13 Dec 2003

Not sinners - Merely a deception?

Submitted by theshovel
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I just made this response to a post on the Shovel Shack and then realized that it would make for a good follow-up to last week's Shoveletter. Jim

"We are sinners to the day we die...I believe in Christ, but I still find myself sinning. Maybe I'm not 'In Christ' after all? ... Well, the bottom line is this...I know I still sin on a day to day basis, does it mean I'm not saved?

Maybe you've just been listening to somebody else's demands regarding the miracle that has happened to you in Christ. Maybe you've learned to define yourself according to the intimidation of the one who would destroy your confidence in Christ.

Do you guys sin? You may not be condemned, but does that mean you've become perfect? I realize we are on our way to being perfected, but the Bible also says that if someone says they are without sin they are a liar

Once you get past the bait-n-switch styled theology that uses Bible verses to reinforce the lies of the deceiver you might notice two glaring discrepancies about the whole sin issue.

First, those who are most confident in the reality of no longer being sinners are the ones who have been truly aware of the all-encompassing power of sin in their experience so that they find they can put no confidence in the flesh-life, especially that which is overwhelmingly promoted by the religious machine. These are the ones who are being thoroughly convinced they can no longer live their lives according to the law - especially so-called Christian laws - because it is too painfully obvious that nothing but condemnation has been or can be found in the realm where law is king. Those who stand most confidently on the reality that Christ has truly removed them from sin know that the law would love to re-convince them that Christ has done no such thing.

Second, those who are determined to convince other believers of their sinful condition might seem to be following the Biblical pattern (owning up to one's sins), but in effect the pattern only causes them to find confidence in the fulfillment of a requirement, and not in Christ. Ironically, in the process of trying to not violate Scripture...

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us 1 John 1:8

...one ends up having to ignore or denounce the overwhelming realities that follow...

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9

And yes, I know the game played with the added word, "practices", which is so clearly understood by the remainder of the statement.

Those who claim to have no sin (according to what John wrote) are not the ones who find their confidence in the sinlessness of the seed of God that has been put within them, but they are those who still struggle to overcome what can only be (and has been) overcome in Christ. Do we really have to be afraid that such bold confidence in Christ of being without sin (he cannot sin, because he is born of God) can possibly deceive us regarding the reality John wrote in leading up to this amazing grace? No, it is another gospel that would have us pretend to forget we already know, and are constantly being reminded, that there is no confidence in the thing that religion is trying so hard to resuscitate (bring back to life) ... which is the very reason we are so confident in CHRIST.

Don't you find it rather odd that we would ever fall for an interpretation of a Bible passage such as 1 John 1 that makes it seems as if the ones who build systems of fleshly comparison and performance based upon degrees of and/or regularity of sins could ever be those who regard sin the way God does? How is it then we could ever imagine that in regarding sin exactly as God does - done away in Christ - that we would ever suggest that we are being deceived?

New Testament: 


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These comments were all transferred over from the original website

Posted: Dec-13-03 by Monkeyrat

Ya you know i was taught to "cooperate" with the spirit like this too.its easy until you cant cooperate on something hard and you begin to wonder if your saved...and how god will get it done without your help...sanctification that is [draining all the sin habits out]

Posted: Dec-14-03 by guest

Monkeyrat--you have just described in your post what is known as 'Galatianism'. It is the idea that after having begun by the Spirit (the miraculous work of God in regenerating us) it is a cooperative process whereby we become sanctified. You know--God does His part and I do my part, and in the end I won't be a sinner anymore. Paul says we died in Christ to the world of sin. We are no longer to define ourselves by the standards (law) or logic of this world. Christ is now the life of the Christian. How can I be a 'sinner' too.

The 'process' you describe is nothing less than the fleshly religious mind trying to 're-interpret' the miraculous sanctifying work of Christ. Re-interpret it so that in the end it can be said that at least 'man did his part'. It is religious bunk.

Posted: Dec-14-03 by Paul Armstrong

As usual, you've sifted through the false leads, identified the priorities and exposed legalism as the broken-down, toothless dictator he is. You've caught him "like a rat in a hole"!

That's what I love about you, and the gift you bring. Good job!

Posted: Dec-15-03 by Mark

Great one Jim....We can be our own worst enemy by letting the Law deceive us into thinking we are still sinners....Thanks for the encouragement...I am pressing on in Jesus

Posted: Dec-15-03 by John Elrod

So profound. Yet, so simple! It's funny that you discussed John's Writing here Jim. You write like him--so simply that sometimes you just lose me.

What you wrote here reminds me of some seasonal reflections I've had. Did the straw, the manger, the stable, the destitute parents, the homelessness, the cross, the nails, the borrowed tomb, etc, etc--did any of these things make Him any less "the KING!" Just how deceptive can appearances be, anyway? Life to you, john

Posted: Dec-15-03 by Bill the HarryTick


As you know, I love the quotes from the movie The Matrix and the parallels they have to this subject. And so, to quote, "Only remember the truth....there is no spoon."

Posted: Dec-16-03 by Trudy

How can I be a sinner if I am seated in the heavenlies? How can I be JOINED to Christ if I am a sinner? I thought God could have nothing to do with sin...how could I be seated with Him and be 'a sinner'? That makes no sense! On a scale of 1 - 10 I AM A 10!

Grace is too hard for us sometimes isn't it? When I 'walk after the flesh' the enemy would like to convince me that I'm a sinner, a lowly sinner but it isn't true - I'm still a saint - that takes faith doesn't it? Believing in the unseen. We so much like to have our emotions feel it first don't we? Forget it. Accepting it by faith - not to worry - He makes the factual - actual in His time according to His purpose.

How do I get out of 'Adam life'? Death - well that happened. The Law was fulfilled! I'm a SAINT who sometimes sins. What I do does not determine who I am! I see myself in Christ AND I see you in Christ which means I accept you the same way - not by what you do. I can risk rejection because I am fully acceptable. This is good news!!!

Perfect makes practice, BEING in order to DO not the other way around. The world's way says ACHIEVE the Spirit says RECEIVE. The simplicity boggles our minds. I'm a spirit having a human experience!!!

oh but it is true - we will live according to what we believe and we did spend a good long portion of our lives believing a lie and the scales are still being removed - daily - only Christ can remove the blinders and for some of us it takes an act of our will alone to believe by faith that we are 100% acceptable!

Humility does not come by believing that I'm both - it comes by submission and surrender. When I am falsely accused and choose not to justify or vindicate myself. When I choose to only be affected and not offended - the tools that He uses to change the way we think - the surgery He will do in us separating spirit and soul so that we function the way He originally intended - by the Spirit not by the senses. True humility is possible when we believe that we have everything we need in Christ. We think the issues are about what we see but they are more about what we think and believe. The tangibles are no brainers for God but changing the way we think...that's a miracle. When fear is replaced with faith, that's big. To not be affected when I get a message of rejection...but be the expression of Grace - I share in the glory, I participate in the Divine nature - I become the instrument - Christ expressed to the world around me...

The safety net is under the trapeze - step out and LIVE! (take the SHOULD word out of your vocabulary).

There is SO MUCH that can be said on this topic - gotta write a book - feel like Tozer - gonna burst...

by the way - just discovered this site - mr. shovel - you speak my language!!!!


Posted: Mar-06-07 by Dignz

"... it is too painfully obvious that nothing but condemnation has been or can be found in the realm where law is king." <-- ya know it is NO FUN going through that pain, but ... ironically, it brings our hearts and minds back to the Truth of Christ in us the Hope of Glory ... how HE HIMself is our Truth, our Hope, our Life, our all in all, our everything! Thank GOD for it, yes?

"Do we really have to be afraid that such bold confidence in Christ of being without sin (he cannot sin, because he is born of God) can possibly deceive us regarding the reality John wrote in leading up to this amazing grace?"

Well, we have certainly been taught that we do! Taught by that fleshly world system and by our own built-in flesh-system. It was all the flesh-mind and heart had. What would the flesh do without its fears? But alas. That fleshly mind which once defined us has been done away with and replaced by a New and Living mind ... the very mind of Christ! The mind of the flesh no longer has a place with us!

Yet ... there are many other minds of the flesh that can certainly convince us that it does! The voices surround us, envelope us, and indeed sometimes consume us. It is very frustrating that we listen to them at all! It must be one of those GOD/Miracle things that and when we do NOT hear, listen and give them heed, ya know? Why else would we constantly be looking for some X, Y or Z formula to NOT? sighhhh ...

I thank GOD for when He shakes me awake and gets my attention to listen to HIM and not all the other voices and lies that constantly question and challenge, deny and defy the Truth of Himself as my Life and how I am complete and lacking nothing in Him.

I thank GOD for you, as HE has used you the most in my Life! I thank GOD for HIMself in you and how you encourage and always point back to HIM! You just don't know the magnitude of difference you are and make in my life!! <--only that should be an up-turned mouth, not a down-ward mouth, as we CAN smile and cry at the same time ... you know with those happy tears and tears of relief!?

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