Feb 05

John FletcherThe best way of opposing the doctrines of Christian imperfection and a death purgatory, is to place the doctrine of Christian perfection in a proper light. Christian perfection is the maturity of a believer’s grace under the Gospel of Christ.

It is absurd to suppose that this perfection is sinless, if it be measured by our Creator’s law of paradisiacal innocence and obedience. Established believers fulfil our Redeemer’s evangelical law of liberty. While they fulfil it, they do not transgress it, that is, (evangelically speaking,) they do not sin.

MOST of the controversies, which arise between men who fear God, spring from the hurry with which some of them find fault with what they have not yet examined, and speak evil of what they do not understand. Why does Mr. Hill, at the head of the Calvinists, attack the doctrine of Christian perfection which we contend for?

Is it because he and they are sworn enemies to righteousness, and zealous protectors of iniquity? Not at all. The grand reason, next to their Calvinian prejudice, is their inattention to the question, and to the arguments by which our sentiments are supported. Notwithstanding the manner in which that gentleman has treated me and my friends in his controversial heats, I still entertain so good an opinion of him as to think that if he understood our doctrine, he would no more pour contempt upon it, than upon the oracles of God.

I shall, therefore, endeavour to rectify his ideas of the glorious Christian liberty which we press after. If producing light is the best method of opposing darkness, setting the doctrine of Christian perfection in a proper point of view will be the best means of opposing the doctrines of Christian imperfection, and of a death purgatory.

Begin we then by taking a view of our Jerusalem and her perfection: and when we shall have “marked her bulwarks,” and cleared the ground between her towers and Mr. Hill’s battery, we shall march up to it, and see whether his arguments have the solidity of brass, or only the showy appearance of wooden artillery, painted and mounted like brazen ordnance.

CHRISTIAN PERFECTION! Why should the harmless phrase offend us? Perfection! Why should that lovely word frighten us? Is it not common and plain? Did not Cicero speak intelligibly when he called accomplished philosophers PERFECTOS philosophos, and an EXCELLENT orator PERFECTUM oratorem?

Did Ovid expose his reputation when he said that “Chiron perfected Achilles in music,” or “taught him to play on the lute to perfection?” And does Mr. Hill think it wrong to observe that fruit grown to maturity is in its perfection? We, whom that gentleman calls perfectionists, use the word perfection exactly in the same sense; giving that name to the maturity of grace peculiar to established believers under their respective dispensations; and if this be an error, we are led into it by the sacred writers, who use the word perfection as well as we.

The word predestinate occurs but four times in all the Scriptures, and the word predestination not once; and yet Mr. Hill would justly exclaim against us, if we showed our wit by calling for “a little Foundry [or Tabernacle] eye salve,” to help us to see the word predestination once in all the Bible.

Not so the word perfection: it occurs, with all its derivatives, as frequently as most words in the Scriptures, and not seldom in the very same sense in which we take it. Nevertheless, we do not lay an undue stress upon the expression; and if we thought that our condescension would answer any good end, we would entirely give up that harmless and significant word.

But, if it is expedient to retain the unscriptural word trinity, because it is a kind of watchword by which we frequently discover the secret opposers of the mysterious distinction of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the Divine unity, how much more proper is it not to renounce the Scriptural word perfection, by which the dispirited spies, who bring an evil report upon the good land of holiness, are often detected?

Add to this that the following declaration of our Lord does not permit us to renounce either the word or the thing: ”Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father.” Now the words of my motto, “Be ye perfect,” &c, being Christ’s own words, we dare no more be ashamed of them, than we dare desire him to be ashamed of us in the great day. Thus much for the word perfection.

Again: we give the name of “Christian perfection” to that maturity of grace and holiness which established adult believers attain to under the Christian dispensation: and thus we distinguish that maturity of grace, both from the ripeness of grace, which belongs to the dispensation of the Jews below us; and from the ripeness of glory, which belongs to departed saints above us. Hence it appears, that by “Christian perfection” we mean nothing but the cluster and maturity of the graces which compose the Christian character in the Church militant.

In other words, Christian perfection is a spiritual constellation made up of these gracious stars, perfect repentance, perfect faith, perfect humility, perfect meekness, perfect self denial, perfect resignation, perfect hope, perfect charity for our visible enemies, as well as for our earthly relations; and, above all, perfect love for our invisible God, through the explicit knowledge of our Mediator Jesus Christ.

And as this last star is always accompanied by all the others, as Jupiter is by his satellites, we frequently use, as St. John, the phrase “perfect love,” instead of the word perfection; understanding by it the pure love of God shed abroad in the hearts of established believers by the Holy Ghost, which is abundantly given them under the fulness of the Christian dispensation.

Should Mr. Hill ask if the Christian perfection which we contend for, is a sinless perfection, we reply, Sin is the transgression of a Divine law, and man may be considered either as being under the anti-evangelical, Christless, remediless law of our Creator; or, as being under the evangelical, mediatorial, remedying law of our Redeemer: and the question must be answered according to the nature of these two laws.

With respect to the FIRST, that is, the Adamic, Christless law of innocence and paradisiacal perfection, we utterly renounce the doctrine of sinless perfection, for three reasons:

(1.) We are conceived and born in a state of sinful degeneracy, whereby that law is already virtually broken.

(2.) Our mental and bodily powers are so enfeebled, that we cannot help actually breaking that law in numberless instances, even after our full conversion. And,

(3.) When once we have broken that law, it considers us as transgressors for ever: nor can it any more pronounce us sinless, than the rigorous law which condemns a man to be hanged for murder, can absolve a murderer, let his repentance and faith be ever so perfect.

Therefore, I repeat it, with respect to the Christless law of paradisiacal obedience, we entirely disclaim sinless perfection; and, improperly speaking, we say with Luther, “In every good work the just man sinneth;” that is, he more or less transgresses the law of paradisiacal innocence, by not thinking so deeply, not speaking so gracefully, not acting so properly, not obeying so vigorously, as he would do if he were still endued with original perfection, and paradisiacal powers.

Nor do we, in the same sense, scruple to say with Bishop Latimer, “He [Christ] saved us, not that we should be without sin; that no sin should be left in our hearts: no; he saved us not so. For all manner of imperfections remain in us, yea, in the best of us: so that, if God should enter into judgment with us, [according to the Christless law given to Adam before the fall,] we should be damned.

For there neither is nor was any man born into this world, who could say, I am clean from sin, [I fulfil the Adamic law of innocence,] except Jesus Christ:” and in that sense we have all reason to pray with David, “Cleanse thou me from my secret faults;” for “if thou wilt mark what is done amiss, Lord, who may abide it?”

If thou wilt judge us according to the law of paradisiacal perfection, “what man living shall be justified in thy sight?” But Christ has so completely fulfilled our Creator’s paradisiacal law of innocence, which allows neither of repentance nor of renewed obedience, that we shall not be judged by that law, but by a law adapted to our present state and circumstances, a milder law, called “the law of Christ,” i.e. the Mediator’s law, which is, like himself, “full of evangelical grace and truth.”

To the many arguments which I have advanced in the Checks in defence of this law, I shall add one more, taken from Heb. vii, 12:”The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” From these words I conclude, that if the law under which the Jews were, was of necessity changed when God substituted the priesthood of Christ for that of Aaron, much more was the Adamic law of paradisiacal innocence of necessity changed, when God gave to Adam by promise “the Bruiser of the serpent’s head, the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.”

For if a change in the external priesthood of necessity implied a change of the Mosaic law, how much more did the institution of the priesthood itself necessarily imply a change of the Adamic law, which was given without any mediating priest!

If Mr. Hill, therefore, will do our doctrine justice, we entreat him to consider that “we are not without law to God,” nor yet under a Christless law with Adam; but “under a law to Christ,” that is, under the law of our royal Priest, the evangelical “law of liberty:” a more gracious law this, which allows a sincere repentance, and is fulfilled by loving faith. Now as we shall be “judged by this law of liberty,” we maintain not only that it may, but also that it must be kept; and that it is actually kept by established Christians, according to the last and fullest edition of it, which is that of the New Testament.

Nor do we think it “shocking,” to hear an adult believer say, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law [of innocence, or the letter of the Mosaic law] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be [evangelically] fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” Rom. viii, 2, &c.

Reason and Scripture seem to us to confirm this doctrine: for we think it is far less absurd to say that the king and parliament make laws which no Englishman can possibly keep; than to suppose that Christ and his apostles have given us precepts which no Christian is able to observe: and St. James assures us the evangelical law of Christ and liberty is that by which we shall stand or fall in judgment: “So speak ye, and so do,” says he, “as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty,” James ii, 12.

We find the Christian edition of that law, in all parts of the New Testament, but especially in our Lord’s sermon on the mount, and in St. Paul’s description of charity. We are persuaded, with St. John and St. Paul, that as “sin is the transgression,” so penitential, pure “love is the fulfilling of that evangelical law;” and therefore do not scruple to say with the apostle, “that he who loveth another hath fulfilled it; and that there is no occasion of stumbling, i.e. no sin in him;” fulfilling the law of Christ, and sinning, (in the evangelical sense of the word,) being as diametrically opposite to each other as obeying and disobeying, working righteousness and working iniquity.

We do not doubt but, as a reasonable, loving father never requires of his child, who is only ten years old, the work of one who is thirty years of age; so our heavenly Father never expects of us, in our debilitated state, the obedience of immortal Adam in paradise, or the uninterrupted worship of sleepless angels in heaven. We are persuaded, therefore, that, for Christ’s sake, he is pleased with an humble obedience to our present light; and a loving exertion of our present powers; accepting our Gospel services “according to what we have, and not according to what we have not.”

Nor dare we call that loving exertion of our present power, sin, lest by doing so we should contradict the Scriptures, confound sin and obedience, and remove all the landmarks which divide the devil’s common from the Lord’s vineyard. And if at any time we have exaggerated the difficulty of keeping Christ’s law, we acknowledge our error, and confess that, by this mean, we have Calvinistically traduced the equity of our gracious God, and inadvertently encouraged the Antinomian delusions.

To conclude. We believe, that although adult, established believers, or perfect Christians, may admit of many involuntary mistakes, errors, and faults; and of many involuntary improprieties of speech and behaviour; yet so long as their will is bent upon doing God’s will; so long as they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; so long as they fulfil the law of liberty by pure love, they do not sin according to the Gospel: because (evangelically speaking) “sin is the transgression, and love is the fulfilling of that law.”

Far then from thinking that there is the least absurdity in saying daily, “Vouchsafe to keep me this day without sin,” we doubt not but in the believers, who “walk in the light as Christ is in the light,” that deep petition is answered,the righteousness of the law, which they are under, is fulfilled; and, of consequence, an evangelically sinless perfection is daily experienced.

I say evangelically sinless, because, without the word evangelically, the phrase “sinless perfection” gives an occasion of cavilling to those who seek it, as Mr. Wesley intimates in the following quotation, which is taken from his “Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” p. 60:”To explain myself a little farther on this head:

(1.) Not only sin, properly so called, that is, a voluntary transgression of a known law; but sin, improperly so called, that is, an involuntary transgression of a Divine law, known or unknown, needs the atoning blood.

(2.) I believe there is no such perfection in this life as excludes these involuntary transgressions which I apprehend to be naturally consequent on the ignorance and mistakes inseparable from mortality.

(3.) Therefore sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself.

(4.). I believe a person filled with the love of God is still liable to these involuntary transgressions.

(5.) Such transgressions you may call sins if you please: I do not, for the reasons above mentioned.”

Last Check To Antinomianism Section I by John Fletcher

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9 Responses to “John Fletcher’s Position On Sinless Perfection”

  1. 1. Annie Hope Says:

    If our flesh has been put to death by the Spirit and we are Born of God’s seed or have God’s Spiritual D.N.A and are no longer in bondage to sin and we have the mind of Christ and He lives His life through us than how can we continue to sin. Jesus doesn’t sin by accident, or by omission, or through ignorance so how can we sin in anyway if we are in Christ Jesus.

    What I find with people is they mistake weaknesses and shortcommings in themselves and in others and regard them as sin, this is why we are not to Judge them or we judge ourselves it’s like looking into a mirror.

    But in regards to sin we are to Judge those in the Church not according to our agenda but God’s and with Love as our Motivation. Not to warn someone we love when they are heading for hell is more about us then them and our wanting acceptance and our love is worldy not of God.

    1Jn 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother.

  2. 2. Annie Hope Says:

    God’s Truth is indeed a Treasure available for all of us who call on His name, but sadly a lot overlook the obvious and believe what they have been taught or have heard in their daily walk regardless of the fact that many Scriptures contradict that we can’t achieve Godly Perfection or Holiness.

    William Wilberforce life story is interesting, He was very instrumental in abolishing Slavery, but what saddens me is that there is an even greater slavery that Christians as well as unbelievers are subject to today and they are not even aware of it, they have believed the Lie of Satan that they will always walk in sin and can never be perfected and so they deny the power that is available to them in Christ Jesus to be set free, their godliness is based on their own effort not the Lord’s empowering.

    William Wilberforce thought that suppressing evil in it’s various forms would stop the Flesh Slavery of the Christian, but there is only one way and that is true repentance and to allow the Holy Spirit to put to death the flesh as we seek by His empowering to walk in Love, in this way we will be Born again of God’s seed or Spiritual D.N.A.

    None of the Scriptures below are talking about when the early Christians die they are taking about their time on earth some even say they are perfected, we need to open our eyes and stop living in denial, if we don’t seek for perfection we will not achieve it in Christ Jesus……..ask and we will receive…. He will empower us.

    Jn 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world

    Was Jesus Perfect or not ? then if we are to be as He is in this world so will we be.

    2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.

    Paul was to receive the crown of righteousness, because he was righteous not when he was dead but when he was on this earth he had finished the course which was to be made complete in Christ Jesus in other words he was perfected but when he actually died we are not told.

    Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    It does not say they waited till they died, in Truth they say……. let’s leave all other teaching behind such as repentance or believing in God this was because they had already done this and had faith, they now were to seek perfection.

    1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

    This is not talking about when we die as you will see if you read it in context

    Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.

    God would have said …. well you will be perfect in Heaven like me… but He does not say this he tells us to be perfect now on earth.

    Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

    As you can see some are already perfected.

    Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast Loved them, as thou hast Loved me.

    If we are dead then world can’t see that Jesus was sent by God and that in Him we are perfected and are one with the Father.through Christ Jesus.

    2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    As you can see …. To be equipped for good works we need to be perfected.

    2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    If we are not perfected as you can see God cannot fellowship with us this is not saying He does not Love us but He cannot be in Unity with our sinful flesh.

    Christian Regards - Annie Hope

  3. 3. Annie Hope Says:

    One thing that many say that is wrong according to Scripture is ….. that the only reason Jesus had to die was so we could be forgiven of our sins…… the Scriptures tell us He also died so we can be set free from the bondage of sin’s control which makes us a slave to it’s commands, so when we are set free we will no longer sin but do what is righteous.

    This error or omission in Teaching is because some people including some Theologians and Preachers are trying to justify their own sin or excuse it by saying it’s ok because everyone sins till they die including Christians, we are just forgiven, but this is not what the Scriptures tell us. Yes we are forgiven because of God’s foreknowledge of our heart repentance then when our flesh is put to death by the Spirit as we choose to walk in Love by the empowering of the Holy Spirit we no longer continue to sin.

    Think about it if our flesh nature is what causes us to sin and then it is put to death do we go on sinning? and the Scriptures are not talking about when we die because it is referring to our time on earth and our position in Christ Jesus as we walk with Him day by day. If we Love God and others than we do not choose to sin we keep the commandments not because we have to or in our own strength, this is impossible to do without the flesh being put to death, but we keep them because we want to because we Love. When we have the mind of Christ we will choose to walk in Love can Jesus choose not to.

    John 8:34-36
    Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Romans 6:6- 7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died ( this is not talking about death of the body but death of the flesh ) has been freed from sin.

    Romans 6:17-19 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness ( which is perfection )

    Romans 8 5- 17 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. or if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s Children. Now if we are Children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.

    1Jn 3:4-11 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should Love one another.

    Christian Regards - Annie Hope

  4. 4. Annie Hope Says:

    As we know people will not change unless they see their need to change and today many known as Christians believe they don’t need to change even though they are still sinning and profess to be Christians and yet the Scriptures tell us this is not so. Jesus tells us we don’t have because we don’t ask , so why don’t they ask, because they are told it is ok to continue to sin because they are forgiven, or we all sin until we die because we are only human, which is not True, when we are in Christ Jesus we are lifted up with Him and are in Truth strangers on this earth and like aliens compared to those who are still worldly.
    Sadly not only do they continue to sin they look the other way when others sin. Their excuse is that they must not judge others but this is True only in regards to those in the world, we do not know their final destination, they may come to heart repentance even on their deathbeds. But the Scriptures tell us we are to judge those in the Church, who continue to sin, but not weakness and shortcomings with a critical spirit only with a desire to help and with acceptance of them as our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord and we are to thankfully accept help when others offer help to us. We are also not to judge anyone by our own understanding but by God’s Truth as revealed by His written word and confirmed by the Living word and when we correct, rebuke and warn we do not condemn and insult others, it is with Love and with a humble spirit.

    Psalm 24:3-5 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Saviour.

    Psalm 51:9-10 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

    Philippians 1:9-10 And this is my prayer: that your Love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

    Philippians 2:14-16a Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—

    1 Timothy 1:5-6 The goal of this command is Love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

    James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you.Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

    Colossians 3:1-3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    Colossians 3:1-17 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    1 Peter 2:7-12 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, he stone the builders rejected has become the capstone and a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message which is also what they were destined for. But you are a Chosen People, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a People belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

    As we continue on our journey seeking perfection we look to the Lord for our strength and know that it is Him who has chosen us by His foreknowledge and it is Him who will conform us to the likeness of Christ Jesus His son as we choose to put to death our sinful flesh nature by the Spirit as we walk in Love we are indeed aliens and strangers on earth for we have the empowering of the Holy Spirit to live Godly and Holy Lives and it is as we walk in Christ Jesus that we have no fear because he will keep us strong till the end

    2 Corinthians 1: 21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

    1Jn 3:4-11 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a Child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother. This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should Love one another.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 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. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.

    We remember always that no matter how Life or wrong choices impact us for bad, we are Loved greatly by a God that can do no evil and what He has started He will finish in Love and through Love, because He is Love.

    I will be in touch again Take Care in Christ Jesus - Christian Love Annie Hope

  5. 5. Annie Hope Says:

    Some say seeing no wrong in others is having a Pure heart, if this is so then Jesus and Paul and the early Christians had it wrong, because going by the Scriptures they were very aware of the flesh nature in those around them, so then what is a pure heart ?. Well it’s not having an easy going or laid back personality, or is it looking the other way when we see sin, in regards to the Church God tells us to correct, rebuke and warn those in the Church who are sinning without repentance, to do so means we have to judge that they are sinning, not of course by our own agenda but by God’s, and how can we not have righteous anger when we hear of injustice or Children being used and abused, so what then is a pure heart?

    Well it’s not putting on a mask and being happy clappy all the time but hurting inside, that’s not what the Scriptures mean when they tell us to be Joyful always. Inner Joy is the assurance that regardless of what happens to us God will bring good out of it and that He Loves us greatly and what He has planed for us is something more wonderful then we can imagine. We can have inner Joy even with tears in our eyes or as we grieve for the loss of a Loved one even knowing their destination is to be with the Lord we will still grieve but not like those who have no hope, or we may experience pain at being hurt by someone we Love deeply or as we see Church members sinning without repentance
    or we may feel righteous anger as we listen to a message where God’s Truth is being distorted.

    Yes there will be times we will experience emotional highs and feeling of happiness and well being as the Holy Spirit lifts us, at these times our Joy will overflow and will be unable to be contained, we will bust forth in Praise for our Lord and King, or we will have deep feelings of thankfulness and awe which will bring tears of Joy to our eyes and we won’t be able to find the words to express the Love we have in our heart for God. At other times in our Joy we will just rest in the assurance of our worth in the Lord and quietly go about the work He has planned for us to do with gratitude that we have been counted worthy regardless of what our background was …we only have to remember Paul said he was the worst of sinners and God knew that King David would fall into sin but He also knew David would come to repentance and so He was chosen by God and anointed as King and of course there was Rahab and so on.

    So what does it mean to have a pure heart… It means we are cleansed from all contamination of the world, which happens after True and heartfelt repentance, it is then that our hearts are laid bear before our Mighty and wonderful God of Love and He in His Love- filled mercy washes away all the affects of sin and decay, which means we are cleansed of all unrighteousness, we have been perfected in Holiness, our sins have been forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west and God does not keep a record of them. Our hearts then in humbleness and respect with awe will acknowledge the Sovereignty of God and our Trust and dependence on Him will be as a small Childs towards their Parents. We will have the mind of Christ and be able to discern what is of God and what is not. We will passionately share God’s Truth and stand up for it regardless of the cost. We will have righteous anger towards what God calls evil, but we will have God’s Love and compassion for those who fall into sin and we will seek to bring them to repentance even if discipline needs to be used, and when they repent turning from evil to good we will restore them Lovingly into the Body of Christ…

    Also having been washed purified by the blood of Christ and by the Spirit who puts to death our flesh as we choose to walk in Love by His empowering, we will be Born again with God’s seed or as some call it His Spiritual D.N.A which means will we will no longer sin, we will not delight in evil so our focus will be pure and because we walk in Christ Jesus and He lives His Life through us, we will long for His return with the Hope and assurance grown in Faith that all that has been promised by God will come to fruition and we will have complete Agape Love for everyone including God and ourselves knowing who we and who others are in the Lord …. this is in Truth the passion of Christ …….and this is what it means to have a pure heart… this is in Truth Christ’s heart, He was without sin in a depraved and wicked world and so will we be with His pure Heart.

    I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned I can agree with Paul when he said at one time on his Journey …Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

    But I seek with the Lord’s leading and empowering to be able to say the same as Paul one day… I … 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

    May God continue to bless us all showing us His mercy and compassion born in Love as we seek to be perfect as He is. Christian Love - Annie Hope.

  6. 6. Annie Hope Says:

    P.S…. So often people say…. ” what is it all about and do I really count ” sadly even in the Churches some say this, or they say after all we are just dust ……. and that is True of our creation and God in His compassion and mercy remembers that this is so before we are perfected, but as the Scriptures also tell us, wonderfully He sees that we will be perfected and made Holy, when we are in Christ Jesus and so we are not worthless sinners who are not worthy to eat the crumbs off the floor this is because we are no longer separated by the Law, we are in unity with Christ Jesus and predestined by God’s foreknowledge of our hearts Repentance to be conformed into His Likeness … How good is that!

    Romans 8:29
    For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.

    1 Peter 2:9 But you are a Chosen People, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a People belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light…

    Christian Love Annie Hope

  7. 7. Annie Hope Says:

    Hi Bob thank you for the opportunity to share from my heart I have appreciated this very much, this now is the Conclusion of my writings on Sinless Perfection there is of course always more we can enlarge on and I have done this a few times, so sorry if at times my writing appeared repetitious but I felt it was needed. Thank you once again Bob and may you be greatly blessed in your Ministry.

    Conclusion
    No doubt many have wondered how it will be on Judgment day, perhaps they even have felt fear and shame that the wrong we have done will be heard by all and we feel shame and dismay just thinking about it. We imagine a court room full of on lookers all those who are righteous and we grieve at the thought that they will be witnesses to our past shameful misdeeds…….. But there is some wonderful Truths in the Scriptures that we can hold onto which reveals a different picture .

    On this Day there will be no accusations for those who are in Christ Jesus so Satan or the Devil, the great liar and accuser of all of God’s Redeemed Children, will not be able to accuse us of any wrong we have done, the reason why is revealed in Scripture for all to see and one reason why is he will not be there to accuse us.

    The other Truths are that when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour repenting from the heart of all our sins and turning away from evil seeking to do good in the Power of the Holy Spirit, our debt as the Scriptures tells us was Paid In Full because when we confess our sins, God is just and will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness and so we will than walk in righteousness because our flesh nature as been put to death by the Holy Spirit, as we chose to walk in Love by His empowering, so we have been Born again and we have God’s seed.
    (1 James 3:1-10 )

    How wonderful that God does not keep a record of wrongs, our sins were taken as far away as is the East is from the West, they are no more, so they will not be held up for all to see, the slate is clean, and there will be no shame for us… Jesus bore it all on the cross.

    So when we Stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and the Books are open, because our names are written in the Lambs book of Life and not just in the Book of all those who have lived, what we will give an account of is the good works that God prepared in advance for us to do. But even in this God knows our hearts because it was Him who equipped and motivated us to achieve them and also gave us the strength to Stand firm and Persevere as we Trusted in Him…… Yet as incredible as it seems, we will be rewarded and also receive the Crown of Life Eternal and of righteousness for all that He has done through us and when we bow our knee it will be in Love
    not fear and the Lord will say in Loving kindness to us…….

    Well done good and faithful servant you are my friend.

    As stated Satan will not be able to condemn us because he will not be there, the Scriptures reveal this in - (Psalms1:5 - 5:4-10 -101:7) and others, they tell us that the wicked will not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.Yes all those who have sinned and not come to real repentance will be judged, but not with us or in the same way.

    We hold onto this Truth and don’t let Satan deceive you and cause you to fear, remember that Jesus is our Defender and in Him we are set free, not just at the end of time, but everyday as we walk in Him which means we do not continue to sin because He does not sin and He gives us the Strength to resist any temptation that Satan my throw at us, none will be greater then we can resist as we walk in God’s Love and Satan flees because Love and evil can’t co-exist… God’s Love is the greatest Power in Heaven and on earth.

    “Jesus Christ Loves us with an everlasting Love. So we need to “repent from the heart” and be genuinely ’sorry’ for all our sins whether previous, present and any we may unknowingly commit in the future before we are perfected and we need to turn from evil and do good not in our strength but the Lords, Jesus is our…

    Heavenly Advocate and Eternal Friend and as we walk in Him we respond in Love as He did from our heart and not out of fear…

    “There is nothing else that needs to be done. Jesus has done it all He died on the Cross so we might have eternal life and no shame on Judgment day, we have already passed from death to Life our Judgment is finished our accountability will be for rewards for the good we have done in Christ’s name.
    As God’s redeemed Children all those He has known from the beginning of time by His foreknowledge of our heart’s repentance we have received His unmerited Mercy.

    Judgment has been passed and we can say with confidence our Debt has indeed been paid in full.

    Take Care in Christ Jesus - Christian Love Annie Hope

  8. 8. Annie Hope Says:

    There is a difference from falling into sin and falling away, the first we can be forgiven of the second is rejecting Jesus Christ eternally but this is because there was no True Salvation in the first place they may have even had Spiritual gifts ( King Saul ) and had communion with God in the Church body ( Ananias, with Sapphira ) and knew all that was necessary for Salvation ( Judas ) but they did not come to true heart repentance so were not sealed and Born again of God’s seed or perfected in Love, they cannot be brought back to true Repentance because they will never seek it and never did to do so would be saying Jesus death was not enough to heal them of the curse or save them for Salvation the first time when they rejected Him and so they would be crucifying Him all over again.

    But we must be carful not to judge anyone’s heart focus, we can not know their Destiny by outward appearances, repentance is of the heart but they will bear good fruit if there is genuine repentance coming from Salvation when the flesh is being put to death.

    Take Care in Christ Jesus – Christian Love Annie Hope

  9. 9. Annie Hope Says:

    Have you heard the Gospel according to Love, Grace and Mercy…

    These three awesome Blessings or Gifts show us we need to have the assurance that God is a Loving Merciful God and that it is not His will that anyone perishes, He tells us He goes after the His Lost Sheep … why is a person lost ? because they have fallen into sin, but not away, meaning they did not reject The Lord Jesus Christ as their Redeemer or their Salvation in Him, to sin wilful is to sin against the Body and blood of Christ by deliberately teaching against them such as Cults do, they are Wolves in Sheep’s clothing.

    The lost Sheep sin because they have not been perfected in Love or Born again of God’s seed, Jesus is our Advocate and seeking His forgiveness through repentance shows we are not wilfully sinning or committing the unforgivable sin which is blaspheming The Holy Ghost, calling the good He does evil and this is done deliberately by false teachers as they condemn and slander Him and God’s Children, this is not referring to the many who have been deceived or hurt by others flesh nature, but those the Scriptures warn us about, the wolves in sheep’s clothing . Yes we have in Christ Jesus the strength to resist any temptation, He is our way out but what if we don’t call on Him and we do sin, does it mean we have lost our Salvation? so we are forever doomed ?

    No it means we have not been Born again, our fleshy sin nature has not been put to death, but if we a Child of God known to Him from Eternity as accepting His gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus through heart repentance, then we will be forgiven and when we are perfected and sealed by the Holy Spirit we will no longer choose to sin we have been set free from it’s bondage but if we do sin we have not believed by faith that we are set free so until we understand this Truth like the Old Testament Saints we are covered by God’s grace through the blood of Jesus but unlike them we don’t need to make animal sacrifices because Jesus is the final sacrifice. If we go on choosing to sin then we have not come to real heart repentance which means to turn away from evil and so we are also the sheep that are lost, like the Prodigal Son…so can we be saved ? yes if we are a Child of God we already are and were before we were Born, but we haven’t been perfected or Born again of God’s seed 1 John 3:9 or conformed into the image of His Son and we don’t have the mind of Christ who never chooses to sin. If we continue to sin we have not come to true heart repentance and accepted the gift of Salvation which will be shown in our words and actions but not by our pumping up the flesh but through the empowering of The Holy Spirit as we choose to walk in Love.

    Thanking you for your time – Christian Love Anne

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