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I've heard it a lot, but have never seen it in the Scriptures. So many say we are born sinful, or are born with a sinful nature. There's no quote from the Bible or EGW writings to sustain this belief.

Unless a sinful nature is something other than the natural tendency to sin. Is there another definition of "sinful nature"?

People naturally sin because they see so many others in the world naturally sinning. Not because of something they are born with. Children naturally copy their parents. For instance, whenever we see a wicked king, it always says that he walked in the way of his fathers. That's because his fathers where a stronger influence on him than the prophets.

You would have to say that if any child of any wicked person on earth where taken at birth to heaven to be raised by a sinless couple on an unfallen world, that that child would somehow be inclined to sin.

There's no way. A sinful nature is not something we are born with. It's something that we learn from others in this wicked world.

Jesus kept Himself from sinning by doing God's work. That's why He said:

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.


Then you can't say that a person who is doing God's work constantly and has not even the slightest inclination to give into temptation, has a sinful nature. Because where it may have once been natural for him to sin, it is now natural for him to do righteousness. This should be the case for all of us. We should all have a new nature in Christ.

Job kept himself from sin since his youth by keeping busy doing the Lord's work. Read the book of Job. The only sin the Devil could bring up against him, he had to dig up from when Job was a kid:

Job 13:26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.

Some are born filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist....


See all the things he would spend his life doing?

John was not born with a sinful nature. He was born filled with the Holy Ghost. That's because his parents where holy. They where not sinful. Maybe they where at one time, but they where not any more. They had a new nature in Christ. This is what God is able to do. He is able to make you holy. Don't deny it. Accept it. And give glory to God for it.

And then your children can be holy:

1 Cor. 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy

This is a quick, ungraceful post. I apologize. I'm seriously pressed for time. Thank you for your patience. God bless.

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This is a puzzle that many have attempted to sort out. Myself included. However, the other day I found a text that in fact unlocked, what I beleive, is the answer. I'll just give a brief outline here without all of the texts or supporting arguments that support it. If those are desired, I will be happy to furnish them.

In my devotional reading some time back now, I came across a passage that I have read many times. It is this one.

"Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?" Romans 6:16 (ESV)

The implications of this principle are far reaching in the Bible. In fact, I am in the process of fininshing up a small book on this. The results are exciting.

For now, consider the concept of "slave vs. free." When God made this world, it was perfect. Adam and Eve were free. God gave mankind a special gift, i.e. the freedom of choice in matters of moral issues. It is called "free moral agency." God created in the mind of the human race a special part of the brain where we can make those choices. No other member of the animal kingdom has been given this special gift.

This special gift was given to mankind so they could choose whose side they would be on in the war Satan started in heaven against the throne of God. For such a intelligent being such as Satan was, to attempt something so very stupid is a mystery. After all, the bottom line is this. God is the source of all life. If you destroy or choose to seperate oneself from the source of all life, guess what, you die. This is on the level of cutting off the limb you are standing on, between you and the tree. Not the brightest move.

So, while Adam and Eve were free moral agents, as soon as Eve choose to obey an authority other then God, she became the slave of Satan. Then Satan sent Eve on the first "missionary journey," to her husband Adam. When Adam choose to "obey the voice of his wife," he became her slave and a slave of Satan. This placed Satan into the position of the highest authority on this world. There is more, but I'll move on.

Slavery is passed down through the male, not the female. So, when Jesus was born, even though his mother, Mary, was a slave of Satan, like everyone else who had been born on planet earth since Eden, since His Father was a freeman, Jesus was also. So, both Adam and Jesus were born as free men, with no enslavement to Satan. The differenc is in the choices they made. Adam listened to the voice of his wife. Jesus would do nothing except what His Father in Heaven would tell Him to do. John 5:30 etc.

However, both Adam and Jesus were born into human bodies. The difference is that the body that Adam had was perfect and he was living in a perfect place. While the body that Jesus took on was one that was affected by some 4,000 years of sin. Even though His body was "sinful," i.e. affected by the results of sin. Jesus was not a slave of Satan. For at no time did He ever do anything Satan asked, commanded, suggested, told, hinted or any other method of communication, what Satan wanted Him to do.

Since sin is the attitude that causes a person to make a choice in areas of morals that is not what God would have us to do, or to follow Satan's way. It is the use of the will that determines whether we are a sinner or not, not what kind fo a body we have.

So, when Jesus came to earth, Satan had a major problem. Not since Adam and Eve had he had to deal with someone who was once again a free moral agent, a freeman.

Now, if a slave owner were to kill one of his slave, he was fined, etc. However, if that same person caused the death of a free man, he was sentenced to death. So, when Satan caused the death of a freeman, Jesus, he brought upon himself the death sentence.

Convicted felons have no rights. Especially when the charge is murder. Satan became a convicted felon in the eyes of the Universe, when he was the one who caused the death of Jesus. The punishment for taking the life of a free moral agent is the forfiture of one's own life.

So, today, not all who are born are slaves of Satan, i.e. sinners. Children who are born to parents who have choosen to be slaves of Jesus, are free people. Children who are born to parents who have chosen to follow Satan, are still extended the opportunity to choose to change masters.

In addition to the above, consider this. When one is baptized, they die to their old life and are raised into a new life. In doing so, several things happen.
1. They give up their old nationality and they become a child of God.
2. They give up their old family and become a member of the family of God.
3. They give up their old characters that demands that they do things thier way and take on robe of Christ's righteousness and His method of overcoming sin.
4. The result is that they now have a new inheritance.

One who has been baptized is a new person. No longer a slave of Satan, but by the rite of baptism, they have declared their change to becoming part of all of those who have choosen to be on His side.

So, today it is not so much an issue about who our earthly parents are, as it is who we choose to be our parents.

God has made salvation so exceedingly simple. Choose who we will serve. When that choice becomes so much of a part of our being that we will allow God to make any changes He sees needs to be made, then we are perfect and safe to save. No wonder Satan is doing all he can to confuse our understanding on this most important subject.

Maranatha :)
Ray
MsMS

My goodness, I did not know that women lived that long? I always was told that they only aged to about 39 or 49 if by reason of strength.

May I share a story?

A lady came into our circle of friends who did not know how to drive. She and her family were from overseas and she had always had a chauffer. However, they purchased a home out in the country and not one in the family knew how to drive. So, my late wife and I taught them how to drive (the husband was not able to drive for other reasons.) Well, the day came, or came again, for her to take her test. She was failed and I wanted to know why. Oh, just for reference, I started driving at about 10 on the farm and have driven about everything from a riding lawn mower to huge earthmoving equipment. And have been through a couple of courses in drivers training. Plus I use to drive over 50,000 miles a year, other then truck driving.

Well, they told me what she had failed on and I objected. Actually, the tester painted herself into a corner, since she had asked the one being tested to make an illegal movement then failed her because she had. I knew the manager of that branch of the DMV, so I protested to her. She launched into a dialouge about how well they were educated, etc. Finally, when she wound down, I said: "Mame, I have been driving longer then you are old." With that she really became indignent. She shot back: "Well!!! I am older then that!!!!!" With that, I burst out laughing and said: "Hmmmm, that is the first time a lady has said that she is older then I said she was." She couldn't help but smile a little, but that ended the discussion. The lady I had brought in was given her license.

Oh, yes, the DMV manager and I continued to be friends. She knew how onrey I can be, and realized she had just walked into a trap.

However, with that, I am not going to touch the age issue. It is too hot to handle.

Marantha :)
Ray
Good, I am glad that I made someone happy, even if it is a 70's something lady. Actually, from what I hear, don't you know, they are the hardest to make happy. However, that is just a rumor and you know how rumors go.
The lady I referred to was in her late 40's when the events I wrote about happened. She too had taken the test several times and . . . . . .. Well, let's say that it was necessary for her to take it again.

A part of the story I left out was this. One day when she was out driving with my wife (we took turns teaching her) they stopped by a DMV in another town nearby. When they found out, after the test, that she was not living in their town, they became quite irrate. Well, between that time and when I took her in to the local DMV, the tester had been transferred down here, so she got the same person who had gotten mad at her in the other DMV. But, the district manager had overheard our conversation and she took the lady who was applying for a license on a short drive and passed her.

While talking about driving tests. I appled for a license in another state, where I was enrolling for college. I had been warned that they never passed anyone the first time. I could see why when I took the test. The one doing the testing was doing anything except watching my driving. So when I was failed, and I had driven a whole lot more then the one doing the testing, the manager said he would take a ride with me the next moring, as it was late. The amusing part was that in the first test, I did not make a single mistake. While when I went out with the manager, I was so irritated that I did just about everything wrong. He said that he realized the problem and passed me anyhow. So, the test I should have passed, I failed. While the test I messed up on really good, I passed. Go figure.

Maranatha :)
Ray

My late wife also had some most interesting tales about learning to drive. It seems as if she was traveling with her sister and her husband and they stopped along the road so she could get her drivers license and help with the driving, or something like that. All I know was that she had some "reeducation" to go through when we got married in that area. But, she turned into a good driver.

When we traveled, I would often sleep so I would be refreshed to continue driving when she got tired. She asked me how I could sleep with her driving. I jokingly told her that I had to sleep so I would not know what was going on. However, I attempted to make it very clear that I was just teasing her, which was not hard to convince her of.

Ray
MsMS

On the serious side. I just had a similiar discussion with a friend ,who my wife roomed with when she was in nurses training. We went on one "date," neither of us wanted to go on a second one. However, we have been good friends for some 45 plus years. My wife passed away about 6+ years ago and her husband passed away about 2 or 3 years ago. Yet, we are still just friends. (She can't stand my teasing. ) So, when I made some comments about age, she was not amused.

However my real feelings on the subject of age is that one can look at it as a glass half full, or half empty. I prefer to look at it the first way. While I can be dead serious, I also feel that to make a person laugh is not all that bad either. I even crack jokes with people in the grocery, etc., line who I have never meet before and will most likly never see again. At least not if they see me first.

But, each day is a gift from God. During my lifetime, I have knocked on death's door so many times I have a frequent visitors pass there now. The miracles I could tell about how God has stepped in and kept me in the land of the living, would fill a book. God has been so good that I have trouble believing it myself that He has seen fit to be so concerned about me. Praise be to God. So, with all of that, each day to me is a treasure, a gift from God, something to be greatly treasured. So, when the counter passed 70, I could praise God that He had given me all of that time to serve and praise Him.

One accident that I survived ,for a while left me totally paralyzed. However, God saw fit to restore everything. So, when I have a bad day, I just stop and think, but for the grace of God, I would be a quadriplegic. So, as a result, I see "age" as a blessing from God. I have an aunt who is 87 and can get around better then I can. I have another friend who is a professional painter who is still working at close to 80. They both seem younger then I feel.

So, MsMS and anyone else who has read this far. Count your days as blessings from God. The higher the number the more you have to thank God for. After all, the alternative, or at least, so I am told, is nothing near as nice as being alive. The wise man said:

Eccles. 9:4 (ESV)
"But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion."

So, whoof, whoof, I am happy that God has blessed you with those years. Wear them as a badge of honor.

Marantha :)
Ray
Hi Pastor Phillips

I like your explaination of: "Now, if a slave owner were to kill one of his slave, he was fined, etc. However, if that same person caused the death of a free man, he was sentenced to death. So, when Satan caused the death of a freeman, Jesus, he brought upon himself the death sentence."

This remind of this verses, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Cor 2:7-8

It seem like Satan and his demons are not that clever after all, Satan read the Bible thoroughly and probably memorize it too, while claiming and wanting to be god but yet the verses that show his doom, he understood it not. Oh the irony, of a being of such intelligence, yet using all his capacity to work more toward his destruction, and further his punishment in the lake of fire, and ultimately be of ashes and forever no more. I am looking forward to seeing that day.
William C

Yes, Satan certainly has not earned any awards for brilliance, that is for sure. While I have done some stupid things in my life, nothing I have done is even in the league Satan dominates. The amazing thing is that people flock to his program and ignore the offer from heaven of sitting on the throne of the Universe with Jesus. Just how much sense does that make?

But, with the risk of leaving a wrong impression, more then once I have met some highly educated people who leave me wondering if they did not waste their time and money. I am not that smart, however, one thing that I did get from the schooling I do have is this. One does not have to be that smart, all they really need to know is where to find the answers. If they choose their sources wisely, they will appear far more wise then in fact they really are. On the other hand, if they choose their sources poorly, they will show themselves to be not nearly as smart as their education might indicate they should be. (OK, did I tape dance around the landmine sufficently? )

It has been my experience that when we take God at His word, that the wisdom we display is as far above human wisdom as the sun is above the earth. And everyone can have that level of wisdom, if they just give up on their opinions and realize that in fact, God is really a whole lot smarter then they are. Really, that is a fact.

Maranatha :)
Ray
This is really good stuff, here, Ray!!..I appreciate the words....Also, I would like to address the issue of Christ being tempted like as we are...

I would say, that having been from Heaven, and having been under such attack from birth, that maybe His temptations were FAR MORE than what WE COULD bear!!...That the temptations He faced were things such as how He could end ALL His suffering, WITHOUT the cross as the final conclusion....How He could call down fire from heaven, and end satans miserable existance at any given moment...I would say He was tempted like as we are, and SO MUCH MORE!!!...

He who has more, is the one satan will attack, and Jesus had the most...Which means we have the most...And It is the same that we and He both possess...The Holy Spirit....And so, the temptations can be called similar, just because the possesion that both He and we have is the same..We are both tempted out of the same nature of His Spirit..

If Christ is for us, who can be against us??....Well, no one successfully, unless we let go of Him...And then, we are tempted alone...And we are so weak without Him...
Rush4hire
This question comes up, usually becasue of a faulty understanding of the nature of sin. To see a more complete discussion, go to my web site: www.basicsoftheword.com. Check on the chapter on "What is Sin?" This will give you much more information.

The temptations Jesus endured, were, if anything, much more severe then what we have to face. As for the "all points" concept, this is true. However, the "all points" are not what many at first understand. The whole issue is: "Who will we serve?" Will we trust God enough to that when He askes for that which is nearest to our heart, whatever it might be, that we will willingly give it to Him. That is the one and only test anyone has to meet, and it is the one that Jesus passed. In doing so, He ensured our salvation. Will we do things our way or God's way? Do we harbor the idea that just maybe God is holding something back that is "rightfully ours"? Do we really believe that God is indeed much wiser then we are and that He has very good reason for what He asks us to do, even if we cannot see it at the time.

That is the test that Jesus passed. Oh, yes, it was addressed in many various ways, but the bottom line is that these questions have been asked and they need to be answered.

Maranatha :)
Ray
MsMS

Which again reminds me of the friday evening sermon at the GC. The pastor of the Loma Linda University church stressed a point that I have come to be stressing more and more. And he used the story of Abraham when he was called to sacrifice Isaac. No human being that I know of has ever been called to make such a sacrifice. Yet, Abrahm demonstrated to the Universe that his loyalty was with the God of Heaven and even such a stupid, idiotic request to kill his God given special son of promise, was what He would do. Solely because God asked him to.

Yet, that is the point we must come to if we expect to inherit eternal life. It is in fact just that simple.

Maranatha :)
Ray
So, in the year 2010, we're still having these fruitless debates about the nature of Jesus. Amazing!!!
"Only "fruitless" to those that do not see the crucial importance of the nature Jesus "took upon Himself" in order to defeat sin where sin took hold, in our sinful nature. He did that on the cross and now if we choose, we can also be victorious in our sinful human nature and when He comes He will redeem us and make our nature "like unto His", perfect and immortal."

You do realize that your quote above raises questions as to the omnipotence, and therefore, infallibility and omniscience, of God?
these are not the actions associated with an omnipotent God.

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