Perfectionism is a doctrine holding that religious, moral, social, or political perfection is attainable, especially the theory that human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained.

A sinner does not know God.

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  • A sinner does not know God.


    (1 John 3: 5 - 6) “Now you know that He appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in Him there is no sin; anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen Him or known Him.”

    Nor does God know one who deliberately commits a wrong doing.

    (Galatians 4:8-9) “Once you were ignorant of God, and enslaved to 'gods' who are not really gods at all, but now you have come to acknowledge God—or rather, now that God has acknowledged you'—how can you want to go back to elemental things like these, that can do nothing and give nothing, and be their slaves?



  • #2
    JohnLove, you really want to beat this point home. I agree, "sinners" don't know God. Too bad many Christians who don't deliberately sin, and are made sinless by the blood of Christ, call themselves sinners, even the chief of sinners (over-the-top irrationality). They do sin by denying the cleansing and transforming power of Christ. They do sin in excusing sin as just human nature. And, yes, they are excusing sin. It's one of those many irrational things Christians do, and they hang nearly the whole thing on Paul calling himself the chief of sinners, even though he was clearly referring to the time before he met Jesus (even with his use of the present tense), when in spite of being greatly devoted to God beyond his peers, he didn't recognize Christ and persecuted Christians.



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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
      JohnLove, you really want to beat this point home. I agree, "sinners" don't know God. Too bad many Christians who don't deliberately sin, and are made sinless by the blood of Christ, call themselves sinners, even the chief of sinners (over-the-top irrationality). They do sin by denying the cleansing and transforming power of Christ. They do sin in excusing sin as just human nature. And, yes, they are excusing sin. It's one of those many irrational things Christians do, and they hang nearly the whole thing on Paul calling himself the chief of sinners, even though he was clearly referring to the time before he met Jesus (even with his use of the present tense), when in spite of being greatly devoted to God beyond his peers, he didn't recognize Christ and persecuted Christians.


      1 Cor 6.9-19 “You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanders and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Notice Paul says that people who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul did not say those who were not saved and did wrong.
      Paul was addressing all people.

      Do you believe Paul was telling us he would never enter the Kingdom of God?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
        JohnLove, you really want to beat this point home. I agree, "sinners" don't know God. Too bad many Christians who don't deliberately sin, and are made sinless by the blood of Christ, call themselves sinners, even the chief of sinners (over-the-top irrationality). They do sin by denying the cleansing and transforming power of Christ. They do sin in excusing sin as just human nature. And, yes, they are excusing sin. It's one of those many irrational things Christians do, and they hang nearly the whole thing on Paul calling himself the chief of sinners, even though he was clearly referring to the time before he met Jesus (even with his use of the present tense), when in spite of being greatly devoted to God beyond his peers, he didn't recognize Christ and persecuted Christians.
        While I agree that many excuse themselves through misinterpretation, clearly Paul conveys the point God wished to make in 1 Timothy 1:15-16 which was not to reveal the degree of his sinfulness, but to communicate a much more important truth: that he was the one the ascended Lord chose, and to commission to a minister of the Gentiles. Paul was the “first” in that sense.

        Further, to the irrational point, which could be said of Paul who never got over having persecuted God's church - 1 Corinthians 15:9 - Saul like Paul had nothing to commend of himself to God. God commissioned him to be “the apostle to the Gentiles” Romans 11:13 to preach the “gospel of the grace of God” Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 in which one is saved by faith alone wholly apart from the Law of Moses. No man, with Paul's example before him, can question the love and power of Christ to save him, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, who once died on the cross, and now reigns upon the throne of glory, to save all that come to God through him. In glory, there will be no sinners but only saints.

        While believers are referred to as saints, I tend to tread cautiously as to not convey an equally bad or worse misinterpretation, while believing Paul wanted people to look towards their new identity and not the old self. Example, Paul diagnoses his own law-breaking, he concludes that whenever he sins, it is not the real Paul that is doing it. He declares, “So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” Romans 7:17. And again, “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” Romans 7:20. We are saints who sometimes sin, not sinners that sometimes do right. It is our identities as saints and our sinful acts that lead us to repentance. And we repent because these sins are not ordinary and expected. I think we should identify ourselves in Christ as saints, and what we are in ourselves as sinners.

        God bless,
        William
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        • #5
          There is no scripture that says a Christian will always continue to sin.

          If there were scripture that says a Christian continues to sin, then scripture is contradicting its self.

          (1 John 3:8) “Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil, since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God, to undo the work of the devil.”

          A sinner is of the devil, and not of God.


          (Hebrews 10:26-31) “If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them. There is left only the dreadful prospect of judgment and of the fiery wrath that is to devour your enemies. Anyone who disregards the Law of Moses is ruthlessly put to death on the word of two witnesses or three; and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the covenant which sanctified him as if it were not holy, and who insults the Spirit of grace, will be condemned to a far severer punishment. We are all aware who it was that said: Vengeance is mine; I will vindicate his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”


          (1 John 2:6) “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did”

          Jesus did not sin, and a Christian lives as Jesus lived.


          (1 John 3:9-10) “No one who has been begotten by God sins; because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God. In this way we distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil: anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother is no child of God’s.”

          Scripture says a Child of God’s can’t sin.


          (1 John 3:5-6) “Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin; anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.”

          Scripture tells us if one sins he or she does not know God.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by William View Post
            Paul conveys the point God wished to make in 1 Timothy 1:15-16 which was not to reveal the degree of his sinfulness, but to communicate a much more important truth: that he was the one the ascended Lord chose, and to commission to a minister of the Gentiles. Paul was the “first” in that sense.
            Paul called himself the chief of sinners because he was chosen to be the Apostle to the gentiles? I Don't follow.

            When I hear Christians call themselves the chief of sinners, what do they mean?

            Further, to the irrational point, which could be said of Paul who never got over having persecuted God's church - 1 Corinthians 15:9 - Saul like Paul had nothing to commend of himself to God.
            In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of his sin in the past tense, he persecuted the church. In his letter to Timothy, he says formerly he was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. He may express humility because of his past sins, but he clearly recognizes them as past sins. Time and time again, we see Christians and sinners spoken of as two distinct groups. And, when we see that Christians were past sinners, not present sinners, in spite of the Hebrew style of speaking of past events in the present tense.

            Of course, Christians commit sins. But, Christians don't go on deliberately sinning. And, whatever sin we are guilty of, in Christ, it's not counted. Maybe in the past there have been some very self-righteous people who thought they did no wrong. But, today, the phrase "we are all sinners" almost never goes anywhere good. It's used as justification to accept, even support, politically correct sins.
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            • #7
              How is it that people who say they believe the bible is the written Word of God can’t understand that it says a Spiritual Christian/Child of God can’t sin?

              (1 John 3:9-10) “No one who has been begotten by God sins; because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God. In this way we distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil: anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother is no child of God’s.”

              John tells us how to know those who are of the devil, and how to distinguish a Christian. A Christian does not sin.


              Also the written Word of God tells us that one who has been given the knowledge of the truth, and deliberately sins, they are condemned.

              (Hebrews 10:26-31) “If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them. There is left only the dreadful prospect of judgment and of the fiery wrath that is to devour your enemies. Anyone who disregards the Law of Moses is ruthlessly put to death on the word of two witnesses or three; and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the covenant which sanctified him as if it were not holy, and who insults the Spirit of grace, will be condemned to a far severer punishment. We are all aware who it was that said: Vengeance is mine; I will vindicate his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”


              God gave us his Holy Spirit to make sure we no longer sin.

              (Romans 8: 4) “He did this in order that the law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the Spirit dictates.”

              (Galatians 5:16)“Let me put it like this if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence....”.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cornelius View Post

                Paul called himself the chief of sinners because he was chosen to be the Apostle to the gentiles? I Don't follow.

                When I hear Christians call themselves the chief of sinners, what do they mean?
                They certainly must not mean Paul as “worst of sinners” 1 Timothy 1:12-17 because it does not agree with what he wrote elsewhere Philippians 3:4-6 though Paul was a sinner, but Paul’s sinfulness should not be the main point. Such a sense is unlikely since Paul always used the word πρῶτος in its primary meaning.

                God commissioned Paul to be “the apostle to the Gentiles” Romans 11:13 to preach the “gospel of the grace of God” Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 in which one is saved by faith alone apart from the Law of Moses.

                Despite Paul's sinfulness, God showed Paul mercy because he acted ignorantly in unbelief 1 Timothy 1:13. Elsewhere, Paul declared God’s grace was greater than sin Romans 5:20. God’s faithfulness and love trumped Paul’s sinfulness. In verse 1 Timothy 1:16, Paul again as in verse 1 Timothy 1:15 used the word πρῶτος.

                The word “πρῶτος” in verses 15 and 16 translated “foremost” is πρῶτος. Its primary meaning is “first in time, place, in any succession of things or of persons.” It is found 156 times in the New Testament with Paul using the term 29 times: Romans 1:8, 16, 2:9-10, 3:2, 10:19, 15:24; 1 Corinthians 11:18, 12:28, 14:30, 15:3, 15:45-47; 2 Corinthians 8.5; Ephesians 6.2; Philippians 1.5; 1 Thessalonians 4.16; 2 Thessalonians 2.3; 1 Timothy 1.15-16, 2.1, 2.13, 3.10, 5.4, 5.12; 2 Timothy 1.5, 2.6, 4.16. If one examines Paul’s usage of πρῶτος one will discover that in each case he used the term in its primary meaning, i.e., “first in time, place, etc.”

                Paul recognized and emphasized God’s forbearance, patience, and grace towards him. This is especially important in light of the fact that the ascended Lord commissioned him to be the apostle of grace who proclaimed the “gospel of the grace of God” Acts 20:24. The word “grace” (χάρις) is used by Paul far more than anyone or anywhere in the Bible.The words πρῶτος and ὑποτύπωσις are inseparable if we are to understand Paul’s meaning. Paul declared he was “first” as a “pattern” ὑποτύπωσις for those who would believe on Christ for eternal life. Elsewhere, Paul emphasized he was a “pattern” by his commands for believers to imitate or copy him. No one else did this. Peter didn’t. James didn’t. John didn’t. Jude didn’t. It is highly significant Paul did. Paul used the nouns μιμητής, συμμιμητής and the verb μιμέομαι to this purpose 1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Galatians 4:12; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9). In Philippians 3:17 and 2 Thessalonians 3:9 we have the “μιμ*” words coupled with τύπος, which means an “example” or a “pattern.” A pattern is a blueprint for something new, i.e., a prototype.

                God bless,
                William
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                • #9
                  Scripture tells us that Paul, after seeing Jesus no longer sinned. Believing Paul was a sinner after he became a follower of Jesus is just total denial of the truth.

                  (1 John 3:5-6) “Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin; anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.”

                  To believe Paul continued to sin after receiving the Holy Spirit is saying that scripture lies.



                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by William View Post
                    They certainly must not mean Paul as “worst of sinners” 1 Timothy 1:12-17 because it does not agree with what he wrote elsewhere Philippians 3:4-6 though Paul was a sinner, but Paul’s sinfulness should not be the main point. Such a sense is unlikely since Paul always used the word πρῶτος in its primary meaning.
                    Paul sees his sin as exceptionally great because of Philippians 3:4-6. He had less excuse than anyone to make the most serious of errors, persecuting the church rather than joining the church. He didn't recognize Christ until Christ paid him a visit.

                    Yes, Paul uses πρῶτος to mean "first" everytime he uses it, outside of the verse in question. But, other writers in the Bible use the same word to mean "chief", so we know that's a valid meaning of the term, as well. Paul doesn't use any other term to mean "chief", so if Paul doesn't use πρῶτος to mean chief any other place, it's just because he didn't need for a word meaning chief. Why else wouldn't he have used πρῶτος to mean chief? Given that he lacked a reason to use a word meaning chief, it means nothing that elsewhere he didn't use πρῶτος to mean chief.

                    I don't see how "first" is applicable. "First of sinners" makes no sense. It makes no sense in your pattern argument. He's the first of sinners meaning that we should imitate him? That doesn't make sense to me. And, it's not the context of Paul's statement about being the chief of sinners, where he talks about his past sins, not about us imitating him. Paul could have just as well said we should be imitators of Christ, making Christ first, not Paul. Paul could have said it of any of the Apostles or early martyrs, making himself second. Paul said asked us to be imitators of us, because he thought he set a good example of righteous, holy living.

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                    • #11

                      Peter warned us about those who so misunderstand Paul’s writings.

                      (2 Peter 3:15-16) “Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved: our brother Paul, who is so dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom that is his special gift. He always writes like this when he deals with this sort of subject, and this makes some points in his letter hard to understand; these are the points that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest of scripture a fatal thing for them to do.”
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnLove View Post
                        Peter warned us about those who so misunderstand Paul’s writings.

                        (2 Peter 3:15-16) “Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved: our brother Paul, who is so dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom that is his special gift. He always writes like this when he deals with this sort of subject, and this makes some points in his letter hard to understand; these are the points that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest of scripture a fatal thing for them to do.”
                        Are you directing this towards me?
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
                          Paul sees his sin as exceptionally great because of Philippians 3:4-6. He had less excuse than anyone to make the most serious of errors, persecuting the church rather than joining the church. He didn't recognize Christ until Christ paid him a visit.

                          Yes, Paul uses πρῶτος to mean "first" everytime he uses it, outside of the verse in question. But, other writers in the Bible use the same word to mean "chief", so we know that's a valid meaning of the term, as well. Paul doesn't use any other term to mean "chief", so if Paul doesn't use πρῶτος to mean chief any other place, it's just because he didn't need for a word meaning chief. Why else wouldn't he have used πρῶτος to mean chief? Given that he lacked a reason to use a word meaning chief, it means nothing that elsewhere he didn't use πρῶτος to mean chief.

                          I don't see how "first" is applicable. "First of sinners" makes no sense. It makes no sense in your pattern argument. He's the first of sinners meaning that we should imitate him? That doesn't make sense to me. And, it's not the context of Paul's statement about being the chief of sinners, where he talks about his past sins, not about us imitating him. Paul could have just as well said we should be imitators of Christ, making Christ first, not Paul. Paul could have said it of any of the Apostles or early martyrs, making himself second. Paul said asked us to be imitators of us, because he thought he set a good example of righteous, holy living.
                          I acknowledge your point, and that you do not see nor understand mine. If anything I must be improperly conveying or flat out wrong. First of sinners doesn't make sense to me either because it is taken out of context. It appears to me that various translations take parts of the context in consideration when choosing which word to accurately convey proper meaning 1 Timothy 1:15. I acknowledge that Paul's use of πρῶτος is consistent throughout his writings and then there are its use throughout Scripture, and Paul's use is rejected for its use throughout Scripture when it conflicts with said doctrine.

                          God bless,
                          William
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William View Post

                            Are you directing this towards me?

                            I believe most Protestants have been deceived by the false understanding of Paul’s letters.

                            My post gives Peter’s warning to those people.

                            My post are not intended to put down any individual, but to give a word as Jesus has me give.

                            I don’t believe Calvin, or much of Luther’s theology is at all in line with God’s Word.

                            I believe the only way one can come to know the truth is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach him or her.

                            (1 John 2: 27) “But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything: you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.”


                            I also believe that no Protestant has been taught by the Holy Spirit.

                            So is my post directed at you? No it is to all those whom I believe have been totally misled by the so called Reformers.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JohnLove View Post

                              I don’t believe Calvin, or much of Luther’s theology is at all in line with God’s Word.
                              And what of Matthew Henry?

                              The mercy which Paul found with God, notwithstanding his great wickedness before his conversion, he speaks of,

                              [1.] For the encouragement of others to repent and believe (1Timothy 1:16): For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to those who should hereafter believe. It was an instance of the long-suffering of Christ that he would bear so much with one who had been so very provoking; and it was designed for a pattern to all others, that the greatest sinners might not despair of mercy with God. Note here, First, Our apostle was one of the first great sinners converted to Christianity. Secondly, He was converted, and obtained mercy, for the sake of others as well as of himself; he was a pattern to others. Thirdly, The Lord Jesus Christ shows great long-suffering in the conversion of great sinners. Fourthly, Those who obtain mercy believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; for without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. Fifthly, Those who believe on Christ believe on him to life everlasting; they believe to the saving of the soul, Hebrews 10:39.

                              [2.] He mentions it to the glory of God having spoken of the mercy he had found with God, he could not go on with his letter without inserting a thankful acknowledgment of God's goodness to him: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Observe, First, That grace which we have the comfort of God must have the glory of. Those who are sensible of their obligations to the mercy and grace of God will have their hearts enlarged in his praise. Here is praise ascribed to him, as the King eternal, immortal, invisible. Secondly, When we have found God good we must not forget to pronounce him great; and his kind thoughts of us must not at all abate our high thoughts of him, but rather increase them. God had taken particular cognizance of Paul, and shown him mercy, and taken him into communion with himself, and yet he calls him the King eternal, etc. God's gracious dealings with us should fill us with admiration of his glorious attributes. He is eternal, without beginning of days, or end of life, or change of time. He is the Ancient of days, Daniel 7:9. He is immortal, and the original of immortality; he only has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16), for he cannot die. He is invisible, for he cannot be seen with mortal eyes, dwelling in the light to which no man can approach, whom no man hath seen nor can see, 1 Timothy 6:16. He is the only wise God (Jude 1:25); he only is infinitely wise, and the fountain of all wisdom. “To him be glory for ever and ever,” or, “Let me be for ever employed in giving honour and glory to him, as the thousands of thousands do,” Revelation 5:12, Revelation 5:13.
                              God bless,
                              William
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