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Friday, November 17, 2006

Why do you believe...?

Once again it’s time we wade out into the waters of consideration to try and find just what it is we believe and why we believe it. I’ve got a million of these questions to ask but Danny Kaye (Jeff) called the topic for this week and it is a good follow up to last weeks thoughts on temptation. Let’s now try and discover…

Why do you believe that “anytime we are not thinking, responding, saying, doing...etc, exactly how Christ would think, respond, say, do...etc, in any given situation, we are missing the mark of perfection, and are therefore sinning.”

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50 Comments:

Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I usually catch flack for this agrument. But since no one has convinced me I am wrong, yet. I'll give it a go here. Kc has some pretty smart folks coming here and if anyone is going to be able to point out the flaws, y'all can.

There is a difference between having been made perfect in Christ, which is how God sees me, and how I live my daily life. I agree that the robe around my soul is as white as it could possibly be and that there are no sins being held against me. I agree that in God’s eyes, I am perfect.

When I say I am sinning almost all the day through, I am not talking about being in sin to the extent that I am separated from God. I am talking about missing the mark of perfection in any given situation in life. I simply do not believe that I do anything perfectly.

First, a (very) brief study:
1 John 5:16-17
If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

The word “sin” is used 5 times in this passage. 2 times it is used for the Greek “Hamartano”, and 3 times it is used for “hamartia.”

Hamartano, properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figurative) to err, especially (moral) to sin :- for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

hamartia, from Greek(hamartano); sin (properly abstract) :- offence, sin (-ful).

Sinning is missing the mark of perfection. And Jesus is that mark.

Jesus, however, was the all-around perfect man.
Jesus had no weaknesses.
Jesus had every strength, and only strength in every area of life.
I hold that Jesus was so purely perfect in every area that I do not even believe he stuttered trying to find the right word to use in a given situation. (Doesn’t James 3:2 tell us that?)

And I fall short of that mark of perfection flawlessly. (heh-heh)

This is why I believe that "anytime we are not thinking, responding, saying, doing...etc, exactly how Christ would think, respond, say, do...etc, in any given situation, we are missing the mark of perfection, and are therefore sinning"

And by the way, I don't walk around all bummed out about my wretchedness. On the contrary, I am overjoyed that God can forgive such a man as me.

11/17/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't substantially disagree with Jeff's analysis. I would emphasize his point that the "sinfulness" of simply existing doesn't mean separation, and would add that such sin is inevitable and unavoidable.

I mentioned it in another post, but it especially works here.

"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin." (Romans 14:22:23)

Although this was made in the context of eating meat and not offending the weak, the statement in bold is not conditional. It stands on it's own. We all sin every day. When we understand this, we further understand that none of us is in any position to judge the sinfulness of another, as is mentioned earlier in the chapter. I'm sure the Lord will be relieved to hear me say that I think this was a very good way to arrange things.

11/17/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I have a few thoughts…

“Kc has some pretty smart folks coming here…”
See previous comments above for evidence. ;-)

“…there are no sins being held against me…”
I think this is where I begin to question my own understanding of sin. Should I perceive sin as a spiritually tangible element that can be accumulated, resulting in a group of items I call my “sins” or is sin an attitude or position I hold contrary to the will of God with my “sins” being all of those times I take on that attitude or position?

“When I say I am sinning…”
This highlights my previous thinking. Can I be “sinning” or am I “in” sin?

Ah well, enough of my navel gazing ;-)

I believe that from a practical standpoint I fall inline with Dorsey’s perspective. I see myself in sin when I am unfaithful and I see myself as just when I am faithful. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” and “The just shall live by faith.” I understand my faithfulness is consequential to bringing every thought captive to Christ and my unfaithfulness is my failure to observe Christ’ commands, the leading of the Holy Spirit or my own conscience.

Still thinking…

11/17/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Dorsey,
I think you have me confused with RF2R2. He was the one that believed that existing is a sin. I simply hold that I don't do anything perfectly, and am therefore sinning up a storm while I exist. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.

And I like the point about faith/sin. It seems to be right on the money with how I think. Any time I sin, I am setting God's way aside and doing things my way. Such an action (or non-action) CANNOT be born of faith.

Good point.

11/17/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I think I understand the question, Kc.

I am not so sure that sin is an "attitude or position I hold contrary to the will of God." I would hesitate to put myself in such a position as to make the call. I do not believe any of us are "in tune" enough with God's understanding of what goes against Him and what doesn't. It seems to me that this could lead to picking and choosing what we "want" to believe is sin.

Perhaps I am not understanding what you mean by that?

Anyway, I think I would be inclined to think that both of your thoughts on sin could be somewhat accurate.
Sin is anything that goes against the will and attitude of God, whether I think so or not. But it is also "a spiritually tangible element that can be accumulated, resulting in a group of items I call my “sins.”

In 1 Tim. 5:24 it says:
"The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them."

This passage refers to sins that, in a way, do "pile up."

Either way, I believe I am falling short of perfection any time I am awake. (And I'm not too sure about the sleeping hours, either!) ;-)

11/17/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to misrepresent you. Let me clarify. I meant the"'sinfulness' of simply existing" as a euphemism for the inevitability of sinning. In other words, existence is not a sin, but if you exist, you're going to sin today. I agree that it's an important distinction.

KC, scripture indicates (arguably) that if you commit one sin, you're guilty of all sins. If this is correct, it subdues the need for the idea of accumulating sins. As such, I consider that, while sin is also a specific act, it is more a condition of being and a consequence of a fallen world. Although it may appear to, this does not negate scripture's description of the believer as a new creation.

I'm not sure I explained that adequately, but I'm short on time this morning.

11/17/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks, guys. I'm still trying to articulate my perceptions. Dorse please feel free to elaborate at anytime and know it's appreciated.

11/17/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Gordon Cloud said...

This is quite a stimulating discussion going on here.

I think we should consider the dual nature of man, the spiritual and the physical. The spiritual nature of a believer is redeemed and cannot sin, while the fleshly nature continues to do so regularly (see Rom. 7 and Gal. 5).

Our friend, Rose, posted a very good series of articles on this topic recently.

11/17/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I do not know if I am understanding everyone well enough here, but I am grasping some of it that I think I agree with.

I would say that man is either in sin or outside of sin. Being in sin is not being in Christ. Therefore, if man is in Christ, they are not in sin.

In this light, those that are 'wrapped in the robe around their souls' are never in sin. They are in Christ, and therefore are not sinners.

Those that are not in Christ, are in sin. They are sinners.

I have always struggled with this. I want to therefore say that those that are in Christ do not sin, as John seems to say. But this would then lead to the arguments and endless quibbles brought about wherein we have Christians, believers, that still do lie and fornicate.

I would then be baffled and inquisitive and attempt to redefine these actions they do. Perhaps it is no longer sin that they do, as they are not sinners.

Or my mind argues and says perhaps they are not sinners, but do sin. We do not have homosexual Christians, but Christians that practice homosexuality. We do not have lying Christians, but rather Christians that lie.

Unlike the pagans. We do have liar pagans that lie, and homosexual pagans that committ homosexuality.

How is all that for adding confusion to this wondrous discussion???

11/17/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Wow, Nathan! You sure have a dizzying intellect. ;-)

I don't think I could ever say that I never sin. Yes, my sins are forgiven, and I stand "holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation..." (Col. 1:22) But that is before the eyes of God only (a fact that fires me up!!).

I believe Scripture constantly calls even the Christians to repent. The letters to the churches in Revelation seem to indicate that many of the Christians were sinning up a storm and needed to repent. There are plenty of passages of Scripture in which the writer is calling either a group of Christians or and individual Christian to repent. If they are being called to repent, then what is it that they are being called to repent of if not sin? So I guess I don't believe that the Bible teaches that Christians are not "sinners."

But as I understand it, the question is not so much whether to label someone a sinner or not, it's how often do we humans fall short of perfection, and therefore sin? Is that correct, Kc?

11/17/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google is teh st00pid - it totally just trashed my lengthy post in response to Adam because it merged my account into a Google account when I switched me blog to blogger beta.

I hate the internet - can we get a new one?

-Brandon

11/17/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Everyone this is a good discussion and I hope it will continue.

Gordon, great points and I agree that the dual nature will have to be discussed if we are to come to a full understanding of the sin in our life and Rose did an excellent job with that.

Adam, I think the dual nature and Paul’s law of sin is going to be key here.

Jeff you’re doing a great job of defending your position. To be honest I’m usually pretty liberal when moderating so I allow everyone an opportunity to rephrase the concepts presented as needed in order to relate his or her understanding.

Brandon please don’t give up! I think your perception may possibly be one of the most controversial and enlightening.

To be honest I’m leaning more and more toward the potential for a sinless life proportional to the potential for complete faithfulness. I’m still not ready to give a full account and I’m not closing the door on anyone’s thoughts either.

11/17/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

I'm hoping I can say something useful without getting too wordy.

Before we were born again (regenerated) by the power of the Holy Spirit, sin was the controlling priciple in our lives. We were at enmity with God, which means we "hated" him. Rebellion against his rightful authority was our natural state.

When God, in his mercy, rescued us from this doomed existence by changing our hearts supernaterally, it broke the absolute controlling power of sin in our core. Salvation deals to sin the death blow, but it still thrashes around (the old man) and will continue to do so in a decreasing sense for the rest of our earthly existence. As Christians we are no longer comfortable, as we once were, with enmity toward God.

So, we were rescued from our rebellion (salvation), declared righteous by merit of the atoning death of Jesus Christ (justification), and are still being progressively liberated from our "love" of sin (sanctification).

Finally, sin needs to be understood both as a state of being, and as individual acts. In terms of our fallen nature everything we do is tainted by sin.
The fall (of Adam and Eve) radically corrupted the state of man's nature. This results in acts of rebellion, by all of Adam's descendants, against God's commands. But it also affects us even in our cooperation with God. As Jeremiah puts it, "our righteousness is as filthy rags." Even our attempts to do good are less than perfect in attitude and motive. We never reach the point where we don't need the righteousness of Christ to be accepted by God. But we do repent, start fresh, and make progress through our efforts and by the grace and help of God. We must look to Christ, depend on the Spirit, and work to overcome the grip of sin. This is how we "grow" from glory to glory.

In the world to come the struggle will be done. We will be holy even as God is holy. Hallelujah!

11/18/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny,

I know that Christians do sin. But what I think may need to be done is a little bit of redefining. Yes, Christians may lie, but being in Christ, I think that their 'lie' or their 'sin' is substantially different than that of the damned. Do you understand?

I know that both the Damned and the Elect do sin, but I think that given their substantial differences in their very existence (one is within the One, one is not), I think that their actions are likewise colored (if you will) by their location to Christ.

11/18/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

And I am with Brandon for the new Internet. We shall call it Snapple.

11/18/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adam said,
"... being in Christ, I think that their 'lie' or their 'sin' is substantially different than that of the damned."

Why would you say this? A change in result does not equal a change in substance: just because I'm no longer 'liable' for my sins the way I used to be doesn't mean they don't exist. I think people take verses like Psalms 103:12 too literally (it is wisdom literature after all, not doctrinal theses) when we start saying things like, "those that are 'wrapped in the robe around their souls' are never in sin." Of course we still sin! Of course I'm a sinner! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I still like to look at boobies and get unjustly mad at people. I enjoy my sins just as much as ever with one gigantic difference: I know there is something better and it makes me hate them.

There are some deep distinctions between the lost and the saved, no doubt, but absence of sinfulness is definately not one of them... yet.

Also, I believe the new internet should be called the 'russian-chai-net' in honor of my two favorite teas.

11/19/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

This is a great question. I would like to look at it in a slightly different way, if that is OK with you, KC. I would pose the question, "can you be in sin yet still be within the will of God?" Based on the way the question is posed, one could argue that Judas did not respond as Jesus would, yet he was completely within the will of God. Initially, I would have been inclined to agree with the premise that anytime I am not responding as Jesus responds, then I am falling short, which would logically imply sinning. Then, I remembered that sinning is when I am acting outside of God's will, which is something totally different. Paul himself did not always respond as Jesus would have, yet he did the Father's will during his ministry.

11/19/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger señor jefe said...

Danny Kaye said: I don't think I could ever say that I never sin. Yes, my sins are forgiven, and I stand "holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation..." (Col. 1:22) But that is before the eyes of God only (a fact that fires me up!!).

In essence, you are creating a dichotomy between our "positional" righteousness and our "experiential" righteousness?

If so, I would have to say that I believe you are heading in the right direction with your comments.

There is a verb tense in the Bible (I believe it is the 'present subjunctive') that translates the phrase "be saved" or "be filled" as "be being saved" or "be being filled". It indicates an "experiential" process by which we grow into the "position" purchased for us, in Christ.

It seems that God's manner of working in human lives is to begin with the finished product (as He sees it), and then allow us to begin the journey & process of growth into "His image" of us.

11/19/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

I can see that no one here has any major disagreements with my beliefs on this. I guess that means I am on the right track...or that we're ALL wrong! :-)
Typically, in a group of 3 or more people, I get some pretty major heat for my position.

And where is Mr. D. Fundamentalist? He is usually great at poking holes in a position with just one statement or question.

Anyway, Ron asked, "can you be in sin yet still be within the will of God?"

I don't think the question is quite fair. Obviously, it is not God's will for us to sin. (I don't believe God wanted even Judas to sin. But that is for the Calvinists and non-Calvinists to argue.)

I would probably change the question to "I would pose the question, "can you be in sin yet still be within the grace of God?"

This, I believe, is always possible; even if you believe as I do that I am sinning (falling short of perfection) pretty much all the time.

11/20/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Brandon said:

Why would you say this? A change in result does not equal a change in substance: just because I'm no longer 'liable' for my sins the way I used to be doesn't mean they don't exist. I think people take verses like Psalms 103:12 too literally (it is wisdom literature after all, not doctrinal theses) when we start saying things like, "those that are 'wrapped in the robe around their souls' are never in sin." Of course we still sin!

I was not even thinking of the Psalms 103 verse, I was rather thinking of the whole 'being a new creation' and the being 'in Christ' idea.

Tell me, how can we be in Christ and yet be sinners or sin? Would you say there is sin in Christ?

Most definately not...but then you would have to start doing some explaining. Which is exactly where I am. I am attempting to resolve the conflict of being in Christ, being spotless and perfect in the eyes of God, and yet still being the one who 'likes to look at boobies' (I am a more legs kinda man though...).

And I think the difficulty comes as well when we consider Paul's words of those that go to hell, or rather those that do not inherit the kingdom. Consider what Paul says in Galatians:

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, (21) envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance--as I told you before--that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (I hightlighted those specific as they are the most common among all...)

Now do tell Brandon, have you never practiced sexual immorality or idolatry? Of course you have. But Paul says here that if you have practiced such, then you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But you claim to be a believer, and hence know and are assured that you are a kingdom citizen. How do you relieve the tension and settle this little dilemma.

My supposition for attempting to handle it is in saying that although we may sin, our sin is different than that of the pagan, the damned. How there is a difference exactly I do not know....Hence the discussion.

11/20/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Ron, there is terminology that is used by the Calvinist and Determinist that says that while God may will something, He does not will something. The permissive and the decretive will of God (there are other different names for each, but I think these will do the job finely).

[Also, if I am confusing these two definitions, perhaps a Calvinist better than myself can help me out...I afterall do not ascribe to these distinctions.]

The decretive will of God is that which God would like man to do. God doesn't want man to lie, God doesn't want man to commit immorality. God decrees that lying is sin and immorality wrong. Therefore whenever one does lie, they go against the decree of God, they are outside of the will of God.

However, there is the aspect of God's will whereby He permits sin to occur so that a better outcome can come about that wouldn't have come about if the sin did not occur. If God did not permit the men to crucify Jesus, we would all be hell-bound. Therefore, one can sin (as in the case of the men who crucified Jesus) and still be in the will of God as they are still doing what God has willed them to do to accomplish the greater good.

Consider the parent. He doesn't want his child to get burned by touching the hot stove, and he has told the child not to touch it over and over. But he does want the child to learn to obey and not to touch the hot stove. Therefore he allows the child to touch it so as to bring about the greater good of the child learning. The parent then wants the child to touch the stove so as to have them learn that it is hot and to obey, but he doesn't want the child to get burned or to feel hurt. It is a matter of which want will overrule and which outcome will be played.

I personally do not like this manner of thinking, being a hardcore simplist, as I do not think that there is any division within God. However I can understand the thought and I think it does good to evenly weigh out the two different types of passages we have within Scripture.

On the one hand we have God not wanting man to murder man. But on the other hand we have the murder of Christ being within the will of God, according to His plan and predestined will.

11/20/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

señor jefe, I like the idea you are presenting.

I have always wanted Christians to put more emphasis upon the fact that we are being saved, rather than dangerously dwelling upon the idea that we were saved or will be saved. It seems that many are content with knowing that they are saved, and will go to heaven, and yet willfully ignore the clear Biblical example that teaches that man is in a process of salvation. He is being saved.

I think that this will give good light on the problem between Christians being those that practice idolatry and yet likewise inheriting the kingdom.

11/20/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny Kaye, you said:

I don't think the question is quite fair. Obviously, it is not God's will for us to sin. (I don't believe God wanted even Judas to sin. But that is for the Calvinists and non-Calvinists to argue.)

Maybe God doesn't 'want' sin, but sin is according to His plan:

Act 2:23 Though He was delivered up according to God's determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him.

;)

Just thought I'd throw that in in passing... :D

11/20/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

The Bible says:
those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Nathaniel says:
Paul says here that if you have practiced such, then you will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Nathan, you placed a "d" at the end of "practice" making it retroactive. This is not what Paul is addressing in Gal. 5. He is addressing those Christians who were may have been in any of those sins as he was writing.

You can't change the verb tense and have it come out the same.

I don't believe that there is a Biblical difference betweent he sins I commit and the sins of a non-Christian. I understand you are still wrestling with this one, but I just don't see a basis for your distinction.

11/20/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathan,
Much smarter people than I have debated about the meaning of Act 2:23, and even they can't agree on its meaning. I think you probably know which side I will come down on (I am no Calivinist). But I do appreciate your thoughts.

11/20/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny, I understand your confusion, but I think you are attempting to draw argument where it is not.

Paul says that if you practicE idolatry, you will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Therefore, if I am a Christian, or claim to be, and I am idolatrous, I am practing idolatry. It can be said that I practice idolatry. Therefore, according to Paul, I would not inherit the kingdom of God.

Unless we think that Paul is attempting to posit some thought wherein I do inherit the kingdom, and then when I sin, I lose it, then I gain it back when I repent, etc etc ad naseum. But I don't think so.

The biblical basis for difference of sin is what I have been trying to convey. I don't think it is necessarily spoken outright, but I think I have presented a good argument at least for questioning the possibility.

Consider the question I asked Brandon. You claim to be Christian, therefore you are in Christ. Yet you do, by your own admission, sin. Therefore, simple logic and common sense tells us that you, being in Christ, sinning means there is sin within Christ.

How do you relieve this tension or do you just continue to assert that there is no difference in your sin and the pagans and therefore this is just mysterious?

11/20/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathan,
You asked:

"How do you relieve this tension"

I submit that I feel no such tension. It makes perfect sense to me that I can be a forgiven sinner who still sins, even though I am in Christ.

The body of Christ is made up of sinners. We are forgiven sinners, to be sure, but sinners nonetheless. I see no tension between being in Christ and the sin committed by forgiven sinners existing together.

"do you just continue to assert that there is no difference in your sin and the pagans..."

Yes. I do continue to do that. I have seen no reason to change it. It is not all that mysterious to me. There really is no tension.
I would be interested in your findings should you ever uncover the answer you are looking for.
Question:

What is the one thing that solidifies our salvation? Is it not faith, and only faith? (Even us Chuch of Christ-ers know that. (heh-heh))
It is by faith we are saved.
So long as I have not pulled my faith from Christ and placed it somewhere else, I am still "in Christ." It dows not matter how much I sin while in Christ. And it's not a matter of there being any difference between what I called my sin before and what I call it now. To me, (and to the Bible as far as I can tell) all of sin is "falling short of the glory of God" and is therefore sin.

11/20/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

I hope to cultivate such a virtue, so as to more aptly respond in a Christ-centered manner at all times to an antagonist or transgressor. When our Lord says bless even those who make themselves our enemies, how should we respond? That question answers itself in Scripture; and we must leave our pride at the foot of the cross and trust God to be the judge.

11/20/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Danny and Nathaniel, thank you for the feedback. I truly believe that there is one will of God. I also believe that God will not force His will upon man; in other words, He will not force His will to prevail over man's. If that is what you mean when describing the different types of will, then I understand your perspective.

The truth of the matter is, if we were required to act, think and respond as Jesus did, we would always fall woefully short. Truly, there would be no hope. Yet, God finds a way to use His creation in spite of our imperfections.

11/20/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Your question my dearest brother:

"Why do you believe that “anytime we are not thinking, responding, saying, doing...etc, exactly how Christ would think, respond, say, do...etc, in any given situation, we are missing the mark of perfection, and are therefore sinning.”"

I don't know, perhaps Mr. Nee could do a better job at explaining this. :)

11/20/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny said:

I submit that I feel no such tension. It makes perfect sense to me that I can be a forgiven sinner who still sins, even though I am in Christ.

The problem though is that as Christians we are not merely forgiven. It is not as though God has said 'I forgive you, now go about your business', but rather that God has said 'you are righteous'.

Justification involves so much more than simple forgiveness, it is a decree of God whereby He declares that which was unrighteous to be righteous. It is parallel to when He declared the nothing to become something (let there be light) or the dead to be alive (Lazarus) or the calamity to became calm (the storm).

You understand then, or should, the difficulty. Taking the light parallel. If God was to simply say to the nothing, 'ok, you are nothing, but I forgive your nothingness, go about your business', then there would be absolutely no difficulty in the accepting the fact that the nothing still behaves as nothing.

However, God did not simply say this to the nothing. Rather God said to the nothing, 'you are no longer nothing, you are now something.' Being declared by God to be something, it is then strange to look at the nothing and see it still behave as nothing. God said it is something, why the heck is it not acting like something. Was God mistaken? Was His word not powerful enough to invoke change? What the heck is up?

You see then why I see such difficulty???

11/21/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Ron, I will not turn this conversation in the direction of discussion the clearly Biblical idea that God's will is that which does occur and prevails at all times. We will leave the rabbit trail alone. I make this only to make you aware that I strongly disagree with you and believe that your interpretation falls woefully short. I love you in Christ nonetheless and love even more our difference.

:D:D:D:D:D:D

Perhaps another time we shall discuss the topic...lol

11/21/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

"Ron, I will not turn this conversation in the direction of discussion the clearly Biblical idea that God's will is that which does occur and prevails at all times"

Sounds like this is a good question for next Friday! ;-)

11/21/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathan,
I understand your thought process. And you are correct in saying that I am now something that I wasn't before. (New creation and all that stuff.) I also understand that I should behave differently than I did before. I have no problem with that. I just can't find a reason to believe that my sin should be called something other than sin.

Allow me to bring this back to the original question, but I'll rephrase it.

Without putting a label on it, such as "sin" or whatever, how often do you, as a man, fall short of being exactly like Jesus?

I believe I have stated my thoughts clearly enough. (If not, let me know. I have sheets and sheets of text I could throw up here. hmmm...perhaps that was a bad choice of words...) But, anyway, using the phraseolgy in the above question, how would you answer it?

11/21/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Kc, I was wondering what happened to you. What, do you have a life, or something? ;-)

11/21/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jeff, everyone is holding their own and I really like reading a good bible study. ;-)

11/21/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Nathaniel,

If we all thought alike, we would never learn :) I am always interested in discovering how others believe. If it identifies a shortcoming in my understanding, then I want to make sure that I correct it. Kc, I hope you do use this as a springboard to next week's question. It has been a while since I have been able to blog, and I am grateful to come back with such a great topic.

11/21/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny, the natural mindset, I do believe, when hearing that one wants to call 'sin' something other than 'sin' is one of immediate objection. They hear within their minds Paul's words of 'they called evil good and good evil' and they recoil and arm their defences.

But I think that if these defenses were momentarily set down, and the issue was addressed, it would be much easier to discuss this question.

Regarding your question. You asked:

Without putting a label on it, such as "sin" or whatever, how often do you, as a man, fall short of being exactly like Jesus?

I answer daily.

11/22/2006 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

"Without putting a label on it, such as "sin" or whatever, how often do you, as a man, fall short of being exactly like Jesus?"

I would also answer daily, and I understand why Paul explained that he must die daily. Each day, I must die to self in order that Christ can live in and through me.

11/22/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Thanks, Nathan and Ron. If you will humor me for just a little longer as God humored ol' Abe when asking about the 50...no 45...no 40...no 30...no 20...no 10 righteous people in Sodom, I would like to narrow down the question.

I appreciate you both answering the newly phrased question. You both have responded with "daily", and now I want to rephrase the question again. I believe the answers to this question will be the telltale sign that people either agree with my thinking, or they don't. So here goes:

We all sin daily, as you've said. But would you say that you ever do anything perfectly? What I mean is, do you ever do something, or respond to something, or say something, or think something, exactly in line with the perfection of Christ?

My answer is "no" I don't. The fine line of perfection is too narrow for me to walk. Yet Jesus never even lost his balance!

There is a red circle in the middle of a target, we call that circle a "bull’s-eye." But that circle is not the real mark of perfection. It is the mark of "close enough." The only true mark of perfection is the very center, of the very center, of the very center…(you get the point), of what we call the bull’s-eye. That is the mark that Jesus hit every moment of His life. And that speck is too small for me to see, let alone hit.

So "no", I never hit perfection, ever.

11/22/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Very well Danny. Let us then look at your life. You say that you daily sin, as does Ron and myself. You then say that you never reach perfection. You not only daily sin, but you daily are always falling short of perfection, in everything.

How then would you reconcile (I am beginning to think I desire reconciliation a little too much...), how do you reconcile that idea with this verse:

Gal 2:20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

You see Danny, the thought is not only that Christ is in us (as the infamously clicheic question goes, 'have you asked Jesus into your heart???'). The idea is true only because Jesus is found within us (and we in Him) and this means that He now lives through us. We are not living our own lives, but it is Christ that is living through us. We are His body. We are His.

So with that thought, how can this life which is lived by Jesus, amount to anything but perfection?

11/22/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathaniel, I appreciate your desire for reconciliation here. But I'm afraid I am still not able to jump on board with ya', and especially after you quoted Gal. 2. In that chapter, doesn't Paul go so far as to say that Peter and Barney were involved in the sin of hyposcrisy? Doesn't Paul go so far as to say ( with tongue in cheek, IMHO) that "If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!" He is obviously refering to those "in Christ." But notice that he doesn't deny that we are sinners even in Christ. He simply says that Christ doesn't promote sin.

Paul says right there in the verse you quoted that he lives his life in the flesh by faith. It is by faith that we believe that we have Christ in us, is it not? I am not being flip here but, when I was baptized (I'm a Church of christ-er, remember?) I did not see any ghostly figure enter into my body. Did you? Nor did I feel any intrusion as it passed through my skin on its way to my soul. Did you? But I believe the Scriptures when they say I am forgiven and that I am to live my fleshly existence for Him. I believe in the miracles He's done in my life, taking me out of the gutter (literal, not figurative, in my case) and changing my very character, and the course of my life. By that same faith I believe my name is written in the book of life, I have a "room" waiting for me in heaven, robe is white before God, and I will receive a crown on that Day. I am still a sinner. But by faith, I can live this fleshly life for Christ despite my sinfulness.

Having said all that, I am still not sure why this is a sticking point for you regarding the question. If you
are willing to admit that you sin daily, the question of "How often throughout the day?" should not be un-answerable. Am I wrong on this?

11/22/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Wow guys,

This has definitely gone to a deeper, more thought provoking level! I would like to state the obvious by saying that while our life in Christ is in the spirit, we still sin in the flesh. True, we will never achieve perfection in this earthly body; but, we can achieve perfection in the spirit. As far as reconciliation goes, we will never be able to reconcile the two lives. So do I fall short? Yes, on a daily basis in the flesh. But can I achieve perfection in the spirit? Yes. I see it the way Paul writes in Philippians 3:16 - "Only let us live up to what we have already attained." We have obtained the eternal spiritual life, now we have to walk it out in the flesh in our remaining days on this earth.

11/22/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Danny, I was unaware that you were Church of Christ. I must discontinue our conversation right now. I will not associate with such blasphemous heretics! Kidding, only kidding. I love the CoCer's. I love to poke fun at you guys, there are a lot of you that are great. Perhaps our conversations will take us one day into our disagreement regarding baptism and all - hopefully.

Regarding the question posed by Kc: if it was simply, 'do you sin daily?', I would be able to answer if with a clear, 'yes'. If the question was, 'do you sin, but understand this 'sin' to be something quite different than what the pagan's do when they 'sin'? and what is this difference?', I would likewise be able to answer quite easily.

However, the question is whether I believe that anytime I am not thinking, responding, saying, doing...etc, exactly how Chirst would....we are missing the mark,' I would regrettably disagree.

I do not believe sin to be that all encompassing. I do not believe the Christian to sin that much. At least I don't think I do.

Regarding our ongoing quibble over whether the Christian 'sins'. I think you must realize who you are dealing with. I am not here denying that both the Christian and the Pagan 'lies'. I am not denying that the act they do is detestable to God, or can be called 'sin'. I am merely attempting to understand the difference between the two acts. And anyone (with a parrot's brain upon their shoulder) would recognize that there is a clear difference. After all, one is 'saved' and another is not - DUH!

I am merely being anal and overly definitive in requiring that when we say the Christian sins, we know that the sin they commit is a sin of a different kind given that it is a sin done by a redeemed individual. It is not necessarily different in its evil or its distaste found within God, but it is on a whole different level of 'bad' given who does it.

I think you can see the parallel if you were to see a normal everyday street whore steal a piece of candy from the store, and a pious and devout nun do so. Both of them would have stolen, both of them would have done the same thing, but looking at the nun we somehow think of the act differently. It does have a different manner of stench to it.

11/23/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathaniel, I think I am beginning to understand what you mean. Your last paragraph helped immensely. You are not saying that the sin looks different to the Lord. You are saying that the sin of a Christian appears worse in the other peoples' eyes because he or she should know better (Haggard and the like?). Is that it? If so, I guess I can see your point at least to some degree.

11/23/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Not only because they should know better, but because they are better. They have the infinitely righteous LORD within them, why the heck are they living as pagans?

11/24/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

AAAAUUUGGHHHH!!!! Just when I think I "get you", you throw another pearl out here that makes me say, "WHA!!!???"

First, a half of a point to you: If we measure by the world's standard, then "Yes", the sin appears to be worse when Christians commit it.

Next, you would be hard pressed to convince me that we are better than anyone just because somebody else is helping us on out. WE are no better than anyone. We simply have One who stands between the Father and us making His righteousness appear" to be ours. (Rom. 3)

By the way, I may have been the only one thinking this, but throughout this whole thread, I was thinking that you thought that if a Christian sins it is not as bad as when a non-Christian sins. Somehow, our sin was "better" than thiers. It really wasn't until your second to the last comment that I figured out what you meant. Whew!!!

11/24/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to humbly suggest that the difference is not the sin or the sinner, but rather the response to sin. I believe we are all sinners, but Jesus' perfect righteousness offers us an option to respond with humility, which the Lord loves. Jesus died for us ALL, while we were still sinners. God's law reveals to us that we have been, are, and always will be sinners. The glory of Jesus is that we can freely admit that we are the lowest of low sinners and still find ourselves in the Kingdom of Heaven. The scripture below from Numbers 15:27-31, describes the response to two types of sin. This has always broken down for me the type of sin I fall into - intentional and unitentional, which would seem to cover all of it. As I mature as a discple, I find more of my sin falling into the unintentional category. The process for forgiveness just seems too simple and I become lazier in my response, to the point of defending it. Yet, as unintentional as it may be, it is still sin, and act of sin that I make, therefore I am still a sinner.

"But if just one person sins unintentionally, he must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest is to make atonement before the LORD for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made for him, he will be forgiven. One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien. But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the LORD, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the LORD's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him."

11/24/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

AAAAUUUGGHHHH!!!! Just when I think I "get you", you throw another pearl out here that makes me say, "WHA!!!???"

I am quite sure Kc can attest to the fact that for this very reason he loves me...

First, a half of a point to you: If we measure by the world's standard, then "Yes", the sin appears to be worse when Christians commit it.

Agreed.

Next, you would be hard pressed to convince me that we are better than anyone just because somebody else is helping us on out. WE are no better than anyone. We simply have One who stands between the Father and us making His righteousness appear" to be ours. (Rom. 3)

We are not necessarily better than anyone, we all are pagan reprobates. But there is that whole idea of God electing us and not them... ;) [/tongueincheek]

Perhaps 'better than them' was an ill choice of words. But you cannot deny that we are held to a higher standard. They are pagans, they are blind, they are behaving as their reprobate hearts lead them to behave. We however have been bought, cleaned, and given new hearts. Why are we reverting to our old ways?

By the way, I may have been the only one thinking this, but throughout this whole thread, I was thinking that you thought that if a Christian sins it is not as bad as when a non-Christian sins. Somehow, our sin was "better" than thiers. It really wasn't until your second to the last comment that I figured out what you meant. Whew!!!

Yes, yes. You should never assume too much about me. Sometimes I argue for beliefs that I am adamently against. The question you should now be asking is whether I even believe any of this that I have been arguing for. Perhaps I have been trying to get you to see something. Perhaps I was just bored and wanted to argue. BWAHAHAHAHAAHA!!! [/evillaugh]

11/26/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Kaye said...

Nathan, you're a TRIP!!! (I mean that in the most complimentary way, of course.)

"But you cannot deny that we are held to a higher standard."

oh yes, i CAAAAaaaaannnn....

The standard it the standard, no matter who is being measured up against it. Christ lived the OT law ("written code", according to Col. 2:10-15) perfectly, and He therefore made it "do-able." But since none of us can live it perfectly, as Christ did, all that matters now is whether or not the "written code" has been cancelled for the individual.

Here is the (warped?) way that I see it:
The "written code" is the OT Law.
If a person is in Christ, then the "written code" no longer applies to them, and they will no longer be held accountable to its rules and regulations. Christains are not held to any earthly or worldly standard at all. Our faith in Christ is the only thing taken into consideration on The Day. (Keep in mind that I believe faith in Christ results in a desire to please Him.)

However, if a person decides not to be "in Christ", then on The Day he will then to be held accountable to the "written code" according to Col. 2:10-15, and:
-- Romans 2:12b “…and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”
-- Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

3 Choices now remain:
-- Live according to the Law and (try to) attain righteousness that way,
-- Put your faith in Christ and attain His righteousness,
-- Or choose none of the above and live believing that you're ok. (atheists, agnostics, followers of other religions…).

But the standard is still the standard.

PS(Yeah, this is my way of floating another trial balloon out there to test it's legitimacy and Biblical accuracy.) :-)

11/27/2006 10:14:00 AM  

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