“Without a single fault”

“Without a single fault”

Does that describe you?  This phrase is in the Bible.

For adults in Idaho Falls, we are studying I Corinthians on Sunday mornings, 10:45 am.  We are examining Galatians on Monday mornings, 7:00 am.  And we are discussing Colossians on Wednesday nights, 6:30 pm.

For teens in Idaho Falls, Beau Floyd, our pastoral intern, is leading a study in Exodus on Thursday nights, 6:30 pm.  He is teaching Revelation on Sunday mornings, 9:30 am.

Now in providing that commercial blurb, let me get back to the Bible phrase, “without a single fault.”  We are going to talk about that phrase tonight in Colossians 1.

As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault (Colossians 1:22, NLT)

Do you believe that this kind of amazing reconciliation is available for you?  And as a saint living within the I-15 Corridor, am I able to say because of the work of Jesus Christ in my life that I am without a single fault?

Apart from Christ, I was once a hostile enemy of God.

Union with Christ, I am now without a single fault.

Good news?  How can it get any better than that?  This is the faith that I will continue in, grounded and steadfast.  What needs restored?  Why let anyone move you away from the hope of this gospel?

14 comments

  1. Uh, Todd? The NLT is a PARAPHRASE and is known for, shall we say, certain theological biases.

    In KJV, Colossians 1:21-23 reads as follows:

    “[21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
    [22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
    [23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;”

    From the RSV:

    .
    “[21]And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [22] he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him,
    [23] provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

    I am no expert on Greek tenses, but Berry’s interlinear translation also “to present”. And what? You just plain ignored verse 23!

    IOW, we WILL be presented, in the future, “holy and blameless and irreproachable” IF we “continue in the faith”.

    You know darn well that you are not “blameless and irreproachable” at this time, and neither am I. We remain in the flesh. We must continue to struggle to “put to death the deeds of the flesh”. Or, as we read in I John:

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ” (I John 1:8-10, 2:1-2 RSV)

    http://www.orthocuban.com/2011/03/of-whom-i-am-the-worst

  2. 1. What is the purpose of the reconciliation in verse 21?

    This is it.

    “parasteisai humas hagious kai anomous kai anegkleitous”

    It is an aorist, active infinitive with three sweeping accusative, plural, masculine adjectives that leaves one speechless. Absolutely stunning. I know how I view myself. I know how you and others view me. But in thinking how God views me . . .

    It is a supernatural miracle.

    2. And what about verse 23? Greg, why would I not continue in light of what happened to me in verses 21-22!

    Why?

  3. And speaking of theological bias, the RSV scholars just can’t use that word, propitiation in I John, can they?

    It is just not allowed in their soteriology.

  4. So, God sees you differently than you really are, Todd? I don’t think so. God sees you, sees me, as we are, knows us far better than we can know ourselves, but loves us anyway. God loves so much that one of the Divine Persons suffered in the flesh, died voluntarily, in order to destroy our enemies: Satan, sin, death. THAT is good news!

    By faith, we hope that a day will come, after we have been resurrected, when we are, in fact, “holiness and blameless and irreproachable”, but in the meantime, we are cautioned, strongly cautioned, against being presumptuous.

    “Let those who stand take heed lest they fall.”

    Todd, if we could not fall away, could not continue in the faith, why would Scripture even mention the possibility? Why the warnings such as the one I quote above from I Corinthians? In that passage, in I Corinthians 10, St. Paul goes on in this vein at some length.

    Please, please, please don’t presume on the grace of God. Those who do fall and fall hard. Trust, yes, but do not presume. Christ died for you because God loves you, not vice-versa.

  5. Why the biblical warnings? Because there are those not resting on God’s grace, Greg. There is agonizing example after example in contemporary America. I read the stories of what these people are writing today. They have completely moved themselves from the hope of the gospel. But here is the question: Did they ever experience supernatural regeneration? Were they ever in the everlasting covenant (Jer. 32:40)? These are serious questions that people need to ask themselves.

    And yet don’t forget all the biblical assurances. Bedrock assurances. Actually, stronger than bedrock. No earthquake. No power. Nothing that can move the promise of how one stands in the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is all anchored in God’s sacrificial, unshakable, eternal love.

  6. RE: “propitiation”.

    When “hilaskomai” and related words are used in the LXX, they clearly mean either “to seek the favor of” God” apart from any question of dealing with sin or, often with God as subject, “expiation”/”purification” as the translation of “kipper” meaning “to wipe away” or “to cover”.

    What would “propitiate” God more than the “expiation” of sin?

  7. Expiation reveals God ‘s love. Propitiation puts on display before the world God’s love and justice.

  8. To your last comment, Todd: again, Christ died for us because God loves us, not vice-versa, and it is “the blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin”. That is expiation.

    Beyond that, you are assuming that the folks of whom you speak have not been regenerated. St. Paul’s warnings are addressed to those who have clearly been reborn and incorporated into Christ by faith and baptism. Again, see, for example, I Corinthians 10: “Let those who stand take heed lest they fall.”

    “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” – Romans 8:13

    You know that I have very little patience for Mormonism and the attendant notion that we can stake a claim on God, on God’s grace, on God’s love, by our works. God loves us and wants only our good. Full stop. The fall consisted precisely in doubting that and acting against that; we therefore continue to doubt this and to be suspicious of God at a very deep level Frankly, PSA exacerbates that suspicion.

    However, we cannot, for all that, sit back and refuse to do the therapy that Christ “the physician of our souls and bodies” (that’s not from the Bible; its from the Byzantine Rite, but I challenge you to deny it) prescribes for our healing, our salvation.

  9. “But the justice also intersects with sin.”

    There’s not enough here for me to engage with (although I think you are referring to Romans 3:21-26, right?).

    At your convenience, please expand upon this, but in so doing, remember the Parable of the Prodigal Son. 😉

  10. Yes, I love that passage, Greg.

    Hey, my friend, I am going to be on a little blog sabbatical. I am thinking about the upcoming Passion Week in April.

    But I will be back. 😉

  11. Nobody is truly blameless, i.e. without sin, so Paul must have meant that they were doing well and running smoothly over all. It just like a school that is running well and has no major problems can have a few students in detention, and some that are failing class. We know that no human being is sinless in the truest sense, so we can only be perfect and blameless by virtue of Jesus, and His perfection and blamelessness being applied to us by living faith.

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