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More Sinful Than We Ever Dared Believe

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain Supporter

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    James 3:2a - For we all stumble in many ways.

    Is James talking to spirit-filled Christians here?

    Reminds me of what Westminster says...

    Q 82 - Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
    A. No mere man, since the fall, is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
     
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  2. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Uff, when I read the title, I thought you somehow found out things about me.

    But, luckily, its just another general topic thread.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  3. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi Brother, considering who St. James is addressing, it certainly seems so (he includes himself as a member of this group, as well).

    James 3
    1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
    2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

    --David
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  4. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Your version of the bible has led you down a dark path.
    The KJV says..."For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)
    What is the "offense" James is talking about?
    The chapter goes on to provide that detail...Some are teaching doctrines counter to Christianity.
    Salt water and fresh water.
    Cursing and blessing.
    Fig trees bearing olives.
    None of these incongruities are possible in a church with the mind of Christ.
    The "we" James refers to are those purporting to be in the church but espousing things contrary to Godliness.

    There is no mention of anybody stumbling.

    I guess Westminster never read..."For he that is dead is freed from sin." (Rom 6:7)
    Or Paul's exhortation..."Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (1 Cor 15:34)
    Or Peter's exhortation..."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;" (1 Peter 4:1)

    Thanks be to God, the reborn are no longer "mere men".
     
  5. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    I think stumbling can lead to sin, if person rejects God, but it is not necessary itself sin.

    I have understood that sin is opposite to righteousness. It is possible that righteous stumbles, but it doesn’t make him unrighteous, if person remains loyal (faithful) to God.

    For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
    Pro. 24:16


    Behold, his soul is puffed up. It is not upright in him, but the righteous will live by his faith.

    Habakkuk 2:4

    He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother.
    1 John 3:7-10

    It is really sad, if “Christians” are more sinful than ever, because:


    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

    Mat. 25:46


    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 6:23
     
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Perhaps these will prove to be useful. Here are short excerpts from two excellent, well-known commentaries (on James 3:1-12).

    Both commentaries use the KJV translation.

    KJV Bible Commentary (excerpt)

    3:1. According to the structure provided in James 1:19, the second directive is “slow to speak.” The problem is rather obvious: too much talking. Its root cause lies in a proud attitude, which thrives in pretentious self-expression. Being masters or teachers (Gr didaskalos) could become the means for releasing it. Having too many teachers is like having more foremen than laborers. The Bible clearly commends submissiveness, “a contrite spirit” (Isa 66:2), but humility must not be equated with position. James cautions those who would be leaders to examine their motives. Is the Lord Himself directing you, or are you gratifying desires for self-promotion? Greater condemnation or judgment (Gr krino) parallels greater responsibility (Lk 12:48).

    2. The verb offend (Gr ptaiō) means to trip or stumble, and thus, the clause may be rendered, “We all are stumbling in many areas.” None of us has reached perfection. Perfect (Gr teleios) describes the man who has reached his goal, the man who is self-controlled. That being the case in speech, he is able also to bridle the whole body, because the tongue resists control more than any other area of behavior. Bridle pictures restrained guidance.

    3–4. Two illustrations emphasize that often what holds the greatest influence may appear insignificant, size having nothing to do with importance. In comparison to the total dimensions of a horse, a bit in the mouth appears trivial, yet the animal obeys it. Ships, enormous and driven by awesome winds, may be steered by a very small helm (Gr pēdalion), rudder. Whithersoever the governor listeth in contemporary language may be translated, “Wherever the pilot wants it to go.”

    5. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! The tongue may be compared to a match in size, but its effect is like a raging forest fire.

    6. Nowhere else in Scripture is the tongue pictured with such pungent language. It is a world of iniquity (Gr adikia, literally, unrighteousness), and it spreads throughout the body like a devouring cancer. The course of nature (Gr genesis) refers to the pattern of history; a sharp tongue may instigate war or prevent an election. The source accounts for its character; hell, (Gr geenna) originally referred to the Valley of Hinnom, south and west of Jerusalem, where a perpetual fire blazed on its garbage heaps. It became an awesome symbol of the eternal abode of the lost.

    7–8. Every is obviously restricted to creatures of sufficient intelligence to be tamed. The wildest stallion may be broken, but the tongue continually erupts in outbursts of uncontrolled emotion. This does not necessarily mean that everyone unceasingly makes unintended comments, but it does mean that even the most respected, gracious people have their own seasons of regretful words. Full of deadly poison speaks of the death blows words may deliver to good relationships. A single sentence uttered in heated discussion may sever a long friendship.

    9–10. Contrasting the actions of the tongue unveils its inconsistency: bless … curse. Although the offender may excuse his contradictory expressions on the basis of depravity, men are made after the similitude of God. In spite of man’s fall and resulting wickedness, he still bears God’s image (Gen 1:26; 5:1, 3; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Eph 4:24; and Col 3:10). Although there is an infinite qualitative difference between them, man resembles God in a way which distinguishes him from the rest of God’s creation. The Bible does not clearly specify the nature of the image, and therefore, scholars differ as to the meaning. The main views are: (1) bodily form; (2) dominion over the animal world; (3) moral nature; and (4) personality. Stephen Barabas synthesizes three of these. Man is a “rational, self-conscious, self-determining creature, capable of obedience to moral law, and intended by God for fellowship with Himself.” (Merrill C. Tenney, Ed. Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, p. 371). These things ought not so to be. A distinction may be seen in Scripture between carnal judging and spiritual discernment. Care must be practiced to aim denunciations against sin and not the sinner. The Lord can forgive the worst offender; thus Christians should hope for God’s regenerating power even in unlikely persons.

    11–12. Fountain (Gr pēgē would be a “spring” in modern terminology. Just as it would be absurd to think that it produces both sweet water and bitter, or salt walter and fresh, or that a grape vine yields figs, so a mouth which condemns men while praising God lacks credibility. That sort of person would have a shallow Christian experience, if one at all. ~Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (pp. 2591–2592). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown)

    Jam 3:1–18. DANGER OF EAGERNESS TO TEACH, AND OF AN UNBRIDLED TONGUE: TRUE WISDOM SHOWN BY UNCONTENTIOUS MEEKNESS.

    1. be not—literally, “become not”: taking the office too hastily, and of your own accord.

    many—The office is a noble one; but few are fit for it. Few govern the tongue well (Jam 3:2), and only such as can govern it are fit for the office; therefore, “teachers” ought not to be many.

    masters—rather, “teachers.” The Jews were especially prone to this presumption. The idea that faith (so called) without works (Jam 2:14–26) was all that is required, prompted “many” to set up as “teachers,” as has been the case in all ages of the Church. At first all were allowed to teach in turns. Even their inspired gifts did not prevent liability to abuse, as James here implies: much more is this so when self-constituted teachers have no such miraculous gifts.

    knowing—as all might know.

    we … greater condemnation—James in a humble, conciliatory spirit, includes himself: if we teachers abuse the office, we shall receive greater condemnation than those who are mere hearers (compare Lu 12:42–46). CALVIN, like English Version, translates, “masters” that is, self-constituted censors and reprovers of others. Jam 4:12 accords with this view.

    2. all—The Greek implies “all without exception”: even the apostles.

    offend not—literallystumbleth not”: is void of offence or “slip” in word: in which respect one is especially tried who sets up to be a “teacher.”

    3. Behold—The best authorities read, “but if,” that is, Now whensoever (in the case) of horses (such is the emphatic position of “horses” in the Greek) we put the bits (so literally, “the customary bits”) into their mouths that they may obey us, we turn about also their whole body. This is to illustrate how man turns about his whole body with the little tongue. “The same applies to the pen, which is the substitute for the tongue among the absent” [BENGEL].

    4. Not only animals, but even ships.

    the governor listeth—literally, “the impulse of the steersman pleaseth.” The feeling which moves the tongue corresponds with this.

    5. boasteth great things—There is great moment in what the careless think “little” things [BENGEL]. Compare “a world,” “the course of nature,” “hell,” Jam 3:6, which illustrate how the little tongue’s great words produce great mischief.

    how great a matter a little fire kindleth—The best manuscripts read, “how little a fire kindleth how great a,” &c. ALFORD, for “matter,” translates, “forest.” But GROTIUS translates as English Version, “material for burning”: a pile of fuel.

    6. Translate, “The tongue, that world of iniquity, is a fire.” As man’s little world is an image of the greater world, the universe, so the tongue is an image of the former [BENGEL].

    so—omitted in the oldest authorities.

    is—literally, “is constituted.” “The tongue is (constituted), among the members, the one which defileth,” &c. (namely, as fire defiles with its smoke).

    course of nature—“the orb (cycle) of creation.”

    setteth on fire … is set on fire—habitually and continually. While a man inflames others, he passes out of his own power, being consumed in the flame himself.

    of hell—that is, of the devil. Greek, “Gehenna”; found here only and in Mt 5:22. James has much in common with the Sermon on the Mount (Pr 16:27).

    7. every kind—rather, “every nature” (that is, natural disposition and characteristic power).

    of beasts—that is, quadrupeds of every disposition; as distinguished from the three other classes of creation, “birds, creeping things (the Greek includes not merely ‘serpents,’ as English Version), and things in the sea.”

    is tamed, and hath been—is continually being tamed, and hath been so long ago.

    of mankind—rather, “by the nature of man”: man’s characteristic power taming that of the inferior animals. The dative in the Greek may imply, “Hath suffered itself to be brought into tame subjection TO the nature of men.” So it shall be in the millennial world; even now man, by gentle firmness, may tame the inferior animal, and even elevate its nature.

    8. no man—literally, “no one of men”: neither can a man control his neighbor’s, nor even his own tongue. Hence the truth of Jam 3:2 appears.

    unruly evil—The Greek, implies that it is at once restless and incapable of restraint. Nay, though nature has hedged it in with a double barrier of the lips and teeth, it bursts from its barriers to assail and ruin men [ESTIUS].

    deadly—literally, “death-bearing.”

    9. God—The oldest authorities read, “Lord.” “Him who is Lord and Father.” The uncommonness of the application of “Lord” to the Father, doubtless caused the change in modern texts to “God” (Jam 1:27). But as Messiah is called “Father,” Is 9:6, so God the Father is called by the Son’s title, “Lord”: showing the unity of the Godhead. “Father” implies His paternal love; “Lord,” His dominion.

    men, which—not “men who”; for what is meant is not particular men, but men genetically [ALFORD].

    are made after … similitude of God—Though in a great measure man has lost the likeness of God in which he was originally made, yet enough of it still remains to show what once it was, and what in regenerated and restored man it shall be. We ought to reverence this remnant and earnest of what man shall be in ourselves and in others. “Absalom has fallen from his father’s favor, but the people still recognize him to be the king’s son” [BENGEL]. Man resembles in humanity the Son of man, “the express image of His person” (Heb 1:3), compare Ge 1:26; 1 Jn 4:20. In the passage, Ge 1:26, “image” and “likeness” are distinct: “image,” according to the Alexandrians, was something in which men were created, being common to all, and continuing to man after the fall, while the “likeness” was something toward which man was created, to strive after and attain it: the former marks man’s physical and intellectual, the latter his moral pre-eminence.

    10. The tongue, says AESOP, is at once the best and the worst of things. So in a fable, a man with the same breath blows hot and cold. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (compare Ps 62:4).

    brethren—an appeal to their consciences by their brotherhood in Christ.

    ought not so to be—a mild appeal, leaving it to themselves to understand that such conduct deserves the most severe reprobation.

    11. fountain—an image of the heart: as the aperture (so the Greek for “place” is literally) of the fountain is an image of man’s mouth. The image here is appropriate to the scene of the Epistle, Palestine, wherein salt and bitter springs are found. Though “sweet” springs are sometimes found near, yet “sweet and bitter” (water) do not flow “at the same place” (aperture). Grace can make the same mouth that “sent forth the bitter” once, send forth the sweet for the time to come: as the wood (typical of Christ’s cross) changed Marah’s bitter water into sweet.

    12. Transition from the mouth to the heart.

    Can the fig tree, &c.—implying that it is an impossibility: as before in Jam 3:10 he had said it “ought not so to be.” James does not, as Matthew (Mt 7:16, 17), make the question, “Do men gather figs of thistles?” His argument is, No tree “can” bring forth fruit inconsistent with its nature, as for example, the fig tree, olive berries: so if a man speaks bitterly, and afterwards speaks good words, the latter must be so only seemingly, and in hypocrisy, they cannot be real.

    so can no fountain … salt … and fresh—The oldest authorities read, “Neither can a salt (water spring) yield fresh.” So the mouth that emits cursing, cannot really emit also blessing. ~Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 489–490).

    --David
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  7. ewq1938

    ewq1938 Chewbacca kree! Supporter

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    Of course there is.

    Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

    offend
    G4417
    πταίω
    ptaiō
    ptah'-yo
    A form of G4098; to trip, that is, (figuratively) to err, sin, fail (of salvation): - fall, offend, stumble.

    This is a type of trip or stumble that on a deeper level refers to a type of sin or error.

    This is a good translation to make it easier to understand in modern English:

    CEV
    Jas 3:1 My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others.
    Jas 3:2 All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.
    Jas 3:3 By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions.
    Jas 3:4 It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction.
    Jas 3:5 Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things. It takes only a spark to start a forest fire!
    Jas 3:6 The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person's entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself.
    Jas 3:7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed.
    Jas 3:8 But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.
    Jas 3:9 My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn't right.
     
  8. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    I don't give much credence to commentaries of those I don't know, but this one's observation of "too much talking" was on the spot.
    They had a bad case of "too many cooks spoil the broth", as some were offering teachings counter to the message Jesus delivered for our salvation.
    That is the reason "all" were being offended.
     
  9. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Again, it is your version of the bible's interpretation that causes you to read James 3:3 as an accusation against all.
    Instead of against those who are teaching the "salt water" counter-productive doctrines.

    "Too many cooks spoil the broth."
     
  10. Sorgen

    Sorgen New Member

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    Who are the unspirit-filled Christians?
     
  11. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

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    John 3:8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
     
  12. Sorgen

    Sorgen New Member

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    "His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” - Job 2:9
     
  13. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

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    Job 13:12 “Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
    13 “Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may.
    14Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?
    15 Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”
     
  14. Sorgen

    Sorgen New Member

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    But I cry out to you, Lord;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
    Why do you reject my soul, Lord,
    and hide your face from me?
    I have been mortally afflicted since youth;
    I have borne your terrors and I am made numb.
    Your wrath has swept over me;
    your terrors have destroyed me.
    All day they surge round like a flood;
    from every side they encircle me.
    Because of you friend and neighbor shun me;
    my only friend is darkness.

    -Ending of Psalm 88
     
  15. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

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    Psalms 139:1 Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. 3 You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord. 5 You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. 6 [This] extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to [reach] it. 7 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. 9 If I live at the eastern horizon [or] settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will become night"-
     
  16. Sorgen

    Sorgen New Member

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    They waged war against the Midianites, as the Lord had commanded Moses, and killed every male. Besides those slain in battle, they killed the kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian; and they also killed Balaam, son of Beor, with the sword. But the Israelites took captive the women of the Midianites with their children, and all their herds and flocks and wealth as loot, while they set on fire all the towns where they had settled and all their encampments. Then they took all the plunder, with the people and animals they had captured, and brought the captives, together with the spoils and plunder, to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the Israelite community at their camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho. - from the Book of Numbers
     
  17. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

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    Exodus 32:26 And Moses stood at the camp's entrance and said, "Whoever is for the Lord, [come] to me." And all the Levites gathered around him.
    27 He told them, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'Every man fasten his sword to his side; go back and forth through the camp from entrance to entrance, and each of you kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.' "
    28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and about 3,000 men fell dead that day among the people.
    29 Afterwards Moses said, "Today you have been dedicated to the Lord, since each man went against his son and his brother. Therefore you have brought a blessing on yourselves today."
     
  18. Sorgen

    Sorgen New Member

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    Blessed the one who seizes your children
    and smashes them against the rock. - from Psalm 137
     
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