NOTE: Below is a very good reply that I got from a reader about the "SINLESS LIFE" article. But first some reflections of my own... 1) "MY EXPERIENCE of a CLEAN HEART" -by Andrew Strom. I have been walking with God now for 22 years. I was filled with the Holy Spirit when I was 17 - and that was really the turning point. It was an overnight transformation in my life. And after I read a few 'Revival' books, that was all I cared about. -The glory of God coming down and transforming people. I was hungry for God to move. Something happened to me when I was converted that I always assumed was "normal" - and still believe it should be. God gave me a true 'fear of the Lord' from the start, and a deep repentance where I literally went right through my life and repented of everything I could find that was not godly. So I was "clean" and newly filled with the Spirit - filled with His love and power. And I found that I could literally WALK in this 'clean' state before God - without any "effort" or striving whatsoever. I just figured this was normal. It became my 'natural' state - walking with a clean conscience and clean heart before God. Did I have to "strive" to maintain this constant "clean heart" state? No, not at all. I simply avoided sin and kept walking in this inner purity that God had given me. No effort at all, really. It just seemed "natural". The Scripture, "There is no condemnation to them in Christ Jesus" was very real to me. I could sense that indeed I walked under a new "law" - the 'Law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus' which had made me free from the law of sin and death. Whenever I discovered any 'darkness' in me that I had not seen before, I instantly would repent of it because God had given me a deep hatred of sin. This is one of the keys to this kind of walk. I could not stand for anything to come in between me and God. I simply walked before Him in this permanent state of communion and fellowship. If I inadvertently "tripped up" in such a way that I noticed a kind of "spot" on my white robe, so to speak, I was very quick to deal with it because I hated sin and loved walking in total transparency before God. -But it was not common for me to have to do that. Sometimes weeks would go by without me having to seriously "repent" of anything. 'Clean' had become my natural state - a wonderful gift from God. This is not to say that temptation never came along. Of course it did. I just had to choose not to entertain it. I hated sin and loved God too much to indulge it. But did this mean that I was outwardly "perfect"? No! -Just that I was inwardly walking with Him in righteousness and "purifying myself as He is pure". And so the years went by... I read the book, "The Normal Christian Life" by Watchman Nee, and along with some other Revival books, etc, - this helped me to understand better the state I was in - and to assume it was "normal". But I would often come across other Christians who seemed surprised when I would share a little about what I was experiencing. Many did not seem to live in any genuine "victory" over sin - and seemed to be always 'repenting' with little real result. They told me I needed to keep "short accounts with God" which seemed to mean that I had to repent every half-hour or so. What kind of "victory" this was, I could not discern. Didn't Jesus die so that we could walk with God as ADAM did before the fall - communing with Him in the "cool of the evening"? Isn't that the whole point? -To give us a clean heart and restore us to full communion with God - as an actual STATE OF BEING? Isn't it just that simple? Another thing God taught me later on was to "RENOUNCE" things that were serious temptations in my life. This did not affect my "righteousness of heart" before God one way or the other, but it did affect my mind - and the clarity of it. I was no longer bombarded with temptations anywhere near as much after 'RENOUNCING' those strongholds out of my life. I have now been walking with God in this "clean-heart" way for 22 years. It does not seem to be an "effort" or anything 'hard'. I have been made a 'new creature' and I simply walk in it as a "natural" state. My heart and my conscience are continually clean before God - washed in the blood of the lamb. So what are the pre-requisites for this kind of walk? -Simply to have a true "fear of the Lord", to have experienced "thorough repentance" and also to have been baptized and Spirit-filled, I believe. -Simple stuff, really. For most of us the door is wide open to walking in this. Can you trust God for it, my friends? Will you enter in? -God bless you all. -Andrew Strom. ------------------------------------------------- 2) A Reader, Lyall Scheib, writes: The Bible is very clear about it's expectations of sinlessness in 1John 3:6- "Whoever abides in Him does not sin" and verse 8, "He who sins is of the devil," and then verse 9, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin because he has been born of God." That verse says the one born of God cannot sin! Most Christians I know say the opposite, they cannot NOT sin. I am amazed at Bible believing, Spirit filled, tongues speaking, signs and wonders embracing Christians who believe God can raise the dead and heal cancers, calm storms, etc, but they don't believe that one little phrase - "he cannot sin...." Seems to me if we don't believe it we won't get it, just like healings and miracles. It is time we started believing every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. John actually wrote his epistle with that purpose in mind. 1 Jn 2:1- "...these things I write to you so that you may not sin." Of course there is the possibility that we might sin because we are still human so the next phrase begins with an "if" like it's a rarity. "And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." I actually believe the blood of Jesus is not for continually practised sin but only for repented-of and departed- from sin. Look at Hebrews 10:26. "For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins but a certain frearful expectation of judgement..." While I am on the subject I have to mention Romans 6: such phrases as, "sin shall not have dominion over you," and "that we should no longer be slaves to sin," or, "how shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" and, "having been set free from sin." These verses all say the same thing: it's an odd thing for a Christian to continue to sin. The key to how we might be able to live that way is in verses 11 to 13. Briefly: 1. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 2. Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, and 3. do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but 4. present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Blessings on the Righteous in Christ Jesus, ~Lyall Scheib.