“Sinning Willfully”

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by NetChaplain, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    One of the primary evidences to the believer concerning the assurance that “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God” (Rom 8:16), is our desire to please God. This reveals that God is “working in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    The intention of the believer is the commendable, but yet impracticable (incapable of being performed or accomplished) desire not to sin, thus all unfolds down to the inquiry of intentional and unintentional sin, both of which are obvious to the individual. It should be easily agreed that one who is a Christian never desires to displease God, and this is what He regards, not the sin itself. For example, the issue is not the sin but the origin of its intention, in which for the believer, sin is never intentional.

    This does not mean that the unintentional sin is insignificant to God or us, concerning its presence, but He does not regard the believer concerning sin’s guilt and even ensures we are no longer controlled by it (Rom 6:12, 14). Due to the Father’s work (Phil 2:13) and the Spirit’s work (Gal 5:17) within, there will never be a sin that is approved by the believer, but rather hated (Psa 97:10; Pro 8:13; 1Pe 3:11). This also means that obstinate and habitual sin will inevitably be desisted (unless God is absent), for the significance concerning the intention of sin in God’s people has always been an issue in both dispensations (Num 15:22-30; Heb 10:26).

    Due to the wording, Scripture often presents passages that are somewhat obscure, resulting with difficulty in understanding, and which requires the collation of the entirety of Scripture (hermeneutics) for its intended meaning. Concerning the often phrasing of Scripture that appears to present the concept of the believer not sinning, there must be consistency with the remnant of Scripture.

    For example, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin . . . and he cannot sin” (1 John 3:9). I find no confliction with Scripture when interpreting this to intend that believers do not sin willfully, e.g. whosoever is born of God does not sin willfully and cannot sin willfully. Why? “For His seed (Christ’s nature – Col 3:10; 2 Pet 1:4) remains in him . . . because he has been born of God.”

    “The meaning is, he that is born of God, as he is born of God, or that which is born of God in him, the new man, or new creature, new nature cannot sin; for that is pure and holy; there is nothing sinful in it, nor can anything that is sinful come out of it, or be done by it; it is the workmanship of the Holy Spirit of God; it is a good work, and well pleasing: in the sight of God, who is of purer eyes than to behold sin with delight; and an incorruptible seed, which neither corrupts nor is corrupted; and though it is as yet an imperfect work, it is not impure.” John Gill

    This answers to the reason why Scripture never refers to the people of God as “sinners.” A sinner isn’t just one who sins, but one who sins willfully. The Christian is no longer considered to be of the old nature, but of the new nature (Rom 8:9), and so everything within the Christian’s life is considered after that which is of the new nature; which answers to Paul’s awareness in Romans 7:17, 20, and gives clear view to the intention of, “bringing me into captivity” (v 23). The sins of the Christian are unintentionally committed against his will, same as one who is held captive against his will (saint), unlike when we were captive with consent (sinner).

    - NC
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    This is simply not true. The believer does intentionally sin against God, when he knows better but yet does it as in the case of David with Bathsheba.

    What is true, is that "intentional sin" never originates with the "inward man" that is "created in righteousness and true holiness" or that which is "spirit."

    Sin originates in "my flesh" where the "law of sin" (principle of inclination to sin) abides.

    The redeemed "will" is always inclined to do good "for to will is present with me" but the issue is not willingness but POWER to carry out the will which is inclined to do good "after the inward man."

    Therefore, in the matter of sin, "it is no longer I that do it but sin that dwelleth in me" the law of indwelling sin.

    The difference between the lost man and the saved man is NOT SIN! The difference is that the saved man is no longer INCLINED to sin in regard to his will JUST AS LONG AS IT IS UNDER THE POWER of the indwelling Spirit rather than indwelling sin. However, when we are not in willful submission to the Spirit, we CAN and we DO sin intentionally.
     
  3. Deacon

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    Acts 5 records the intentional sin of Ananias and Sapphira, members of the church at Jerusalem.

    I'll spare you the experences of my own willfully desires to intentionally sin against God. Something that occurs daily despite being called his child and his eternally gracing me with his all spiritual blessings.

    The answer as to why I am not called a sinner despite this, is that my Savior has covered even my willful disobedience by his voluntary sacrifice and raised me up with him in his resurrection.

    Rob
     
  4. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    Hi B - Thanks for the always-interesting replies. In my opinion, I believe all those who were used of God during the prior dispensation evinced sorrow and remorse for displeasing Him, which showed true displeasure in the sin, and thus a final showing of unintentional sin.

    I do not believe a child of God could desire to displease God, which is the meaning of intentional sin.
     
  5. NetChaplain

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    Hi Deacon - I believe this Ananias, along with his wife, only showed evidence that they did not have the Spirit of God.

    If one is not remorseful and sorry about displeasing God, His Spirit is not there to convict. In my opinion, one who does wrong without regard to God is intentionally sinning, but not if there is remorse, which will result in desisting habitual sin, because of the Spirit's conviction (Gal 5:17).

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  6. DHK

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    How do you know this is true? Have you really done a thorough study on it? I don't believe you have it right here.

    James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
    9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
    --James is addressing Christians and he calls them sinners.
    The people of God are definitely called sinners.
    We all are sinners saved by grace. That is not an inaccurate description.
     
  7. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain
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    Hi DHK - In this passage those being addressed aren't believers in God, but rather false teachers of the Law.

    "Cleanse [your] hands, ye sinners, and purify [your] hearts, ye double minded." The persons addressed are not the profane men of the world, but sinners in Zion, formal professors, hypocritical persons; who speak with a double tongue to men, and who draw nigh to God with their mouths, but not with their hearts; who halt between two opinions, and are unstable in all their ways: cleansing of their hands and hearts denotes the purity of outward conversation, and of the inward affections; and supposes impurity both of flesh and spirit, that the body and all its members, the soul and all its powers and faculties, are unclean; and yet not that men have a power to cleanse themselves, either from the filth of an external conversation, or from inward pollution of the heart; though a man attempts the one, he fails in it." John Gill

    Thanks for your reply!
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    Sorry friend, but your response is no more truer than your post. God had to send a prophet to rebuke David, as he showed no repentance until AFTER being confronted. He intentionally killed her husband by extensive planning. Nothing could be more willful than these sins by David - a man after God's own heart.
     
  9. NetChaplain

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    That's why God used David, because he was like-hearted with God. His final repentance evinced that what he did was not truly what he desired.

    "The Lord hath sought him, a man after His own heart": who was David; though as yet Samuel knew him not, he knew by divine revelation that there was another one chosen, to whom the kingdom would be given; a man every way agreeable to the will of God, and who would fulfill His will, though Samuel knew not particularly who he was." JG

    Also realize that one who has been regenerated (reborn) by the Spirit of God has more of an advantage in being after God's heart, i.e. one who is born again would never even conceive of doing such a thing.

    God's blessings to your Family!
     
  10. The Biblicist

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    Well, the inward new man never willing sins as it always wills to do what is right. The problem is indwelling sin, but indwelling sin does not force your will to sin. When you sin you willfully, determinately choose to sin. Of course David's conscience convicted him and he knew it was wrong, but he REFUSED to repent and that is why Nathan was sent to him as David had SEARED his own conscience to silence and that is why God sent someone to make his sin fresh again in his sight.

    Blessings to your family as well.
     
  11. NetChaplain

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    Instead of me trying to find it, could you indicate where David did not repent?

    My reasoning is that David finally did all he was suppose to do with God, or he could not have been used to write in Scripture. This is the way with many writers of Scripture, God finally brought them to where He wanted them, so He could use them.
     
  12. DHK

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    Here is the verse just after that:
    James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
    --Speaking evil of your brother indicates that they were believers.

    The verse just before the passage quoted:
    James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    --No false teacher or believer would be told to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
    These are definitely believers.
    They are told to draw nigh to God. This is practical advice for believers to live a victorious Christian life. Some of them were not. There is no indication that any of them were false teachers IMO.
     
  13. NetChaplain

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    At the time James was addressing these people, they were still sinners in need of admonishment to bringing those who eventually chose to believe in Christ.

    "Such exhortations are not in vain, since they may be useful to convince men of their pollution, who are pure in their own eyes, as these hypocritical, nominal professors, might be; and to bring them to a sense of their inability to cleanse themselves, and of the necessity of being cleansed elsewhere; and to lead them to inquire after the proper means of cleansing, and so to the fountain of Christ's blood, which only cleanses from all sin." JG
     
  14. NetChaplain

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    The phrase "brethren" is in reference to genealogy, not Christian relationship, which they were still lacking; which is also evidence by James 4:1-4.

    From verse 5 onward is James revealing the condition of those who will choose to follow its instructions and admonishments.
     
  15. JamesL

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    I believe I am in agreement with Biblicist on this issue

    New creation on the inside, sinful flesh on the outside. Both influencing the mind at various times. Our decisions and will are outworkings of our soul, or psyche.
     
  16. JamesL

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    In the O.T., people of the covenant were called neighbors while brother was applied to physical siblings. In the N.T., believers are called brethren or brothers. Neighbor is not used in the N.T. unless it is in reference to an O.T. passage
     
  17. NetChaplain

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    The Spirit of God ensures that the "flesh" (sinful nature, not the physical body) does not dominate those who are born again (Gal 5:17). Our only part is being recipients of the work of the Spirit in regeneration, growth and service.
     
  18. NetChaplain

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    I suppose this would be a matter of opinion. Jews in the NT are still brethren of the flesh (physical posterity; of like genealogy), even if they aren't brethren of the Lord.
     
  19. JamesL

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    There's no such thing as a sinful nature inside of a born again person. Our sinful nature is EXACTLY our physical body. The outer man., this body of death.
     
  20. NetChaplain

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    This is why I indicated the sinful nature:

    "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal 5:17).

    The word "flesh" in the NT nearly always refers to the human sinful nature.

    It's the fourth definition in this context;
    http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4561&t=KJV
     

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