How does that work?

Brother Mark
Apr 21st 2008, 04:15 AM
A lost man spends his day planning how he will sin. Go to any college campus and the men there are planning how they can seduce the girls there. They spend enormous amounts of time and money for the sole purpose of seduction. They make sin their life. It is their "practice". Compare that to a saved man who gets up in the morning purposing in his heart that he will please God. He goes through his day looking for ways to please God and walking with God and talking with God. Yet, he is tempted and then sins!

One made sin his practice and goal in life. The other did not practice sin but practiced righteousness. Saved people will sin but it is not their practice to do so. They may sin daily, but in their heart, they practice pleasing God.

Now, as we mature in the Lord, we conquer all the sin we are aware of. We go from being little children, to young men, to fathers. We see this in 1 John. However, there are areas of our life that are sinful that we don't yet realize are sinful! For this reason, God says "He who says he has no sin is a liar". We have sin. But God has not yet revealed that sin to us.

Finally, our spirit is born of God. Our flesh is born of Adam. Our spirit will not sin! It is born of God. Our sin is caused by our flesh.

Hope this helps some.

Blessings.

puregospeltruth
Apr 21st 2008, 04:56 AM
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8).

The beloved Apostle John, in inscribing these words on the sacred parchment of his first epistle, being a holy man moved upon by the Holy Ghost to record these holy words, has clearly said in the most plainest and straightforward language, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us". This epistle is addressed to saints, warning against various dangers, extremes, and heresies that were attempting to creep their way into the Church in Johnís old age, and as a guideline to the faith of Christ and the nature of true conversion.
Let us observe some facts concerning this statement of Scripture:
First, as we have already observed, it is written to Christians. John was not writing to heathen, nor was he writing to unconverted sinners. We know that this first epistle was directed toward Christians, "that [their] joy may be full" (1:4). Certainly, he is not writing that the joy of sinners may be full, but that the joy of the saints may be full, which proves that this epistle is directed toward those who already have a degree and measure of the joy of Christ. Only the saints have the joy of Christ.
Second, the great, holy and beloved Apostle includes himself by saying, "we". He didnít say, "If YOU say that you have no sin", but he said, "If WE say that we have no sinÖ" This is a very remarkable and undeniably true observation. As holy as we know this great Apostle must have been, especially in the old age he was in when he wrote this epistle, he was still walking in such a degree of self-abasement and humility as to recognize his true condition before God, a condition that still had a measure of sin dwelling within the flesh and that didnít yet have full and final redemption from the presence of sin (which would take place at final glorification Ė see 1 John 3:2). John knew that even he was not without sin, and he certainly knew he wasnít "sinlessly perfect", as some would say, which is why he includes himself in this statement.
Even the Apostle Paul agreed and admitted to the personal imperfections of his righteousness before God: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14). This was written at about 61 AD, which was after his third missionary journey. If sinless perfection could be obtained, then without a doubt it should have been obtained by the Apostle Paul after enduring so much hardship, living in such devotion, and following hard after God for so many years, being "not a whit behind the chiefest Apostles". In context of the perfection of which Paul is speaking, he is speaking of "attaining unto the resurrection of the dead" (verse 10) by being found in the righteousness of Christ by faith (verse 9). So, namely, he is talking about righteousness, and admitting that even he didnít have a perfect righteousness on this earth, looking forward to full and final redemption, which would take place in the final work of redemption at the time of glorification.
The third thing we must observe is that it is in the present tense. It is not talking in the past tense. In other words, he is not talking about one saying that they have no sin prior to conversion, but one saying they have no sin after conversion. He is talking about sin dwelling in some measure in born again believers, and that if anyone denies this, they deceive themselves, being blind to their own unworthiness in the sight of God.
This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit". Being poor in spirit is not something that happens one time before conversion and then no longer applies to a saint, but it is an ever-present admission of our personal wretchedness before God and of our utter and total dependency on Him. Being poor in spirit is a work of Godís grace, and if this grace ever fails to be applied to the heart of a believer, they quickly stumble around in their own delusions, thinking of themselves more highly than they ought, and soon find themselves deceived and in bondage to a despicable self-righteousness.
The Greek word translated, "we have" in the phrase, "If we say we have no sin", is the word, "echo". Thayerís Greek Definitions describes it as having, holding or possessing in present tense, or to have oneself in a certain condition, and as a primary, present tense verb. Both Vincentís Word Studies and Robertsonís Word Pictures, two scholarly and accurate works on the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, agree upon the fact that this scripture is written in the present tense. It is also agreed upon and translated in the present tense by every single English translation of the Bible, proving that the teams of hundreds upon hundreds of Greek scholars who have translated this passage universally agree that this is referring to the present tense. There is not a single well-known English translation that translates this scripture in the past tense, as referring to the past life of a believer prior to conversion, as some people falsely say.
If anybody professes to be a child of God, but has absolutely no admitted unworthiness and admits no present form of indwelling sin in some measure, then they deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. This is precisely what the Apostle John is saying.
The word "sin" literally means, "to miss the mark". Which one of us, even among those of us who are the most holy and devout, can say that we have no emotions, feelings, tempers, thoughts, words or actions which fall short of the standards of Godís perfection? "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24). To sin means to come short of the glory of God, and this is something that sinners and saints do alike (though there is a huge difference between the two). Thank God that the saints are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus", and not by the performance and perfections that proceed after their initial profession of faith, or else we would all be doomed!
In the Lordís Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." This is how the Lord Jesus taught His holy Apostles to pray! Just prior to Him teaching them to pray for forgiveness for their sins, He said, "give us this day our daily bread", clearly implying that this is a daily prayer that should be prayed. In other words, we need to constantly, in humility, recognize our shortcomings in the sight of God and humble ourselves under His mighty hand to ask for His mercy and grace to cover our offenses before Him. If we say we have no offenses before the all-seeing eyes of His holiness, we only deceive ourselves.
Granted, the saints of God do not live in sin. They do not willfully continue in any known form of sin like the unconverted do (Hebrews 10:26). To the saints, as soon as their own unworthiness, shortcomings, stumbles, or sins get brought to light, they are immediately abased and humbled. They utterly despise themselves for it. They hate it! And they confess it, repent and continue no more in it. They donít practice any known form of sin. Once any form of inner or outer sin is brought to light by the searchlight of Godís Spirit, they are humbled at the feet of Christ, and they "go and sin no more".
To the saints, sin is their bed of thorns, but to the unconverted, it is their hypocriteís couch. Saints hate sin and do not continue in any known form of sin, but the unconverted lounge upon sin, and make excuses to justify it. A true saint will continually "walk in the light as he is in the light", purging himself from every thing of darkness and uncleanness as soon as it is brought to the light, despising himself for it, and yield it to God to save him from it in a willing and earnest surrender, and he will continually walk in victory over all known sin; but an unconverted sinner will hold on to his sins because he loves them, and even if he may claim to love God with his mouth, he will continue to commit the same sins over and over and deny God by his actions. Thatís the difference. Saints arenít perfect, but they are striving for perfection, and while they are on the journey toward this perfection, they despise and even abhor themselves for their own imperfections.
This own self-abhorrence for inward corruption is not a self-condemnation or self-pity. These things come from the evil one. It is a self-abhorrence that produces "godly sorrow (which) worketh repentance", and not "the sorrow of the world (which) worketh death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). This godly sorrow is completely different and distinct from depression. It is what Jesus meant by saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", and "Blessed are those that mourn", speaking of recognizing our own spiritual state before God, our personal guilt, helplessness, and of the utter emptiness of our own nature of everything good, and a conviction and realizing sense of being shut up to the grace of God alone for help. According to Jesus, this is a characteristic of the "blessed", or in other words, a characteristic of true saints. There is a huge and fundamental difference between such godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world.
The error of many of those in the holiness crowd is that they fail to ever mention these truths. They preach holiness and sanctification until such a standard of perfection is implied that it is utterly impossible for anyone to meet these standards. Then, those who are actually true saints, but who have an awareness of their own unworthiness and poorness of spirit in the sight of God, begin to condemn themselves for their shortcomings and imperfections, until they begin to question their very salvation to begin with. Dear Lord, save us from this error!

Roelof
Apr 21st 2008, 08:25 AM
From John Wesley's Notes:

1 Jn 1:8 - If we say - Any child of man, before his blood has cleansed us. We have no sin - To be cleansed from, instead of confessing our sins, 1Jo_1:9, the truth is not in us - Neither in our mouth nor in our heart.

Teke
Apr 22nd 2008, 12:51 PM
Ok, tell me how to reconcile these passages:

1:8 " If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us"

With these:

2:3-4..."By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments, the one who says 'I have come to know him' and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him."

3:6 "No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or knows him"

3:9 "No one who is born of God practices sin"

See, this first verse basically says we are ALL sinful, and if any of us claim to not sin, we are liars and the "truth is not in us" (I understand that as saying "you are not a christian")..

Then he goes on to basically say to me that anyone that is a Christian does not sin.

I think there are a few more verses in here on both sides, but I am just kind of confused.

How does that work?

In 1 John 1:6-22 John is addressing three false gnostic teachings on "sin".

1) Union with God is indifferent to sin (v 6,7)
2) sin does not exist (8,9)
3) one in union with God cannot sin (1:10-2:2)

It's a contrast. :)

markedward
Apr 22nd 2008, 05:38 PM
Then he goes on to basically say to me that anyone that is a Christian does not sin.That latter verses aren't saying a Christian doesn't sin, it says they do not practice sin, as in, they don't intentionally do sinful things. But also, in technical terms, a Christian doesn't sin only in the sense that their sins are wiped away by Christ, so that when we appear before God, we appear sinless to Him.

John146
Apr 22nd 2008, 06:39 PM
Ok, tell me how to reconcile these passages:

1:8 " If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us"

With these:

2:3-4..."By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments, the one who says 'I have come to know him' and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him."

3:6 "No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or knows him"

3:9 "No one who is born of God practices sin"

See, this first verse basically says we are ALL sinful, and if any of us claim to not sin, we are liars and the "truth is not in us" (I understand that as saying "you are not a christian")..

Then he goes on to basically say to me that anyone that is a Christian does not sin.

I think there are a few more verses in here on both sides, but I am just kind of confused.

How does that work?

Look at verse 3:9 above. What he's talking about is not literally not sinning anymore at all. None of us do that. If we say we do then we're lying. He's speaking about practicing sin. No true believer continues to sin the way they did before they were saved. Before we're saved we sinned without thinking anything of it and we were not remorseful for it. That should not be the case any longer. Now, we have the mind of Christ and He is our Master. Sin should no longer by our master and we should no longer be a slave to sin as we once were.

mikebr
Apr 22nd 2008, 07:52 PM
In 1 John 1:6-22 John is addressing three false gnostic teachings on "sin".

1) Union with God is indifferent to sin (v 6,7)
2) sin does not exist (8,9)
3) one in union with God cannot sin (1:10-2:2)

It's a contrast. :)

Teke beat me to it.

Alaska
Apr 25th 2008, 07:04 PM
Compare verses 7 and 9 and 8 and 10.
He is not saying in 7 that the Christian has to sin. We have sin on our record yet we need not sin in Christ. Any sin we, as Christians, knowingly commit should be honestly looked at as our not walking in the Spirit: a backsliding: a failure to love him by resisting temptation. James 1
The "gospel" that declares we are failures and will definately sin as believers is a demonic, Christ denying Gospel. Since he died for sins, let the heresy that sin must continue be destroyed by the rightly divided Word.
His very purpose was to destroy the work of the devil which is sin in our lives. See how it is antichrist to declare a Gospel that says it is impossible for sin to be destroyed in us individually? Jesus was tempted but he didn't sin. Paul had a genuine good conscience, that we also should have. Not a seared conscience, a persuasion that a person is living right when their own conscience screams that they are not.