Hello Xian, this is the topic I have created for our discussion between you and I. God bless and I'm happy to be having this upcoming discussion with you.
So, do you want to start with my comments on those verses??? How about one at a time.
I know I'm still in the "flesh", "SARX", "sinful nature", that Paul addresses in romans 7. Therefore I am not yet indwelled by the Spirit. I acknowledge this because I'd rather know I'm not there, and still run the race, than think I am there and stop running.
9A However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Okay, sorry for the bland intro and then my lack of content, I had to take care of some business. It is currently 11:29pm here and after this post I will be going to sleep. However, first chance I get I will be opening this and reply to any messages you have posted.
I guess I will start with what I believe. I believe that when people accept Christ into their heart, they are not automatically good to go, however, are saved. I believe that we are chosen by God and that we are to spread the gospel of Christ to everyone we can.
I agree to this as well, but would add you can't NOT love neighbor and Enemy if you love God. And what LOVING GOD would look like is very important in my beliefs. Most people won't like my understanding of that.What I mean by not being automatically ready to face the world, is because I think we are to mature as Christians by doing what he wants us to do, that is, Love God with your entire being. Matthew 22:37
To love one another, be willing to serve God with passion, and constantly seek God through Prayer. Romans 12:8-12
Your read on that is not wrong. I think it has a different aspect to it. I think the proclaim in that verse, could also be something like "broadcast" where your life was the "light" and your life examples the witness, proclaimer, etc... of His awesomeness. The Greek word allows for that, but there is no argument I can see to insist it goes either way.Preach his word to everyone 1peter 2:9
And to be imitators of God - Ephesians 5:1 (And many other verses that say similar things)
I do believe that our goal is to be Christ like, but being human nature, we all fall short of the Glory of God, however, through Christ Jesus, we have eternal life.
As for what I believe about the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13-14 says
"13:In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit14who is the guarantee (who is promised to dwell with us) of our inheritance (inheritance meaning eternal life with our Father in heaven) until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
I believe the Holy Spirit is given to us to help us understand the word of God, to shower us in the presence of our Lord so that we may walk in his ways daily. However, the race is far from over. For the race is over when I am bowing to our Lord in heaven. That's my take on it and what I understand from it.
One last thing for now until there is a reply, constantly God has used imperfect people to do his will. Moses, David, Even Peter in the new testatment, and no not his denial of Christ but how he wrong Paul. The only perfect one being Christ. Okay, I'll stop adding comments and let you go, though NOW I will be going to sleep. Ha ha ha. Take care and may God bless you.
As I said earlier when I wake up I will be checking here and reply as soon as possible to any messages you may have posted.
Christ is the only person that didn't sin all of his life.
That doesn't mean you, who have sinned all of your life, can't be changed to not sin again. I mean, it's ok to believe you can't be changed, but the fact Christ lived a perfect life and never sinned, doesn't mean you will sin forever. It means you too have sinned in your life.
Two verses to ponder.
Ephesians 4 I explained above, around 13-17ish. If you were as spiritually mature as Christ, what sin would you commit? If any, then Christ must have sinned as well, else it wouldn't be AS spiritually mature as Him.
1 John 1, walk in the light AS HE DOES.
If you walk in the light as HE DOES, then if you sinned, you would have to claim HE sinned sometimes. Else, it's not AS HE DOES.
Also, in vs 2:8 you'll find the darkness, not in God's walk/light, has to be removed from the people John wrote to, for them to be "in the light". So the darkness is gone first, not the light drowns out the darkness.
Very good points that you have made. I do believe this to an extent. Because we are sinful in nature there will never be a perfection in us.
Christ was sinless from birth to death.Becuase only Christ is perfect...
however, as we continue to focus on loving God and seeking him, and studying his word, I believe slowly (or quickly, some people do this at different speeds) one starts shedding off old habits of the flesh.
I am happy to say that I have quit smoking, I have stopped looking at pornography which used to have a good hold on me. My languange has imrproved 90% though cuss words still slip here and there.
Also I have a problem with making innappropiate comments. All stuff I am working on of course. And these are just small examples. But over time as King J likes to say, the battle should be in the mind. The temptations are always there, but whether one gives in is the big issue.
Paul said he was no longer in the flesh, that you say causes the weakness. 7:5We will always have weaknesses, Paul even says to boast in our weaknesses.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
2 Corinthians 11:29-31
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
I guess where we differ on this is that you believe we can stop sinning, I believe that though there are drastic changes and life alterations that come with following Christ for the better of course, that we are still sinners.
Another difference is that though you interpret it as someone becoming Christlike in all ways of life, I interpret it as us trying to emulate him till the time of our death. Not coming close to it, but following in his footsteps none the less.
What are your thoughts in if you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?
And, what if the sinful nature isn't permanent while you are alive? Would it be possible then?
And, if God does the changing, why wouldn't HE be more powerful than the sinful nature?
Christ was sinless from birth to death.
That's not what we are talking about. We are talking about a person being led to a point of maturity, where they have sinned, but no longer sin. There is no verse that says that can't happen.
Why do you think He can't finish it? I'm not picking, just askin'.
Smoking? Not a sin necessarily.
Porn? By itself not a sin, if you lust when you watch it, (most likely) that was your sin.
Cussing? Myth as a sin, it's not even addressed in the bible. In fact cussing is a bastardization of the word cursing, and a curse at the time those letters were written is more like slander than a bad word.
Colossians 2 addresses rules we make in the church like this, but not these specifically. For what it's worth I commend you on each, they are all excellent decisions. But, while they could be bad for you, the sin thing makes sin way to much of an icon than it should be. IMO. (only showing you how different the view is. This is another thread for each point I'd guess. )
As I read the Bible, as long as you fight to control those things, you fight God for control over them. The minute you realize you have a poor Spirit and need to depend on Him, that race starts earnestly, and He will do the changing. If you are focused so much on the sins, I think you miss the point of Grace. I know you think differently. I'm just exposing myself, errr my thoughts.
Paul said he was no longer in the flesh, that you say causes the weakness. 7:5
What does the term, "flesh", "sinful nature", "sarx" mean to you?
I don't think we can stop sinning. But I don't deny that HE can stop us. And it appears pretty solid His word says that is His plan.
Ephesians 4, says as fully mature spiritually as Christ. If that is to happen in this life, as written in Eph 4, why do you doubt it?
1 John 1 says something about walking in the light as HE Does. Those people John wrote to were not yet in fellowship with God, but they had Christ as their mediator, so they were saved, but not in fellowship with God. John wanted to help them get in fellowship with HIM who was in fellowship with God. To get in fellowship, there is no darkness in them. And you had to walk in the light as HE does. In chapter 2 John wrote they were getting closer, a little more darkness still had to be washed away. That tells me the darkness/sin had to be gone before they were in fellowship. I can't claim to be in fellowship with God yet, either.
But, the point was, if you walk in the light AS HE DOES, how can you sin? If you do sin, you aren't walking in the light AS HE DOES, unless you'd argue that He sins against Himself....
I don't think about my destination. Why would I? God will keep His word or He won't. He is LORD, He doesn't answer to me. It's totally HIS province to make that call. My job is to run the race. Either you accept grace or you don't. If you still worry about sins, then you haven't accepted Grace yet. Grace means you understand it's handled. What do you have to think about sin any longer?
The only determinant to see if you are in Heaven is 1 john 4:16. If you went your WHOLE LIFE without sinning (work with me, hypothetical here), but you didn't have LOVE right, you still wouldn't go to heaven.
if you get the love right, you are in God and He is in you. That's where our focus should be. Learning how to love, not being afraid of Sins already reconciled.
btw, the you don't understand Grace, isn't so much pointed at you personally, I don't know if you do or not, but using YOU sorta in a 3rd person sense, I think they call it a generic sense for you and a few other words.
Not much to comment on the stuff you said here because I agree for the most part with all of this. I don't think we can reach perfection.
I'm finding it very hard to explain my stance. But it's along the lines of... God gives us free will,
What does gal 5:16 mean to you? To me it's pretty plain after years of deconstructing what I was taught so I could read what it said and not read what I wanted to see.through the Holy Spirit and having that relationship with Christ, we we mature, we fall less and less into sin,
And to my perception, like the rich young ruler, you are trying to do too much yourself. You are trying to force maturity, rather than allow God to do His job. I don't mean that critically, just sayin'. Scripture says it's his spirit that will keep you from sinning, gal 5:16, not you carrying your cross. And it also says HIS SEED keeps you from sinning 1 john 3:9. It's not about man's accomplishment. That's why its so daunting, man wants to be in control, but it's about giving up control. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Rich young ruler had a mighty and successful spirit, Christ asked him to kill it and take a dependent, needy, slave like, servant like submissive spirit that depended on Christ for all.but when we are not giving into temptations, temptations are still in the mind, and that's because we have to carry our cross daily.
Does that make any sense? I apologize if I am not making sense here. Basically I feel like we could still give in to sin at any moment, but willingly have to fight not to fall into the temptation.
I feel like we have spoken our minds on this part of the subject very good, if you have more to discuss please feel free to continue on, however, I would like to go into the relationship with Christ part. I know you had said in another post that you don't think we have that, and if I'm taking it out of context please say so.