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Sinlessly Perfect? I Doubt it [podcast]

Saints, we cannot possibly begin to appreciate this “so great salvation” that is Christ until we understand how lost, helpless, and alienated we were in our sin (Ephesians 2:1-10; Hebrews 2:3). We must study to understand the biblical doctrine of inherent sin, fallen mankind, and the holiness of God …. in order to begin to be able to appreciate the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

“If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.” Job 9:20

Speaking of king David’s imperfections, even nearing the end of his life on earth, one commentator writes:


“Surely there can be little ground for the doctrine of perfectionism, otherwise David, whose religion was so earnest and so deep, would have been nearer it now than this chapter shows that he was.” Expositor’s Bible


“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

I am not a good person, neither are you – “There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). Admit it. The sooner we become HONEST with that which is more than obvious, announcing freely and transparently – that there is “NOOOO good thing” in us except CHRIST, the sooner God will begin a new, deeper work in us! (Romans 7:18, 24) The Cross!

God is able to establish our hearts in His grace and to multiply His grace to us (Hebrews 13:9; 2 Peter 3:18)

ALL of our deeds are not perfect (1 John 1:8-10). “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). The truly righteous remain humble, teachable, and repentant. Note verse 21 saints:


“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:19-21

Saved by Divine Grace and Yet Now Made Perfect by Your Flesh?

“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3

The Galatian believers had begun their walk with Christ by responding to the conviction of the Spirit, repenting, putting their faith in Christ, and being regenerated. Yet, now they were allowing false teachers to seduce them back under the law, law-keeping for righteousness – to attempt to please God by their own self-will and performance.

Jesus’ disciples must live a set apart life. Living sinless? Well, it can be done: Here’s the key – “In him (Jesus) is no sin. He that abideth in him sinneth not” (1 John 3:5-6). We whom Jesus has saved must “cleanse ourselves from ALL filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Yet, the only way to be sinless is in presently abiding in Him and that begins with the essential of announcing our own poverty in self which is being poor/desperately dependent on Him in spirit (Matthew 5:3, 6). Yet some insist that they are perfect by their own will, ability, and doing. This is the exact error of the Galatians which caused them to fall from saving grace (Galatians 5:4). They left Christ for something else – law keeping. Leaving Christ, departing from faith, and casting off trusting fully in HIS saving grace,  is deadly. Realizing there is “NO good thing” in us except Christ, is essential to abiding saved in Him (Romans 7:18, 24; John 15:1-6). Galatians 3:3 says it all – “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). The great apostle of Jesus was desperate for the LORD, ever seeking His holy face and dreadfully not wanting “to be found having mine own righteousness which is of the law” (Philippians 3:9-10).

“The great secret of abiding in Christ is the deep conviction that we are nothing, and He is everything.” Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ

Heart purity and a sinless life emanate only from intimate union and abiding with a holy God. This occurs as we consent to the cross and not by human effort alone. Jesus raises up those who are truly bowed down – crucified with Christ (Psalms 145:14; 2 Corinthians 4:10-12; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3, etc.). One cannot possibly “stop sinning” until they come to Jesus and He saves them, making them new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Only then can the regenerated disciple “put off the old man” and “put on the new man” (Colossians 3:9-10). There MUST be something to “put off” …. that inherent sinful nature, otherwise no such language would be in Scripture (Colossians 3).

Beware of the sinless perfectionists who speak of overcoming sin outside of the daily cross and the saving, enabling grace of God. It’s only possible by God’s enabling grace in and through a true abiding relationship.

If we claim we are sufficient in and of ourselves and because of our own “natural ability” to do right, and can be perfect (which God requires) without Christ and our total trust IN HIM, we are apostate. Memorize Romans 4:4-5.

We cannot be “made perfect BY the flesh” or by means of our own self-will and effort alone. If that were possible WHY then did Jesus come? We are only perfect in the sense of Christ’s perfection AS we abide in Him (John 15:1-6). As we do, we will “walk in the light, as he is in the light … and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Here’s the whole verse:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Yes, we are “new creatures” in Christ and must humble ourselves before Him, put off the old man, put on the new man, and walk in the Spirit with Him. Yet, the victory Christ has wrought and ordained for us to walk in daily all begins with acknowledging instead of denying that there is something to deny and die to and “put off” (Colossians3:5; 2 Corinthians5:17-18). Denying that we have inclination toward sin is not the answer. Crucifying the deeds of the body by the power of the Holy Spirit is the answer (Romans 8:12-14). Many are getting hoodwinked by this self-righteous “I can do it with my own ‘natural ability’” spirit. This is a Christ-denying devil-exalting heresy, doctrine of devils (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Many who are not grounded in the grace and Word of Christ are adopting this error of Pelagianism which fosters self righteousness. They are aggressively teaching this sinless perfectionism (in the flesh) error to others. These people seem to have one common denominator – they have studied the teachings of Charles Finney or Mike Desario. Beware!

Many of those who preach sin without saving, rescuing, enabling, overcoming divine grace are perhaps still trapped in their own sins. They have no answer for others and therefore we should wonder if they have the LORD’s answer for and in their own lives. If they did, would they not be full of His great joy and sharing with others how to be delivered? Why are they content with condemning others in sin? Is God willing that ANY should perish? See 2 Peter 3:9.

Never forget to make a decision to be deepened in the essential truth that it’s “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” 

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7

WHEN we realize that God is “Holy, holy, holy,” we will no longer wrongly condemn others if they sin, just because the flavor of their sin differs from that sin which we’ve committed, knowing that the sin we committed was no less evil in the eyes of He alone who is “Holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).

G.R.A.C.E. = God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense

It’s only by God’s grace that we are found and saved by Him and kept and enabled to please Him which includes participating in holiness, separated unto the LORD, as He is holy (Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:8, etc.).

Titus 2 tells us that we are only saved by divine grace and only kept to the end by His enabling grace.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Titus 2:11-15

Deliverance from sin/sinning is only possible through faith, loving, worshiping, and obeying our LORD, that is, moment-by-moment abiding in Christ, the crucified life, being raised up by His Spirit (Romans 6; 8:13-14, etc.).

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” 1 John 3:3-6

Perfection is the perfect forgiveness and justification of the LORD which God brings about by His Spirit and our faith which always brings our adherence to the daily cross (Philippians 2:12-13). It’s divine perfection worked out in the abiding disciple as he walks in the Spirit abiding in Christ (Galatians 5:16, 25, etc.).

True OR Feigned Holiness?  |  Saving, Enabling Grace | Have We Ourselves Become Pharisees? | The Spirit of HolinessSupport | STORE | | Podcasts |

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