19 Mar 2000

What we shall be ... the purifying hope

Submitted by theshovel
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And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, just as HE is pure 1 John3:3

Now, I'll bet you've heard that this means something like: those who focus their attention on the event of his appearing (or heaven) will curb their sinning. There's a problem with this premise though. For considering the many sermons I've heard about the curbing of (or victory over) sin, not one has had the audacity to suggest that our purity even comes close to HIS. But this is EXACTLY what John said! So, do yourself a favor: whatever you think it means to purify yourself, trash it! Because if it's not the same as HIS then it has nothing to do with the gospel of freedom that John taught.

Consider that the word translated "purifies" is just another form of some very familiar words: Holy and Sanctified. Tell me something, do these concepts sound right to you: a little bit holy, or somewhat sanctified, or partly pure? Do you realize that a partial purity does not exist? There is no such thing as holiness being a little bit. And sanctified either IS or it is NOT.

There is only one reason that we struggle with the meaning behind these words. And that is because we have accepted the perverted idea that we're supposed to keep getting a little more holy as we grow as Christians. In doing so, we put ourselves up against an impossible proposition ... and we sense it. So, we have one of two options in view of the conflict: give up and lose all hope of achieving this (good idea); or else, create the perception that holiness, purity, and sanctification are things to be performed! Do you hear what I am saying to you? Holiness, sanctification, and/or purification CAN'T be performed ... not because it is too difficult, but because they are not the by-products of performance ... not even GOD'S performance. It is what He IS, NOT what He DOES.

So what does it mean? I'm going to give you the traditional definition here: set apart. It's not a bad definition. The problem is found in our attempt to force a statement of reality into the idea of performance. So, we TRY to set ourselves apart from the world, sin, the flesh, the devil, etc., etc. Tell me, do you think God ever had to TRY to be set apart? Yeah, right, fat chance!

What about Jesus? What did he say?

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. John17:19

Do you think Jesus ever had to TRY to be holy? Remember, the life of this man was the life of God. Everything Jesus spoke of, as recorded by John, had ONE THING in view: His upcoming death and resurrection. He sanctified himself when he hung on that cross and died and then rose having nothing more to do with sin! Don't miss this ... it's not his PERFORMANCE of dying and coming back, but it was the REALITY that came to be when death and new life took him out of the realm of sinful man, for he had been born under the law. The fact that he never sinned had nothing to do with his sanctifying himself that he mentioned in the above verse, for he sanctified himself in order to sanctify his own. For WE were removed from the realm of sin and law through the death and resurrection of Christ!

What I want to know is: WHO taught us how to divorce a thought from the one that was just before it, and still come off sounding like we know what we're talking about? I refer to the fact that 1 John 3:3 follows 1 John 3:2 ... but you'd never know it by the way we use them.

John, in effect, zoomed-in on the reality yet to be revealed, so that he could zoom-out to our present life where it isn't seen for what it is, so that he could declare a FACT to us about the nature of those who are born of God. The fact? That we who hope in the one who has been totally removed from the realm of sin and law have this same life NOW. This means that our REAL lives are UNTOUCHED by sin and law, for we have been taken out of it through the miracle of being joined with Christ in his death and resurrection.

I know what you're thinking. You're saying to yourself, Yeah, I may be a believer, but I know what I'm REALLY like ... and it's NOT 'holy'! I've got only one thing to say to that fear of yours: you obviously DON'T know what you're really like, then. Of COURSE, when you examine yourself you're not going to see the reality ... because it CAN'T be seen through the examination of the flesh.

Who do you think John had written to? Did you think that his readers didn't also have the same basic problems of perception that you and I do? He wrote it to them because they had been caught up in the same kind of lies that convince us that we MUST be missing something ... that we haven't been given everything. But John went to great extents to tell them that they had received nothing less than the very perfect life of Christ, and that this life was the actual meaning of who they were!

And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, just as HE is pure. 1 John 3:3

Notice, it does NOT say that he TRIES to purify himself, but instead, it states it as a FACT based on the reality of the preceding verse. Because who we are will be SEEN to be just like HIM, then who we are is walking on this planet right now without being touched by sin. Consider one of John's concluding statements of this letter.

We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one DOES NOT TOUCH HIM 1 John 5:18

Your problem with this is simply that you've been looking at the wrong YOU and making your evaluations based on what SEEMS TO BE you right now. Whose evaluation do you suppose would be the more accurate: God's or yours? Do you really think that Jesus went through what he did in order to bring about the pathetic excuse of a new creation that you and I have been judging it as? Well?

In case you want to read the next verse and think it contradicts what I'm telling you then you need to follow it all the way through. John describes those who sin as lawless.

(has NOT) seen Him or knows Him 1 John 3:4

of the devil 1 John 3:8

While his concluding statement about those in Christ is this:

No one who is born of God sins, because His seed abides (lives) in him; and he CANNOT sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9

And then he makes his conclusion that the difference between one who is of God and one is of the devil is OBVIOUS ... even though at this time IT HAS NOT YET APPEARED WHAT WE SHALL BE. Though you cannot see this now by how it appears you can KNOW this for what it is.

Don't think that this is merely theoretical for HIS Spirit is witnessing this reality to OUR spirits even though our eyes would deceive us! You have been given NEW eyes ... use them!

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Comments

so encouraging and free-ing from the bondage of deception concerning who and how we truly are as the new creation in him!! :)
theshovel's picture

These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: March 20, 2000 by Phyllis

Hi, my friend,

Needless to say this is just a note to say , Thank you again. Feeling much better emotionally as I said "Thank you".

In his love, Phyllis


Posted: March 20, 2000 by John

Good point. We are not to merely "keep getting a little more holy." We are to be completely holy. "As He who called you is holy, you also BE HOLY in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1:15).

Hello my brother Jim! You said: “There is only one reason that we struggle with the meaning behind these words. And that is because we have accepted the perverted idea that we’re supposed to keep getting a LITTLE MORE HOLY as we GROW as Christians. In doing so, we put ourselves up against an impossible proposition … and we sense it.” Jim You know, this is something I would love to clear up. Jim, I remember reading something I think in Thessalonians after hearing some sort of teaching on it way back when, that we are ‘becoming’ holy. It was the whole reason for our obsession with sin and cooperation with the spirits ‘cleansing’ and sweeping out all the unclean stuff. The teachers I remember fro my experience would go on and on about Jesus standing around the door of our heart with a broom and a dust pan with an evil grin on His face. They would continue with the obvious reaction of our hearts to that scenario by describing our resistance to it all. It all just seemed so fleshly as I thought about it. Here is the scripture referenced: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This was one of those scriptures taught to promote ‘cooperation’ with the spirit and ALSO to say that we are not YET holy enough…but, that it was ongoing in the works sense. Could you speak a bit of what comes to mind? Love, Adam
theshovel's picture

Good morning, Adam

Consider that verse together with the one that follows:

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

That makes a difference, does it not? :)

Jim

I mean it probably SHOULD, but then again the religious mind has done a fine job with that part too. You know, as I look closely at the wording…I don’t really see any ‘growth’ aspect in it though. It just says ‘preserved’. I mean if we were being ‘kept’ a certain way..until a certain time, then I bet this had to do with confidence and not vein works. I say confidence in that it also says ‘without blame’. How else are we preserved without blame but by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once and for all? Could it be that these believers could have been tempted to see themselves and one another according to the flesh and not according to what is ALREADY true now and until the end of there bodies run in the world? So if Paul were simply pointing out the reality of what they don’t see, with what God sees, then maybe this verse is just all confidence in the Truth….that we can not ‘see’ with our eyes.[the old eyes that is] Love, Adam
theshovel's picture

Adam, now you're looking at it with your new eyes! I love what you've expressed about this. :)

Jim

Thanks Jim, But what of the first part… “Now MAY the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely” ? Wording here sounds like a not finished thing. Yet I wonder if maybe he is just declaring the reality of it by his use of the word ‘may’? Or maybe a salutation? It is probably confusing to us because we also in the back of our heads, know that he had been also talking about the resurrection stuff.[being raised imperishable..etc] I will try reading it again… Personally I don’t like the letter, it has served to be way too confusing over the years. I would love for it to be an encouragement.
theshovel's picture

I have a suspicion that our habits of segregating portions of documents in order to examine them apart from context comes from the legal mentality of our culture. Do you suppose the first part contradicts what comes immediately after? If there was any sense of uncertainty in his use of the word "may", it would have been reflected in his connected statements, don't you think?

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

The example Ron brings up is an excellent one, for while we could linguistically wonder if the "may" could suggest a wavering on God's part, the obvious certainty is seen in the overall declaration. While from their viewpoint there may have been much uncertainty, the continuing appearance of the rainbow cemented God's promise as sure. For the surety is found in God himself.

Now may God ... and He also will bring it to pass.

Linguistically, I think there is good reason to use "may" instead of "will" in many places because it demands we consider what it is hinged upon. The same applies to the use of "if" instead of a phrase like "in so much as" or "since". Perhaps we're just too focused upon the immediate context of a verse that we come up with substitutions to remove our fear of uncertainty. This is what I have referred to as Versitis, that is, being crippled by individual verses. The truth is that there is uncertainty everywhere we look, even in the words of the Bible. The certainty is found only in God. If the "may" is connected to God and his promise, it is a sure thing.

Jim

Jim, you have made many excellent points but this stood out to me: “The truth is that there is uncertainty everywhere we look,even in the words of the Bible. The certainty is found only in God. If the “may” is connected to God and his promise, it is a sure thing.” This to me is the heart of it all. It brings up a living view point in the midst of the uncertainty we more than not find ourselves in. This is what I am truly after…not even the ‘correct’ view. Oh and I totally agree now that you mention it about approaching the Bible verse by verse and what seems to come out of that..I will be reconsidering that as well. gratefully, Adam

If I may insert a comment on this brother, consider the following scripture: The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Gen 9:16) It could read as if God might or might not remember his covenant, but we can recognize that the word ‘may’ here is simply synonymous with saying ‘will.’ Same thing with the scripture you quoted. To make it more likely to mean ‘maybe so, maybe not’ Paul would have said: Now God Himself may sanctify you entirely See the difference? Your gut feeling is right. He is declaring reality, just using may in place of will, which we do as well today at times. Ron

What do you see when you look at me? Not the visible me that your eyes can see. For in Christ I am dead, yet alive and free. Free to be it all, as he lives in me.

Thanks Ron, I am not saying you are correct or incorrect on this but, you have some interesting thoughts to consider. Hey it could be that? I don’t know at first glance. Again, thanks Ron, Love, Adam

Ron, I can remember a teacher I knew years ago that used to say that ‘if’ always meant ‘in so much as’ in the New Testament.[regarding troubling verses] Later on I found that through reading context I did not have to have the wording changed, just seen through the reality of the Truth. I think that the wording often has been a bit messed with. Love, A

Hello! I’m new here, and have been doing a lot of reading on this site. Whew! I have been one of those silly women trying to find truth through much reading/knowledge and needing eye salve… Okay, here goes my question; “Could Christ in me desire a different direction of heart than the one chosen in marriage over 30 years ago? Or are those in Christ, being ONE given ALL things necessary in this reality, HIS LIFE, and the fulfilling of His good pleasure in any marriage no matter the reason or intent of the heart when the choice was made? Sigh! Christine
theshovel's picture

Hello Christine!

Thanks for jumping in with your question. :)

Could Christ in me desire a different direction of heart than the one chosen in marriage over 30 years ago? Or are those in Christ, being ONE given ALL things necessary in this reality, HIS LIFE, and the fulfilling of His good pleasure in any marriage no matter the reason or intent of the heart when the choice was made? Sigh! Christine

What if the real direction of our hearts has always been Christ, rather than whatever it is we thought we were choosing at any given time? I suspect that is what you have been considering as you continued on with the second question. For indeed, we have been given all things necessary. I think we often get caught up in too much rationalization and speculation as to how our lives could be better by attempting to re-evaluate our past choices. Most of it is just illusion. Be satisfied in Christ. :)

Jim

Hi Christine, It is so cool that you took a chance to ask a very personal question. Can I tell you that you are not alone in asking this question? I mean I would be willing to bet that there are more folks than we can count that are in the world that are asking themselves the very same stuff. Do you have speakers on your computer? Do you have an IPod or MP3 player by chance? If you do, I highly recommend some wonderful audios available on the site regarding this very subject. Just go to “The Shovel Audio” section on the home page and look for “The Joining Of Two” . This very question is actually covered in great detail. You may find some encouragement. Adam

Oh and Christine I don’t know if you are aware of it but, on The Shovel Shack you will see an Link named ‘Welcomes’. There you will notice you have some of us sending you a few welcome messages. You get to see our faces that way! Adam

“Holiness, sanctification, and/or purification CAN'T be performed … not because it is too difficult, but because they are not the by-products of performance … not even GOD'S performance. It is what He IS, NOT what He DOES.”

i love how this speaks to and about the very Nature of the Life He Is and the very Life that He has Created New in us!  :)  the Reality simply IS!  :)  we are holy, sanctified and purified.  it is our Nature in Him.  there is confidence in this Reality … this Nature … the miraculous Life we are and have in Him.  :)  the old is dead, the New is Living!  :)  we are NEW.  these temporal vessels house the very Life of GOD in them … HE has given LIFE to these mortal bodies.  HE IS the LIFE in these mortal bodies.  once they were merely vessels of futility … empty and devoid of the Life of GOD … vessels of dishonor.  but that is no longer our reality.  :)  we are NEW regardless of the current outward appearance of the temporal vessel.  :)

heart

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