“Awake To Righteousness, and Sin Not” – Paul Did Attain

(1Cor 15:34 [Webster])Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak [this] to your shame.

Today, preachers will have you believe that your hope is only in the resurrection. Resurrection is indeed our primary and ultimate hope. It is the blessed hope of eternal life free from the corruption of the flesh, free from sin and death and forever one with God.

The resurrection is our future hope. We have also a present hope. We have a present deliverance, a real and present deliverer which is Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in us.

Preachers today tell us we will always be sinners until we die. They make our death, the death of a sinner, our deliverance. They make our own death our hope. This does not agree with the word of God.

A man’s personal experience is not a tool by which to interpret or filter scripture. Because the preacher can’t or won’t stop sinning does not mean that the bible teaches that we have to sin until death delivers us.

In Paul’s time, there were those who were teaching that there is no resurrection. In Paul’s effort to correct this error he made the following statement:

(1Cor 15:19 [Webster])If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

In Paul’s reassurance to the Corinthians, he points to two hopes. One now and one in the resurrection, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. Notice there is a hope now. We do not have to be subject to sin for the rest of our lives.

Jesus Christ is our deliverance, not the death of a sinner. Corruption and the battle against sin will surely end with our resurrection/transformation at Christ’s coming. Until then, we have a present hope and an internal power. The very power of the God of all creation abides in us enabling us to walk in righteousness and holiness. Listen to Paul and compare these words of Paul to those preachers who say “you will always sin until you die”.

(1Cor 15:34 [Webster]) Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak [this] to your shame.

No Apostle of Christ ever preached that we will always sin until we die.

There is what I call Parrot theology out there where so many repeat an error so often as to make it sound like an irrefutable truth. One major error is that Paul claimed to be a sinner until death when he said “not that I have attained…” in Philippians 3:12. They completely overlook or ignore verse 11 which clearly shows he was talking about the resurrection. “If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead”. Then the other parrot theology says no one can be perfect when in the same passage Paul declares the exact opposite: 15)”Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you”.
Lets look at the passage in Philippians 3:

Philippians 3:10-21 – Casting Down Imaginations – Two Perfections

We will be looking at Philippians 3:10-21

10)That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death;

11)If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

12)Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13)Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,

14)I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15)Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.

16)Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

17)Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

18)(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19)Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

20)For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21)Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.

People love to quote Paul here in their effort to refute entire sanctification.

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:12)

They assert that this proves that Paul was a sinner too, that is, that he sinned all his life and never attained unto entire sanctification. unfortunately many simply repeat what they have heard as though it is true and by so doing, miss what Paul was actually saying.

One might wonder, “have they ever actually read the entire book of Philippians or even this entire chapter? Or even verses 11 and 15?”

Verses 11 and 15: “If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.”(Philippians 3:11)

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.”(Philippian 3:15)

Paul was speaking here of two perfections. One, the crown of glory which he has not nor does he expect to attain until the resurrection from the dead. That is what this entire thought is about. He starts off with the resurrection and ends with the resurrection. He is talking about the resurrection. The other perfection, he explicitly claims to have attained. “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect … whereto we have already attained…”.

When running a race, one is not rewarded until the end of the race and he must run the race lawfully.

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”(2Timothy 2:5)

Paul is not saying that he is a sinner any more than Jesus was when he said “I shall be perfected on the third day”.

Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, “Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”

Observe “perfect[ed]” in the key verses with the Strong’s:

Philippians 3:12 NotG3756 as thoughG3754 I had alreadyG2235 attained,G2983 eitherG2228 were already perfect:G5048 G2235 butG1161 I follow after,G1377 if thatG1499 I may apprehendG2638 that forG1909 whichG3739 alsoG2532 I am apprehendedG2638 ofG5259 ChristG5547 Jesus.G2424

PERFECT G5048 τελειόω teleioo (tel-ei-oh’-o) v.
1. to complete
2. (literally) to accomplish
3. (figuratively) to make perfect (in character)
[from G5046]
KJV: consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect

ALREADY G2235 ἤδη ede (ay’-day) adv.
1. even now
[apparently from G2228 (or possibly G2229) and G1211]
KJV: already, (even) now (already), by this time

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore,G3767 as many asG3745 be perfect,G5046 be thus minded:G5426 G5124 andG2532 if in any thingG1536 ye be otherwise minded,G5426 G2088 GodG2316 shall revealG601 evenG2532 thisG5124 unto you.G5213

Perfect G5046 τέλειος teleios (tel’-ei-os) adj.
1. complete{(neuter as noun, with G3588) completeness; in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.}
[from G5056]
KJV: of full age, man, perfect

(Luke 13:32 [KJV])And G2532 he said G2036 unto them G846, Go ye G4198, and tell G2036 that G5026 fox G258, Behold G2400, I cast out G1544 devils G1140, and G2532 I do G2005 cures G2392 to day G4594 and G2532 to morrow G839, and G2532 the third G5154 [day] I shall be perfected G5048.

Perfected G5048 τελειόω teleioo (tel-ei-oh’-o) v.
1. to complete
2. (literally) to accomplish
3. (figuratively) to make perfect (in character)
[from G5046]
KJV: consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect

People tend to set up laws with strong statements which they passionately and often repeat. Statements like: “Any time someone says ‘I have arrived’, I know right away they are off.”

But look at what Paul said, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”(Philippian 3:15-16)

Is Paul saying let us walk by the same rule of not having attained or not being perfect? Is he saying let us walk in imperfection?

Paul just said “US”, “as many as be perfect”. He said, “… have already attained…”

May I reveal a little about that word “attained”? Attained, in verse 16 is from the Greek word “phthano”, (Strong’s number G5348).

Attained G5348 φθάνω phthano (fthan’-o) v.
1. to be beforehand, i.e. anticipate or precede
2. (by extension) to have arrived at
[apparently a primary verb]
KJV: (already) attain, come, prevent

It says, “to have ARRIVED at”… I do not think Paul was off!

People also say things like, “Paul never went around claiming to be perfect or to have arrived.” Really? We just saw that he said exactly that.

When we say things like that so strongly, so matter of factly and so often; people who hear them believe them and then go about in all their study, behavior and confessions to agree and to measure up to them. These statements become a law!! People then go about adhering to these statements which are as law to them! Every time the subject comes up, these strong statements, which they have heard said so often, replay in their mind and they end up adjusting themselves to fit these statements which have become as law to them. Do you know what the bible says about that?

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2Corinthians 10:3-6)

Many don’t even believe their obedience will ever be fulfilled!

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

This is what we are doing right now. Casting down imaginations which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.

“Why can’t I get past these sins?”, one might ask. One reason may be because of a stronghold of unbelief fashioned as an often repeated statement like, “you never hear the Apostles going around saying they are perfect or that they have arrived, as soon as someone does that you know they are off” etc…. Or, “we will always sin, we will never be perfected until we die, until after the resurrection”. What? Is this a new law now?

To many, it sounds good at first. But what if the Holy Ghost inspired someone to say or write that? Like He did with Paul? I have never heard anyone outside of written scripture claim to be perfect. No wonder, with all the unbelief of it and resistance to it. Yet when the claim is made that it is possible to be entirely sanctified, such statements against it often surface like some vehement defense of one’s own choice to remain in rebellion and unbelief. I truly think many are obeying such opposing statements more than they are the word of God! Can you hear them? “No one can ever be perfect. We all sin. We will always sin. The bible says all sin”, etc…

By the way, the bible does NOT say we all sin. It says we have all sinned, past tense.

Notice: Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all (((have sinned:)))

1John 1:10 If we say that we (((have not sinned))), we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Remember Jesus’ words recorded as being said to two different people?

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Notice how Paul agrees with Jesus Christ who called and appointed him?

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak [this] to your shame.”(1Cor 15:34 [Webster]).

In other words in light of the fact that we have the hope of the resurrection, Paul says “Awake to righteousness, and sin not;”.

So they say “Paul didn’t go around saying he had arrived, attained or was perfect? As soon as someone does that they are off”? Really?

These statements refuting entire sanctification, exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Especially when an inspired Apostle absolutely did say such things. The issue is not that people would claim such a thing, the issue is whether the claim is true; and more so, did the Lord say to say it? If it is true, one can say it about one’s self as a testimony to the power of the grace of God and as an encouragement to other saints who have yet to attain. After all, that is the good news. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach (((deliverance to the captives))), and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”(Luke 4:18)

Let’s look at some statements from Paul that will cast down these vain imaginations.

“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.”(Acts 24:16)

“You are witnesses, and God also, how piously and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you that believe:”(1Thessalonians 2:10)

“Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,”(2Corinthians 6:3-7)

“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”(2Corinthians 1:12)

“I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of you in my prayers night and day;”(2Timothy 1:3)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20)

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.”(Galatians 6:14)

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”(Philippians 1:21)

“Why (wherefore) I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.”(Acts 20:26)

The Apostle Paul is Christ’s chosen servant, (But the Lord said to him, “Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel to me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”:[Acts 9:15]), speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and as such he absolutely did make these claims that so many insist he did not make and are not possible.

Cast down the laws (imaginations) that are placed upon you by people’s statements which are contrary to the Word of God.

This passage of Philippians 3:10-16 does not prove that Paul was a sinner but on the contrary explicitly testifies to his attaining of entire sanctification; and it also testifies to others having attained it.

(Phil 3:15 [AKJV])Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.

(Phil 3:16 [AKJV])Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

(Phil 3:17 [AKJV])Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

“be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.”

Could the Holy Ghost inspire Paul to write such a thing if it were a lie? If Paul were sinning until He dies how is he an example? If others were not walking in the fulness of the blood bought sanctification which Jesus Christ our Lord made available to us, then how can the Holy Ghost inspire Paul to write for us to “mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample”?

There is so much coming from the pulpit which is in stark contrast to the written words of the Apostles of Christ. Hold everything up against the light of written scripture, Babylon is everywhere.

If entire sanctification is not possible, Paul was a pathological liar living in a fantasy world. We know that is not true, so who is lying? The word of God or those who repeat statements contrary to the word of God? Cast down the imaginations which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.

Is there anything too hard for God?

(Matt 19:26 [AKJV]) But Jesus beheld them, and said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

(1Thess 5:23 [AKJV]) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Thess 5:24 [AKJV]) Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.

“Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it”. (Thank You Father)

“Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it”. (Thank You Lord Jesus)

“Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it”. (Thank You Holy Ghost)

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