Is propositional sanctification available in this life?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by PilgrimPastor, May 27, 2008.

  1. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor
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    I recently had a conversation with one of the members of my church over the possibility of living without sin in this life. This man is a serious student of the Bible and also a student of charismatic "walking in the spirit" theology as taught by folks like Swaggart and others.

    We differed somewhat in regard to Romans chapter 3, particularly verses 21-26. I am of the opinion that these are soteriological passages and do not apply, at least not primarily in regard to sanctification. These speak of positional righteousness - with us being "In Christ" positionally as a rock is inside of a jar positionally. I am not convinced that being without sin as a result of the righteousness of Christ in this regard deals with sanctification.

    The question was posed by another member of the church "is it possible to live without sinning in this life?" I said no, my Bible study leader said yes. He is of a more Charismatic leaning, while I am of a more Reformed Baptist leaning. I Pastor a Conservative Congregational Church.

    His answer did remind me that we often do overlook real lived out holiness in the Church at large these days, BUT, I am not of the Wesleyan / Semi-Pelagian type of mindset that we are going to, or even can, attain a workable holiness in this life apart from that which comes as we are covered by Christ's Righteousness.

    I sin less than I did 10 years ago and hope to see the same 10 years from now but a sinless life? I think not.

    What do you think?:type:
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    I think you are correct. The charismatics very often practice putting the focus on man rather than God. They focus on the false notion of the sinlessness of man rather than the righteousness of Christ, The false notion of mans words have the power to create rather than faith in the word of God and His ability to answer prayers based on His pleasure which may not get the answer we want at times.

    In effect they practice theology backwards.
     
    #2 Revmitchell, May 27, 2008
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  3. Allan

    Allan
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    I'm with Revmitchell here - I agree with you as well as do the majority of Baptists. However, there are those who do believe such and there are even a couple here on the BB who make the claim to have lived without sin for 24 hours or more.
     
  4. nunatak

    nunatak
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    However you look at it, this is another attempt at self justification. We are ONLY justified in Christ. We are only righteous in Christ. We are only SINLESS in Christ.
     
  5. skypair

    skypair
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    Well, first, ask him if he is sinless. If he says "Yes," ask him if he has read 1John 1:8, in fact, we make God a liar, 1John 1:10. ANYONE who claims to be without sin, "the truth is not in" them.

    If he is talking about 1John 3:6 -- this is saying that if you are saved ("abiding in Christ" -- born again) God doesn't "see" your sin because 3:9 says "Christ's seed abides in him" -- he cannot sin (spiritually) because he is born of God. That by no means refers to his physical obedience.

    These are "kingdoms in conflict," Pilgrim. They are seeing the spiritual kingdom -- you are seeing the physical kingdom. You will never agree until the difference is discerned.

    Impress on them that the sinless, physical kingdom that they envision has not come. That is the kingdom of God come to earth as we pray for in the "Lord's Prayer." What he is referring to is Rev 21.

    skypair
     
  6. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor
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    Skypair,

    He specifically quoted;

    "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:6-10 NKJV)

    He interprets this verse to mean that as we are cleansed from unrighteousness we are actually cleansed from the propensity toward sin rather than Him cleansing us from the consequences of sin.
     
  7. skypair

    skypair
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    Well, I am sure it does both.

    From the propensity because we agree with God that what we did was wrong thereby setting the thought processes toward correction. It is the spirit that takes hold of the power of God to disentangle us from sin. As Dr Rogers used to say "The thought always precedes the act."

    From the consequences because if we then truly repent (2Cor 7:10-11), all kinds of benefits result: we quit the pattern of the sin that over time is punished (Eph 5:6-7) even by being "turned over to Satan" (1Cor 5:5) -- by the "replacement" process of good works for sin, we may regain our reward (if nothing more, the "crown of righteousness," 2Tim 4:8 -- "see that no man take your crown," Rev 3:11) -- "Partakers of the divine nature" and assurance of salvation (per 2Pet 1:3-9).

    There may be immediate consequences of the sin that we call "chastisement." That may even be how God notifies us we did sin. But I believe the passage is more forward looking than that.

    skypair
     

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