Are Christians sinners?

Tradition speaks in terms of Christians still being sinners in spite of the cross. To think otherwise is just going against the norm.

But, scriptures seem to suggest otherwise. Below are a few.

1Peter 4:18 “If the righteous scarcely be saved, Where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?”
Here God tells us that there are 2 different groups of people.
Group 1: Righteous
Group 2: Ungodly, Sinner.
It appears you are either righteous OR a sinner. You can’t be both.

1John3:6-9 even says Christians “cannot sin” and that those who sin are “of the devil”.

John8:34-36 tells us that “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. therefore if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.”

Romans6:2 asks “HOW shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer in it?”

We’ve all been raised up under the traditional belief that Christians are still sinners, but I am hoping the forum discussion will focus on why God says in scriptures, such as above, that Christians are not sinners.

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. Hi Matt1078,

    Thanks for your post.
    I had realized just after I posted my response that my statement spoke only of the sin of unbelief. God does give various definitions of sin as I listed in an earlier post.
    Therefore the definition of “sin” needs to be determined according to the context it is written in.

    James 4:17 ” Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” is a good example.

    For most people I would imagine the phrase “to do good” means good behaviours/lifestyle. This is ambiguous and is an assumption taken out of context.

    But, reading James4 from the beginning gives us the context.

    James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
    Here we can see it speaks to those in spiritual adultery (non-believers).

    James 4:7,8 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
    Here we see a salvation call to non-believers to submit to God, be cleansed and purified.

    James 4 has an evangelical context speaking to non-believers who judge according to the law, hence when we get to verse 17 we use the definition of sin as given in John 16:8,9 “And when he is come he will convict the world of sin…..Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

    You asked/suggested”unbelief is the Forster Parent of sin”. What definition do you apply to”sin” in this statement? Is it “transgression of the law’ as defined in 1john 3:4 ?

    Blessings

    haz

  2. Hi Timothy,

    To clarify things in this discussion better, can you give your definition of “Sin” ?
    If we understand each other’s definition of “Sin” better this will help.

    You asked “Then way does Paul in writing the church, repeatedly exhort them? Why exhort if there is no sin to steer clear of? ”

    Paul is exhorting them to steer clear of the sin of UNBELIEF in Jesus. This is the sin the world will be convicted of as Jesus said in John 16:8,9 “And when he is come he will convict the world of sin…..Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

    Hebrews 3:12,13 confirms this also: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of UNBELIEF in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

    Also Romans 11:19,20 “You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of UNBELIEF they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.”

    We see in Galatians 3 they were confronted for turning away from the truth. They sought to be justified by works of the law. This is unbelief (sin).

    The sin of unbelief is what we exhort each other to steer clear from.
    Whenever you read scripture on sin, try using God’s definition (UNBELIEF, John 16:9) instead of using man’s ambiguous definition of “missing the mark”. God’s definition of sin is the only one to use to correctly understand His word.

    Blessings

    • Hope you don’t mind my jumping into the conversation but you made this statement.
      “Whenever you read scripture on sin, try using God’s definition (UNBELIEF, John 16:9)”
      That automatically caused me to think of the following scripture.

      Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

      How does this fit into the criteria for sin you set forth as unbelief?

      It sounds more like the exhortations you are speaking of between Christians is that when one falls into unbelief that unbelief is the Forster Parent of sin but not that unbelief is sin itself.
      Having looked it up because you want correct definitions for the words from the bible.

      Unbelief
      G570
      ἀπιστία
      apistia
      ap-is-tee’-ah
      From G571; faithlessness, that is, (negatively) disbelief (want of Christian faith), or (positively) unfaithfulness (disobedience): – unbelief.

      Just my 2 mites for the pot. Carry on.

    • Timothy Luke says:

      The Bible defines sin, as you say, in 1 John 3:4.  "sin is the transgression of the law." What is God's law? It is summed up in one word…. "love".  God is love and we are to walk in love. Yes, you are correct also, that scripture says, "whatever is not of faith is sin." Unbelief is surely a form of sin, as well. What you are saying seems to contradict what Jesus said will happen…

       

      "In that day MANY will say unto me "Lord, Lord" and I will say unto them, 'I never knew you.'"  So we hit upon the issue of faith, and I say, just saying and thinking one is a Christian does not make one a Christian.  Jesus says, 'if you love me, keep my commandments."  This fits into the "abide in me" category, that I referred to yesterday. If we walk outside his commandments, we are not abiding in him, and are then, not Christians in the true sense.

       

      There are numerous admonitions TO THE CHURCH BELIEVERS that they are to walk in the flesh and not in the spirit. That if they choose to serve sin they die and if they choose to obey, they are reciipients of righteousness…. see Romans 6:15-17.

       

      Why does the NT repeatedly admonish and call Christians to watch what they do, if they are sinless in the way you are interprettiing "a Christian cannot sin" to mean? Let me put it to you this way…

       

      Would you admonish a quadripalegic to not run in front of a truck? Then why would God tell A CHRISITAN not to walk in sin, or in unbelief, or in the flesh???

       

      The error with your ascertians, as I see it, are in your not meshing your main verse into the broader, and more complete context of NT application and teaching.  From what I see, your view point, though well intended, overthrows many admonitions in other portions of the NT, including words written in red.

       

      Shalom,

      Tim

      • Hi Tim,

        Thanks for your post.

        It’s good that you recognize there are various definitions God gave us for sin. I am curious though about your claim in your previous post that Christians do sin. What sin are you referring to?

        But the following scriptures seem to differ with your claim as God tells us that Christians do not sin.

        1John3:6 “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.”

        1John3:9 “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

        Even Romans 6:2 asks “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

        And Rom6:7 “He that is dead is freed from sin”.

        Regarding the Rom 6:15-17 you refer to, what “Sin” do you think it refers to? Can you give examples?

        Also you spoke on abiding in Christ by keeping his commandments. What are his commandments?
        We see them in 1John3:23 “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”

        Blessings,

        haz

        • Timothy Luke says:

          Haz, you wrote: "I am curious though about your claim in your previous post that Christians do sin. What sin are you referring to?"

           

          Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery in his heart. Have you ever done that? Are you a Christian?  Jesus said, if we hate our brother in our hearts we have committed murder.  Have we ever witnessed that? Those are the types of sin, for starters, that I would be talking about.

           

          Regarding the Romans passages, I believe the context is that if we have died to 'self' and mortified the deeds of the flesh (thus showing us that overcoming these things is a work in progress as Christians) then we are indeed freed from sin… for sin rules in the flesh nature.

           

          1 Jn 3:6, whoever abides in him does not sin, can be restructured accurately to read, "whoever does not sin abides in him," can it not? This takes us back to Jesus' words to His disciples… "IF you abide in me, you shall bear much fruit…" 

           

          To answer your question on that let's remember the overall context…. "God is spirit, and he desires those who worship him to worship in spirit and in truth."  Our hearts are to be sincere before the Lord. He says, "a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you…."  This means we are to lay down our lives for one another, even to the point of literal death if the occasion demands.  Jesus' reiterates the top two commands and likewise instructs the rich young ruler to keep commandments 5-10 if he was to enter into eternal life. (the 10th commandment, 'thou shalt not covet' being addressed when he told the man to sell all he had and give to the poor.

           

          I agree whole heartedly with 1 Jn 3:23.  It is beautifully simplistic in the coalescing of the law into one simple sentence!  The commandment to love one another is broken down into practical applications, that if we fail in them, we fail in the keeping of this command as well. For whoever is guilty of one part of the law is guilty of all.

           

          And yes, it is impossible for us to perfectly walk in all these areas all the time.  This is where grace comes in. To supercede our sin, which may occur in the flesh, even while in the spirit, our hearts are set on overcoming.

           

          I hope that helps clarify where I am coming from.  Thanks for the loving and civil dialog on this!  Tim

          • Hi Tim,

            I agree with your statement that “it is impossible for us to perfectly walk in all these areas all the time”.

            As for charging Christians with “sin” however, I differ in that Rom 8:1,2 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

            Unfortunately I have found some Christians who, by not understanding that Christ has set them free from sin, bring themselves under comdemnation after reading scriptures such as:

            Heb 10:26,27 “26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries”

            And 1John3:8 “He who sins is of the devil,”

            If they had understood what sin is and that Jesus Christ had set them free from sin then they would not fall into error.

            How do you understand the above 2 scriptures?

            Blessings,

            haz

          • Hi Tim,

            You gave the following statement as an example of your understanding of sin:

            “Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery in his heart. Have you ever done that? Are you a Christian? ”

            I find King David a good example of how God deals with such issues. We all know King David had a heart after God. We also know that he committed adultery and murder. God’s response was to chastise him whereas man’s response would have been the death penalty. Likewise, God chastises us today too.

            We are all at different stages of our Christian maturity. Some are weak and easily tempted to do wrong whilst others are more mature and less likely to be tempted.
            Sadly I have found many professing Christians today would quickly claim that anyone committing adultery and murder is NOT a Christian based on these actions. These people are judging by works but God sees our hearts and knows those who are His.

            You also stated the following:
            “Regarding the Romans passages, I believe the context is that if we have died to ‘self’ and mortified the deeds of the flesh (thus showing us that overcoming these things is a work in progress as Christians) then we are indeed freed from sin… for sin rules in the flesh nature.

            I understand your view is that free from sin is when we are at the stage of being a work in progress overcoming wrong behaviours.
            My understanding differs as I see scripture speaks in definate terms that we “cannot sin”.

            As I said in my previous post, the mis-use of the label “sin” and “sinner” within Christian circles causes some to bring themselves in condemnation when reading scripture such as Heb 10:26 and 1John3:8.

            Blessings,

            haz

        • lookinforacity says:

          Hi Has

          There is only one Biblical definition of sin.

          Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

          1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:
          (FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW).

          Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath:
          (FOR WHERE NO LAW IS), (THERE IS NO TRANSGRESSION).

          Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world:
          (BUT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW).

          Rom 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.
          (FOR WITHOUT THE LAW SIN WAS DEAD).

          Mar 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
          Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
          Mar 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
          Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

          Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

          Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

          Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
          Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

          God told Adam;
          Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

          In God telling Adam to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and Evil He was giving Adam a law to keep.

          If we say God has given us differing definitions of sin, isn’t that like saying there are differing degrees of sin based upon the type of sin committed? With God there are no degrees of sin.
          If God gave us differing definitions of sin, that would cause confusion and we know that God is not the author of confusion. God has set a standard that standard is one definition for all sin.

          All sin has a death penalty tied to it, He said if you break one law, you are guilty of the whole law.
          If we insist on our differing definitions of sin, we will end up with a semblance of the 613 Rabbinic Laws which started with the original 10 Commandments.
          Jesus made it even simpler, saying it was only needful to keep 2, Love God first, and Love others as yourself, in doing so the entire law would be kept.

          Be Blessed
          JIM

          • Hi lookinforacity,

            I agree with many points you made in your post.
            However we do see in 1John5:16 that there is sin NOT unto death and also sin that IS unto death ( which can be seen as degrees of sin).
            The sin not unto death is backsliding under the law again (e.g Galatians) for which we see in scripture calls for backsliders to repent.
            The sin unto death is blasphemy of the holy Spirit which scripture says will not be forgiven.

            I agree with your point about sin being transgression of the law and how we are not under law so therefore where no law is there is no transgression (sin). But what about John16:8,9 which tells us that the world will be convicted of the sin of not believing on Jesus?

            I understand that scripture can be either talking about the sin of transgression of the law OR unbelief in Jesus and this is often determined by the scriptures context. So here we see 2 different definitions of sin.
            And then there is the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

            Although we see these 3 different difinitions they all amount to unbelief anyway.
            To be under the law is unbelief as they reject that Christ is the end of the law (Rom 10:4)
            To blaspheme the Holy Spirit would be done when in unbelief too.

            You are correct that sin has a death penalty tied to it so praise God our righteousness is in Christ Jesus as our own righteousness is a filthy rags.

            Blessings,

            haz

    • lookinforacity says:

      Hi Has

      In your post to Tim, Submitted Wed, 08/17/2011- -you say

      “Paul is exhorting them to steer clear of the sin of UNBELIEF in Jesus. This is the sin the world will be convicted of as Jesus said in John 16:8,9 “And when he is come he will convict the world of sin…..Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

      First, are the three scriptures you cited in your post, the ones Paul is exhorting the Church, to steer clear of the Sin of Unbelief?

      I have to say, I only use the KJV. and in the John 16:8,9 passage the word used is not (Convict) but (Reprove).
      I want to make sure were on the same page as far as words and the definitions being used.
      So going to the Strong’s I found.

      REPROVE:
      G1651
      ἐλέγχω
      elegchō
      el-eng’-kho
      Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

      I found the word (Convict) is not used at all in the KJV. but the word (Convicted) was only once.
      The definitions for these two different words are identical.

      Joh 8:9
      And they which heard it, being (CONVICTED) by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

      CONVICTED:
      G1651
      ἐλέγχω
      elegchō
      el-eng’-kho
      Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

      My question then is, when you use the word (CONVICT) are you using it in the context, (with the definition), of being found Guilty of sin?
      If this is the case, then your assessment is incorrect, because in that same verse we also see that the Comforter also (CONVICTS) Reproves of (Righteousness, and of Judgment):
      Are we to believe, the Comforter will also find the world Guilty of Righteousness, and Judgement?

      I am only asking for clarification, because I can’t quite wrap my brain around your concept of Unbelief being sin.
      I want to understand how you come to Unbelief = Sin, seeing that it isn’t ever spoken of as such, in any of the teachings of the Apostles, as the sin of unbelief.

      The closest I can come with an example of what you are saying is, the word (Reprobate).

      REPROBATE:
      G571
      ἄπιστος
      apistos
      ap’-is-tos
      From G1 (as a negative particle) and G4103; (actively) disbelieving, that is, without Christian faith (specifically a heathen); (passively) untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing): – that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever (-ing).

      This word to me is even farther away from God than just Unbelieving, because as it says
      “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge” the word (Unbelieving) then pales in comparison to Reprobate, and still we see that being a Reprobate is not listed within the sins punishable.
      But it is the CAUSE of the sins committed.

      Rom 1:28-32
      28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
      29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
      30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
      31) Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
      32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

      I am only trying to look at what you have said from every conceivable direction, thus far I can’t come to it.
      I see Unbelieving as a Vehicle, Medium, in which one can be conveyed to sin, but not sin in and of itself.

      Be Blessed
      JIM

      • Hi Jim,

        To answer your question about the use of the word “convict” in John 16:8, the Bible version I used with this word is the NKJV. I noted that your reference to Strongs also included “convict” as an alternate word for “reprove”.

        I suspect that we have a similar understanding except that you see unbelief as the medium in which one can be conveyed to sin. I can see your point and it’s certainly something I will raise at Bible study.
        I agree that sin is transgression of the law (1John3:4)
        But we also see that “what is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23)
        And “all unrighteousness is sin” 1John5:17.
        Clearly to be under the law none of us will be righteous or justified.
        These examples of God’s definitions of sin all point to unbelief.

        Importantly though is the issue that Christians understand that we are no longer sinners as Christ has set us free from sin. My understanding is that you agree on this.

        • lookinforacity says:

          Hi Has

          Unbelief is the Vehicle which carries us to sin, but Unbelief is not sin itself.

          Heb 3:12,13
          12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

          We see in verse 12, that unbelief, causes us to depart from God. (Vehicle) Movement away from God.
          Then in verse 13, we see our Unbelieving Heart, is then Hardened because of sin.
          Jesus tells us, sin originates from within the heart of man, for from there are the issues of life.

          1Jn 3:4
          Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

          Pro 4:23
          Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

          Mar 7:20-23
          20) And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
          21) For from within, (OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN), proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
          22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
          23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

          Mat 22:37-40
          37) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
          38) This is the first and great commandment.
          39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
          40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

          Heb 10:16
          This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

          We who walk according to the Law of the Spirit of Life, have then the Law which was fulfilled by Jesus, in our Hearts, and in our Minds, making us dead to the Law, and freed from the Law of Sin and death.

          1Jn 3:9
          Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

          Be Blessed
          JIM

  3. Hi Timothy,
    You asked “Do Christians sin?” and answered in the affirmative. But what definition of “Sin” do you apply?
    Are you saying sin is transgression of the law (1John3:4)?
    If so we are not under the law of sin and death so how can Christians be judged of this type of sin?
    Remember “whatever the law says it says to those who are UNDER IT” Romans3:19,20.
    Also “the law was NOT MADE for a righteous person (Christians), but for…the ungodly and for sinners” 1Tim1:9

    We are holy as he is holy.
    1John3:9 says “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His SEED remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
    This is confirmed Rom11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

    It is Christ in us, His seed, that makes us holy. We should’nt be judging our holiness according to how good a life we live in this physical state. None of us would ever be good enough in the physical to achieve that.

    • Timothy Luke says:

      Then why does Paul in writing the church, repeatedly exhort them? Why exhort if there is no sin to steer clear of?  'Know you not, to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey? Whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness?"  Also, why does he state that he must continually keep himself under subjection lest he become a castaway?  The root is indeed holy, yet we are admonished by the Vine to "abide in me, so shall you bear much fruit…."  Again, with this, Jesus clearly is saying that 'abiding' is a choice, as he is admonishing his disciples to continue in their abiding.  He states the alternative… if a Christian is always saved and free from sin, then there is no alternative, is there?!

      So, the practical application of scripture, combined with the fact that numerous admonitions are given to believers to hold fast and not walk away from the faith once delivered, proves that those who are believers, or Christians, have  the ability to turn away and go from life, back to death… from light to darkness.

      Yes, Christ in us makes us holy, but only if we choose to abide in him. If we get careless or rebellious, we are no longer abiding and thus, no longer holy.

      Thank you for considering this….

      Tim

      • lookinforacity says:

        Hi Tim

        Whenever a scripture is referenced to make a point, the context in which the scripture was used originally also becomes of relevance?
        The taking of scripture out of it’s original context, changes the contextual meaning.
        Therefore any scripture taken out of the original context, then becomes irrelevant.

        The reference made to the verses found in John 15:1-10, are the verses containing the teaching on (Abiding ) in Christ.

        Within these verses, Jesus is not speaking in the general sense to all Christians into the future, but only to His own Disciples soon to be Apostles. He was giving them information that would only pertain to them personally.

        The whole narrative has to be taken in context.
        The Context of the verses that contain the (Abide) teaching, can be picked up starting in John 14:22, the entire narrative runs all the way to John 16:33.

        You say:
        “The root is indeed holy, yet we are admonished by the Vine to “abide in me, so shall you bear much fruit….” Again, with this, Jesus clearly is saying that ‘abiding’ is a choice, as he is admonishing his disciples to continue in their abiding.”

        The context in which the word abide was being used, is only in relation to bearing of fruit.

        Nowhere within these verses John 15:1-10 can it be understood that not abiding in Christ was a voluntary loss of salvation, a choice which could be made.
        It can be seen from the verses, “the Father is the Husbandman” doing the pruning “He” takes the branches away that do not bear fruit, the branches do not in any case break themselves off.

        Be Blessed
        JIM

        • Timothy Luke says:

          Jim, you write:  "Nowhere within these verses John 15:1-10 can it be understood that not abiding in Christ was a voluntary loss of salvation, a choice which could be made."

          I respectfully disagree…

          John 15:6-7 says: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
           

          Jesus says "IF" a man abide not, and then later "IF".  Now, you have dialed the perameters of this discourse down to the disciples, whom he was speaking to. So, as disciples, they had two options in the "IF" category. Those who choose to abide, and those who do not choose to abide. 

           

          We know this is a choice because there is an admonition to "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," in verse 4, preceding.  Jesus was not saying, "some of you abide in me, and some of you (Judas) do not…."  Jesus is stating this as an admonition.  Again, I pose the question, would any of us tell a man with no legs to beware of walking into the street? No more would Jesus admonish us to abide, or warn of not abiding, if as disciples these things were set in stone.

          In that we are given admonition to abide, it is implicit in that admonition that there is a choice… the consequence of which (not abiding) is to be cast into the fire…. which to me seems too close to saying those who do not abide will be cast into hell fire.

           

          Shalom,

          Tim
           

          • lookinforacity says:

            Hi TIM

            I thought I had made it pretty clear.
            But the problem arose when you only used half of my statement.

            “Nowhere within these verses John 15:1-10 can it be understood that not abiding in Christ was a voluntary loss of salvation, a choice which could be made.”

            Now read the ending of that statement.

            “It can be seen from the verses, “the Father is the Husbandman” doing the pruning “He” takes the branches away that do not bear fruit, the branches do not in any case break themselves off.”

            Joh 15:1,2
            1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
            2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

            The context of the teaching is on bearing of fruit.

            You go back to your abiding statement not understanding that, if God being the Husbandman, who does the Pruning, then the question of our abiding is not, and never was a choice.

            Moving on then to the “IF”, that “IF”, makes verse 6 a declarative statement, and not an admonishment as you suppose.
            Personally I go back to the Parable of the wheat and the tares Mt.13:24, that Parable then explains
            (the one not Abiding, and the one Pruned to be burned), as being the same person.

            In that there is no “admonition” given to abide, but rather a statement made, it is therefore understood, that there is “NO CHOICE” God is the one doing the pruning, we do not have the ability to self prune … the consequence of being pruned, (not abiding) is to be cast into the fire…. which is most definitely saying those who do not abide will be cast into hell fire.
            Just because they were Disciples were they all truly Disciples, and abiding?

            John tells us.
            1Jn 2:19
            They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

            I appears in the previous verse that God Pruned them, “WHY” “that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
            So we see that there are some which do call themselves (Christians, Disciples, Followers, Born Again) but God is the only one who knows the Heart of man. If it is by Grace, which it is, doesn’t God know who are His?

            In summery, in verse 2 God does the pruning, that nullifies any presumed admonishment by Jesus to abide as a choice.

            Be Blessed
            JIM

          • Timothy Luke says:

            Jim, Forgive me if I am being slow witted here, or missing it….

            In the context of John 15, I clearly understand that we are given the admonition to abide or not abide.. The world does not have the choice of abiding or not abiding, for they are not grafted into the vine in the first place. If we let our calling lapse and become lukewarm so-to-speak, then we will cease bearing fruit and as a result of our choice, the Father will see the lack of fruit and cut us off completely.  Paul warns the church not to boast against the Jews, lest they having been grafted into the tree, should find themselves cut off once more.

            Paul also shares his desire to fight the good fight and not give up, lest he should BECOME a castaway.  This indicates that he currently was abiding and was aware that diligence was required to continue abiding.

             

            I appreciate your faith in this. I just am not seeing it that way.

             

            Tim

          • Hi Tim,

            You said, “Paul also shares his desire to fight the good fight and not give up, lest he should BECOME a castaway. This indicates that he currently was abiding and was aware that diligence was required to continue abiding.”

            We see this also in Hebrews 12:1,2
            “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”

            Christians are not sinners and as 1John3:6-9 says “cannot sin”. To sin is not abiding in Christ.

            As 1Peter 4:1 says, we have “ceased from sin”. And we admonish one another to continue abiding in Christ, being righteous in him, justified by faith and not under the law of sin and death ( remembering where there is no law there is no transgression Rom 4:15).

            blessings,

            haz

          • lookinforacity says:

            Hi TIM

            “Once more into the breach”{:>)

            Eph 2:8,9
            For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: (IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD):

            Joh 15:1
            I am the true vine, and (MY FATHER IS THE HUSBANDMAN).

            Mat 15:13
            (EVERY PLANT, WHICH MY HEAVENLY FATHER HATH NOT PLANTED, SHALL BE ROOTED UP).

            Joh 15:2
            Every branch in me that beareth not fruit (HE TAKETH AWAY): and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

            Very simply, a description of the saved and the unsaved.

            Mat 7:16-21
            16) (YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS). Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
            17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
            18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
            19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
            20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
            21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

            Joh 14:16
            And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
            (THAT HE MAY (“ABIDE”) WITH YOU FOR EVER);

            If we have been given a Comforter, that He may ABIDE with us FOREVER.
            And we determine how long we abide, then the forever mentioned, is not forever at all is it?
            Or could this mean, even after we have decided to not abide any longer, we still have the Comforter?

            The point I am endeavoring to make is.

            1) It is only by the Grace of God that we come to Salvation in the first place.
            2) God is the Husbandman, He is the one who does the planting.
            3) Every plant that He, (God), the (Husbandman) has not planted, He takes away, roots up.
            4) Those that have been Saved, (Planted by God) “Will” produce fruit.
            5) Those that have not been Saved, (Planted by the Enemy), “Cannot” produce fruit of themselves.
            6) Those not bearing fruit, were never planted by God, do not have the Comforter, therefore they do not Abide in Christ, and are rooted up by the Husbandman.
            7) Ye shall know them by their fruits.
            ‘8) The Comforter which Abides in us, does the work of producing the fruit.
            9) Lest any man should boast.

            Be Blessed
            JIM

          • Timothy Luke says:

            Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
            Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
             

            Rev 3:2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
            Rev 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
             

            Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
             

            Jim, how much simpler, and clearer can this be? Notice especially the last verse…. they had it, they were told to hold on tight to it, lest they lose it.  There is no room for the doctrine of 'if they don't make it, they never had it in the first place,"  These guys HAD IT and were warned not to LOSE IT.  I know what you are saying, but the Bible is saying something else… in the verses you are quoting.

             

            "Joh 14:16
            And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
            (THAT HE MAY ("ABIDE") WITH YOU FOR EVER); "

             

            True (of course :-). However, you read into it, given your paradigm, that because the Father gives the Comforter to abide with us forever, that that is the result.  God's intention in giving it to us is not to take it back, nor that it would be unfruitful in our lives… HOWEVER, the parable of the talents shows God giving gifts to men, and expecting them to prosper in it. The talents were given that the recipients would use them and be blessed… When the one man in fear refused to use it, that which was given was indeed taken away….. Was it given with the intent of taking it away? No.  Yet that is what happened.

             

            I will summarize your points and my understanding of them.  Please forgive my use of CAPS. I began replying point by point with only one or two words, and then when I finished, I was using sentences……  I am not yelling, I should have used bold.

             

            The point I am endeavoring to make is.

            1) It is only by the Grace of God that we come to Salvation in the first place. (AMEN)

            2) God is the Husbandman, He is the one who does the planting. (AMEN AGAIN)

            3) Every plant that He, (God), the (Husbandman) has not planted, He takes away, roots up.(dIFFERENT PARABLE, DIFFERENT POINT BEING MADE.  JESUS IS SAYING THAT EVEN IN THE TRUE VINE, THE BRANCHES ATTACHED TO IT, ARE TO CLING TO IT AND ABIDE IN IT, OR THEY WILL BE CUT OFF FROM THE GOOD VINE… THIS STATEMENT IS NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF JOHN 15.)

            4) Those that have been Saved, (Planted by God) "Will" produce fruit. (THEN WHY ARE THOSE SO SAVED ADMONISHED TO MAKE THEIR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE – IF AS YOU SAY, IT IS SURE ALREADY?)

            5) Those that have not been Saved, (Planted by the Enemy), "Cannot" produce fruit of themselves. (AMEN)

            6) Those not bearing fruit, were never planted by God, do not have the Comforter, therefore they do not Abide in Christ, and are rooted up by the Husbandman. (WHILE THIS IS TRUE OF MANY OF THOSE WHO DO NOT BEAR FRUIT, IT IS NOT TRUE TO SAY THEY WERE NEVER PLANTED BY GOD. ELSE AGAIN, SEE ABOVE VERSES AT TOP.)

            7) Ye shall know them by their fruits. (AMEN. DISCERNMENT IS KEY, BUT THE FACT THAT ONE DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT DOES NOT ADDRESS WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE PLANTED TO BEAR FRUIT BY THE FATHER.)

            '8) The Comforter which Abides in us, does the work of producing the fruit. (AMEN. AS WE ABIDE IN HIM. ABIDING IS NOT AUTOMATIC ON OUR PART. IF WE DRAW NEAR TO HIM, HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO US. WE CANNOT ABIDE IN HIM, UNLESS HE FIRST PLANTS US, BUT ONCE PLANTED, WE MUST ABIDE.)

            9) Lest any man should boast. (For the record, I do not boast in myself for abiding in Him. I merely seek to handle my end responsibly, knowing it is only by His power that I can do anything worth doing.)

          • lookinforacity says:

            Hi TIM

            you say:
            “(For the record, I do not boast in myself for abiding in Him. I merely seek to handle my end responsibly, knowing it is only by His power that I can do anything worth doing.”

            So with this last post, your last sentence acknowledges what I have said all along.
            “it is only by His power that I can do anything worth doing.”
            TIM, that would include your abiding, or even your wanting to abide, you want to abide because you are saved (HIS) possession . The Holy Spirit does the abiding through you, doing the will of the Father.
            Before you read this passage on abiding for the first time, after you were saved, did you ever not want to abide?
            When you, and your wife were going through your trial, did you ever not want to abide, if you did, did you stop abiding, or did you abide all the more as the trial became stronger?
            Yes I will acknowledge that I have been in the pit of despair myself, wanting to run, not walk away, but “I COULD NOT”, any more than I could deny myself, so here I am, still abiding in the Lord, For I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
            We who are of the household of faith, as servants of Christ, do the will of God from our heart, and will unto the end, for we can do no other.

            Remember it does say.
            “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
            He does the work.

            Be Blessed Brother
            JIM

          • Timothy Luke says:

            Well said!

            Now we come to semantics, of sorts. It is merely a matter of interpretation on how do we spell out the dynamics of what we see. You see a dead branch and say it was never alive, for if it had been alive, it would remain alive. Correct?I

            I see a living branch and say it is alive by God's grace, as do you. But, I see God's will is not perfected in our lives if we yield to another power. For God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of Christ…. Yet…. in this, God's will is not fulfilled on the earth. His will is subjected to the choices of mankind. Even so likewise, God subjects His will to ours in the church after conversion. There are numerous warnings to not neglect our salvation.

            Heb 12:15  "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;" is one.

            If being plugged into the Vine enlivens you and I to hold fast, praise the Lord! However, there are some, who once being enlightened, give place to the things of this world. Yes, I grant that scripture says, "they have gone out from us, for they were not of us from the beginning," yet I cannot dismiss the context and atmosphere that numerous other verses supply that exhort us to exercise our wills to fulfill that which was begun in us.  Ephesus had a first love, yet they lost it, though not to the point of extinction… though there is a point when they who were established as Christians, would be removed from the roll call of believers.

            The arguments that I am replying to here have a 'fatalistic' element to them, as though we are either saved or not and having been saved are hence always saved. Were this the case, the New Testament would be *only* filled with rejoicing that we are saved (and there are certainly such verses), and there would be no need to exhort those who believe, as they would spiritually be on auto-pilot.  It is the presence of such verses that I cannot ignore.

            I think we have probably run this discussion as far as we can without seeming to forcing one another to cry "uncle".  The main thing is, that regardless of our understanding, that we indeed STAND. I see you standing as a brother and I highly respect you in that. I know you likewise respect me in this matter as well, so let us join ranks again and preach JESUS to the world!

             

            Shalom,

            Tim

  4. bornagainbytheblood says:

    haz wrote: “It appears you are either righteous OR a sinner. You can’t be both.”

    Amen! You’re either one or the other; you’re either on your way to heaven or hell; there’s no in between.

    • bornagainbytheblood,

      Yes scriptures clearly show there is no righteous sinner. You are either righteous OR a sinner.

      The traditional belief that Christians are still sinners can bring condemnation to some losing sight of the fact that we are saved by grace, not works.

  5. lookinforacity says:

    1) Does the Bible teach a Christian is freed from sin,
    Or does it teach a Christian should sin less frequently?

    2) Does the Bible teach a Christian is washed clean by the blood of the lamb,
    Or does it teach a Christian should gradually put off sin and put on holiness?

    3) Does the Bible teach a Christian should be Holy as He is Holy,
    Or does it teach every man should progress gradually toward Holy Living?

    I think a reading of Rom. 6 would be in order.
    JIM

    • Thanks Jim,

      Romans 6 does explain it well. Christians are” FREED FROM SIN”.
      We have been washed clean and made Holy as He is Holy.

      Rom6:11 sums up our position as believers. “reckon ye also yourselves to be DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

      But the traditional beliefs we’ve all been raised under states that Christians still sin in spite of the cross. I think the reason why traditional beliefs are at odds with God is definitions of “sin”.
      Man’s definitions are too ambiguous and general (e.g “missing the mark”). God’s definitions are specific.

      God’s definitions of sin are basically covered by:
      1: Mark3:29 Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. ( Christians do not commit this sin ).

      2: John16:9 Unbelief in Jesus. ( Christians do not sin here either )

      3: 1John5:17 “all unrighteousness is sin”. ( Christians are righteous through Christ so here we do not sin )

      4: Rom14:23 “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”. ( Christians are justified by faith so here we do not sin )

      5: 1John3:4 “Sin is transgression of the law” . This is breaking the 10 commandments which results in a death penalty.
      ( Christians do not sin here as we are no longer under the law of sin and death. We were SET FREE from it Romans 8:2 )

      Regarding the law of sin and death it should be noted that “whatever the law says it says to those who are UNDER IT” Romans3:19,20. Also “the law was NOT MADE for a righteous person (Christians), but for…the ungodly and for sinners” 1Tim1:9 (Here in this verse also we see 2 different groups. Either you are righteous OR a sinner. You cant be both).

      So regarding Christians, our old man has been crucified with Christ and it is” no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me” (Gal2:20). We are set free free from the law (Rom8:2), and “where there is NO LAW there is NO TRANSGRESSION (SIN)” (Rom4:15).

      Of course we still see Christians doing wrong (erroneously referred to as sin by man’s ambiguous definitions), but as sons of God we are disciplined for our wrong. Remember our position in Christ, a new creation. The old man was crucified.
      “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh” 2Cor5:16.
      “It is no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me” Gal2:20

      But, those without Christ can be accused of sin and the wages of sin is death.

    • Timothy Luke says:

      Here is my whack at the pinata!

      1 – Christians are freed from the power of sin, and therefore sin less frequently. This is why they are told to 'put off' sin and to 'cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit' 2 Cor. 7:1. We now have the ability to rise above sin, but we still need to be applying ourselves to that task, through the power we now have in the Holy Spirit.

      2 – Eph 4:20-24  "But ye have not so learned Christ;
      Eph 4:21  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

      We are given the initiative as Christians to 'put off' and 'put on,' after we have been washed clean, we still conduct ourselves in this world – the question is, who will we choose to serve day by day?

      Paul, writing to Christians, tells us we are making that choice each day in how we conduct ourselves…. "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

      He also commends them on walking in uprightness, but he still adds, "even so, now, yield yourselves as servants unto righteousness." It is in how we yield ourselves that determines if we as Christians are righteous, or still servants of sin, though we now have no excuse – being set free from the enslaving dominion of it.

      3 – The whole counsel of the Bible on this is that we are to indeed be Holy as he is holy… but notice the implication of that as an admonition….

      The fact that it is an admonition rather than a declaration that says, "you are holy as he is holy," opens the point that holiness is a destination not reached upon conversion, but is found along the way by those who pursue it.

      That's my two cents to you Jim.

      • Hi Tim,

        I hope you don’t mind my joining into your discussion with Jim.

        It took me a long time to see past the traditional beliefs of sin that I was raised under. Once you get past this you will see why God says that Christians CANNOT sin (1John3:6-9) and that we are righteous and not sinners (1Pet4:18).

        You haven’t defined your understanding of “sin” but I suspect it is “transgression of the law” (1John3:4). God’s definitions are best to use. They are specific and the only definitions that are relevant to His word.

        Are Christians still under the law of sin and death?

        Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law”
        Romans 8:2-4 “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
        Romans 7:4 “you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ”
        Colossians 2:14 “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”
        Rom7:6 “NOW we are delivered from the law”

        Clearly we have been set free from the law so HOW can we be accused of transgressing it (sin)? Regarding the law consider the scriptures below:

        Romans 3:19.20 “we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are UNDER the law”
        1Timothy 1:9 “the law is not made for a righteous person (i.e Christians), but…. for the ungodly and for sinners”
        Romans 4:15 “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression”. (SIN).

        It is those without Christ who can be accused of sin. And we know that the wages of sin is death.

  6. Timothy Luke says:

    You will note the context of these verses often brings a challenge to the recipients to take that understanding and make choices as to whom they will serve and to put away sin and to cleanse themselves from the filthiness of the flesh AND spirit.

    Do Christians sin? You bet. Are they sinners? Only if they so closely aligned by their deeds, words and life choices to the world the flesh and the devil that they serve it, when push comes to shove, rather than God.

    If the bottom line is that I will repent and do what is right when I fail, and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus to wash and cleanse me as I get up again and walk the road of righteousness, then I am a Christian who sins… and repents and ceases to sin more each day.

    If the bottom line is that I will serve my flesh, cry out for forgiveness and continue to walk in the deeds of the flesh because a price was paid for my liberty… I am a sinner who has no clue what the grace of God is for and no respect for the Lord, who paid the price.

    I am freed FROM sin, not freed TO sin.

    I hope that helps in this discussion!

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