This message you are giving is a dangerous one.

I just have to ask...you are really saying that you don't sin daily? For instance, you don't lust after women? You don't ever have impure thoughts? You don't ever struggle with sinning in anger? I guess what I am asking is do you really feel that there are days when you are perfect? This message you are giving is a dangerous one. You are telling Christians that if they are struggling with a sin they must be not be saved. You are saying that we have to work and work really hard to be perfect in order to be saved (Eph. 2:8-9). I truly feel sorry for anyone who looks at himself as almost perfect. That is dangerous ground for sin in itself: pride. It must feel pretty good to be nearly perfect. The message you are portraying is one that most Christians teach and live out...the message that we do sin daily is one that most Christians live and teach. This is because it is what the Bible teaches. So I don't see how you could not feel prideful believing that everyone who has this view is not saved and only you and few other Christians are. What about when the Bible talks about the heart being deceitful above all things? (Jerimiah 17:9) A heart that is deceitful above all things is not a perfect heart. But we live under God's grace. It is not an excuse to sin because we are convicted when we sin by the Holy Spirit and gives us the strength to get through it and it resist it. When Paul talks about him doing the things he does not want to do and not doing the things he does he IS talking about struggling with sin. I know I will never change your mind or heart God will have to do that and seriously humble you. But I will be praying for you and for the Christians reading this who will feel condemed even after they gave their lives to Christ because they are struggling with Porn but truly want God. Or someone that hates their father for raping them but is a true believer in Christ. Or someone who hates someone for molesting their daughter. The point is is that you have no right to say that these people are not true believers in Christ because they struggle daily with sin. That is judging their heart and comdeming them to hell yourself and that in itself is a sin. I would never say that you were not a believer but I do believe that what you are saying is far off base. You have twisted these verses and people are going to pay. God can handle us whether we are perfect of sinful. Thats the beauty of Him. He takes our imperfections and turns them into good. That is found in Isaiah.

My response is in Green:

Wow you have judged me and I came up short. Okay, but you have no idea what I am even saying. You claim I am twisting the Bible; really? Show me how I am twisting this:

1 John 3:7-10
    Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. [8] He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. [9] No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. [10] This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Show me how I am twisting that when I tell Christians that if they are sinning daily they need to go get what they missed at the cross. You claim Paul was speaking about himself in the present when he talked about not doing what he didn't want to, but you have to twist scripture to get that. You are referring to Romans 7, but have you read Romans 6 or Romans 8? If you have then you would know that Paul is speaking in Romans 7 of how he was when he tried to live under the Law, it was impossible, but in both Romans 6 and 8 he tells us that we have died to sin and are NO LONGER slaves to sin:

Romans 6:15-18
    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! [16] Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Show me how I am twisting verse 18: You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness!! Or have you? According to you, no.

Romans 8:1-4
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [2] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, [4] in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

"who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit"!

Romans 8:9-14
    You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. [10] But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. [11] And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
    [12] Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. [13] For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, [14] because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Again show me how I am twisting this passage: 8: You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit. 13: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die!

You also show you lack of understanding of sin, by asking me if I ever have an impure thought. Sure I do, but is that a sin? To you I guess it is, but there is a difference between a temptation and a sin. When I watch television and a half clad woman appears and a lustful thought crosses my mind, have I sinned? Did I try to think that thought? No, it depends on what I do with that thought that determines whether I have sinned or not. If I harbor and entertain that thought then yes I have sinned, if I put that thought out of my mind, then it was a temptation and I have not sinned. This is the same for any impure thought. Jesus was tempted, but He didn't sin and according to John and Paul we don't have to sin either, we have been set free from the slavery of sin and become slaves of righteousness.

When you think that every temptation is a sin, then of course you don't believe you can ever be free from sin, but sin isn't being tempted it is what you do with that temptation.

As for the person who HATES because of a rape for example, I again point you to the Bible, not my words:

Matthew 18:23-35
    "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. [24] As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. [25] Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
    [26] "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' [27] The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
    [28] "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
    [29] "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
    [30] "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. [31] When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
    [32] "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. [33] Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' [34] In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
    [35] "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Or this:

1 John 2:9
    Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

1 John 2:11
    But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

1 John 3:15
    Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

1 John 4:20
    If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Is that tough teaching? Sure it is, but it isn't mine it is God's word. Can we as humans forgive like this on our own? I don't think so, but that is why we have been given the Holy Spirit.

So you can disagree with me all you want, but you need to look at what God's word says, it says we can be free from sin. Does that mean we never stumble, of course not, but our lives won't be characterized by sin. We won't sin daily as part of our normal life. You also need to understand what sin is, because you are making it something you have no control over, but again that isn't how God's word explains it, as I have shown you.

I am sorry if you think I am not humble enough, trust me, you have no idea whether I am humble or not, but I stand by my article; if you are sinning daily then you have a problem that you need God to take care of for you. You think I came by this doctrine because I am perfect? Or that the moment of my salvation I never struggled again? Think again. In fact let me explain how I came to be free from sin. You may have read my testimony but if not, I will give you the very short version. I grew up in a Christian home, but when I went into the Marine Corps, I walked away from my faith. I did not quit believing, but I quit following. I wanted to live my way. I did live my way for a little over 20 years, and then God got a hold of me and I came back to Him. However, I had sins that I just could not seem to stop committing. I would pray and repent and sure enough I would go back and do the same thing over and over again. I prayed that God would help me overcome this problem, but it just didn't seem to work. One day I was reading my Bible and praying and I just gave up. I told God that He knew I wanted to stop but that I was not able to. I told Him that if He wanted me to live a holy life, then He was going to have to do it for me because I could not do it myself. I told Him that I was willing for Him to take complete control of my life, because I knew I could not control it myself.

Let me give you a passage of scripture which illustrates what I am talking about: (Romans 6:16-18 NIV) [16] Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Notice that we are never set free to control our own lives. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. That is what most people don't understand. I did not understand it. God will never help you take control of your own life, He wants control and either you give it to Him or you remain a slave to sin. That does not mean you are not saved, it means that your sinful nature is still in control.

This is not talked about much anymore, but it is what the Bible calls sanctification. This is when we are freed from the bondage of sin and God takes control of our lives. I will tell you that I have never felt such freedom as I did when I finally gave up and let God have control of my life.

Here is another passage that deals with this: (Romans 8:1-8 NIV) [1] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [2] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, [4] in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. [5] Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. [6] The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; [7] the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. [8] Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Notice in verse 6 Paul tells us that the mind controlled by the Spirit is life! God will help you, but you have to be willing to give complete control to Him. Admit that you can't do it. There truly is victory in Jesus. Believe me I still struggle with temptation, but it is different now. Before the temptation over took me like a giant wave. I would get caught up in it and swept away. I felt like I had no control, I could not resist. But now, it is like I see the wave coming and I just quickly pray that God will deliver me and He does.

I am sure what I am saying sounds easy and in a way it is, but in a way it is very hard too. It is hard for us as humans to let go and give God everything. I know I thought I had for years, but now I know that I had kept back a little bit of control and that is where my weakness was. I am not capable of controlling my life. I am no longer embarrassed to admit that. I now have freedom in Christ and have never been happier.

Go ahead and think I am twisting scripture or that I am condemning people, I am not, I am showing them and you how you can be set free in Christ. Take it or leave it, it is up to you, but if I am wrong then show me why these passages don't mean what they say!

Ralph

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Posted Dec 2009