Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sinner Saved by Grace?

I formerly used that phrase often, then one day I realized that my use of the term "sinner" for myself was nothing more than self pity which is the same as pride. It says "look at me, I'm just like you". What we need to learn to do is point others to Christ and not to ourselves. That is impossible to do while referring to ourselves as we formerly were. I think of the words of Paul where he said " we no longer recognize Christ according to the flesh and so we no longer recognize one another that way either" (my off the cuff translation).

Nicole at Modern Reject got me thinking about this subject today when I read her post Are You a Saint or a Sinner?  Here is how her post begins:

We’ve all heard Christians say it and we’ve most likely said it ourselves: “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”
We tell unbelievers that we are sinners just like them, only difference is, we’ve met Jesus, accepted His gift of salvation, and been saved.
And let me just say, this is completely false.
That’s right. We are lying when we speak these words. We are not sinners. We are something quite different…
You see, somewhere along the way Christians got the idea in their minds that they need to refer to themselves as “sinners” and not saints. Yet, the Bible, more specifically, the New Testament, does not refer to followers of Christ as sinners in the present tense.
(She has much more to say and there is some good dialogue in the comments so be sure to give it a look see and share your thoughts there.)

I recently read an article that made the argument that a Christian can no longer sin at all. In the article several points were made from different angles to prove this.  A couple of the points came to mind as I read Nicole's post.  The most notable is the argument that since sin is a violation of God's law which we are no longer under, then "sin" for a believer is different than sin outside of Christ. We can disobey and misbehave but we cannot violate the law since it no longer has jurisdiction over us. This is from a purely legal standpoint.  In terms of the progressing timeline of our faith, the old man was sold to sin under the law, the new man is free from the letter of the law but under the law of the Spirit. Interesting thoughts in my opinion even if it amounts to nothing more than mincing words to distinguish between the transgression of the believer and unbeliever.

How do you think the popularity of calling ourselves "sinners" even after we are in Christs affects our faith?  Do you think we should we discontinue using the term entirely for believers?


  1. Hmmm. I never looked at this way before. You made me think!

    Though I do think we can sin. I mean, why would John tell us to confess our sin to each other?

    1. well I'm glad I could return the favor. You challenge me to think a lot with your blog.

      The article I read dealt with that epistle as well. Interestingly enough, John starts out that letter in a way that tends to make me think he was writing to unbelievers. Sorta like an evangelistic letter. "So that you may have fellowship with us". Like I somewhat alluded to in the post, it may just be mincing words but "sin" for the unbeliever is a different root word altogether than "sin" for a believer. The latter being better translated as transgression or disobedience. That makes a huge difference if the former "sin" is the kind that pays death as its wages and death has been defeated for those who live by faith.

  2. A sinner is a person who sins. A saint is a person who walks in righteousness. We should call a person what he truly is.

    There are many who say they are Christians, who say that they believe in Jesus, but their actions show something different. Jesus said that you know a tree by its fruit. The tree that demonstrates the true character of God Himself by bearing good, holy, righteous fruit is indeed a tree that has the life of God within.

    But the tree that keeps bearing bad fruit that tastes like sin shows by its own fruit that it is not a God tree. It is still a corrupt sinning tree that is destined for destruction.

    Don't be fooled by those who tell you that it's okay to keep living like everyone else in the world because you're going to heaven. That's the same lie Islamic terrorists are told: "Go blow up a bunch of Jews, or hijack planes and send them into buildings to kill Americans, and you will receive a reward in heaven." You know where they are going to be for eternity.

    It doesn't matter what your spiritual leader told you. What matters is what God Himself says in the Bible. He calls us to repent of our sinful lifestyle and choose a walk of holiness in the footsteps of Jesus. If you follow Jesus, He will lead you into His Kingdom. If you would rather go off by yourself or with your 'friends' to keep pursuing sin, enjoy it while you can, because you will not be with Him for all of eternity.

    Wise up. Don't just say you're a Christian. Follow Him and BE a Christian.

    1. I can't tell if you're replying to my post or insinuating that somehow you know me and are telling me I need to get my act together.

      Bottom line for me is that no matter what I look like to someone who views me with a 2 by 4 jutting from their eye socket with a hand full of a modern Christianized lawbook, to our heavenly Father I look like a son clothed in Christ's perfect righteousness. It is faith in that truth which frees us from the power of sin, not a "get your act together" speech. I gave up trying to live the Christian life. Now I focus on learning to live by Christ's life within me. It is the only way to truly live.

    2. Well said Bobby - we can't always judge someone else's fruit easily, it takes time and deeper relationship to do this. Thank God he is our judge and not other Christians! What really matters is what he says about me and what he thinks about me!

  3. Great post Bobby and a great blog. Jeremy, if you are reading this, you have a great blog as well. I suppose I fall somewhere in between you guys on this issue. For me, dead to sin is not synonymous with dead to sinning. Dead to sin is dead to independence from God. But the ability to keep sinning still lingers as a result of the fall.

    We tend to think of sin as a verb whereas the Bible speaks of sin as a noun - a state of being. Thus, the act of sinning (verb) is really a symptom of the bigger problem of sin (noun). Having been given the "knowledge of good and evil" through Adam and Eve, we act independently of God until we see Jesus as the "tree of life" and use that to change our independence to relationship.

    I know that by following Christ I now walk in the light. But, I still cast a shadow..........

    Hope I haven't totally confused you with my rambling. Blessings on your week.

    1. Good point Chris. Thinking of sin as a noun rather than a verb changes the entire dynamic of the conversation, especially as we see this among the backdrop of the two trees. I guess that the way this post is worded we are dealing more with "sinner" in terms of a verb or an adjective. I think I understand you to believe that "sin" is an acceptable term for any and all disobedience regardless of our place inside or outside of Christ but what do you think about using it as a description for a believer in light of our new state of being?

    2. Bobby:

      As I think about this honesty compels me to say that this will be a rather protracted answer. Perhaps some pertinent background information will aid you in understanding where I am coming from on this. Among the folks I cut my spiritual teeth on are Michael Spencer (and by extension, Chaplain Mike at Internet Monk), Brennan Manning, Wade Burleson, Steve Brown, Robert Farrar Capon and others who so eloquently and loudly profess God's total grace in terms of its unfairness, arrogance, vulgarity and incomprehensibility. And I might add, thank God that it is.

      I don't see a difference in 'sin' whether inside or outside of Christ. There have been some very saintly people who professed a multitude of sins - Mother Teresa and Billy Graham to name two. Our new state of being comes from the fact that Jesus, while we were still sinners, died for us. As a result of His death, we stand righteous, blameless and holy before God. For me, here is the difference in the two groups. God doesn't just forgive believer's sins; He forgives those of the unbelievers as well. Robert Capon explained this far better than I could. Capon said that there were no spiritual or moral aces in heaven, only sinners who had been forgiven. But, Capon also said that hell is also full of forgiven sinners. The difference is that the ones in heaven were able to accept the forgiveness God had bestowed upon them. As I see it, that acceptance is when we become dead to sin.

      Brennan Manning mirrors this as well. Manning always insists that on the day of judgment, Jesus is going to ask us one question and one question only, "Do you believe that I loved you?". Answering yes means that we were able to accept the forgiveness of our sins. And, as Brennan also points out, there will be a lot of folks who will have to answer, "Well, no sir, I can't say I honestly believed you loved me."

      For the believer, everything is tied to forgiveness. Grace (as I understand it) allows forgiveness to precede repentance. Christ's death on the cross absolved me of all of my sins - past, present and future. My repentance then becomes an acknowledgement of that forgiveness and an acceptance of that grace.

      So, because of this, I do not see a difference in the actual 'sin' of believers versus non-believers. The saints, however sinful they are, will inherit the Kingdom as co-heirs because their acceptance of forgiveness allows them to acknowledge their righteousness was not of their own making. On the other hand, the sinners will spend a lifetime of utter despair in hell because on that same judgment day they were adamant that their righteousness was self-fulfilled.

    3. Wow Chris, what a great answer! You have given me a lot to think about. I suppose another follow up question would be in order to understand your perspective better. To me forgiveness and atonement are tied together in Christ's sacrifice which you say is applied by a persons acceptance. Our sins are not just forgiven but they are forgiven because they have been atoned for. My question is this: do you see atonement tied up with forgiveness like this and if so would you say that forgiveness and atonement are based on something we do (accept and believe) rather than solely in Christ's work on our behalf, or is it somehow both?

      Thanks for taking time to help me understand you better.

    4. Hey Bobby, thanks for the kind words. I am leaving early in the morning and will be away through the weekend, so it may be Monday or Tuesday before I can answer your latest query. That is actually a good thing because I probably need a couple of days just to digest your question and decide if I am smart enough to answer it:) Hope you have a blessed weekend!

    5. Bobby, I have been thinking about your question for a couple of days and here is my attempt to answer. This is not steeped in theology nor am I a biblical scholar, in fact my spiritual walk is still quite new. Even though I was raised up in the church and always believed in God, believed in Jesus, prayed, etc I never had a relationship with Jesus. But I distinctly remember the night Jesus came and gently lifted me on his shoulders and carried me back to the flock and I am forever grateful. So, that experience forms the
      foundation of my answer.

      Like you, I believe that our sins are not just forgiven but they also have been atoned for through Jesus' death on the cross. If I understand your question, you are asking whether we choose God or He chooses us. This goes to the heart of free will. If God chose me, does this mean I do not have free will or on the other hand if I chose Him, does that mean that He is not sovereign and my salvation is outside of his control.

      Again, I am no theologian but there is scripture that answers this question, only it answers it both ways - God chooses us for salvation and also we choose Him. John 1:12-13, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God". I take that to mean that those of us who believed in Jesus made a conscious choice to do so. However, the scripture further states that we are not born again because of anything we did. It was impossible for us to cause ourselves to be born again; that is something that God alone does.

      If you read Acts 16:14 you see that, "The Lord opened her (Lydia) heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul". It was God that caused her dead heart to come alive so that she could receive the gospel. Jesus also states in John 6:65 that, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father".

      So, I don't know if I have answered your question or not. But it appears to me that scripture tells us that we make a real choice to repent and believe but also that God chooses us before we choose Him. That's how this simple mind sees it.

    6. That is pretty much how I see it as well. It is one of those paradoxical things that just makes me wonder at how God works it all out according to His plan. A good reminder of how my responsibility (if you can even call it that) of having faith is solely grounded in what God has purposed to do through Christ in me.

      What a mighty God we serve and a monumental calling we have!

  4. Hi Bobby,

    I wanted to chime in on this.. I have had a similar conversation with a fellow brother in my local area. I think the problem I have is why do we have a problem with that term? .. I get that we are new creations and our new identity is found in Christ. That's what the bible teaches but.

    The bible also teaches us that we still sin see Romans 7, 1 John etc. So people that still sin whether it's indwelling or not are called sinners.

    Here are a couple of questions I posed to my friend. In Romans 1 Paul says to the church in Rome that he is anxious to preach the Gospel to them.. Why is he so excited were they not saved already?

    In Rev 2.. when Jesus is telling the church in Ephesus that they had lost there first love.. What do you think that is referring to?.. now keep in mind of all the other qualities they had going for them.. but the Root of our LOVE is found in the gospel and our state as sinners saved by grace..

    In 1 Tim 1:15 Paul says Jesus came to save sinners and referring to himself.. he says.. "Of whom I AM the foremost" notice he didn't say he WAS..

    Lastly.. in Luke 18 when Jesus tells us about the Pharisee and the tax collector.. we see who walks away justified and who doesn't .. look at the identity taken by both..

    My friend had made the argument that some Christians can go into the woe is me mode due to always thinking of themselves as sinners. I don't see much of that to be honest.. I see much more license being taken due to Grace..

    Anyways.. interested in your thoughts on the above passages.

    Your Brother in Christ..

    1. Excellent questions! Some of these things I have wrestled with already and some I have not.

      Romans 7 and 1 John were the first two scriptures that came to mind when I read the article I was referring to. The author tackled both of these passages within the article. His thesis (which I found intriguing) for Romans is that Paul was comparing the old man and the new man which he began building up to in ch 5&6 and brought them to a further comparison in 7&8. Chapter 7 being the thoughts of the old man and ch 8 those of the new. As for 1 John, the introduction to that letter leads me to believe it is evangelical in its purpose. Phrases like "that you may believe and have fellowship with us" give the impression that he is writing to unbelievers.

      The desire for Paul to preach the gospel to the church in Rome demonstrates the necessity of a body of believers to keep in remembrance of the gospel but it does not lead me to believe we should continue identifying ourselves with the old man that was crucified with Christ which Paul says further in the same epistle.

      Rev 1 and the church at Ephesus is one I haven't thought much about from this angle but just off the cuff I would say that our first love is in the Christ who died. It is possible (of course this is merely speculation) that what the church had done was began doing all sorts of good works and neglected the intimacy we are afforded with our risen, living, indwelling Lord.

      1 Tim is something I need to look deeper into. It would throw a big fat wrench into the line of thinking I presented but honestly I haven't held this idea up to the light of that passage yet and my lunch break is almost over. A rain check is needed. I'll address the Luke passage at that time as well.

      What do you think about my responses thus far? Any other things come to mind since your last comment?

  5. Hi Bobby,

    I'm digging this dialog.. 1 John looks to be written to Christians most likely a Church. I would reference 1 John's overall tone is to show Christians who we "are" (the indicative) in Christ.. and then what that looks like (imperative). I think it's still so applicable today. There is a distinct contrast John is painting to a believer in Christ and an unbeliever.

    John also deals with false teaching going on.. I believe Gnosticism is the target. As he mentions an exodus from that group in 1 John 2:19 "They went out from US" .. well it seems like John is attributing "US" as the church and I think it shows that people who he is writing to is included in that group.

    1 John4 Starts out with "Beloved" a very affectionate term written to believers. He then goes on 1John7 .. Beloved let US love one another.. In 1 John 5:13 He says "I write these things to YOU WHO believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have everlasting life" He then goes on in v16 to say .. If anyone sees his "Brother" committing a sin .. V19 says "We are from God" .. I don't think he is just saying that about himself.. he is telling this church this. He then finishes in v21.. Little Children another term of affection for the church..

    I rest my case :)

    As far as Romans 7 goes.. I think this video sums up my view. If you go the other way.... we end up with this carnal christian teaching which directly contradicts 1 John..

    My question to you.. Is why can't we be sinners saved by grace and also be a new creation, an heir, a brother, ambassador etc.. I think this flows well with the concept of the Already not yet tension of the Kingdom of God.

    1. After reading 1 Tim, I must say, I was faced with a dilemma. Since the present tense form of the word is what was written it definitely threw that wrench I was talking about into the workings of my thoughts. It didn't seem consistent that Paul would declare himself as no longer under the law of sin and then call himself the chief of sinners in the present tense of the word. Upon further inspection I found other instances of the present tense form of a word being used to refer to past tense realities. Usually this play on words is picked up by the translators and rendered in its past tense in the English. In this case it is not. Of course, this does not prove anything one way or the other it simply goes to show that it would not necessarily be inconsistent for Paul to consider himself the chief of sinners presently if he was also teaching that we are no longer under the jurisdiction of the law and sin.

      The points you have made about John's first epistle are compelling but I still get the feel that John is writing to a mixed audience and the first chapter of the letter was written with unbelievers in mind. DUDE! That video on Romans 7 is over 30 minutes long! I don't think I'll be able to digest that since I'm replying on my lunch break. Cliffnotes version?

      I have always been of the "already but not yet" mindset. I never had a problem with it in the past. I'm not even close to being fully convinced that holding both of these in a sort of paradoxical tension is an error. I still lean toward that direction heavily. But I have been questioning these teachings lately.

      Like I said, the article I read and the arguments he put forth in the paper ran through several proofs for what he called the doctrine of sovereign immunity. I think he did a very good job on the paper. It certainly made me think and I haven't even come close to scratching the surface of presenting his argument adequately. I should invite him into the conversation as well as get his permission to provide you with a copy of the article. I think you would enjoy the challenge and benefit from his perspective.

    2. I also have wrestled with the "Chief of Sinners" passage when thinking about this issue. Also, the Romans 7 stuff about Paul being torn between what he knows he ought to do, but being unable to do it. I have a hard time believing that Paul was actually talking about himself in a present tense being the "Chief of Sinners" Literally. I believe he is talking about what he would be like without Christ.

      Whatever the flesh once manifested itself to be in our lives--some extreme form of evil, whatever we have done that is now, in our own sight, bad or ugly --we have to remember that is an area of weakness that needs to be guarded very carefully, because we can return to that in an instant, no matter how long we have been Christians. There is that aspect of realizing the depths from which we have come and where we could fall back to without Christ. However, I believe the scripture also has to be examined in context to be clearly understood.

      1 Tim 1:12-16.
      "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

      Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -- OF WHOM I AM THE WORST. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, THE WORST OF SINNERS, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

      Paul refers to the time when he was persecuting and killing those who followed Jesus (past tense). Paul no longer did these things - it would be ridiculous to state that Paul remained a terrible "sinner". It would bring no glory to Christ if Paul's life did not change. Paul life was radically changed when he encountered Christ. It brings great glory to Christ when the worst of sinners comes to him and their life changes in such a dramatic, black and white fashion. Here is Paul - a persecutor, blasphemor, and violent man - now he is gentle, humble, peaceful, and loving. Did he still sin? Of course! But was he still a wretched sinner? Absolutely not!

      I love the past tense descriptions of our old way of life in Eph. 2:1-3. There is no question in my mind that we are no longer sinners, but we are now saints!

      Eph. 2:1-3
      As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

  6. I haven't time to read this whole blog, but may I say that sin,or whatever name it is called, for the believer, is being presumptuous. If I take matters into my own hands in situations, do not wait for Holy Spirit to lead and direct me, counsel me, work situations out in His way and time, run ahead of or fall behind Him, then I have done despite to the Spirit of Grace. The Trusting, watching, waiting, resting believer is a pleasure to our Lord's heart.

  7. Only a few translation correctly translate 1 Jn. 3:6, 9 and 5:18. These translations include HCSB, KJV, NKJV.... It is true that a Christian cannot sin. It is also true that nary one Christian in a thousand will indicate such. BTW, the Greek word "prasso" (to practice) is not in 1 Jn. 3:9. Rather the word used is "poieo" (to do).

    Also, 1 Jn. 1 is written for unbelievers. John wrote to them to "proclaim to you the eternal life" (1 Jn. 1:2) so that they "may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father)" (v. 3, 4).

    Few Christians understand the Christian's privileged "jurisdiction" (Rom. 7:1). Christians are not under the law of sin (Rom. 8:1). Since Paul said, "where there is no law neither is there violation" (Rom. 4:15), Pauline logic converges with the explicit Johannine declaration in 1 Jn. 3:9. Crazy man. But it is all about crazy love. He who is forgiven much, loves much (cr. Lk. 7:47).

    No Christian, as a Christian, has ever sin. Christians have transgressed, even murdered, but nary a one has had his righteousness lower. "As He is, so also are we in this world" (1 Jn. 4:17). Neither Jesus nor the believer is under the law of sin and death. However, Jesus and the believer are under the law of morality.
    Therefore the Christian can act immorally, but of course he should not. For the Christian to act immorally is to function as a kingdom divided by itself. But if a Christian could not act immorally without having his righteousness lowered, then Peter's admonishment about "not using your freedom as a covering for evil" (1 Peter 2:16) is meaningless.

    The "covering" that humanistic Christianity acknowledges is quite thin and porous. But the actually covering that Jesus provided is bullet-proof. It is condemnation proof. It works perfectly. It is so thorough that it jurisdictionally prevents condemnation.

    We have a wonderful Savior. Not some one who died for a non-jurisdictional solution.

    The only translation to correctly translate 1 Tim. 1:15 is the CEV: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all!

    The reason this needs to be translated into the past tense involves an understanding of historical presents. Koine involves more pronounced uses of the historical presents than English. So much so, that in the Gospel of Mark alone has over a hundred instances of where a present tense Koine verb has been translated into the past. In translations like the KJV, NASB and HCSB, the verbs whose tense is so changed are preceded with an asterisk. You can read about this convention in the front matter of the KJV and NASB Bible.

    But the contextual case for the past tense in 1 Tim. 1:15 is also very strong.

    This is NOT about semantics. This is about righteousness and the work of Christ. Let's get it straight.

    1. Hi Pieder,

      My question regarding the context of 1 John is how can John say the following "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
      (1 John 1:8-10 ESV)

      Doesn't this go against your main argument?

      Secondly.. 1 John 1:2 just because it's overtly evangelistic doesn't mean it is written to unbelievers.. In fact the entire context of the letter which I addressed above can only leave you with the fact that it was to a group of believers especially.. I liken this to Paul being excited to preach the Gospel to the church in Rome (Romans 1:15) I believe it's because we constantly need to be hearing the Gospel..

      Let me ask you this.. when Paul says

      "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
      (Colossians 2:13-14 ESV)

      Are you saying those transgressions i.e sins all took place prior to our regeneration? I look at that verse as he has taken care of all our *(past/present/future) sins/transgressions when God poured out his wrath on Christ on the cross it pleased him to crush him for the very point you are trying to make. When Jesus says it is finished .. I take it in much the same way you are trying to allude to in your reply.

      Looking forward to more dialog..

      Your Brother in Christ.

    2. "1 John 1:2 just because it's overtly evangelistic doesn't mean it is written to unbelievers.. "

      Hmm. Let's think about that remark. Let's hear John on this: "He who has the Son has the LIFE; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the LIFE" (1 Jn. 5:12). Pretty clear.

      John's vision is also clear that "and the LIFE was manifested, and WE have seen and testify and PROCLAIM TO YOU the eternal LIFE , which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, SO THAT YOU TOO MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 Jn. 1:2,3)

      One sees that John and his entourage that were collectively writing this letter had fellowship with God and that John's Chapter one audience did not have fellowship with God.
      • John and his entourage "proclaimed …the eternal life" to John's Chapter one audience because this audience did not have fellowship with God. Who needs a "proclamation," except those who are on the outside? Note how differently Paul writes to Timothy " I am mindful of the sincere faith within you (2 Tim. 1:5)" or how clearly Paul identifies a believing audience in his letters (e.g., Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:2, Phil. 1:1…).
      • "you too may have fellowship with us" both the "too" and the "may" suggest John's Chapter one audience did not possess this fellowship, this LIFE.
      • Note that given John's emphasis on "love," and the "with grace, seasoned as it were with salt" (Col. 4:6) that is emphasized in the NT, that John would seem ready to sacrifice literalism for graciousness and use the editorial we in 1 Jn. 1:8, 9.

      But back to your remark, "1 John 1:2 just because it's overtly evangelistic doesn't mean it is written to unbelievers…," hopefully we can agree that evangelism is for unbelievers whereas fellowship is for believers. Thus how is your remark different than "Just because it’s a square doesn't mean it not a circle"? And if your remark is logically parallel to this square/circle question, then I hope that we can agree that 1 Jn. 1 was written to unbelievers.

  8. Recommend you look for a different adjective that rhymes with "grinner." ;-)

  9. 1 Jn. 1:8,9; if addressed to the same audience of 1 Jn. 3:6, 9 or 5:18, would introduce a contradiction. However the context of 1 Jn 1 reveals it to be addressed to unbelievers whereas the context of 1 Jn. 3 makes it clear that it is addressed to believers (the one's who have the Seed in them).

    I agree that "I look at that verse as he has taken care of all our *(past/present/future) sins... when God poured out his wrath on Christ on the cross it pleased him to crush him for the very point you are trying to make." But the point I'm trying to make is the jurisdictional (cf. Rom. 7:1, NASB) liberation from sin that Jesus has purchased. To understand grace, we need to understand that the law of sin no longer has jurisdiction over us. Otherwise, a little bit a leaven will leaven the whole lump of faith.

    For the moment, I'm going to dodge 1 Jn. 2:1. I don't see that it is necessary to unravel the tension between 1 Jn. 1:8,9 and 1 Jn. 3:6, 9 and 5:18 (KJV, HCSB or NKJV). The NIV incorrectly translates these last three Scriptures and the NASB incorrectly translates the first two of these three.

  10. I too wrote about this issue, and looked at the same Modern Reject blog when I was researching the issue.


    I believe there is a strong distinction in the New Testament between a sinner and a saint. However, sometimes our behavior may not line up with our identity. A sinner will sometimes act Saintly, and a Saint will sometimes act sinfully. As we become more secure in who God says we are, and the radical change that has taken place in our nature, our behavior will change.

  11. Christians sin, we know this from experience. However, we do not pratice sin. It is not our lifestyle as it once was. We must becareful not to deceive ourselves by thinking that we are beyond sin (1John 1:8). When we do sin we must not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are sinners in the sense that we were before Christ saved us. We must confess our sin and let him purify us (1 John 1:9) and not deny our sin (1 John 1:10).
    Ken Qualls
    As Christians we should not sin, but we do, but when we do we have an attorney Jusus Christ to plead our case with The Father.


    If you are a Christian and only sin on special occasions will you be exempt from not inheriting the kingdom of God?

    Is it Scripturally correct to claim you are not guilty of sin because you only sin on special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and a few randomly selected days?

    Can I assert I am not a thief, because I do not steal on a regular bases?

    Can men say they are not a drunkards, because they only get drunk on special occasions?

    Can men assume they are not fornicators, because they only have sex with people who they are not married to, on rare occasions?

    Can men assert that they not homosexuals, because they have sex with the same sex infrequently?

    Can men proclaim they are not murderers, because they only murder a few times a year?

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

    The apostle Paul did not say, "Such were some of you, however, now you are special occasion sinners that can continue your sins on a somewhat limited schedule."

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    1. My brother, so glad to have found this post and your blog. Keep on advancing! Peace!


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