Summary: I can’t wait for that day when I will be made sinless in glory. Until that day I rest in the assurance that my sins are paid for because of what Christ did, with me in mind, on that cross two-thousand years ago. And I work toward living a life pleasing to
OBJECTIVE: To show that there are two destructive doctrines floating around the Christian church today: Sinless perfection and sinful conversion
INTRODUCTION: We begin tonight a two-part sermon series on two of the doctrines that are being taught today that I feel are very dangerous.
1. Sinful conversion: This is the wildly popular notion that one can come to Christ without repentance and all that is expected of us is to say a prayer and not experience any change
2. Sinless perfection: This doctrine teaches a perfectly sinless lifestyle after salvation, and that a person will never sin if they have really been converted, and if they do they are no longer saved
a. We will begin with ‘sinless perfection’ in tonight’s sermon, and end next week with the sermon on ‘sinful regeneration’. I urge you to encourage your unsaved or wavering friends to come next week, because the sermon will take a hard hitting look at what it means to experience true salvation through the renewing of the Holy Spirit
QUESTION: Most Christians, when asked the question, “have you ever doubted your salvation?” would answer yes. If we are honest we will most likely all admit that there have been a few times when we have doubted.
1. I believe that the reason for this is that many believe that after conversion we must live sinless lives to continue being saved
2. They believe that if they sin, they must then become re-saved or born-again, again
3. This is why people in some church movements are baptized many times over
4. Edwin Bliss said, "The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time."
QUOTE: A ‘sinless perfection’ preacher once stated that “one could live sinless, but he would make ‘a few errors and mistakes along the way.’”
Now, where did this preacher ever get the idea that errors and mistakes are not breaches of God’s Law?
God’s Law as revealed in the OT demands absolute perfection, and one error or mistake brings condemnation.
Listen to James 2:10 — "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
This verse says plainly that there are no ‘small’ sins or ‘insignificant’ sins. So, if we are living the Christian life and make an error, even if we consider it small, God reveals through His word that we have in essence broken all of His laws
So what does God’s Word tell us about our Christian life after conversion?
I. WE ARE CALLED TO BE PERFECT
READ: Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
a. ‘Perfect’ is not necessarily synonymous with ‘sinless’
b. In fact, I would like to introduce you to some ‘perfect’ people
i. The old saying goes, “there was only one perfect person – Jesus”
ii. The saying should go like this: “There was only one ‘sinless’ person – Jesus”
iii. The Word of God declares at least three who were considered perfect
1. Noah [Genesis 6:9 “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.”]
2. Job [Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”]
a. According to God’s Word, “all have sinned”, so we know their perfection was not based on their sinlessness
b. I believe in these cases the word perfection could be translated ‘genuine righteousness’
c. Because we know that no man is righteous on His own (Rom 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”), righteousness is imputed because of faith (James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”)
3. Lucifer [Ezekiel 28:15 “15You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.”]
a. I spent this week looking up the Hebrew and Greek definitions for all of the times ‘perfect’ is used in the Bible – there were about 10 different words translated as ‘perfect’
b. The word for perfect used in regard to Lucifer, who later became Satan, can be defined as ‘lacking nothing’
c. This may be why Satan fell, because he felt that if he was lacking nothing, he did not need God – This is called pride
c. Many people who believe they are living lives of ‘sinless perfection’ feel like they ‘lack nothing’ The salvation they have experienced is now merited by their behavior, and not the shed blood of Jesus
d. The most universal translation of ‘perfect’ I found was ‘complete’