Saint or Sinner - Confidence or Cowardice
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1Cor 15:34
See outlines on Perfection, and Sanctification to gain a better grasp of the backdrop of these issues.
Read Romans 6-8 and the conclusion in chapter 12 (9-11 are a parenthesis) a half dozen times (seriously) to get the bigger picture.
1John also addresses these issues in many verses, so it would be beneficial to read that letter multiple times as well.
Look up the words for saint, confidence, boldness, perfect(ion) and if you’ve got extra time, sin, sinner, etc.
I. Does the NT view believers as Saints or Sinners?
(see www.stopsinning.net for a comprehensive consideration)
A. What changes occur in a believer’s life after they accept Christ? When do these occur? Are they automatic? If not, how do we experience them?
Do believers have any control over whether they sin? Is sin to be our daily experience?
How does reading Romans 6 and 8 shed light on chapter 7? How is Rom 12 the conclusions to 6-8? Why is Rom 7 often taken out of context?
What thoughts/values and then excuses or rationalizations go through our minds when we sin or are tempted to sin?
Daniel 6:22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths because I was found innocent before Him; and I have done no wrong before you (see 1:8)
Job1:8 Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"
David Ps 17:1Hear a just cause, O LORD, Attend to my cry; Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips. 2 Let my vindication come from Your presence... 3 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4 Concerning the works of men, By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer
Gen 6:9 (Noah) 2Kg 20:3 (Hez) Mt 5:48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1Pt 1:15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
Ac 23:1 Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."
Ac 24:16 "This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
1Cor 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
1Thess 2:10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us... 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Jude4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness/lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cor 10:12 let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Eph 6:10 be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might... that you may be able to stand...14 Stand therefore...
2Cor 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."...
B. Define holiness and sanctification .What is progressive sanctification? Define grace and mercy. How do they differ from each other? (see Grace outline)
How should believers change/grow in holiness/Christlikeness? Is there a timetable? How should we respond to slow changers?
Where does or should a person settle on the continuum between always sinning and never sinning?
1Jn 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
2Cor 7:1 having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Heb 13:21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus
2Cor 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work
II. Should a believer look forward to or dread the judgment seat of Christ?
Is there a difference in the confidence level of a mature self-sacrificial disciple and a immature, sinning believer?
What would cause eager confidence and anticipation of Christ’s return to judge? What would cause one to shrink from His judgment?
Rom 8:23 we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
Heb 3:6 Christ... own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
Heb 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
1Jn 2:28 little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
1Jn 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
1Jn 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
2Tim 4: 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Heb 6:10 God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
III. Is there such a thing as “The Victorious Christian Life”?
Is it God’s intent that we always live as defeated disciples? How does a believer walk in consistent victory?
Can we please God by doing or not doing certain things? How does a believer please God?
Where are you on the Dead-Alive spectrum from Rom 6:11 (see TOYL: Ain’t Gonna Reign No More) How can you move further along?
Rom 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Col 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
1Thess 2:4 we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts
1Thess 2:15 killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men
1Thess 4:1 we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound... as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
2 Tim 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Heb 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please Him...must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
2 Cor 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him...(see v 10).
Phil 4:18 I have all and abound. I am full, having received... from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
Titus 2:9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back,
Heb 13:21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ...
1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.