Status Update on a friends FB Wall: "Be holy, because I am holy." How can one be holy?
FB User 1: The trick is striving for holiness. "None are holy. No not one." But it also says "without holiness, we can not see the kingdom of God." So how we strive fore holiness is by sanctification and setting ourselves apart and actually living like jesus did and living up to the name "christian" which means "little christ".
Me: Read the entire chapter (Mt 5). The answer is there
My Friend: So is it possible to "be" holy? Or will we always fall short?
Me: It's possible or this whole thing is a farce and/or Jesus didn't know what he was talking about. I'm going with Jesus and not popular erroneous Christian theology. They can think its unachievable all they want. I'm not drinking THAT koolaid! :)
FB User 2: I agree with FB User 1. Being holy doesn't mean "striving for sinlessness", as some churches teach, but it means to be "set apart", seeking to be mature in Christ, and not be conformed to our former worldly lusts before we were saved (see 1 Peter 1:13-16).
Me: FBU2: but there's no sin in holiness. Israel was set apart but wasn't found holy because of their sin. Holiness is more then just "set apart", scripturally
FBU1: @allan-- they're location was set apart. But not they're hearts and they're actions
Me: FBU1: That's my point. They were set apart as a People (humans), unto God. A Nation of Kings and Priests. Their sin found them to be unholy. Holiness, scripturally, isn't just to be set apart and has the absence of sin. Holiness absolutely/biblically means "striving"/pursuing sinlessness contrary to what FBU2 was saying
FBU1: True:) what I meant by set apart though is to be different from the world and not be a slave to sin (1 john 3:19)
Me: FBU1: yes. "sinless" :)
FBU1: Oh ok. I see what your saying!! I was confused for a second!! Haha yeah I have to disagree with FBU2 on the point. Paul definitely made it clear that we are not suppose to sin.. "Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?? Certainly not!" And jesus himself even said.. Can a "good" tree produce bad fruit" or can a fig tree produce thorns? He even took it to the extent of saying... "If I find a tree that bears fruit that isn't pleasing to me I will chop it down and cast it into hell".
FBU2: The problem is Allan, is we will always have sin in our mortal bodies until we are resurrected. Paul explains that in Romans, especially in Chapter 7. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 John 8). If we could achieve "sinlessness" on our own, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die. Sin is falling short of God's law. The Pharisees tried to be sinless, and Jesus rebuked them.
Me: FBU1: Yup. and this goes against most popular church teaching.
FBU2: Not so. Also, Romans 7 is speaking about the Torah of Moses. Either way, Paul's teaching doesn't/wouldn't trump the teaching of Jesus, who said to be perfect and holy, nor would it contradict the teaching of Jesus. Are you suggesting that?
You also mis quote 1 John 8. John's teaching would also not trump the teaching of Jesus nor would it contradict it.
Who on here ever suggested we could achieve sinlessness on our own? No one on here has even hinted at that. Not a single comment has been made suggesting taking the death of Jesus out of the equation. I know I haven't.
You also state that "sin is falling short of God's law". Are you Torah observant? (that was a question not a challenge) :)
I agree that being Torahless is sin but by making that comment you support my original post.
My original post said that the answer to Shawn's question was found in Mt 5 where Jesus defines how He's going to "fulfill" Torah. He also praises the one that observes and teaches others to observe Torah and "curses" the one that doesn't observe and teaches others not to observe. Then He goes on to define how He was going to fulfill Torah (the greek word for fulfill in this chapter means to expand and give legs - not "do away with") and then after saying all that, Jesus concludes this portion of the sermon on the mount with "Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." - and should there be any confusion regarding what Jesus means by "therefore", the greek means "then, therefore, accordingly, consequently, these things being so".
So, one must be Torah compliant in order to even be able to achieve perfection like our Father in heaven (holiness), according to Jesus, and any interpretation of this chapter or the teachings of John and Paul that you ("you" generally speaking) use to conclude that we are not required to or incapable of being holy/perfect isn't the gospel (teaching) of Jesus or His disciples or of the Father.
And Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for other things, not for "trying to be sinless".
FBU2: It all depends on where your focus is. Since we are walking in grace now, not bondage, we have peace with God. We should focus on God and not our sin. He is sanctifying us daily and conforming us to the image of his Son. If we walk with Him in obedience, love and grace, then the desire to sin will diminish as we grow in Christ.
Allan: In Matthew 5:48, Jesus is talking about being perfected in love(verse 43 - 48), not sin. Paul explains in Romans that God's law was put in place to reveal how sinful we are and not that we can live up to it. If you interpret what Jesus says the way you do, it will contradict what Paul and the rest of the new testament says. I am curious as to what church you attend that led you to this type of scriptural interpretation?
Me: FBU2: absolutely not. You have to completely take v43-48 out of context (as you have) to conclude that. Ch 5 - 7 is a contextual teaching. It's known as the Sermon on the Mount and is considered by everyone to be the definitive teaching/gospel of Jesus. You can not conveniently remove His teaching on Torah observance to suit your theology. You're also not understanding what Paul is saying in Romans and you're also taking that out of context. Contextually, Paul says in Romans that he was blameless in regards to Torah observance and that the Torah is holy, just and good. The Torah, Paul says in Romans, is for blessing and cursing (revealing sin) and your misquote about not being able to live up to it regards living up to it, contextually, as the means of atonement and the legalistic observance of Torah commands. You have to keep it contextual. You just can't use a verse standalone.
As far as "interpretation", all one has to do is understand the original intent (Greek & Hebrew) and that Jesus and the writers of the NT were Torah observant Jews. It's pretty simple.
Regarding your comment that my "interpretation" of Jesus contradicts Paul and the NT: what you need to understand is that everything Paul and everything NT is entirely based on the OT & Jesus who was the living incarnation of the OT (Word made flesh). So that would be incorrect. Also, the NT doesn't teach that the Torah is no longer applicable to Christians. That's what you've been told.
FBU2: With all respect to you, Allan, it looks like some of your doctrinal beliefs (as you yourself said earlier), differ from the rest of the mainstream church. I'm not saying that everything that I believe doctrinally is totally correct, but when a question comes up like this I try to find the answers there first. An organization that has been around a long time is the Christian Research Institute, and I called them and they gave me a reference on the subject we are talking about at the following address: http://www.equip.org/perspectives/the-error-of-perfectionism. I hope you, FBU1 and My Friend will read and consider it and contact them if you have further questions. Blessings :)
Me: (completely perplexed) heh... When did I ever state that I had "reached a state of sinless perfection" (to quote the article you suggest I read)? Did you even read any of my comments?
It would behoove "mainstream" Christianity to grasp the reality that Jesus and the writers of the NT were Torah observant Jews (and not nonTorah observant Greeks and Romans) and that they based their teaching and writings on the OT and not on 2000 years of Greek and Roman linear thought processes of a cyclical Hebrew concept. That realization would go a long way in restoring the Church and preparing her to ready herself as the bride.
As far as the "Christian Research Institute", Hank Hanegraaff can be your go to guy but I'm not interested. Thanks anyways! :)
I shared this with you to give you an idea of the challenge involved with speaking biblical truth, Jewish roots or not. People are preprogrammed and any possible varient to their thought process is threatening. If it's at all possible that their foundational beliefs are erroneous, then they have nothing to base their life on and fear sets in. This happens when you have an association with an idea (Christianity) verses a relationship with the Father - in the Son - through the Spirit.
They say that upwards of 80% of the US population affiliates themselves with "Christianity". Of that, 48% (if my memory serves me) are active in church going. Of that 48%, we can conclude that only 20% are actually living an interactive relationship with God based on the data.
Many are called, few are chosen. Broad is the way and narrow is the gate. Only 50% of the virgins made it to the feast. As Angela has said, the Jewish roots is the oil in their lamps. I believe whole heartedly that a balanced and scriptural revelation of our biblical roots is paramount in determining that we are in the 20% projectile that are actively and aggressively engaged with the Father - the 5 virgins that were received by the Bridegroom.