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One on One: Sanctification (Elohiym vs. Chileice)

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  • #31
    In my first post in the debate I summarized my beliefs. I made the point that Christian is merely a label that many who are not saved will claim, and that those who are saved are the ones born of God--converted. I presented scriptures which show that people who are born of God do not sin, namely 1Jo 5:18, 1Jo 3:6 and 1Pet 4:1. I stated that my belief is that sanctification is instantaneous, and provided John 13:10, John 15:3 and Acts 10:15 as evidence. I also pointed out that my opponents argument hinges on a logical fallacy (appeal to popularity), in that he makes the unsubstantiated claim that the first century church believed in progressive sanctification, which he has not proven in the debate. My opponent, in his response, failed to address 1Jo 5:18, 1Jo 3:6 and 1Pet 4:1, which state that someone born of God does not sin; nor did he address John 13:10, John 15:3 and Acts 10:15, which state that we have been made clean (sanctified). Essentially, he ignored all my points in his first response.

    In my second post, I made the point that Jesus can to set us free from the bondage of sin, not merely the guilt and penalty, citing John 8:32 and John 8:34; and I also showed that Jesus said we must repent from all sin, citing Mat 9:13, Mat 5:29-30, and Mat 18:8-9. Following that, I made the point that we must choose between serving sin or serving God, citing Jos 24:15, Luke 16:13, Rom 6:16, and Rom 6:18. In his response, my opponent side-stepped John 8:34, ignoring the sin bondage issue and turning the issue into right belief instead of sin. For him the sin is wrong belief, not the unrighteous acts. He agreed that we must choose who we will serve, but did not address that it is not possible to sin and serve God at the same time.

    In my third post, using the example of David, I showed that God can spare a man from the death penalty (as he does us), and then that it is possible that that man can no longer sin again. I provided the evidence that David never sinned again and his heart was perfect, citing 1Kings 15:5, 1Kings 11:4, 1Kings 15:3, and Acts 13:22. Also, I iterated in my post that my opponent has not shown how it is possible to sin and serve God at the same time. I countered his use of the prarable of the prodigal son by stating: "The prodigal son returns home to abide, not to leave again and return again over and over." Then I provided the parable of the two sons, Mat 21:28-32, and Jesus own words to "go, and sin no more" (John 8:11) to support my position. My opponent responded, "Of course we can leave over and over again," and ignored the point of parable of the two sons, and completely ignored that David ceased from sin and had a perfect heart. It should be noted that my opponent also side-stepped the point about Heb 6:4-6 and Heb 10:26-29 condemning willful sin, showing unambiguously that a person cannot sin then repent in spite of grace.

    In my fourth post, based on my opponent's claim that "sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ in our conduct and character," I made the point that Jesus was tempted as we are, yet he did not sin, and that we are to have the mind of Christ and cease from sin, citing Heb 4:15 and 1Pet 4:1. In his response, my opponent ignored Heb 4:15 and 1Pet 4:1, and claimed we cannot be like Jesus and we cannot stop sinning. He provided no evidence to support his claims, which ignore Jesus' statement: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). My opponent also claimed that Jesus is his righteousness, which appears meaningless in his use of the term seeing he dos not believe he can be like Jesus.

    In my fifth post, based on my opponent's claim that a murder can continue to murder while in Christ and be saved, I presented the case of Dennis Rader the serial killer who had been a Lutheran for 30 years while he murdered people and held to the doctrine of progressive sanctification. I proved that no murderer has eternal life, providing 1Jo 3:15, 1Jo 2:9, 1Jo 2:11, and 1Jo 4:20 as evidence, refuting my opponents claims. I then cited 1Cor 6:9-10 to prove that people engaged in willful sin will not be saved, again refuting my opponents claims. In his response, my opponent totally ignored 1Jo 3:15, 1Jo 2:9, 1Jo 2:11, 1Jo 4:20 and 1Cor 6:9-10 and continued to argue his defeated point. rather than address the scriptures, he turned to attacking me, claiming I am twisting his position, falsely accusing me of having my own self-styled religion, and complaining that I have no religious affiliation. As the reader can see, I stuck to the Bible with my argument, which my opponent cannot refute.

    In my sixth post, I used the Bible to show that sanctification is instantaneous, because we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, not by becoming progressively more obedient in the flesh as my opponent asserts. I showed that sanctification means that God sets us apart for his purpose so he can perfect us, in contrast to the false concept that sanctification is being progressively perfected, never being completely perfected. In my seventh and last post, I showed that perfection is not of the flesh, as my opponent asserts, but of the heart and spirit. I showed that the standard of righteousness is love, not a nebulous belief in Jesus as my opponent portrays throughout the debate. My opponent's response is to attempt to turn 1 Cor 13 into another law for you to fall short of, and he accuses me (and himself) of falling short of it. This is typical of the legalist mind-set, they will always fall short, and would have accused Jesus of lacking love because he whipped the money changers and called people names. Ignore them. You can have victory in Christ. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci


    • #32
      Debate summary, Chileice

      First I want to thank elohiym for the opportunity to debate in this one and one and thank all of the readers for their readership and interest. With this post, we will terminate the debate. But I hope you will read my summary statement and take time to review the points we have laid before you.

      I introduced the debate with a brief history of the Christian faith noting that the idea of instantaneous sanctification is found nowhere among the early churches and is a new doctrinal invention. I then presented a thorough exegesis of Colossians 3 to show the readers that we are being renewed as verses 9 and 10 clearly show:

      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.

      My opponent did not treat even one of the verses from Colossians 3 in ANY of his subsequent posts. I then proceeded to give the readers further historical information showing that his doctrine was unknown even to the time of Wesley. Yet, his only reply was:

      “Popular opinions are like rear ends; everybody has one and they all stink.”

      This reply does a great disservice to the millions of Christians who lived before elohiym began promoting his doctrine of instant perfection. It is a slap in the face to people like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Helwys and multitudes who died for their faith and who shared the Gospel with people that we might know it today. I was not appealing to popularity, as my opponent stated, but rather to sound biblical judgment. The first believers who gave their lives for Jesus were anything but popular.

      While my opponent “threw out” many different verse, he made no coherent attempt to exegete scripture, and when asked to do so, he claimed it was “homework” and all he was “required” to do in the debate was answer questions. In my second post, for example, I directed the reader to the context of Matthew 7.23 which my opponent had just thrown out there in order to take advantage of a phrase he found convenient for his argument.

      Using Titus 2.11-3.8, I showed the relationship between our salvation and our call to do good works. None of those verses were addressed by my opponent either. My opponent would have you believe that I ignored verses that he posted. In some cases I did because he just posted verse numbers with no commentary to show how they related to his argument. In many cases, however, I dealt not only with verse he posted, but with the context in which the verses are found.

      My second post concluded with an analysis of Paul’s own pilgrimage as found in Philippians 3 where he CLEARLY states that he has not yet attained perfection, but that he continues to move forward in the progress of sanctification, toward the goal set before him by Jesus. Again no comment was ever made about this passage.

      In my third post I clearly showed that our Father is forgiving and relenting of evil and that even though one of his SONS (converted believers) should stray from the house and sin, he would still be accepted back by the Father. This is an argument that my fellow-debater tried to refute by saying,

      “The prodigal son returns home to abide, not to leave again and return again over and over.”

      When I pointed out that Christians can sin, he accused me of being a libertine; just like first-century Jews accused Paul. Elohiym is unable to understand that God’s grace is even greater than the grace we show to our own children. He readily admitted that he would even die for his own children, which is admirable, and that he would forgive them. Yet, he is unable to see that our Heavenly Father, who has much greater love and patience than we could ever have, forgives us for Christ’s sake.

      Although my opponent says I side-stepped John 8.34, if you look at the debate, I took the time to exegete the entire passage, in context, rather than to just throw out a pet verse. Then he accused me of sidestepping Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10. Yet, again, I looked at the whole passage and invited the readers to view the verses in the entire context of the Book of Hebrews. For some reason, that does not set well with my opponent. I LOVE the Book of Hebrews, it is one of my favourite books in the Bible, yet he wants to only slice out two small sections, out of their context, to make HIS point.

      In my fourth post, I PROVED, and I do say PROVED, that my opponent did not think Peter was saved when he preached at Pentecost. He admitted that hypocrisy was sin and that Peter was therefore unconverted at least up until the meeting with Paul in Galatia. “Upon this rock I will build my church.” “Feed my sheep”. How could Jesus trust a man who was unconverted? His argument reduces to absurdity, because he HAS to say that Peter was unconverted when he denied Christ and when he was a hypocrite. I will give him credit for being consistent in his doctrine at this point. But being unwilling to think Peter was a Christian is a steep price to pay to hold to a basically home grown doctrine.

      In his summary, my opponent says I ignored the parable he quoted from Mt. 21. On the contrary, I even added to it by posting the following parable as well, which Jesus told at the same time in order for the readers to get the whole picture. One thing we were able to agree on is that sin is unbelief. I’m not sure we got far past that, but at least we agreed to that. After giving a detailed answer from Hebrews to my fellow debater, I tried to discover what doctrinal background he came from. I missed on my guess, but in post five I asked directly and got this answer:

      [a] I affiliate with no "church" or denomination, but have a home church with my family. [b] I am not in sympathy with any movement anywhere, only the Holy Spirit.

      While that may sound admirable to some, it leaves my opponent to be the judge of his own actions and his own doctrine.

      In my fifth post I stated:

      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.

      In his final summary, my opponent claims that having Jesus as my righteousness appears meaningless. I have no righteousness. I trust Him for salvation, not my own perfection. I posted both the written work of Horatius Bonar and of the Apostle Peter, neither of which were ever dealt with by my opponent. Instead he chose to try to portray me as a supporter of serial killers, which is ridiculous. I am just making a point that God’s grace is sufficient to cover any sin, even the worst, and I was also clear to state that God does not want us to sin, but that does not make us incapable of doing so.

      Debating my friend, elohiym was very tricky indeed. After my FIFTH post my opponent said:

      Later in this debate I will explain what true sanctification is, and how one can be completely free from sin without being under the law.

      I never did understand why, in a debate about sanctification, I could not get a definition of his view. I never did get any answer about the relation between salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification… not even once. As a matter of fact he refused to answer my call to exegete 1 Cor. 3 where all of those topics could have been addressed. In a later post he responded to my question like this:

      QUESTION 23: Have I understood you correctly? I do not want to misrepresent your view. If I have not, please help me understand what I failed to see.

      No. You don’t understand my position. After I explain perfection you might.

      Since perfection is a big part of his argument, it seems so odd that I NEVER got an answer as to what perfection really is, in my opponents mind. Perfection to me means that you are without flaw. The failure to address this issue makes his whole argument incomprehensible.

      In my sixth post, I quoted R E O White, former Principal of Scottish Baptist College and quoted how he expertly dealt with the issue of instantaneous sanctification. Again, he never touched Romans 6 or 1 Corinthians 3 and I posted the verse on the debate for everyone to see. Yet, nothing was said to show how those Bible passages fit into the doctrine he is constructing.

      After my opponent claimed there was not ONE verse in the entire Bible which relates to sanctification as most all Christians have understood it over the ages, I posted numerous verse in my seventh post. Of course, in his final post, none were addressed. But he did save perhaps his most bizarre statement for the last (actually, next to last, counting his summary) when he stated:

      You can grab verses out of the Bible and create a list of "do and do not" to attempt to live by if you want to fail, or you can simply be perfect as the good Samaritan was perfect and have eternal life. The good Samaritan wasn't a Jew or Christian, and he didn't profess a belief in Jesus, but he had a perfect heart and a perfect spirit. Your perfection, should you decide to accept it, is nothing more than perfection of heart and spirit that you either have or you don't.

      I countered with:
      “This is rather disturbing. According to what I read, one does not have to be a Christian to be saved, just perfect. That would make Christ's sacrifice worthless and this statement false teaching. It appears that my opponent depends more on his own perfection than on trusting Christ.”

      It is a statement my opponent did not refute, so I assume it is his view. I would leave readers to judge whether the standard Christian view of sanctification: one that depends on the righteousness of Jesus Christ; or the elohiym view of sanctification: one that depends on personal perfection is correct. I will stand with the Scriptures, with the saints of the last 20 centuries and with the righteousness of Christ.

      Again, Thanks for this chance to review such an important topic. I hope the readers have been edified in some way by coming to grips with God’s word. Thanks again, elohiym. See you on the boards!

      "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