False ~ Even the Apostle Paul said, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15-20).
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Philippians 3:12-16).
Kernel of Truth ~ Christians in the process of becoming more and more like Christ. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Salvation ~ The key to understanding this is to comprehend the three phases of salvation through Jesus Christ. First, at the moment of specific decision of confessing sine, repenting of sin, and deciding to follow Christ the new believer is saved from the Penalty of Sin (justification). Second, throughout the remainder of their live they are being (current tense) being saved from the Power of Sin as they become more like Christ (sanctification). Finally, in the next life believers are saved from the Presence of Sin (glorification).
Application ~ Because all of us continue to sin (to varying extents) the Christian should never expect perfection from any other believer. Our focus should always be on God and not on our pastor, elders, or other humans—otherwise we will at some point become very disappointed and sometimes even disillusioned with the Christian faith.
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