LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, December 07, 2007

You know them by what they practice…....

1 John 3:4-10 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (5) You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (6) No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (7) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

A leading advocate of free grace theology said the following: “When one finds a consistent line of exposition and interpretation that allows him to take the words of Scripture at their face value, in other words, for what they literally say, without the inclusion of secondary assumptions and gratuitous importation, he has found exegetical gold.”

When we look at the passage above and take it at face value and literally as he suggested, what do we learn? Is it accurate to glean the following from this passage using this exegetical method?

(1) Sin is lawlessness.
(2) Jesus is sinless and came to take away sin.
(3) No one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
(4) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil.
(5) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning.
(6) Jesus appeared to destroy the works of the devil.
(7) There are two kinds of people: children of the devil and children of God.
(8) Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God and therefore of the devil.
(9) Whoever is born of God has God’s seed abiding in him.
(10) Those born of God cannot keep on sinning
(11) The children of God are saved and the Children of the devil are not saved.

Since being born again is a divine action performed on a person by God, doesn’t this passage indicate such a person has been changed and is a new creation just as 2 Cor. 5:17 teaches? Therefore, would it then follow that all who are born again and saved respond to this change, caused by God, by not making a practice of sinning and anyone who does make a practice of sinning is of the devil, not born again, and not saved? If this is true, wouldn’t this rule out the possibility of the “carnal Christian” concept of free grace theology, that holds that a person can be saved and yet show no discipleship, obedience, sanctification, or restraint in sinning?

What are your thoughts?

40 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

You concluded "there are two kinds of people" in #7 - but John is talking about two kinds of people who call themselves Christians. I think you could have been a little more clear on that.

I think anyone who interprets this without the inclusion of secondary assumptions and gratuitous importation will conclude that free grace theology is more bunk than bed.

December 08, 2007 9:03 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Daniel,
That is true about #7. It is also true that there is much "exegetical gold" in 1 John when taken at face value and literally. 1 John has a lot to say about Christian response to regeneration/justification.

I believe the error FGT makes is to insist that any response to justification is really a de-facto requirement and thus illegitimate. In truth Scripture teaches that a lack of response indicates there was no justification to begin with.

December 08, 2007 9:55 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

BTW. This photo was taken at only second college football game I have seen this century. Tennessee beat my Miss. State Bulldogs in Starkville MS on a beautiful day.

December 08, 2007 11:15 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Some trace the birth of the "carnal Christian" concept all the way back to L.S.Chafer - in other words, the idea is fairly new on the scene. Such poison. This concept logically strips the "born from above" experience of its power to produce the results that God intended. It makes some decision to fully consecrate oneself at a latter point the primary starting point for sanctification. The rebirth experience is relegated to a merely positional change. Hence many an adherent argue that the new life is evidenced in the hereafter with the possibility that little will be evidenced on this side of the grave.

December 08, 2007 11:43 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Keswick Theology - Blech!!!

December 08, 2007 11:46 AM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

This whole passage is quite interesting and it is obvious that those who believe in FGT are going to view it very differently then others. I am still studying but I will say that FGT makes more sense to me then other viewpoints. Perhaps you all can help me understand some things.

I'd like to look at verse 6. Jazzycat used the ESV in the post.

(6) No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him

I would guess that this verse (as well as other verses in the passage) is where point 10 in the list came from.

10. Those born of God cannot keep on sinning

However in the NASB it says:

(6) No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

Don't these two versions seem to say very different things? The ESV says that the person cannot “keep on sinning” but the NASB says that we cannot sin AT ALL and also abide in him.

I prefer the second interpretation. I think that abiding is talking about a close fellowship with God.
For example see how John uses the word abide in talking to his disciples in John 15

(4) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither {can} you unless you abide in Me. (5) I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

It seems obvious to me that abiding in Christ is something that a Christian should do but could choose not to do. Otherwise why would Jesus be telling his disciples to do it?

Now I am not a greek scholar. This is from David Anderson's book "Maximum Joy” page 148
In talking about why this verse is about fellowship with God and not about a relationship with him, he says

Our second clue is John's choice of the perfect tense for the verbs “seen” and “known”. Just as in 2:3-5 , especially for verbs describing a state of being (to know) as opposed to verbs of acting (to hit), the perfect tense expresses an intensified state. In other words, “to know” in the perfect tense becomes “to know intensively” or intimately. “To see” in the perfect tense becomes “to see very closely.” These are verbs of close fellowship with the Savior.

If someone who knows greek can explain how that is not a valid interpretation I will listen.

Now lets say that the ESV is the better interpretation and that what John meant was that a true Christian will not “keep on sinning”. Who of you reading this does not keep on sinning? With the obvious exception of Jesus, everyone who has ever lived, Christian or not, continues to sin until they die (1 John 1:8). I really cannot understand how the idea of continuous sin could be what this verse means. I would love it if someone could explain it to me. Does it mean that no one can sin a lot? If so then how much is a lot? Or is it the type of sin? If so then what type?

Thanks for reading my thoughts on the issue.

Jonathan

December 08, 2007 2:49 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
Thanks for your input and your point. Using your preference, the NASB, let us look a little further at this passage by going on down to verses 8-10.

1 John 3:8-10 (8) the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (9) 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. (10) By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

As long as John is just talking about abiding then the FGT view may have legs. However, in verse 8 John brings in the concept of the devil. Further in verse 9 he ties it, not to abiding in fellowship, but to being born again or not being born again. This is clearly a reference to being saved verses not being saved as reformed and FGT both concur that being born again means being saved and not being born again is not being saved. Then in verse 10 he clarifies even further by distinguishing between the children of God and the children of the devil and again this is clearly a reference to being saved verses not being saved. When you read the method of interpretation that Antonio has suggested and apply it to this passage, then I think with verses 8-10 it is game, set, match as to what is the literal meaning of this passage. The passage distinguishes between false Christians and true Christians and being saved verses not being saved.

Exactly what is meant by continuing to sin, etc. can and has been debated, but this passage is discussing being saved verses not being saved………

December 08, 2007 5:30 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Since being born again is a divine action performed on a person by God, doesn’t this passage indicate such a person has been changed and is a new creation just as 2 Cor. 5:17 teaches? Therefore, would it then follow that all who are born again and saved respond to this change, caused by God, by not making a practice of sinning and anyone who does make a practice of sinning is of the devil, not born again, and not saved? If this is true, wouldn’t this rule out the possibility of the “carnal Christian” concept of free grace theology, that holds that a person can be saved and yet show no discipleship, obedience, sanctification, or restraint in sinning?"

Though this argument is frequently used by Calvinists, it is contrary to the theology of Westminister and the Baptist confession.

Westminister:

III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;[7] and, for a time, continue therein:[8] whereby they incur God's displeasure,[9] and grieve His Holy Spirit,[10] come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,[11] have their hearts hardened,[12] and their consciences wounded;[13] hurt and scandalize others,[14] and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.[15]

Baptist confession:

"Paragraph 3. And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein,9 whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve his Holy Spirit,10 come to have their graces and comforts impaired,11 have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded,12 hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves,13 yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.14"

These two creeds assert that a person who is born again may temporarily make a practice of sinning. The creeds affirm that a believer may temporarily be a 'carnal Christian'.

In arguing that the basis for perserverance rests upon the new birth you must reject these two creedal clauses.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

December 08, 2007 6:27 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Nice Avatar. No to your conclusion. First, let's also look at Parts 1 & 2 in the WCF that you left out....

1. They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

These two parts affirm the power of God in perseverance and cast a totally different meaning than part 3 alone. Also my definition of a carnal Christian is far different than what you are describing and what the WCF is describing when someone temporally grieves the Holy Spirit.

Most of all this post is about what the Bible says in 1 John 3 and what the literal and face value meaning of this text using the hermeneutic method that Antonio has recommended.

Wayne

December 08, 2007 7:12 PM

 
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

The issue is not final perserverance.

I do not dispute that Westminister affirms final perserverance.

The WCF affirms that a born-again person can fall into a state where:

- They practice sin.

- Continue to sin.

- Fail to practice righteousness.

All the characteristics of what you call a carnal Christian.

That such a state is only temporal makes no difference.

You cannot use those verses in 1 John 3 to deny a Christian being in a carnal state permanently while at the same time affirming that temporarily they may fall into that state.

Assuming that the NIV reading that you favour is correct (continue to sin), it simply does not fit WCF.

WCF says:

"fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein,"

Either you can or cannot continue to sin.

The NIV says the person cannot continue to sin.

WCF says they can.

You would do far better to argue for perserverance on the basis of God's purposes in election.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

December 08, 2007 7:29 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

(9)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.

So you are saying that this verse (and surrounding) is talking about salvation and a person that continually sins, and in doing so proves that they are not saved.

My question then is – Do Lordship salvation proponents admit that there is no list of sins or specific duration of sinning that prove a persons lack of salvation?

December 08, 2007 9:26 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Matthew,
Thanks. This post was about a passage in 1 John 3 and not what the WCF says about the doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints. Let me make it very clear that I am not bound by the WCF and in fact have a friendly e-mail debate going with my pastor right now over some differences. However, I do not think this passage in 1 John 3 contradicts the WCF in any way. However, I am going to stick with the subject at hand which is to take what John says 1 John 3 literally and at face value.

As I pointed out in my 12-8-07 5:30 pm comment this passage is clearly making a distinction between the behavior of born again people that are saved as opposed to the behavior of non-born again people that are not saved. You have not challenged this literal interpretation, but have preferred to bring perseverance and the WCF into the discussion. Also, you have brought up the NIV where it says, the person cannot continue to sin. Here again you are diverting attention and focus from this passage. Elsewhere in 1 John, he says that a person who claims to be without sin is a liar (1 John 1:8). Therefore, we know that the passage “cannot continue to sin” does not mean sinless perfection. If it did then no one would be saved. My main point is in bold above and based on what John says, a person cannot be saved and continually sin unrestrained due to his new nature of being born again in Christ? Therefore, this passage of John contradicts FGT.

Please feel free to show me where this passage does not teach that born again saved Christians will respond with a different behavior than unsaved people!

December 08, 2007 11:56 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
Thanks. My comment directly above to Matthew answers you in part. First let me say that being saved (salvation) has nothing to do with a mindset of proving it by performance and John is not saying that in this passage. A person either is saved through faith or they aren’t. John is just giving the results of what the behavior of a born again believer looks like. Jesus does the same thing in the beatitudes and elsewhere.

As to your second question: First, while I am not offended by the term “Lordship salvation”, however, I prefer the term “Lordship sanctification.” I believe the Bible indicates that all Christians battle sin until they die, but that sanctification will progress even though it will have peaks and valleys along the way. How low the valleys may get and how long they may last is not something I can answer or need to answer. All Christians have a new born again nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit. I believe Romans 8 affirms that Christians will be led by the Spirit and follow this leading. There is no need for any fruit inspection as the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God (Romans 8:16). The fruit that flows from this new nature comes from the work of God and is not something by which a person earns justification. If a person is working to earn justification he is not saved (Rom 3:20 & Gal. 2:16).

December 09, 2007 12:40 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

1 John 3:9 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation


9No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God's nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.

Please allow me to illustrate:

At a very early age a "seed" is planted in a young child; the seed of power-lifting. As the days go by this drive to lift weights begins to emerge. It is a very strong drive. Finally he obtains a set of weights. He was driven from the inside. It was something that fit his nature.

At first he wasn't very strong, certainly not strong enough to do well in a contest; but he is driven to workout and become contest ready. He is driven...

After dedication and hard work he sees that he is now ready to compete. His first contest he only places third. That's OK though for he is young in the sport - a new lifter (carnal). With time he'll get better. He is driven...

Soon he starts capturing first place trophies. How? Well he grew stronger than he was in the early contest. Dedication and hard work paid off. Those (the Dedication and hard work) came natural to him. The "seed" was in him. He was driven...

One day though he was overtaken in an injury (overtaken in a fault or sin). His strength levels drop back down to where they were in the early days. He is no longer contest ready. His workout partners gather 'round to help him figure out a routine that will get him back on track. He does not cave in and quit. He works through the injury in an effort to get back into contest shape. He is driven...

Time passes. Strenth returns. The effort paid off. More trophies are won. He is driven... IT WAS HIS NATURE!!!

December 09, 2007 10:53 AM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

Jazzycat and Mark,

Thank you both for your comments. I can't say I agree with everything that was said but I do appreciate your explanations. I will continue to study and seek the truth.

Jonathan

December 09, 2007 3:49 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
Thanks for stopping by and interacting. Come again.
Wayne (Aka Jazzycat)

December 09, 2007 5:58 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

Good post. Good comments. Good debate.

Can someone who hates Christ, who cares nothing for Him, believe in this same Christ.
And then go on hating Him. And then go be with him for all eternity, though he hates Him.

Jesus said, "All who love me, they will obey Me". John 14:23
Paul said, "If anyone doesn't love Christ let them be anathema".
Paul also said if we have the Spirit of Christ then we are His, and the love of Christ is in our hearts, and is "spread abroad" in fact.

My inner man loves God and His truth. My members fight Him still. Rom. 7

December 09, 2007 7:30 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Don,
Thanks for your encouragement and your thoughts here and at Jazzycat.

December 09, 2007 9:20 PM

 
Blogger Daniel said...

In queries such as the one you are asking, it seems good to be reminded of what it is exactly it is that Christ save us from. Matthew 1:21 tells us: from sin.

Did Jesus save us? What did he save us from? The first mark of a Christian is not that they said some prayer, it is that they have been saved from something that used to rule them - sin.

When a man stands in the highway and is hit by a speeding 10 ton logging truck - he doesn't look the same afterwards, that kind of impact leaves a noticeable mark. How much more so when a man has a genuine encounter with the supreme God on high? Can a man walk away from that encounter unchanged? Can a man be truly saved from sin and there be no evidence of that salvation? Can the same power that raised Christ from the dead be utterly impotent in the life of a believer? Is man sovereign, and God impotent?

I don't really ask you to answer these hypothetical questions, you need not even reply - I just ask you to consider the weight of scripture, the argument and reasoning that follows. Those who are saved from sin, usually evidence that salvation.

It isn't that we take this truth and judge one another with it - rather it is that we take this truth and judge ourselves by it. Am I saved? What am I saved from? Do I see salvation from in in my life, or do I see nothing of the sort? Am I still enslaved to sin like I was or is Christ setting me free from it? The point of understanding the truth is not to judge others by it, but to judge ourselves by it.

December 10, 2007 12:43 PM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

Are you aware that in the expression “not having sin” in 1 John 1:8, the term “having” is in the present tense as well. So the verse, using your own methodology, could be translated, If we say that we [are not continually and habitually having] sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Since this is essentially what you are saying, i.e., that you no longer continually and habitually have sin in your life, is it safe to conclude that have you deceived yourself?

December 18, 2007 12:39 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil"...."No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God."

See the difference here, Dwight? In the first chapter we see that Christians fall into sin. That is why verse 9 looms large. Also 2:1-2. The Christian with a conscience will run to confess his sin and not want it to become a lifestyle because God's seed is in him. Those false teachers did not have God's seed in them so their lifestyle was marked by habitual sin, sin that went unconfessed and unrepented of.

December 18, 2007 1:23 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Oh, and Dwight, if you don't let me see your profile page AND BLOG, I will delete you every time you comment from now on. Deal?

December 18, 2007 1:45 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

i do not have patience for fgt gamesmanship.

December 18, 2007 1:47 PM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

If you are going to argue that the present tense is to be translated as "continuing to" sin or "making a practice of" sinning, then to be consistent you should use the same methodology in 1 John 1:8. Are you willing to be consistent is this regard? Are you willing to recognize that 1 John 1:8 should be understood (if using your own “present tense” methodology), as, “If we say that we [are not continuing to have or making a practice of having] sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Are you now arguing that you no longer continually and habitually have sin in your life, contrary to what the Apostle John is says in 1 John 1:8 using your own methodology?

December 18, 2007 1:49 PM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

As far as I know, I have said nothing offensive. I have simply asked questions about your "present tense" methodolgy of understanding the text. If you would prefer to delete my questions, that is, of course, your option. May I recommend you read Sakae Kubo’s "I John 3:9: Absolute or Habitual?", Andrews University Seminary Studies 7 [1969] 47-56).

December 18, 2007 1:59 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

I know that fgt has trouble with John's actual intent in writing 1 John. To leave it the conventional way commentators have handled it over the centuries would spell doom to the fgt system, and its sacred cow assurance.

1 John was written to a church that was under attack by false teachers of an early form of gnosticism. They held that the body was inherently evil, while the soul was good. Therefore they felt no restraint in sinning because those sins would not tough the soul. IOW, they would consider themselves sinless even if sinning with abandon. They would say "we have no sin". That is what John is adressing in 1:8. So the way that the Amplified Bible renders this verse is good..."If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [wich the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].

So you see it is a matter of admiting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior for past, present and future sins.

King David is what I would focus on. Sins happened in his life. Either his heart smote him right away, or a prophet came to confront him about sin. In every case he confessed and forsook sin. He examplified a contrite heart. In this he serves as a model for Christians today. His life was one of seeking God, no? His life was always heading in the general direction of loving and serving God. Though some of his sins caused God's name to be blasphemed, yet God still kept a lamp before Him for David's sake.

So I say that 1 John 1:8 is dealing with the issue of whether one has a contrite heart or no, if they acknowledge the need of a Savior or no. In this the matter of this verse is different from that covered in 1 John 3:9.

Also, could you please throw "Cookie" a little treat for me? Tell her it is from Uncle Mark. :-)

December 18, 2007 5:31 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Dwight,
We are mining gold here Dwight using the following exegetical method recommended by Antonio of the free grace theology movement:
“When one finds a consistent line of exposition and interpretation that allows him to take the words of Scripture at their face value, in other words, for what they literally say, without the inclusion of secondary assumptions and gratuitous importation, he has found exegetical gold.”

Using this method I have listed 11 conclusions from the text. With which of the eleven would you like to differ?

Mark has sufficiently answered your first volley. There are three sin possibilities mentioned in 1 John.
(1) sinless perfection (This is impossible for anyone including believers and 1 John 1:8 addresses this)
(2) those who habitually sin without restraint (These people are unregenerate as John points out in the text of this post)
(3) those who through God’s grace and the indwelling spirit strive to become holy and refrain from sinning through obedience to God’s word out of gratitude and their new nature. This is the sanctification that is a result of their justification and their new God given nature. As Jesus put it in the beatitudes, Christians hunger and thirst for righteousness. (These people are born again Christians that are not sinless, but nothing at all like those who sin without restraint)

If you would like to debate one of the 11 conclusions using Antonio’s method, please feel free to do so.

December 18, 2007 7:04 PM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

Mark, you said we should focus on King David. 1 John 3:15 states, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” David is said to have killed Uriah (2 Sam. 12:9). Did David have eternal life abiding in him when he is said to have killed Uriah? Why or why not?

December 19, 2007 5:22 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Consider again the flow of 1 John. It is a constant contrast between those who are children of the devil, and those who are children of God, 3:10. Lifestyles are in view here, not individual acts of sin. The false teachers who were infiltrating these congregations were minus the Spirit. Though they called people "brother" they were anything but. They did so to gain a foothold among those saints.
John is throughout this epistle introducing tests, tests whereby the true saints could tell by looking at the lifestyle of the false teachers in order to observe their lack of fruit, therby they could easily conclude them to be false. These tests would also help the saints to have assurance of salvation because, unlike the false teachers, they WOULD have fruit in evidence.

Now, look at verse 3:15, "Whoever hates his brother...", clearly a lifestyle of hatred is what is in view here, not so much the single sinful act of murder. David did murder. It was premeditated. He was guilty; and when confronted by Nathan about a year later he confessed and repented. Was David guilty of a lifestyle of hatred? No. It was one act of sin. Can a Christian commit murder in a fit of anger? I believe so. But if it stems from a lifestyle of hatred, that, my friend, is a different story.

What state are you from?
What do you do for a living?

Please answer these questions as a courtesy for me.

December 19, 2007 6:34 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dwight,

May I also add that I do not like interacting with somebody who does not want to reveal anything about themselves. Your sudden appearance out of nowhere is a bit fishy to me. That would easily be cleared up if you answered my questions in the above comment.

I shall be away for the day today. I may get back to the computer tonight. If not, then, Lord willing, tomorrow.

In the mean time please answer my questions concerning yourself BEFORE we move on. There are only two of them and you won't be giving away too much information.

December 20, 2007 7:59 AM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

Mark, I have no desire to reveal anything about myself. If that seems “fishy” to you and would cause you to no longer interact, I would fully understand. I personally have no problem with anonymous interaction. I actually prefer it as the best way to focus strictly on ideas.

Regarding your responses, I find it strange that you would say that one could murder and not be considered a murderer (even at the very moment he is murdering). Furthermore, I find your treatment of 1 John 1:8 unusual as well. To argue that the “we” in 1 John 1:8 is referring to the unbelieving, incipient Gnostics and not to John or his believing audience is peculiar. I think Wallace’s point regarding the use of “we” here is relevant. Although Wallace is talking about 1 John 1:9, it is the exact same “we” used in 1:8:

Wallace writes,

“We” typically falls into one of three categories of usage: editorial (referring just to the author), exclusive (referring just to the author and his associates), or inclusive (referring to the author, his associates, and the readers). To see the “we” in 1 John 1:9 as referring to unbelievers would be to take the pronominal referent to mean “you, but not me.” Such is not impossible, of course, but is highly unlikely and apparently otherwise unexampled in the NT. (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 699)

As I have no intentions of offending you by continuing to participate on your blog anonymously, I will discontinue posting unless otherwise advised.

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

December 21, 2007 11:04 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dwight,

"Such is not impossible, of course"

I must remind you to consider again the flow of 1 John. It is a constant contrast between those who are children of the devil, and those who are children of God, 3:10. Lifestyles are in view here, not individual acts of sin. The false teachers who were infiltrating these congregations were minus the Spirit. Though they called people "brother" they were anything but. They did so to gain a foothold among those saints.
John is throughout this epistle introducing tests, tests whereby the true saints could tell by looking at the lifestyle of the false teachers in order to observe their lack of fruit, therby they could easily conclude them to be false. These tests would also help the saints to have assurance of salvation because, unlike the false teachers, they WOULD have fruit in evidence.

Wallace cannot come right out and say that my interpretation is not so for 1 John 1:8. Therefore I stand by my interpretation because 3:10 brings John's purpose for writing this letter into focus. Perhaps your free grace presuppositions prevent you from looking at 1 John in its plain and simple sense.

December 21, 2007 3:13 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

So Dwight,

1)1 John 2:4 - Would you say that those who say they know Him, yet do not keep His commands - Would you say these are regenerate?

2)1 John 2:9, 11 - Would you say that one who hates his brother is regenerate?

3) 1 John 3:8 - He who sins is of the devil... Is this verse speaking of a regenerate person?

I know how you'll answer these, having interacted with free gracer's before. I just want you to answer for yourself; I just want to see this from your own key-board.

Is Dwight Schroot your real name?

December 21, 2007 3:33 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

Mark,

Wayne said

There is no need for any fruit inspection as the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God (Romans 8:16)

And you said

John is throughout this epistle introducing tests, tests whereby the true saints could tell by looking at the lifestyle of the false teachers in order to observe their lack of fruit, therby they could easily conclude them to be false. These tests would also help the saints to have assurance of salvation because, unlike the false teachers, they WOULD have fruit in evidence.


These two statements seem completely contradictory. Do you two disagree on this point? Or am I misunderstanding?
Should we be fruit inspectors (for ourselves and for others) or should we not be?

Thank you,
Jonathan

December 21, 2007 3:37 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Jonathan, I'll let Wayne answer for himself. In the mean time focus again on what I said here... tests whereby the true saints could tell by looking at the lifestyle of the false teachers in order to observe their lack of fruit, therby they could easily conclude them to be false.

This is key, and seen clearly in chapter 3:10.

December 21, 2007 3:56 PM

 
Blogger Dwight Schroot said...

Mark, as I mentioned previously, I have no intentions of offending you by continuing to participate on your blog anonymously; I will discontinue posting unless otherwise advised. Please let me know.

No, Dwight Shroot is not my real name. I thought that was obvious, but apparently it is not. Because of the confusion, I will be changing my blogger identity.

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

December 21, 2007 6:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
There is no contradiction as Mark and I are referring to different things. Mark is referring to the tests that John gives for true believers to discern false teachers by their fruit. He further says, These tests would also help the saints to have assurance of salvation because, unlike the false teachers, they WOULD have fruit in evidence.

My statement is about a person not needing fruit inspection since the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit. Mark is talking about recognizing hypocrites and I am talking about a saved persons inner relationship with the HOLY SPIRIT. Although a person does not need inspect his own fruit for assurance, he can’t help but notice the fruit that has resulted from his changed heart and new nature as Mark points out. I agree.

I would think any fruit that is produced out of a motive of earning either justification or rewards is suspect. Such a person would be selfishly depending on self rather than grace upon grace. Selfishly pursuing rewards from a totally man-centered perspective of ones own benefit just does not fit the Biblical model of faithfulness IMO. A born again new creation in Christ that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit strives to be faithful because that is his nature and his hearts desire. He needs no selfish motive to do what the Spirit leads him to do.

John in this epistle is describing these differences and he is clear that one group is regenerate and saved and the other group is not. When you take this passage literally and at face value (Antonio's method), there is no other conclusion.

Thanks to Mark for also doing an excellent job in pointing this out.

December 21, 2007 6:57 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Dwight,

Come by any time. Perhaps some day we will be friends.

(what if you emailed me your identity? I promise to keep it a secret. :-)

Seriously, please come by any time.

December 21, 2007 7:28 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Jonathan,

On a personal note in regards to assurance:

First and foremost it is written " believe on the Lord Jesua Christ and thou shalt be saved. If one believes on Christ, that He is God, God the Son - thereby His sacrifice alone has the power to produce results - and that He died for the sins of the world, your sins and all those who look to Him alone; and believe that the Father raised Him from the dead on the third day because of our justification, you shall be saved.

Therefore my assurance comes first and foremost from the scripture. Do I see fruit in my life? Yes, though sometimes more than others. It is there nonetheless; though I prefer to look at the scriptures for assurance instead.

December 21, 2007 7:53 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Crissie Cross???

December 21, 2007 10:40 PM

 

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