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The Sinner -netchaplain

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. I do not believe the Scriptural definition for sinner is merely “one who sins”, because the Christian isn’t referred to as a sinner, in Scripture. The only passage that appears to indicate Christians are sinners is 1Ti 1:15; “. . . Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

    The word “am” in the above Scriptural passage is the Greek word “eimi”, pronounced “ā-mē” and can mean, according to context, had been or was. The law of hermeneutics, which is basically “Scripture interpreting Scripture”, calls for the “was” definition in this context. If Paul were admitting he is, at that time, the worst of all sinners, his claim would conflict with the remnant of Scripture, which is devoid of any references that anyone who is of God is a sinner.

    This in no way intends that Christians do not sin, which would be a grievous misunderstanding and evidence of great ignorance and self-deception, nor should we allow this concept, or any understanding, to “puff us up” (1Cr 8:1). I believe the issue to sin is partly why, but mostly how. One who is truly of God encounters a continuous conviction of the Spirit’s chastisement when dealing with sin and therefore, the sin committed is never willful because the Spirit will ensure it is always accompanied with remorse and should be confessed.
    “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal 5:17). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jhn 1:9).

    The why-factor has always been an issue with God, as evidenced by the following Scripture passages: “So, the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the LORD, to make atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. But the person who does [anything] presumptuously, [whether he is] native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people” (Num. 15:28, 30). These were in the Mosaic Law to the Jews and the issue concerning the why-factor of sin continues to retain significance. “If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Heb. 10:26).

    I would define a sinner as “one who sins willfully and without regard to God.”
  2. Would it then be correct to define a "sinner" as one who has committed an act of rebellion to God and has not yet repented?
  3. Interesting thoughts, netchaplain. What is your take on Romans 7:14?

    "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." (KJV)
  4. Also, do you know of any translations which render "eime" as "was" in 1 Tim. 1:15?
  5. Hi Brother! I could agree with this because a non-Christian is one who is ruled by the old nature and must rebell against God, nor has God given him the desire to repent. "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts" (Rom 6:12). This doesn't intend that sin isn't in us but that it will no longer rule, which is evidenced by our lives living more by the new nature, through the Spirit, than the old nature.
    Major likes this.
  6. Greetings LightofTabor and God's blessings to you and your's!!
    You can utilize Strong's Greek Bible Dictionary free to render words from Greek to English at: blueletterbible.org.

    I found this to be the best help so far on Romans 7:14: "but I am carnal, sold under sin": from hence to the end of the chapter many are of opinion, that the apostle speaks in the person of an unregenerate man, or of himself as unregenerate; but nothing is more clear, than that he speaks all along of himself in the first person, "I am carnal":, &c. autov egw, "I myself," as in Romans 7:25, and in the present tense of what he then was and found; whereas, when he speaks of his unregenerate state, and how it was with him under the first convictions of sin, he speaks of them as things past, Romans 7:5; besides, several things which are said by the apostle can neither agree with him, nor any other, but as regenerate; such as to "hate evil," "delight in the law of God," and "serve it with the mind," Romans 7:15. Moreover, the distinctions between flesh and spirit, the inward and the outward man, and the struggle there is between them, are to be found in none but regenerate persons; and to say no more, the thanksgiving for deliverance from sin by Christ can only come from such; nor are any of the things said inapplicable to men that are born again, as will appear by the consideration of them as they follow: for when the apostle says, "I am carnal"; his meaning is, either that he was so by nature, and as he saw himself when sin through the law became exceeding sinful to him; or as he might be denominated from the flesh or corruption of nature which was still in him, and from the infirmities of the flesh he was attended with; just as the Corinthians, though sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, are said to be "carnal" on account of their envying, strife, and divisions, 1 Corinthians 3:1, or in comparison of the "spiritual" law of God, which was now before him, and in which he was beholding his face as in a glass, and with which when compared, the holiest man in the world must be reckoned carnal. He adds, "sold under sin"; he did not "sell himself" to work wickedness, as Ahab, 1 Kings 21:25, and others; he was passive and not active in it; and when at any time he with his flesh served the law of sin, he was not a voluntary, but an involuntary servant; besides, this may be understood of his other I, his carnal I, his unrenewed self, the old man which is always under sin, when the spiritual I, the new man, is never under the law of sin, but under the governing influence of the grace of God. -John Gill
  7. Thank you, netchaplain. I am familiar with blueletterbible and use it extensively. It is a wonderful site. I was unable to locate a translation that renders "eimi" as "for" in 1 Tim. 1:15, and was wondering if you were aware of any.

    "...besides, this may be understood of his other I, his carnal I, his unrenewed self, the old man which is always under sin, when the spiritual I, the new man, is never under the law of sin, but under the governing influence of the grace of God."

    I think John Gill here expresses very well an idea that I'd agree with. The the sinner is the old man, i.e. the carnal mind/nature. Employing the principle of "scripture interprets scripture", it would seem that we are sinners insofar as we are of the carnal nature, and that we are saints insofar as we are in the new nature. What do you think?
  8. netchaplain,

    I'm also curious as to how you understand Luke 5:8...

    Thanks in advance.
  9. I agree with this: "we are sinners insofar as we are of the carnal nature, and that we are saints insofar as we are in the new nature". Paul revealed we will always have the old nature and to a point, serve sin with it, but I believe God ensures our lives are ruled by the Spirit through our new nature. Though sin no longer rules us, this isn't to intend, as you may know, the absence of sin in our lives, just that it no longer rules us or, in other words, we live more by the new than the old nature--as the Spirit causes this to be so for all who are the Lord's.

    Paul finishes Romns seven with: ". . . So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." As we continue to learn through Scripture the truths of depending on Christ's atonement and now our works, for growth in His image, we increase our walk from glory to glory in God's will for us, but won't in this life, be completely free from the old nature within.
  10. Excellent thoughts, net. I would therefore define 'sinner' as the carnal nature, in which nothing good resides. In a very real sense, then, we are all yet sinners. For how else can we square the Johannine proclamations that we all sin (1 John 1:8), and that the child of God cannot sin (1 John 3:8-9)? The answer seems to be that it is the new nature which is the child of God, and the old nature which is a servant of Satan.
  11. Agreed! The good news through all this is that even though we are sinners.........we are FORGIVEN SINNERS!
  12. "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord; this he said, not as though the presence of Christ was burdensome, or disagreeable to him; but as one amazed at the greatness of the miracle wrought, and struck with the sense of the power of Christ, put forth therein; and with the greatness of his majesty so near him; and as conscious to himself of his own vileness and unworthiness to be in his presence; and so the Persic version adds, and which may serve as a comment, "and am not worthy that thou shouldst be with me": he had much the same sense of things as the centurion had, Matthew 8:8 and when it is considered how gracious persons have been struck with awe and fear, and a consciousness of sin, weakness, and unworthiness, at the appearance of an angel, as Zacharias, Luke 1:12 and the shepherds, Luke 2:9 yea, at the presence of an holy man of God, as the widow of Sarepta at Elijah, saying much the same as Peter does here, 1 Kings 17:18 it need not be wondered at, that Peter should so express himself, in these circumstances. -Gill
  13. Thanks, net. What I want to bring your attention to is that Peter described himself with the word hamartōlos, which is the same word that is so often translated as "sinner" or "sinful".
  14. Hi LightofTabor. I understand and agree. We cannot have the old nature and not sin. I don't believe our sins are the same as when we were unregenerated. The issue is what rules us. Even though the sin is within us (Rom 7:20), we are no longer ruled by it, as before. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Rom 6:12).
  15. I think the key here is....."known sin".

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