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Friday: Further Thought – Overcoming Sin — 22 Comments

  1. Regarding question 3:

    It does not matter what Christ has done if we have failed to accept and receive His ultimate sacrifice. This is why both sides are critical. Christ could have and did give all, but if we do not accept what He has given them as it relates to our own individual life He did nothing. Not because He actually did nothing but because we have failed to receive what He did as a personal sacrifice for our own individual sin condition.

    It is amazing that we finite human beings would have the power to tie the hands of Jesus that created everything including you and I but that is exactly what we do when we refuse to accept His ultimate sacrifice for our sin condition.

  2. From above..
    "However important it is that we always remember that our salvation rests only in that which Christ has done for us, what dangers arise if we overemphasize that wonderful truth to the exclusion of the other part of the salvation: that which Jesus does in us to transform us into His image?"

    What does "rests only" mean?

    Is the "other part of salvation" the only other part?

    Can we only overcome sin some of the time, and at best most of the time, but never all of the time?

    • Jim Bob,

      "Rest only" means that our salvation by no means can be accomplished by our means. We have to have confidence, not in ourselves or our works, but in Christ and His works. We are saved by His life, secured by His death and have hope through his resurrection.

      "Other part of salvation" only part? Yes! what other part can even compare to Christ transforming us into His image. Phil. 1:6, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. This is our Hope, that He will never leave us nor forsake us!

      We can overcome sin ALL the time. Why? Because Christ did that's why. And if Christ is abiding in us and we in Him, Christ does not sin. We have to choose daily. 1 John 2:1, says, I write these things that ye sin not. Then he goes on to say that, " but IF we sin, we have an advocate." Not WHEN we sin. To say we can only prevent sin most of the time at best, is to say God is only faithful most of the time at best. God is always faithful!

      My thoughts, Jim.

  3. Some in the church will use Paul's words in chapter 7 to justify that one can not stop sinning.

    An SDA seminary professor told his audience that being unable to be sinless before the 2nd coming is the majority position of the SDA denomination. A former pastor at the SDA church I attend embraces that opinion. The current pastor has yet to give his response yet. I would be interested in a comprehensive/ mass survey to see what is the majority opinion.

    • Hi Jim. I can't speak to "the majority position of the SDA denomination" but I can say that, for myself, if it were possible for me to be absolutely without sin, and it's not (Romans 3:10; 1 John 1:8), I wouldn't need a Savior.

      I could then present myself faultless before God and wouldn't need Jesus to do it for me (Jude 24) by crediting His faithfulness to my "sinless" account.

      To the contrary, I need Jesus as my Savior, Substitute, Surety and Lord (2 Corinthians 5:21).

      See https://ssnet.org/blog/monday-the-righteousness-of-god/

        • Don. I appreciate your reply. Jesus will cover our sins with His righteousness (the Gospel) if we surrender our will to Him and realize our sinfulness and need of a Savior. Until He comes, He will move us toward sanctification but we will not achieve it until then when we "shall be like Him" (1 John 3:2).

          That is why no one can name one person who lived without sin except Jesus, our Substitute. Yet, David, Abraham, Moses, Sampson, Job, et al. are all considered righteous in God's eyes. Not because they achieved sinlessness, but because Christ died for (paid for) their sins and credited His perfection to their Heavenly account.

          This is what we deny at our peril when we claim we can achieve sinlessness, by whatever means.

          As tragic, is the hoard of people who simple give up trying to trust their salvation to God, realizing their own imperfection and hearing from some Adventists that "you can be perfect if you only..."

          We hear from them occasionally on this blog, desperately seeking to gain what only Christ has accomplished on our behalf. If only they knew... they are just like us... in need of a Substitute because we just don't and can't "measure up."

          • Jude 24, true or not?

            Jesus' promises "to him that overcomes...", given in vain?

            1 John 5:4, true or not?

            Rev 22:11, the righteous and holy never going to happen?

            Just a few that come to mind from God's Word in response to your comment.

            Also, two things to consider; God cannot forgive any sin that remains in us, and once man's probation has closed forever, there will be no mediator for a period of time before Jesus returns, and any who will be saved must live in that time without a mediator.

            [Moderator's note: read Great Controversy, chapter 24 for the context of "without a moderator." http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc24.html]

            Either God can or cannot sanctify sinners who believe. What does God's word tells us? The only problem as I understand it is our unbelief. With God, all things are possible...and victory is promised to all who believe.

            Lastly, I would be interested to know your interpretation of Zeph 3:12,13, and, what exactly then did Jesus mean in Matt 5:48. Why would Jesus ask us to do what cannot be done?

          • Sieg, what do you think of this statement?

            "Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14." GC 425.1

            It would appear to me that we are in this time of purification now.

          • "there will be no mediator for a period of time before Jesus returns"

            Yes, that will happen but only after probation has closed and the righteous are sealed (saved forever).

            "Why would Jesus ask us to do what cannot be done?"

            So that we realize we are desperately lost without Christ and in need of His grace since without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

            Jude 24, "to present you faultless." Christ will present us as faultless to God because we are credited with His righteousness in place of our "filthy rags" righteousness (Isaiah 64:6).

            If we could be perfectly righteous otherwise, we could present ourselves "faultless" and would no longer need our Substitute's righteousness credited to us.

          • Sieg, I think we are able to be in Christ now and will always need His Spirit now and even after we are sealed. Some will be sealed in the character of Jesus like Enoch was and some will be sealed in the character this world and partake of the mark of the beast.

            If we are sinning every day at the time of the sealing I don't think God will change our character at that time to conform to His, more likely then than He will now. We are in the sealing process now.

          • Sieg, what do you think of this quote?

            A few in every generation from Adam resisted his (Satan's) every artifice and stood forth as noble representatives of what it was in the power of man to do and to be, while Christ should co-operate with human efforts, to help man in overcoming the power of Satan. Enoch and Elijah are the correct representatives of what the race might be through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan was greatly disturbed because these noble, holy men were untainted amid the moral pollution surrounding them, perfecting righteous characters, and accounted worthy for translation to heaven. As they had stood forth in moral power, in noble uprightness, overcoming Satan's temptations, he could not bring them under the dominion of death. He triumphed that he had power to overcome Moses with his temptations, and that he could mar his illustrious character and lead him to the sin of taking to himself glory before the people which belonged to God. Con 26.1

    • Paul's description in Romans 7 can only lead some to this denial of anyone overcoming IF the whole chapter and the following chapter are left out of the consideration, IF the life and teachings of Jesus, and the"exceeding great and precious promises of God are held in unbelief. The Bible is clear about those who will stand in that day when the mighty men of the earth are seeking to hide from the Lamb of God while crying; "WHO is able to stand?!!"
      The answer to this question is there for all to learn from(Rev 7). There will be those who will gain that victory that overcomes the world through faith. Will we be among them?

      "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to trust in men"
      "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to trust in princes" Ps 118:8,9

      The Word of God is true, no matter what any theologian might tell you.

    • I as a SDA since 1965 take the position that as long as we are this side of Jesus' second coming, I will always be subject to what the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:8-10 especially verses 8 and 10 and therefore the need for verse 9 until Jesus comes and gives me a GLORIFED AND SINLESS AND FLAWLESS BODY.

      • Verse 9 tells us we are cleansed from all unrighteousness. We the entire book of 1 John to get the big picture.

        "And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
        1 John 4:17 NLT

        • But verse 8 and 10 are very clear that we can never claim to be sinless here and therefore always in need of verse 9 for confessing our sins daily and however many times they come to our mind. Therefore 1 John 4:19 cannot be talking about us being perfectly and flawlessly sinless but just simply that we will suffer as Jesus suffered from his enemies. He suffered being sinless, we will suffer in witnessing about him as sinners in need of 1 John 1:9 always and until HE returns.

        • Yes, we will not be afraid of THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT because of what JESUS has done, is doing, and will do for us and not because of anything WE WILL DO, are doing, and will do. That is why in the O.T. and in the Sanctuary services A SPOTLESS LAMB was sacrificed BY THE PRIESTS twice every single day for thousands of years. All this represented what JESUS would do and did and is doing for us. And so 1 John 1:9 will be there for us till HE COMES in the clouds of glory. Then there is another one from the Apostle John that is even clearer: 1 John 3:2, here John says that NOW the Father considers us SONS because of HIS SON, yet we are NOT YET like His Son until HE RETURNS.

          • Pete, I imagine we will always be growing more like Christ throughout eternity. 1 John 3:2 is not telling me that I have to keep sinning until Jesus comes. Thank you for sharing the hope for all of us that Jesus is always ready to forgive. A broken and contrite heart the Lord will not despise, no matter how many times sin has broken that heart before. I wish we could all be more forgiving as Jesus is to us. But I still find no Bible doctrine that tells me I have to sin until Jesus comes.

          • Here again, Sin manifests itself in different ways: 1. sin as LIFESTYLE; this is sin before conversion to Jesus, like DRINKING, SMOKING, NASTY AND FOUL LANGUAGE etc. 2. sin as NATURE; this is sin in ALL HUMANS before conversion to Jesus and after, like issues with anger, fear, anxiety, etc. 3. sin as CHARACTER DEFECTS; this is sin after conversion to Jesus because of INHERITED AND CULTIVATED tendencies from past sinful lifestyles and also from inherited tendencies in our DNA makeups. The sins of "lifestyles," are easier to get rid of when we first come to Jesus. The sins of Nature or even the Character Defects ones are the ones that will take THE WORK OF A LIFETIME to get rid of in and while "Living and working for Jesus."

  4. I don't like to be considered a slave. Romans 6:22. I would much rather be a son of our Heavenly Father, part of My people, a child of God, heir of God, and joint heir with Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:18. Jeremiah 30:22, Jeremiah 32:38, John 1:12. Romans 8:16-17. Now so I am not labeled playing word games, let me tell you what I do believe Paul meant by slave to righteousness. I do believe He ment to say committed to righteousness, or consecrated to righteousness. I love how Sister White put it: "When Christ dwells in the heart, the soul will be so filled with His love, with the joy of communion with Him, that it will cleave to Him; and in the contemplation of Him, self will be forgotten. Love to Christ will be the spring of action. Those who feel the constraining love of God, do not ask how little may be given to meet the requirements of God; they do not ask for the lowest standard, but aim at perfect conformity to the will of their Redeemer. With earnest desire they yield all and manifest an interest proportionate to the value of the object which they seek. A profession of Christ without this deep love is mere talk, dry formality, and heavy drudgery." SC 44.2

    • Yes, John, I believe that God's Love should be our focus. When Christ is in us by His Spirit, His Love will be our motivation. In this "Light" we cannot sin unless we allow our darkness (selfishness) to come back.

      If we watch and pray like Jesus said we can stay in the Love motivation and never sin. Our inherited and cultivated tendencies are no match for the Light of God's presence. In Him we are powerful to overcome selfishness and sin. Jesus showed us how it works even for genetic weakness which He had as much as we do. He also was involved in the Light of God's Love which we may have with our choice to allow God's Spirit in to motivate our thoughts and feelings.


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