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Due to the sin of Eve and Adam in the garden, our mortal bodies are born into sin. Romans 5: 12 says this: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Just as people beget people, birds beget birds, and dogs beget dogs, sinful people beget sinful people, and we can't change that during the course of this life. Some people might get confused about this when they read Matthew 5:48, which says: "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." But "perfect" here has a few applications in the original language, and "mature" is the one that seems to fit the best. For those of us who are in Christ, God sees Jesus when He looks at us, and we have full access to His character and actions. Therefore, God sees us as clean and "perfect" even though we are still wearing our mortal "suits," because we are washed in the blood of Christ, making us as if we have no sin. Isaiah 1: 18 says: "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." A common term for our mortal, sinful condition is "sin nature," and it will always be a part of who we are until we receive our new bodies in the eternal realm of heaven, where there is no sin and we will never be subject to our mortal bodies--our birth into sin--again. Revelations 21: 3-5 says this: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" I guess the bottom line could be explained this way: Due to our birth into sin, we will always be subject to sin and struggle with it in some way. However, the blood of Christ cleanses us from it, so that even though we still live with sin while on this earth, God will ultimately receive us into heaven with open arms because He sees us as sinless through the blood of Christ.
The doctrine of entire sanctification is a whole body of truth established in the scriptures 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24. First, the bible never teach a sinless perfection as that term is misleading and preachers of entire sanctification never use that terminology (see "Christian Perfection" by John Wesley). Sanctification as a bible doctrine is the second work of grace whereby the heart of the believer is purified and brought into full conformity with the will of God. There is no place either in the Old or New testament where God permits or condones sin. Sin by definition is missing the mark and rebellion against the revealed will of God. The word "perfection" should not be scaring us as the bible testified of those who lived such a life were pleasing enough to God to be called perfect. Enoch walked with God for three hundred years and then w"as not," for God took him, Genesis 5:22-24. Noah was perfect in his generation and Noah walked with God Genesis 6:9. Job was another man the bible said was perfect. When Abraham was living an inconsistent life God appeared to Abraham at the age of 99 years and commanded him to walk before Him and be perfect, Genesis 17:1,2. Jesus taught perfection when He said "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God," Matthew 5:8. In His very last prayer for His disciples and would be disciples He prayed to the Father that they will be sanctified John 17:17. Simply, the bible teaches two-fold sin requiring two-fold action. The inbred or the original sin and the actual or committed sin. We were sinners by birth and sinners by actions, Psalm 51:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9,10. While our committed sin needed pardon our inbred sin needed purging. God promised to circumcise our hearts so we can love Him with all our heart and soul Deuteronomy 30:6,; Ezekiel 36:26, Colossians 2:11. Paul wrote that we cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound. He said, "God forbid,"Romans 6:1,2 and he further stated that sin shall not have dominion over you, verses 6-14 of the same chapter. John, the beloved, wrote also that he who commits sin is of the devil (not God) and that whosoever is born of God does not commit sin 1 John 3:8-10. The blood that saves us also sanctifies us Ephesians 1:7 and Hebrews 13:12. If a believer commits sin, of course God sees the sin of the believer except he repents and forsakes that sin. We cannot use the name of Jesus as a cloak for unrighteousness. A supposed believer who keeps sinning is an evidence that he doesn't know God 1 John 3:6. In conclusion, heaven is a holy place and nothing unclean will enter there for WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD Revelation 21:27; Hebrews 12:14.
"...put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:14) We are directed to make no provision for the flesh by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. We put on Christ by trusting in His promises of free grace. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." (John 15:9) We walk in love by embracing His eternal love to our souls. "...Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16) If we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. This does not mean that we become without flesh, as some teach, but rather, no provision is being made to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. As children of God, we can walk without fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, but we are never in such a state where we no longer war against the flesh. "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17) Holiness and purity of heart is not achieved by our faithfulness to perform duties or by a second work of the Spirit after our initial embracing of the gospel. God promises to all who walk in the light of the gospel, "...the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin...If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:7, 9) Holiness and purity of heart is by the cleansing blood of Christ alone, apart from our works. This is not a second work of grace, but rather it is God's power of the gospel at work in our lives.
Great question! And one I personally wrestled with when I was first saved...and the scripture that jumped out for me in this vein was: Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. This is what Jesus told us to be... yet how can we ever be as perfect as Jesus was? I used to think we could NEVER be perfect, for Jesus was God who came and lived as the perfect, sinless man to show us how to live, how to be in HIM, but the difference between us is/was we were born into sin. But because He lived as we live - in human form - He showed us it was attainable with the Lord's help. As scripture also teaches us... we are weak, and He is strong. We ARE weak but I think the striving towards being exactly like Jesus was, is what the Lord asks of us... to lean on the Lord as Jesus did, to strive to please and honour and glorify and praise the Lord in ALL things, just as Jesus did, is the ultimate goal. In striving for THAT we walk in truth and light and honour the Lord God with our lives, sacrifice our wants and desires and replace them with His wants and desires for us and as a result, we become like Him. God doesn't want our hearts. What He wants is to take that old heart and replace it with a new one in Him. Give it to Him and the walk into God's perfection becomes easier and easier day by day by day. Two years ago when I was first saved, I opined that I believed that our physical lives on earth is 'training ground' for heaven. God can not have sin in heaven, so we get with the program here on earth to be able to BE in heaven with Him. I'm not sure that is as accurate for me now as it was then, for Jesus took it all for me, but it still rings with some truth about God's expectations of us. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength, and you will gain the goal of perfection in the Lord! Amen! Below is a New Year prayer from 'The Valley of Vision' that was featured in one of my regular online devotionals, "She Reads Truth", and so I include it here. Would you pray this with me as we lay before the Lord the days that are past and those that are to come—acknowledging Him as the Giver of days, the Redeemer of our souls, and the Receiver of all glory? May we use the coming days as an opportunity not to merely make lists and clean out closets, but to reorient our hearts and our gaze to the One in whom our only hope rests, Jesus Christ our Lord. O Lord, Length of days do not profit me except the days that are passed in Thy presence, in Thy service, to Thy glory. Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour, that I may not be one moment apart from Thee, but may rely on Thy Spirit to supply every thought, speak in every word, direct every step, prosper every work, build up every mote of faith, and give me a desire to show forth Thy praise, testify Thy love, advance Thy kingdom. I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year, with Thee, O Father as my harbor, Thee, O Son, at my helm, Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails. Guide me to heaven with my loins girt, my lamp burning, my ear open to Thy calls, my heart full of love, my soul free. Give me Thy grace to sanctify me, Thy comforts to cheer, Thy wisdom to teach, Thy right hand to guide, Thy counsel to instruct, Thy law to judge, Thy presence to stabilize. May Thy fear be my awe, Thy triumphs my joy. Amen. I love you, sweet friends! Glory to God in the highest for ALL of 2015! Blessings, In HIM, Lynn
Salvation ushers us into a life of loving relationship and obedience to God and the beginning of a life-long journey of sanctification. The Bible nowhere teaches that we are to be complete or perfect or sinless on earth. If anything, the contrary is often true! We all miserably fail God's divine standards each day! This should not however be confused with our perfect legal standing before God which was made possible in Christ through His shed blood at Calvary and by which we are justified. God sees the blood of His dear Son when He looks at us and that is perfectly what grants us access to His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:12-16). If we were to attain sinless perfection, then 1 John 1:8-10 should not appear in Scripture! So when Scripture calls on us to be holy or perfect as our heavenly Father is, what does it mean? We should understand this exhortation purely on the basis of sanctification life that makes us more and more conformed to Christ. God however counts us worthy in His presence purely on account of the atoning blood of Christ that reconciled us to Him. Without the shed blood, our reconciliation with God is impossible. However, we continue to grow in sanctification into the knowledge and the likeness of Christ, being daily conformed to his image (Romans 8:28-30) until either of two events takes place, whichever be the earlier: 1) Upon our physical death when our souls shall be united with Christ in the presence of God (2 Timothy 4:7-8). 2) Upon the resurrection of believers when Christ shall appear, at which time He shall take away His faithful to be with him forever (1Thess, 4:13-18). Up till then, we must daily strive to walk in obedience to God by the leading of His Spirit and the instruction the word of God. To teach earthly sinless perfection of saints, as some do, is to deny biblical truth. Shalom
We are to be complete in our apprehension of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith. The doesn't mean sinless or sin free. Paul said he hadn't laid claim to perfection but was pressing on with the upward call of Christ Jesus through which God had laid hold of him Philippians 3:14. I believe our natural state is the great barrier, in that we have the fallen nature that fights in our members or body. Paul states, "wretched man I am, who will save me from this body of death". As Christians we find we are slaves to both natures of sin and holiness, we are light years away from perfection. But then Paul says, Romans 7 23:25. Thanks be to God, because of Jesus Christ our Lord, because he and only he could live perfectly that God could apply his mercy to us through His grace, although we were and are imperfect. In my opinion sanctification is the state of salvation we have been blessed with that, what we can do better is involve ourselves further in the purifying process that sanctification requires.
Before we came to faith in Jesus finished work on the cross, we all believed we could be saved by obedience to the law. But that only leads to pride and self righteousness, trusting in our selves to save our selves. But now our faith is in Jesus, who fulfilled the law perfectly for us, died in our place where he took all of our sins upon Him, and then rose again to give us new life through faith in His finished work. The law was a curse and could save no one. The bible says if there was a law given that could save us, then Jesus died in vain. Paul says that anyone who preaches the law for salvation should be accursed. The law was given to show us we are sinners, and without Jesus coming to die in our place we would have no hope. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The bible says if you have no sin you are a liar and do not the truth. So we have all broken Gods laws and continue to break them. Jesus is the only one to ever walk the face of this earth that lived a totally sinless life, and then gave us His righteousness as a free gift. We are now under grace and no longer under the curse of the law. By grace you are saved, through faith, not of works or obedience to the law, so that no one can boast. We all still sin everyday because we cannot live up to Gods perfect holiness. Sin in our lives is what gives grace the occasion to work. Thank God for grace without which we would not see God. Sinners can be saved, self righteous people cannot be saved as they do not need Jesus. They are righteous in themselves. Why do we need Jesus? Because we are all sinners and come short of the Glory of God. The greatest sin is self righteousness and pride which comes through believing we can save our selves by obedience to the law. Those two sins will keep you out of heaven. It is telling God you do not need a savior as you are good enough just the way you are. And you have no sin. Those of us who are trusting in Jesus finished work on the cross to save us give all the Glory to Him and none to ourselves. He paid the price we could not pay. Without Jesus going to the cross in our place we would have no hope of heaven. My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. Paul said, not trusting in my own righteousness which is of the law, but by faith of Christ. Read the book of Galations over and over. Rejoice in the Lord always who has redeemed you from the curse of the law. Oh what a wonderful Savior.
Who is it that will judge all men? 2 Tim 4:1 "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom." So Jesus Christ will be the Judge of the living (Christians) and God will judge the dead (the unsaved.) What qualities will Jesus look for in the Christians? Those who are holy and blameless. Eph 1:4 "For He [God] chose us in Him [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight." In our sight we may see sins, and in the sight of others they may think they see sin in our lives, but in Whose eyes must we be holy and blameless? Gods. We will never be sinless because we were born sinners, but we can be holy and blameless by receiving Christ as Lord and Savior.
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