I would like to share a paper that I wrote concerning the issues of sin and sanctification. My ability to read Greek is practically nil, but from what I\u2019ve heard, the word that is used for salvation has three tenses, I am saved, I am being saved, I shall be saved. Most preaching on the subject that I have heard does not discuss those three tenses.
The first person I heard discuss that concept (3 tenses), several years ago, was David W. Dyer of A Grain of Wheat Ministries. Mike Hales, another friend in Jesus mentioned this and also had this to say when commenting on a rough draft of this paper: \u201cWe have
been delivered from the \u2018law of sin and death\u2019 into the \u2018law of righteousness in the Spirit\u2019 If I read John and Paul rightly, that means that we no longer habitually sin, as we are no longer under a law in our flesh that keeps us in bondage to sin. Do we still occasionally sin......yah......but in another scripture we have \u2018one standing at the right hand of the Father, who makes intercession for us\u2019.....one who will forgive and cleanse if we will repent and ask forgiveness.\u201d
dominion of sin has been broken in the believer with the result that 'sin will no longer
lord it over you.' In Romans 8 he proclaims that Christians are no longer debtors to live
after the flesh. I see nowhere in the NT the concept of 'sinning less.' It is more about the
dynamic of growing in grace in order that sin is displaced. We need to keep before our
eyes Paul's agricultural image of 'first fruits' and then 'harvest,' drawn from the OT.
Experiences we have in 'this age' are only 'first fruits' that await the full resurrection
'harvest' of the 'age to come.' The Lord has designed our days so that we never 'have it
all' in this life. We live in 'hope' of the resurrection of the dead and a 'new heaven &
new earth.' Then we will 'see Him as He is,' and the presence of sin along with all
aspects of the curse will have passed away."
Lately I have been reading or listening to books or audios produced by the ministries of Chip Brogden, Ed Lacy and Michael Perl. While what I\u2019m going to share is not in strict agreement with the teachings of these three Bible-teachers, their input has been very beneficial. For the most part they have confirmed much of what I already believed, although providing an increased depth of insight. I would like to thank Michael Perl for his wonderful illustration of God dealing with sin like the owner of car scrap yard rather than a mechanic. I couldn\u2019t think of a better word picture, so will use it later in my paper.
Just prior to writing this paper, a friend made a statement about sin and sanctification during an e-mail. I was provided with much food for meditation and am thankful for that missive. That, and the fact that I just finished reading or listening to teachings by the three authors above, gave me cause to ponder this issue.Of course thinking about that
Specifically, one scriptural principle that that statement encouraged me to think about has to do with my concept of sin and sanctification. As far as forgiveness, I think of Martin Luther\u2019s statement -- which I am sure is not new to any of you -- that \u201cthe just shall live by faith.\u201d So there again, I believe, and so do many denominations, but not all, that we are forgiven and enter into the Kingdom only by faith in Jesus Christ. And that we do this as God draws us to Him through Jesus. However, if we mentally manipulate people into a confession of faith, rather than preaching a simple Gospel, and allow the Lord to do the work through His Spirit, we stand a large risk of making religious converts. Rather than allowing God to bring new brothers and sisters, who are not only ready to accept His gift of salvation, but honor Jesus as Lord, into His Kingdom, we often evangelize our way. My advice, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, is to keep things simple, and keep things scriptural, rather than using gimmicks and man made techniques, even if they appear successful, and avoid trying to sell Jesus, like a vacuum cleaner salesman. If we are a top notch Jesus salesmen, rather than simple saints, chances are that we will become champions at getting confessions, but those converts will most likely bail out at the first hardship, or become religious people, who know about God, but do not know Him personally, as Savior and Lord.
significant. Not belief plus baptism or plus tongues, or any other thing. The other things should come, but only as a by product of our relationship with Him. I hear many people, whether in homes or from pulpits, via radio, internet, books or television, talking about striving for victory over the old man. Romans 6 says that the old man has died in Christ and if we have been saved, then that old man was crucified. So we have a choice, to take theW ORD
experience or denominational preference and say that we have to keep fighting the old nature of sin. Much in the same manner that salvation is by faith in God\u2019s grace, rather than works, I believe that sanctification is by faith in God\u2019s grace as well -- I think that works only come into play as a natural by product of our ongoing relationship with Him, but not as a personal work to obtain maturity, favor, or forgiveness. That is, God wants us to become more and more like His Son Jesus (to mature), but on His terms and according to His timetable. We will work out our salvation as Paul says, but I think it is only as we submit to the work of grace that the Lord brings into our life, not according to our striving by our flesh and intellect. That is, not as something we do independently, along with faith, but more as a cooperative effort through our faith.
Abraham had some promises occur in his lifetime, but many promises were only obtained by his descendants -- especially the coming of the Messiah. I think that much in the same way, we may obtain some victories over sin now, and eventually in this life, over most sin, but may have some areas that are not made perfect until we are raised from the dead to glorification.
Over the years I have read many teachings that have said victory over sin comes through works or works and faith. While many of the brothers and sisters who have penned such writings were probably well meaning saints, I do not agree with their statements concerning this issue. I believe that the old man is dead and that to the extent that we wrestle against one sin or many, even if we have some type of victory, that it will end up being a work of the flesh and eventually, when judged by the Lord, will end up being wood, hay and stubble. And during our life time, because we wrestle, rather than
Although the Lord may also use this to break us, like a farmer plows fallow ground, except that the \u201cplowing time\u201d may last twenty years or more, if we are particularly resistant.
John wrote in one of his letters that there is a difference between sin and walking in sin. I think there is more scriptural evidence that we will sin than that we must become sinless. That said, the more we allow the Lord to mature us, the less likely we will sin. We have been given a remedy. To confess and let God labor to do His work in us. Or
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