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Thread: One on One: Sanctification (Elohiym vs. Chileice)

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    Over 5000 post club elohiym's Avatar
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    To whom it may concern:

    Chileice and I are going to have a 1 on 1 debate where we discuss the issue of sanctification: is it instantaneous at salvation, or is it a process? Can a born-again Christian sin, and if so, why? And if not, why not?

    Those are the parameters of the debate. Please read along if it interests you. We will hopefully have the thread up soon. Stay tuned.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    To whom it may concern:

    Chileice and I are going to have a 1 on 1 debate where we discuss the issue of sanctification: is it instantaneous at salvation, or is it a process? Can a born-again Christian sin, and if so, why? And if not, why not?

    Those are the parameters of the debate. Please read along if it interests you. We will hopefully have the thread up soon. Stay tuned.
    Here is my opening post. It is long. But I want to set out some history for the debate. May God bless all who read and the two of us who participate.

    As Elohiym has stated the debate is Sanctification: Instantaneous or a process?

    First, I would like to thank elohiym for this chance to present our diverse views on the doctrine of sanctification. As most of you know, elohiym and others hold to a view that once one becomes a Christian, this person can not sin and that if you do sin, you are not a Christian. In technical terms they believe in instantaneous perfectionism and complete sanctification at the moment of salvation. I will allow my fellow debater a chance to give you more details on his personal beliefs.

    For now, I wish to review a bit of Christian history, express my personal beliefs on this subject and give scriptural references to support what I am putting forth. In an agreement by PM, I will not ask elohiym any questions about his beliefs until he has also posted his first post, in which he will not ask me any questions about mine. After presenting our views, we will be free to scrutinize each other’s posts, ask questions and back up our own views or concede points where they need to be conceded. We will not name-call or claim victory or any of that stuff. We will let you, the readers, decide what you believe. If you want to discuss our points, please open another thread so that elohiym and I can concentrate on addressing one another without outside interference. Thank you.

    Throughout the history of the church, even the Catholic Church, up until the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which was called as a knee-jerk reaction to the advance of the early Protestants, justification was seen as the experience of becoming just in our standing before God at the moment of salvation as we are then 2in Christ” and sanctification was seen as a process whereby we “grow unto Christ.”

    Salvation relates to the whole being, an integrated being: body, mind and spirit. There were very few who disagreed with this vision of salvation, justification and sanctification and those who did were looked upo as heretics. An instant sanctification of a part of the person was unknown and salvation or justification for only a part of our being was viewed as heretical.

    For example, around 160 A.D. Marcion of Pontus led a group of so-called Christians and declared that only a shortened version of Luke was the true Gospel. He denied that the other writings were authoritative and he said that salvation was for our souls only and not for the body and that the body would not participate in salvation. He was roundly condemned as a heretic by other Christians of his day, and rightly so. The body is a part of who we are and will experience salvation as well as the soul. Yes, it will be reclothed and transformed, but it will experience the salvation of the Lord.

    The Gnostics also believed in a dualism that said the body was evil but the spirit was good and what the body did, did not matter. Not to go into all of the history, but the Gnostics were never seen as a part of true Christianity. Throughout the NT, sanctification is seen as a process, while justification is seen as instantaneous. Let me just leave a few verses for elohiym and our readers to ponder:

    Colossians 3 is very instructive on this topic:
    1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    Jesus is the CHOSEN ONE. He is the perfect one in whom our lives are hidden for that final day of salvation and sanctification. Paul would not have us SEEK anything if we were already made perfect.

    5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

    “Being renewed” implies an ongoing process, not a finished act. Yes, justification is finished. It was the work of Christ on the cross as we can see in chapter 2 of Colossians, but our sanctification is an ongoing process whereby we become more Christ-like.

    12Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    There would be no way to “put on” these Christian virtues had we already been made perfect, for we would have no need of them, having already obtained perfection.

    Charles Finney was the first real proponent of Christian perfectionism and that was not until the 1800s. While many people say the thought of John Wesley and his holiness movement contributed to its development, hereare Wesley’s own words on sanctification::
    "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. 5:17.
    I. 1. Is there then sin in him that is in Christ? Does sin remain in one that believes in him? Is there any sin in them that are born of God, or are they wholly delivered from it? Let no one imagine this to be a question of mere curiosity; or that it is of little importance whether it be determined one way or the other. Rather it is a point of the utmost moment to every serious Christian; the resolving of which very nearly concerns both his present and eternal happiness.
    2. And yet I do not know that ever it was controverted in the primitive Church. Indeed there was no room for disputing concerning it, as all Christians were agreed. And so far as I have observed, the whole body of ancient Christians, who have left us anything in writing, declare with one voice, that even believers in Christ, till they are "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," have need to "wrestle with flesh and blood," with an evil nature, as well as "with principalities and powers."
    3. And herein our own Church (as indeed in most points) exactly copies after the primitive; declaring in her Ninth Article, "Original sin is the corruption of the nature of every man, whereby man is in his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth contrary to the Spirit. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek jronhma sarkos, is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe, yet this lust hath of itself the nature of sin."
    4. The same testimony is given by all other Churches; not only by the Greek and Romish Church, but by every Reformed Church in Europe, of whatever denomination. Indeed some of these seem to carry the thing too far; so describing the corruption of heart in a believer, as scarce to allow that he has dominion over it, but rather is in bondage thereto; and, by this means, they leave hardly any distinction between a believer and an unbeliever.

    Source: http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/013.htm

    So even though Wesley felt a person could reach a stage where he did not sin, he still believed that we must struggle against it and that the believer can, and will sin.
    Finney’s doctrine was taken up largely by the Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s. Here is a quote from Dr. Paul W. Lewis writing on behalf of a Pentecostal research group and reflecting on their own history. The Pentecostal groups founded between 1901 and 1910, tended to include the idea of “instantaneous sanctification”. However, other groups formed later reverted to the standard Christian view that sanctification was a process:

    Within this period, there were two important events for Pentecostalism theologically. First, from 1910 to his death in 1912, William H. Durham of Chicago taught the ‘finished work’ doctrine, which suggested that there is not a second instantaneous experience called ‘instant sanctification’ subsequent and different from justification, rather justification is the initial work with progressive sanctification taking place after this initial conversion experience. The Pentecostal denominations founded before 1910, such as the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and the Church of God in Christ, which were established prior to Durham’s teaching, tended to follow the ‘Five-fold Gospel’ of Christ the savior, the healer, the sanctifier, the baptizer and the soon coming king. Sanctification being seen as another instantaneous and subsequent event to conversion. Other Pentecostal denominations founded after this teaching, such as the Assemblies of God (USA), and International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, tended to follow the ‘Four-fold Gospel’ of Christ the savior, the healer, the baptizer and the soon coming king, while Christ’s work of sanctification was part of His salvation work (see Clayton 1979).

    Source: http://www.pctii.org/cyberj/cyberj12/lewis.html

    I know this is a looong post. But I want to show that the standard view among Christians of all centuries has been that sanctification is an ongoing work in the life of the believer and that perfection is something we ultimately attain in heaven. Although some would say we don’t HAVE to sin and that we should certainly sin less as we grow in Christ, true final perfection awaits us when our true life irevealed in Christ. Until then, we grow unto Christ. That is my personal view as well. I am no longer a slave to sin, but sin can still work in me and trick me into doing what I do not truly wish to do. But when I succumb to that temptation, and yielding to temptation means an act of the will at some point, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the RIGHTEOUS one.

    I look forward to Elohiym's opening post and look forward to this debate. Thank you for reading and considering what you read,
    Chileice
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Old Timer Chileice's Avatar
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    Please be patient. I'm sure elohiym will post his first post as soon as he gets online. Then this thread should get a little more entertaining. In the meantime, thanks for waiting!
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Over 5000 post club elohiym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    As most of you know, elohiym and others hold to a view that once one becomes a Christian, this person can not sin and that if you do sin, you are not a Christian. In technical terms they believe in instantaneous perfectionism and complete sanctification at the moment of salvation. I will allow my fellow debater a chance to give you more details on his personal beliefs.
    Thank you, Chileice, for the opportunity to debate this important topic one-on-one. Unfortunately, you have misstated my position already, and I would ask that you not claim what I believe in this debate, but rather allow me to state what I believe. I will give you the same courtesy.

    The name Christian was first used at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to describe the disciples of a sect of Judaism. It is evident that Jesus and his Apostles were all practicing Jews, and Jesus himself stated that, "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). For a number of reasons, that I shall not elaborate on here, over time Christianity emerged as a religion separate from Judaism. My point is that Christian is merely label, and anyone can call themselves a Christian; but as Jesus stated, many who call themselves by this label in the end will be told by him, "depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mat 7:23). It is clear that a true follower of Christ Jesus, regardless of the label they choose, is one that does not "work iniquity," which is sin.

    My belief is that when one is born of God--when they are converted--one no longer sins. As the Apostle John wrote, "we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1Jo 5:18), and, "whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him" (1Jo 3:6). Since there are those who call themselves Christian, but are not born of God and still sin, I do not believe that a person who sins is not a Christian, but is not born of God--not converted, not saved.

    For this debate, I will use the terms "born again" and "converted" to describe one that has ceased from sin (1Pet 4:1), and omit the term Christian where practical. It was Christ Jesus that said, "except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:3). Our Lord never used the label "Christian." From my perspective, conversion follows sanctification and is not synonymous with it.

    My belief on sanctification is that it is instantaneous, not progressive. We have been consecrated, set apart by God and made holy. Jesus told Peter that he was, "clean every whit" (John 13:10), and told his followers, "ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3). To claim that sanctification is progressive is to deny the power of God, as if God would have to progressively part a sea bucket-by-bucket instead of making it part with a word. "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (Acts 10:15).

    In his opening post, my opponent has appealed to popularity, claiming the "standard view among Christians of all centuries has been that sanctification is an ongoing work." I ask the reader to not succumb to that logical fallacy, but instead let the word of God reveal the truth of the matter. Jesus warned us that the visible church would be corrupted (Mat 24:24), and John wrote that the spirit of antichrist was already at work during his day (1John 2:18). Popular opinions are like rear ends; everybody has one and they all stink. There is no authority to appeal to but the Holy Spirit declared in God's word.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Thank you, Chileice, for the opportunity to debate this important topic one-on-one. Unfortunately, you have misstated my position already, and I would ask that you not claim what I believe in this debate, but rather allow me to state what I believe. I will give you the same courtesy.
    I will refrain from putting words in your mouth. I apologize for any way I may have misstated your position.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    The name Christian was first used at Antioch (Acts 11:26) to describe the disciples of a sect of Judaism. It is evident that Jesus and his Apostles were all practicing Jews, and Jesus himself stated that, "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). For a number of reasons, that I shall not elaborate on here, over time Christianity emerged as a religion separate from Judaism.
    While I agree with the gist of this paragraph, let me mention a couple of things. John 4.22 says:
    “22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
    The Greek word “ek” is used for from. Most translations say “from: NIV, NASB and ESV included. Salvation was not just for the Jews but originated from them. I think we also have to make a VERY clear point here, one you may well agree with: No one asked for the cross and no one expected the resurrection. The first followers of Jesus were Jews, as you said but by the time they were in Antioch, they were transformed Jews. The cross FORCED them to be different. It was not expected by his band of followers even though Jesus tried to prepare them for it. The cross is the key to our earthly existence. If not for the cross and the resurrection, Christianity would NOT exist. So what happened on the cross is central to all we say or do as believers.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My point is that Christian is merely label, and anyone can call themselves a Christian; but as Jesus stated, many who call themselves by this label in the end will be told by him, "depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mat 7:23). It is clear that a true follower of Christ Jesus, regardless of the label they choose, is one that does not "work iniquity," which is sin.
    I agree that anyone can call themselves anything they want to and that calling oneself a Christian does not make one a Christian. As a matter of fact, Jesus condemned many who trusted in their own good works as proof that they were His. As you pointed out, Jesús said(Mt. 7):

    21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

    There will be people who thought they were doing God favours but they will be excluded. But the “workers of lawlessness” in this passage were actually people who did “good deeds”. So knowing Christ is NOT based on the doing of good deeds. Many New Testament passages make that clear. Ephesians 2:8-10 are one clear example. Perhaps the clearest is Titus 2.11 -3.8:

    11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
    15Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
    Titus 3
    1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.


    God’s grace appeared, not to condemn us, but to save us. (see also John 3.17) Yes, He wants to purify us, but we were not required to be pure for him to work the work of regeneration in our lives. We are also called to good works (3.8) which are PROFITABLE, not necessary to maintain our salvation. I do believe that a truly born-again believer will do good works, out of gratitude and out of a maturing relation with the ONE who loves him so much. But it is grace that saves and it is a grace work of God that keeps us, even if we sin. Notice that this passage says we were slaves to sin. We are no longer enslaved to sin. We can and should say NO. We now have the indwelling Holy Spirit who can give us a means of escape (1 Cor. 10.13) if we listen to his voice and respond.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My belief is that when one is born of God--when they are converted--one no longer sins. As the Apostle John wrote, "we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1Jo 5:18), and, "whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him" (1Jo 3:6). Since there are those who call themselves Christian, but are not born of God and still sin, I do not believe that a person who sins is not a Christian, but is not born of God--not converted, not saved.
    I honestly don’t understand how a person could be a Christian, and not be converted. I understand how a person could SAY he was a Christian and not be converted. But what you wrote here confuses me.
    QUESTION 1: Can you please clarify this thought a bit more for me? Thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    For this debate, I will use the terms "born again" and "converted" to describe one that has ceased from sin (1Pet 4:1), and omit the term Christian where practical. It was Christ Jesus that said, "except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:3). Our Lord never used the label "Christian." From my perspective, conversion follows sanctification and is not synonymous with it.
    QUESTION 2: I hear you saying that a person is actually sanctified BEFORE they are saved. Is that correct?

    QUESTION 3: Are you using the term “converted” to mean “saved”?
    To me a “converted” person is one who has received Jesus as His Lord and Saviour, trusting the work that He did upon the cross for his final and complete salvation. I understand salvation to be a present and a future act. When we accept Christ we are converted:

    He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Col. 1.13).

    We are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1):
    13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

    Then we await our final glorification which is the final step in our salvation pilgrimage. See Titus 2.11 above and 2 Timothy 4:
    7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.

    In the meantime, there is a life in Christ to live, an abundant life, one full of blessings but also full of temptations. Our growth in overcoming these temptations is our journey unto Christ, our roadway toward our final sanctification. Philippians 3 is quite clear on this:
    12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

    If Paul himself had not attained perfection, who am I to think that I will attain it on this side of heaven? That however, does not dissuade me from pressing on. I don’t want to go backwards. I want to go higher up and further on in my relationship and journey with my Saviour.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My belief on sanctification is that it is instantaneous, not progressive. We have been consecrated, set apart by God and made holy. Jesus told Peter that he was, "clean every whit" (John 13:10), and told his followers, "ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:3). To claim that sanctification is progressive is to deny the power of God, as if God would have to progressively part a sea bucket-by-bucket instead of making it part with a word. "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common" (Acts 10:15).
    Question 4: Do you have any children? 4a: If you do, Do you love them?Just so you know this is not a trick question, I have two children who are college aged and I love them very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    In his opening post, my opponent has appealed to popularity, claiming the "standard view among Christians of all centuries has been that sanctification is an ongoing work." I ask the reader to not succumb to that logical fallacy, but instead let the word of God reveal the truth of the matter. Jesus warned us that the visible church would be corrupted (Mat 24:24), and John wrote that the spirit of antichrist was already at work during his day (1John 2:18). Popular opinions are like rear ends; everybody has one and they all stink. There is no authority to appeal to but the Holy Spirit declared in God's word.
    While I agree that popularity is not always a good way to judge an issue, Christianity was NOT popular when it first came into being. People were persecuted for their beliefs and they held firm to their beliefs in spite of strong persecution. One of those first century Christian beliefs was a progressive sanctification of the believer. They could see that they were not perfect, but they knew that on day they would have "a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" and so they walked through this worl by faith, not by sight, not having already obtained the perfection they sought, but having known the PERFECT ONE who would later reward them with the glory they hoped for.
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Over 5000 post club elohiym's Avatar
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    Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). He said that "to those Jews which believed on him" (John 8:31). His statement to them is exactly what I say to Christians who believe on him today. The truth shall make you free. The reaction is the same as it was nearly 2000 years ago, "we are not in 'bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?'" What did Jesus tell them? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34). The same answer applies to Christians today. If you sin, you are a servant of sin. One cannot sin and not be a servant of sin.

    Those who remain servants of sin are called sinners. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. He said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mat 9:13), and, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lu 13:5). He was so emphatic about the need for repentance from all sin that he suggested it would be better to cut off your hand, your foot, or even pluck out an eye rather than perish in eternal fire (Mat 5:29-30; Mat 18:8-9).

    "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Jos 24:15). Jesus said you must choose. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other" (Luke 16:13). Paul iterated this point. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom 6:16) One who is born of God, who is converted, has made the choice to serve God. "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Ro 6:18)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    I agree that anyone can call themselves anything they want to and that calling oneself a Christian does not make one a Christian...There will be people who thought they were doing God favours but they will be excluded. But the “workers of lawlessness” in this passage [Mat 7:23] were actually people who did “good deeds”.
    Question 1: Will those "workers of lawlessness" be excluded for their "good deeds" or for their sin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    But it is grace that saves and it is a grace work of God that keeps us, even if we sin. Notice that this passage says we were slaves to sin. We are no longer enslaved to sin. We can and should say NO. We now have the indwelling Holy Spirit who can give us a means of escape (1 Cor. 10.13) if we listen to his voice and respond.
    Question 2: How does grace keep us even if we sin in light of Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29?


    Question 3: Do you agree that Peter was not converted before the cross?
    (See my answer to your QUESTION 1)


    Question 4: Do you agree that conversion is required for salvation?
    (See my answer to your QUESTION 3)



    My answers to your questions:
    --------------------------------

    QUESTION 1: Can you please clarify this thought [a person could be a Christian, and not be converted] a bit more for me?

    Again, we agree that any one can call themselves a Christian because it is merely a label. That being said, I do understand your question. To explain my position I will use Peter as an example. Before our Lord went to the cross, he told Peter that he was already sanctified:

    Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all" (John 13:10)


    They were all clean (sanctified) but one, the traitor. However, just prior to the cross, after he had told Peter that he was sanctified, Jesus said this to him:

    But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and [b]when thou art converted[b], strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32).


    Therefore, we can see that Peter was clean (sanctified) but not converted prior to the cross, even though he spent the previous three years and a half years following Jesus, preaching the gospel, and performing miracles in his name.

    QUESTION 2: I hear you saying that a person is actually sanctified BEFORE they are saved. Is that correct?

    Yes. See my answer to your QUESTION 1.

    QUESTION 3: Are you using the term “converted” to mean “saved”?

    Yes. There is no salvation without conversion. Jesus said, "except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:3).

    Question 4: Do you have any children? 4a: If you do, Do you love them?

    Yes. I have five children, four born and one unborn. I love them enough to die for them.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    I believe that Luke 15 brings into focus the very questions we are trying to wrestle with in this debate. In it, we find the parable of the lost son, or as many call him, the prodigal son. Let us review this parable because it sheds light on some of the answers elohiym has given me and that I will give him.

    11And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. 12And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them. 13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

    Both of the boys were sons of the Father. One chose wisely and the other, unwisely. One son left and squandered what had been given him freely by the Father. Yet, he was still the son of the Father and the Father still loved him. As I have said, I have two wonderful children. I am proud of them and love them. But they have not always done what I desired. And sometimes they have paid a price for not heeding my warnings. But at NO TIME EVER did I disown them. They were not my children, only if they obeyed me. Sometimes our relationship was strained while they persisted in disobedience, but they were my kids, and I still would have died for them, just like elohiym said he would do for his. I applaud him for that. We need more good dads in this world.

    17"But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants."'

    The son said he had “sinned” against his father. And willful sin it was indeed. Yet, as he turned to go home with his hat in his hand and egg (or pig manure) on his face, he felt totally unworthy to be called “son”. When I sin against God I feel unworthy. And I probably should feel that way. But what I feel and what the Father KNOWS are two different things. In spite of having sinned against Him, I am still his son and he waits with more than open arms to reestablish the fellowship we had before. The relationship of Father/Son did not cease to exist, but the fellowship was strained by the son’s own actions.

    20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'[ 22But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate.

    The father did what I would do, he celebrated the turning-back… the return of the son. It was not so much “CONversion” as REversion”. That happened to Peter as well as you will see below.

    25"Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' 28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' 31And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

    Sometimes, we play the older brother. We want everyone to play by OUR rules. It drives us crazy, that a guy who sinned his life away, could get into heaven just like a guy who tried to be as faithful as possible his whole life long. But just like Jesus showed in the parable of the hired workmen shows, that has to do with God’s generosity and grace. (Mat. 20:1-15) Instead of looking for ways to exclude those who come to Christ, He is looking to include them.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). He said that "to those Jews which believed on him" (John 8:31). His statement to them is exactly what I say to Christians who believe on him today. The truth shall make you free. The reaction is the same as it was nearly 2000 years ago, "we are not in 'bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?'" What did Jesus tell them? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34). The same answer applies to Christians today. If you sin, you are a servant of sin. One cannot sin and not be a servant of sin.
    Taking what elohiym said about John 8, let’s look at the context.

    12Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 13So the Pharisees said to him, "You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true." 14Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17In YOUR LAW it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me." 19They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 20These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

    Here Jesus was writing to the Jews in general, obviously to ones who did not believe in him. Yet, they believed in the law and kept the law, yet Jesus said they knew not him nor the Father.

    21So he said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come." 22So the Jews said, "Will he kill himself, since he says, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?" 23He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." 25So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him." 27They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28So Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." 30As he was saying these things, many believed in him.


    Still speaking to the crowd in general, they began to accuse him of wanting to commit suicide, etc. Then Jesus says: “for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." So, no matter how “righteous” they were they were going to die in their sins, for not believing in Him, not because they were any more sinners than the rest. In fact, they may have been less sinful because they tried to keep the law. But some DID believe in him after hearing this. It doesn’t say they got any more righteous, or sanctified, it just says they BELIEVED in him. NOW, and for just a brief sentence, he turns to the believers to say:


    31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"

    The “THEY” in verse 33 marks the return to the conversation of the unbelievers. They couldn’t understand what Jeus had just said to the believers. So he starts to talk to them again.

    34Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

    Obviously, his words had found a place in the believers… that is why they believed. They had not found a home in the general populace and that is why Jesus continues to tell them that they are slaves to sin because they cannot be set free from sin on their own. They MUST believe in Jesus. If not, they will die in their sins.



    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Jos 24:15). Jesus said you must choose. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other" (Luke 16:13). Paul iterated this point. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Rom 6:16) One who is born of God, who is converted, has made the choice to serve God. "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Ro 6:18)
    I agree that we must make a choice. If we do NOT choose to serve Jesus, we have chosen not to and we remain as the unbelieving Jews to whom Jesus was addressing His words. We cannot serve God and man. God is NOT mocked, if we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption. But a servant can and does make mistakes. Imagine if people were fired the one and only time they made an error on the job. What if children were thrown out on the street for every act of disobedience. God is certainly more patient with the beings created in His image than we are with our fellow man. God is not willing that any should perish. But if, as some say, there is no salvation open for a person once he has willfully sinned, it would be foolish to accept Christ until the last possible minute just incase you might sin and then have NO chance at redemption. Such a Gospel would not be Good News but rather Horrible News and a bit like Russian roulette. One would try to wait until he/she thought there was no more chance of sinning… and then accept Jesus. Where would the abundant Christian life be?


    ANSWERS TO ELOHIYM'S QUESTIONS:
    Question 1: Will those "workers of lawlessness" be excluded for their "good deeds" or for their sin?
    It will be for their unbelief as I have shown. There unwillingness to accept Jesus.



    Question 2: How does grace keep us even if we sin in light of Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29?

    I believe one has to read the ENTIRE book of Hebrews to get the whole picture. I will not post it all here. But I encourage readers to read it all from chapter 1 through 13. You will see that the writer is writing to Hebrews, to Jews, and warning them not to go back to the old animal sacrifices and Jewish law because that old covenant is now obsolete: Hebrews 8:13In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
    There are NO other sacrifices for sin other than that which Jesus made on Calvary


    Question 3: Do you agree that Peter was not converted before the cross?

    No, I do not agree. (See above) I think Peter “returned to” Christ. The Greek word used in Luke 22.32 is “epistrépsas” which is the word for return or to turn back again. Even the NKJV uses it that way: 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
    I think he was converted, fell away by sinning and then came back to Christ and was accepted on the beach with warm fish and an open heart by Jesus.


    Question 4: Do you agree that conversion is required for salvation?
    Yes, if you mean a change of allegiance from self to Christ. Yes, I think a person must make a conscious decision to follow Jesus as Lord and Saviour. You don’t become a Christian by birth or osmosis.

    My comments on your answers to my questions:
    --------------------------------

    Chileice QUESTION 1&2: Can you please clarify this thought [a person could be a Christian, and not be converted] a bit more for me?

    Thank you for answering. We must agree to disagree. I don’t see that Peter was sanctified prior to being justified by faith. I believe Peter’s confession in Mark 8 already shows that Peter believed by faith in Christ and was therefore justified and saved, although, as we can see by denying Christ and later by his prejudice toward gentiles, he was not yet fully sanctified.

    Chileice QUESTION 3: Are you using the term “converted” to mean “saved”?

    I believe we agree here.

    Chileice Question 4: Do you have any children? 4a: If you do, Do you love them?

    Yes. I have five children, four born and one unborn. I love them enough to die for them.
    I am so glad to hear of your love for your kids. I know I wouldn’t disown my kids for misbehaviour (sin against me).

    That brings me to question 5,
    Chileice Question 5: Would you disown your children for disobedience?

    Chileice Question 6: Why do you think God would disown us for disobedience in light of the parable of the Prodigal Son and in light of his forgiving attitude toward Peter?

    Chileice Question7: What would be the advantage of becoming a Christian early in life if you were always afraid of irredeemably losing your salvation if you sinned?
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    That will be my last post today as I have wonderful wife I want to spend with.
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    I agree that we must make a choice. If we do NOT choose to serve Jesus, we have chosen not to and we remain as the unbelieving Jews to whom Jesus was addressing His words. We cannot serve God and man. God is NOT mocked, if we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption. But a servant can and does make mistakes. Imagine if people were fired the one and only time they made an error on the job.
    Imagine if David had been stoned to death for committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband, Uriah, murdered. God's law required that David be put to death for adultery and murder, yet God's mercy as a father trumped his law. David repented and wrote, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee" (Psalm 51:10-13). That is the prodigal son returning home, and that is what we are debating--what it truly means to come home.

    What if David the prodigal son had continued to sin after returning home? Based on what Jesus said in John 8:34, David would have been a servant of sin, not a son, and servant cannot remain in God's house forever(John 8:35), only a son can remain. Did David continue to sin after he repented? Absolutely not, or the word of God is untrue. It is written: "Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1Kings 15:5). David's heart was perfect (1Ki 11:4; 1Ki 15:3), for God said he was, "a man after mine own heart" (Acts 13:22).

    My opponent agrees that we must make a choice. He said, "If we do NOT choose to serve Jesus, we have chosen not to and we remain as the unbelieving." However, he has not explained how one can serve Jesus while they serve sin, which is not possible. While he rightly points to the parable of the prodigal son as evidence that God's mercy trumps our death sentence, he has not explained how the parable supports his position of a born again believer continuing to sin. The prodigal son returns home to abide, not to leave again and return again over and over.

    A better parable for this debate is the parable of the two sons (Mat 21:28-32):

    But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but he didn’t go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him. (Matt 21:28-32)


    That parable should leave you with no doubt that we must do the will of God, not merely claim to "believe in" Jesus when we do not do as he did and said to do. In fact, Jesus told them that they should have believed John's (the baptist) message, which is the same as his--repent from sin completely. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, "go, and sin no more" (John 8:11). Could she have claimed to believe Jesus and was serving him if she sinned more? No. Therefore, the choice is obvious, but how to make that choice appears elusive. More on that later in the debate.

    Question 5: What is sanctification?

    Please explain what sanctification is, and give a practical example of progressive sanctification.


    Response to your answers of my previous questions:
    ---------------------------------------------------------


    Question 1: Will those "workers of lawlessness" be excluded for their "good deeds" or for their sin?

    Answer: It will be for their unbelief as I have shown. There unwillingness to accept Jesus.

    The people obviously believed that Jesus is Lord, calling him that and performing miracles in his name. Therefore, your answer needs clarification. Please answer the question again. Is their unbelief evidenced by their iniquity (sin)?


    Question 2: How does grace keep us even if we sin in light of Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29?

    Answer: I believe one has to read the ENTIRE book of Hebrews to get the whole picture. ...There are NO other sacrifices for sin other than that which Jesus made on Calvary.

    I consider your answer unresponsive because the verses in context makes the point that willful sin committed under grace result in condemnation and destruction as a sinner. They talk about willfully sinning in spite of grace. (See also 1Jo 3:6; 1Jo 3:8; and 1Jo 5:18) Please answer the question.


    Question 3: Do you agree that Peter was not converted before the cross?

    Answer: No, I do not agree.... I think Peter “returned to” Christ. ...I think he was converted, fell away by sinning and then came back to Christ and was accepted on the beach with warm fish and an open heart by Jesus.


    I don't follow your logic. You equate conversion with being saved. I have shown you that Peter was not converted prior to the cross. You state that "Peter “returned to” Christ," but obviously that was not prior to the cross based on Luke 22:32, and you have given no evidence that he returned to Christ prior to the cross. Therefore, it seems that your answer cannot be true. Please answer the question again in a way that is logical.


    Question 4: Do you agree that conversion is required for salvation?

    Answer: Yes...


    We agree.


    My answers to your questions:
    --------------------------------

    Question 5: Would you disown your children for disobedience?

    No.

    Chileice Question 6: Why do you think God would disown us for disobedience in light of the parable of the Prodigal Son and in light of his forgiving attitude toward Peter?

    He doesn't disown his children. He destroys unrepentant sinners who refuse to believe that they can be his child and act like his child.

    Chileice Question7: What would be the advantage of becoming a Christian early in life if you were always afraid of irredeemably losing your salvation if you sinned?

    There would be no advantage. I don't believe that salvation can be lost, only rejected.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    That is the prodigal son returning home, and that is what we are debating--what it truly means to come home.
    I suppose that is true. I believe coming home means coming home to a loving forgiving father. In Matthew 18, Jesus enjoins Peter to be forgiving. Peter, thinking he is being generous, asks if he should forgive up to seven times, but look at what Jesus said:

    21Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

    Chileice Question 8: Is God less forgiving than man?

    Chileice Question 9: What would you do if one of your lovely children sinned against you? 9a: What if they committed the same sin more than once?


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My opponent agrees that we must make a choice. He said, "If we do NOT choose to serve Jesus, we have chosen not to and we remain as the unbelieving." However, he has not explained how one can serve Jesus while they serve sin, which is not possible. While he rightly points to the parable of the prodigal son as evidence that God's mercy trumps our death sentence, he has not explained how the parable supports his position of a born again believer continuing to sin. The prodigal son returns home to abide, not to leave again and return again over and over.
    Of course we can leave over and over again. But hopefully, we will not want to. Hopefully our lesson will be learned and out of love and gratitude, we will stay where we ought to be. Peter sinned again after this. Read what happened in Galatians 2:

    11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

    Chileice Question 10: Is hypocrisy a sin?

    Chileice Question 11: When Peter sinned, did he lose his salvation, or was he never truly converted in the first place?


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    A better parable for this debate is the parable of the two sons (Mat 21:28-32):

    But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but he didn’t go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him. (Matt 21:28-32)
    Immediately after this parable, Jesus told another one to the unbelieving Jewish religious elite:

    33"Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants[c] to the tenants to get his fruit. 35And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' 39And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons."
    42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:
    "'The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
    this was the Lord's doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
    43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."


    Jesus was NOT condemning them for not being sinless, but rather for committing the sin of unbelief. Without believing in the one true sacrifice for sins, man cannot save himself. And the very free gift that was sent to the Jews to save them would become the rock over which they would stumble and by which they would be crushed. In the first parable, the tax collectors and prostitutes were entering into the kingdom, not people previously cleaned up and sanctified, but people who were loved and saved while they were yet sinners. (Romans 5.8)


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 5: What is sanctification?

    Please explain what sanctification is, and give a practical example of progressive sanctification.
    Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ in our conduct and character. Romans 14.23 says: "whatever is not from faith is sin." I think that all of us, after our salvation experience have done things that are done without faith or in a faithless way. I do not see sin as a list of dos and don’t’s but rather as an action, attitude or thought that fails to meet the criteria of living by faith. Sanctification is that process of walking with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and learning to depend on him more fully as we walk along. When I was 12, I asked Christ into my life and there was a radical change. But by age 12, I had not experienced all of the temptations of life. There was much that I was unaware of and as I became aware of those areas, I had to bring each one under Christ’s Lordship and thus being progressively sanctified, i.e., more Christlike. As Paul said, I have not obtained perfection, but I do press on to that goal, because the more I live by faith and in faith the more I enjoy life.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Response to your answers of my previous questions:
    ---------------------------------------------------------


    Question 1: Will those "workers of lawlessness" be excluded for their "good deeds" or for their sin?

    Answer: It will be for their unbelief as I have shown. There unwillingness to accept Jesus.

    The people obviously believed that Jesus is Lord, calling him that and performing miracles in his name. Therefore, your answer needs clarification. Please answer the question again. Is their unbelief evidenced by their iniquity (sin)?
    Their unbelief is the only sin keeping them from being saved. They can’t be saved, if they aren’t willing to have a Saviour. Doing miracles in His name does not mean they believed in Him. Simon the magician wanted that power too, and the sons of Sceva are an example in Acts 19:11-20. They cast out demons in Jesus' name but were certainly not born-again believers.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 2: How does grace keep us even if we sin in light of Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29?

    Answer: I believe one has to read the ENTIRE book of Hebrews to get the whole picture. ...There are NO other sacrifices for sin other than that which Jesus made on Calvary.

    I consider your answer unresponsive because the verses in context makes the point that willful sin committed under grace result in condemnation and destruction as a sinner. They talk about willfully sinning in spite of grace. (See also 1Jo 3:6; 1Jo 3:8; and 1Jo 5:18) Please answer the question.
    I don’t consider my answer unresponsive. I truly believe you must look at ALL of Hebrews. But I will try to be more detailed to help you out. Let us make no mistake about it, these verses have been used, abused, passed over, passed out to try to force one doctrine or another. Calvinists hate these verses because they seem to say salvation can be lost. I agree with my opponent in one sense. I don't think salvation can be lost, but it can be rejected. The apostate is one like Judas. One who was watered, fed, led by Jesus and yet chose to utterly reject Him. If a person is an apostate, they have no hope, in that unbelieving state. But we MUST remeber that this was written to HEBREWS, people who had always trusted God and ANIMAL sacrifices to deal with their sins and now they were offered to ONE and only sacrifice. They above all people would have had the biggest temptation to deny Christ and try to trust again in the old system.

    But that Is why I INSIST you must read ALL of Hebrews. Because the author is not telling people they must be perfect, that is what the old law taught. In Hebrews 8, he clearly teaches that the Old Covenant is about to pass away. If a person, didn't know any better, had not heard of Christ yet, then God accepted them on the basis of the faith they had. But once they knew of the better covenant of Christ, the High Priest who never dies and who is able to save men completely and forever (Heb. 7:25), then they need to keep following Him and not look back to the Old wineskins, the old burnt offerings. They had to look to Christ just as the OT people looked up to the serpant in the desert to be saved in a plague (John3), now thy have to look to Christ who came to save the world and not to condemn it.

    The same thing applies to the verses in chapter 10. The willing sin was to knowingly go back and reject the sacrifice of Christ for the old covenant. Look at what the SAME author says in Hebrews 13:7ff


    7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

    The focus is on JESUS and on faith in HIM, the unchanging one, not on perfection.

    9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

    This is obviously written to Jews who were used to going to the altar. But that is no longer necessary. Why go back to those ceremonial laws, they can't do anything for you anyway. Sanctification does not come through ceremony but through walking with Jesus.

    11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

    In the city to come, in heaven we have our perfection, our final home and glory.

    15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

    The author would not have to tell people to do good works if they were already perfect. He wouldn't have to tell them to obey their leaders if they weren't propense to disobey.

    18Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

    Sanctification in process. It is our DESIRE to live honorably in every way. We are not magically made to be that way without some effort on our part.

    20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


    It seems so very obvious that the same author who warned against apostacy, believes the covenant is eternal and that as we walk with him we will be equippèd. These are process words, not something you say to someone who has attained perfection.
    I hope that is clearer now than before.



    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 3: Do you agree that Peter was not converted before the cross?

    Answer: No, I do not agree.... I think Peter “returned to” Christ. ...I think he was converted, fell away by sinning and then came back to Christ and was accepted on the beach with warm fish and an open heart by Jesus.


    I don't follow your logic. You equate conversion with being saved. I have shown you that Peter was not converted prior to the cross. You state that "Peter “returned to” Christ," but obviously that was not prior to the cross based on Luke 22:32, and you have given no evidence that he returned to Christ prior to the cross. Therefore, it seems that your answer cannot be true. Please answer the question again in a way that is logical.
    The word you see in the KJV as “convert” does not mean “convert like you are using it. I explained that. It just means “return” or “go back again”. Check it out for yourself. His confession in Mark 8 is very much prior to the events in Luke 22.32, that is why I believe he was converted before, because he had faith that Jesus was the Messiah, the chosen one of God, even though he had not yet experienced the cross event or the resurrection. That is faith indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My answers to your questions:
    --------------------------------

    Question 5: Would you disown your children for disobedience?

    No.
    Good! I don't think our Father would disown us either

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Chileice Question7: What would be the advantage of becoming a Christian early in life if you were always afraid of irredeemably losing your salvation if you sinned?

    There would be no advantage. I don't believe that salvation can be lost, only rejected.
    Chileice Question 12a,b,c: Based on your answer to question 7, can a person know he is saved before he/she dies? How will they know if they are not going to reject the faith? When Peter sinned in Galatians 2, did he reject the faith?

    Question 13a, b: Are you a Seventh-Day-Adventist? Are you a follower of Ellen G. White’s teachings?

    Your reasoning and beliefs seem to be very similar to her position on perfectionism.

    Question 14: If you do differ from Ellen G. White’s teachings, in what ways do you differ?
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ in our conduct and character.
    Jesus was tempted in all ways just as we are, yet he was without sin (Heb 4:15). Logically, if we are to become more Christ-like to be sanctified, then eventually we can be like him and no longer sin. Therefore, since you have tied our conduct and character to Jesus' example, you must concede that we must cease from sin if we are to be like him. It is written: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin" (1Pet 4:1). Conversely, by your logic, one cannot be sanctified until they are Christ-like in conduct and character.

    Question 6: Do you agree that we can and should completely stop sinning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    I do not see sin as a list of dos and don’t’s but rather as an action, attitude or thought that fails to meet the criteria of living by faith.
    Sin is transgression of the law (1Jo 3:4). Therefore, your "criteria" appears subjective and vague, and based on what "you see" as sin. If it is not the law--a list of do and do not--then you must quantify an objective standard that children can meet. In order to miss the mark, one must have a mark to miss. Your criteria of "living by faith" sounds cliché, and it appears to be a moving target based on what you see.

    Question 7: What is your standard of righteousness specifically?



    My comments on your answers to my questions:
    ----------------------------------------------------

    First, the workers of iniquity that Jesus excludes are excluded for sin. You claim it is only for the sin of unbelief, as if they could have been serial killers had they only believed in Jesus. Unbelief is to reject the Holy Spirit, which is the unpardonable sin, and is evidenced by an unwillingness to repent from all sin. It is God's will that we don't sin, and only those that do the Father's will are saved.

    Second, you continue to appear to be dancing around Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29, which address willful sin in spite of grace. Those verses are clear that committing something called "willful sin" after receiving grace results in one's exclusion by Christ. You are free to address this again of you choose, but I am satisfied with my interpretation of the verses.

    Third, and finally, your assertion that the word translated as converted means “return” or “go back again” does not refute my point. If Peter had to return, then logically he was not where Jesus thought he should be, thus he was not converted at that time. Jesus said, when you "return" strengthen your brothers, for he could not strengthen them until he was abiding in Christ. There is no salvation outside of Christ.



    My answers to you questions:
    -------------------------------

    Question 8: Is God less forgiving than man?

    No.

    Question 9: What would you do if one of your lovely children sinned against you? 9a: What if they committed the same sin more than once?

    [a] Forgive her. [b] That depends on what the standard of sin is between me an my children. For example, if my daughter murdered my son, I would forgive her; but if she rejected my grace and continued to murder my other children, I would be unjust if she did not suffer the consequence for being a murderer.

    Question 10: Is hypocrisy a sin?

    Yes.

    Question 11: When Peter sinned, did he lose his salvation, or was he never truly converted in the first place?

    Salvation cannot be lost, as I have already stated, and you agreed. Whoever is born of God (converted) does not and cannot sin (1Jo 3:6; 1Jo 3:9; 1Jo 5:18); therefore, Peter was not yet converted if he sinned.

    Question 12a,b,c: Based on your answer to question 7, can a person know he is saved before he/she dies? How will they know if they are not going to reject the faith? When Peter sinned in Galatians 2, did he reject the faith?

    [a]Yes. [b] They will know because they know Christ and know that they abide in Christ always, without a doubt. [c] Whatever is not faith is sin, so if Peter willfully sinned, he had no faith to reject.

    Question 13a, b: Are you a Seventh-Day-Adventist? Are you a follower of Ellen G. White’s teachings?

    [a] No. [b] No.

    Question 14: If you do differ from Ellen G. White’s teachings, in what ways do you differ?

    That is like asking a Protestant, "if you do differ from the Pope's teachings, in what ways do you differ?" Truly, I could fill a book on my differences with Ellen White. However, in the context of this debate, I differ with her on the issue of sanctification. She believes that sanctification is progressive, like you do.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Let me begin at the end. My question 14 was goofy. I realize that is hard to answer.

    Question 13 was asked because I still didn’t understand all of what you wee trying to teach. You are right, Ellen White came to a progressive understanding of perfection, but that became her view after being disappointed by those who claimed perfection. This is her pilgrimage as found on an SDA site:


    First, the significance of her own conversion "sanctification" crises and experience with Holiness fanaticism cannot be stressed enough for their critically formative contribution to her later doctrinal development. Though there were significant modifications of the details of the Holiness experience, her teachings would always give great accent to the importance of sanctification and perfection. The experience of "holiness of heart and life" were the dominant themes of the bulk of her later writings on salvation.

    Second, her confrontations with the hypocritical Holiness fanatics would have a marked impact on the later modifications of her understanding of sanctification and perfection. Her ministry in coming years would move her more and more to emphasize that sanctification was not the work of a moment, but that of a lifetime. Perfection was not to be claimed as some sinless accomplishment, but rather sought as a way of life that would see believers grow in grace until they received the finishing touch of sinlessness at glorification.

    http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/wws/salv02.htm



    Question 15 a, b: What religious group do you affiliate yourself with? If you are not actually a “member” of a church, are you in sympathy with a particular movement or group such as Church of God, Anderson Indiana; The Salvation Army; Church of the Nazarene or some independent holiness movement?

    Just so you know, I grew up a Methodist, have been a Baptist most of my adult life and have some leanings toward the Mennonite Brethren, as I am more pacifist and hold to more of the Anabaptist roots of the Baptist faith than many of my Baptist brothers.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Logically, if we are to become more Christ-like to be sanctified, then eventually we can be like him and no longer sin.

    That may follow in your logic, but not in mine or in most of Christendom. Christ was the only-begotten Son of God, totally human but totally divine. I am not divinity. He was and is. I do all I can to imitate Him but I will not reach perfection until I am revealed with Him in glory.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 6: Do you agree that we can and should completely stop sinning?
    No. I think we should strive for that but it was for our sins that Jesus died. If I can stop sinning, I have no need of Christ. I just live a sinless life and am saved. But that was the whole point of Jesus’ coming. He paid the price for what I am not able to do.

    Galatians 2.21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

    For if we are trying to be justified by our own perfection, we will be sorely disappointed and will not be appropriating the grace of the cross. We would be trying to save ourselves.

    Galatians 4: 4You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 7: What is your standard of righteousness specifically?

    Romans 1:16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

    Romans 3:21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    1 Corinthians 1:28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

    2 Cor. 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


    JESUS is my righteousness. I do NOT trust in my own righteousness. HE is the ONE who overcame the world. John 16.33. In this world there will be trials, temptations, failures and sin, but I have taken courage because HE has conquered the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My comments on your answers to my questions----------------------------------------------------

    First, the workers of iniquity that Jesus excludes are excluded for sin. You claim it is only for the sin of unbelief, as if they could have been serial killers had they only believed in Jesus. Unbelief is to reject the Holy Spirit, which is the unpardonable sin, and is evidenced by an unwillingness to repent from all sin.
    They could have been serial killers and Christ’s love could still save them. You are right about the unpardonable sin of unbelief up to this point. But my opponent seems to make a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from what is written.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    It is God's will that we don't sin, and only those that do the Father's will are saved.:
    Yes, God desires that we don’t sin, for our own good, just like we teach our children not to engage in behaviour that is detrimental to their well-being. However, if God only came to save non-sinners, there is salvation for NO ONE. This flies in the face of all reality. We either must convince ourselves that our pride or our spiteful attitudes or our white lies or our lustful thoughts or whatever are not sin, or we must admit that we sin in order to not live a delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    You are free to address this again of you choose, but I am satisfied with my interpretation of the verses.
    It appears that it would be pointless to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Third, and finally, your assertion that the word translated as converted means “return” or “go back again” does not refute my point. If Peter had to return, then logically he was not where Jesus thought he should be, thus he was not converted at that time. Jesus said, when you "return" strengthen your brothers, for he could not strengthen them until he was abiding in Christ. There is no salvation outside of Christ.
    You said Peter was unconverted. My point shows that he was converted.

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    My answers to you questions:
    -------------------------------

    Question 8: Is God less forgiving than man?

    No.
    Question 16: Then why would Jesus ask Peter to forgive a person 490 times and God would refuse to forgive us more than once?

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 9: What would you do if one of your lovely children sinned against you? 9a: What if they committed the same sin more than once?

    [a] Forgive her. [b] That depends on what the standard of sin is between me an my children. For example, if my daughter murdered my son, I would forgive her; but if she rejected my grace and continued to murder my other children, I would be unjust if she did not suffer the consequence for being a murderer.
    Question 17a, b: What is your standard of sin? What does SIN mean to YOU?

    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 11: When Peter sinned, did he lose his salvation, or was he never truly converted in the first place?

    Salvation cannot be lost, as I have already stated, and you agreed. Whoever is born of God (converted) does not and cannot sin (1Jo 3:6; 1Jo 3:9; 1Jo 5:18); therefore, Peter was not yet converted if he sinned.
    He was a hypocrite. The Bible tells us so. Yet he had already preached and converted thousands at Pentecost, he had healed the sick, he had been miraculously freed from prison, he had taken the Gospel to Cornelius after seeing a vision from God and yet he was “unconverted”? It is no wonder that my opponents view was never held by any Christian group until the last 100 years or so. How could Peter, an unconverted soul, have been THE dynamic leader in the early church, helping thousands get saved and not be converted?

    Question 18: When DID Peter convert?



    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Question 12c:When Peter sinned in Galatians 2, did he reject the faith?

    [c] Whatever is not faith is sin, so if Peter willfully sinned, he had no faith to reject.
    I find it impossible to believe that Peter had no faith after his post-resurrection encounters with Christ, after the coming of the Holy Spirit upon him in power, after suffering persecutions in Jesus’ name, I just don’t see how he could NOT of had faith.

    I think Horatius Bonar, a Scottish pastor of the 19th century put it well:


    Let us grow. Let us bring forth fruit. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is the use of taking so long to make us sinless?--some may say. I answer, Go and ask God. What was the use of taking six days to bring creation to perfection? Why did He let sin enter our world when He could have kept it out? What was the use of not making the whole Church perfect at once? Why did He not make Abraham or David or Paul perfect at once? He could have done so. Why did He not?

    Thus God is purifying us. The furnace was provided in the eternal purpose. We were not in a moment to be transferred to the glory above, as soon as we were begotten again to the lively hope. We were not to be instantaneously perfected and purified, so that sin should be utterly expelled from us, and we should have no more need of the blood; no more need of the daily discipline. God's purpose was, that our preparation should be by a process, not by an act: that by gradual progress we should be the occasion for drawing out the power and grace of God. Instantaneous perfection seems to some more glorifying to God than gradual improvement. But God does not think so. He wants to show us what sin is, what the power of evil is, what a human heart is, what the blood of Christ can do, what the power of the Spirit can do. And so He purifies us gradually. He has done so from the beginning; and there is not one instance in Scripture of instantaneous perfection, nay, not one instance of perfection at all.


    Finally, let me conclude with the words of the Apostle Peter himself, a man I believe was fully converted. He wrote:

    1 Peter5:6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Time out. Before we go any further in this debate and I answer your last post, I want clarification on this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    They could have been serial killers and Christ’s love could still save them.
    I wasn't asking if they could have been serial killers prior to their conversion, but if they could have remained serial killers after their conversion had they only believed in Jesus.

    Can they REMAIN serial killers after their conversion and have been saved had they only believed in Jesus? Yes or no.

    Answer that clearly and I will address the rest of your last post, then we can move forward.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    Time out. Before we go any further in this debate and I answer your last post, I want clarification on this statement:



    I wasn't asking if they could have been serial killers prior to their conversion, but if they could have remained serial killers after their conversion had they only believed in Jesus.

    Can they REMAIN serial killers after their conversion and have been saved had they only believed in Jesus? Yes or no.

    Answer that clearly and I will address the rest of your last post, then we can move forward.
    Clearly, if they repented and accepted Christ, one would not expect them to be serial killers after their conversion. But, neither would they be expected to go from serial killers to sinless perfection in a moment.
    Blessings of Peace,Chileice
    "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15.13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chileice View Post
    Clearly, if they repented and accepted Christ, one would not expect them to be serial killers after their conversion. But, neither would they be expected to go from serial killers to sinless perfection in a moment.
    That does not answer my question. Let's try again. If you believe one can only be excluded by the Lord for unbelief as you perceive it, then your answer should be a firm yes. If your answer is no, then you concede that their specific sin excluded them. Please answer the question, and do not equivocate.

    Can they REMAIN serial killers after their conversion and have been saved had they only believed in Jesus? Yes or no.

    It can only be a yes or no answer based on your interpretation of Mat 7:21-23, so please don't make me ask again.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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