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Wordwise Insight, Issue #071
July 14, 2010

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Perfect Christians--is there such a thing?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

MORE ARTICLES: A Work of Art (what we are as believers); Little Sins--is there such a thing?

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


Are you finding Wordwise helpful? And do you have your own website? We would be delighted if you would provide a link on your site to ours. This will enable your friends to find us too! Check the page on the Wordwise website called "Link to Us," and follow the simple instructions. Click on Link to Us.

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LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.



(Are Christians Truly Perfect?)

Perfect Christians. Is there such a thing? The answer is actually yes, and no. (And this is not an intentionally obscure answer!) Here is my response to a question that relates to this.

Question: First John 3:6 seems to suggest Christians are perfect, that they never sin. But we know they do. What does John mean?

Answer: The text in question says: "Whoever abides in Him [Christ] does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. And vs. 9 says something similar: "Whoever has been born of God does not sin."

John cannot be suggesting here that Christians are perfect, or that if a professing Christian ever commits a sin, it shows he is not saved at all. We certainly know believers are not sinless from personal experience and observation. And John has already indicated in his letter that God has provided a remedy for believers who, in their weakness and fallibility, do stumble into sin sometimes (I Jn. 1:82:2).

Most commentators believe the statements in 3:6 and 9 refer to sinning as a habitual lifestyle, a characteristic state. (And several of the translators reflect this view.) Sinning in the believer's life is serious, and must be dealt with. But sinning is not his characteristic state. "No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him" (3:6, NIV).

The other key to interpreting this statement lies in the word "abiding" (which the Lord Jesus discussed in His Upper Room Discourse, Jn. 15:4-7, 10). Abiding does not refer to the believer's legal standing in Christ (a theme of Paul's, e.g. II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:3, 6; Col. 2:10), but rather to the saint's state of fellowship with the Lord.

We are placed into Christ, in the legal sense, at the moment of ...

To see the full article, click on Perfect Christians.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

In the spring I developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

A Special Feature
There is something unique about this blog that I don't believe has ever been done before. It contains what we could call a Hymn Almanac. If you want to know what happened in the history of hymn writing on any particular day, just click on the blog and you'll see!

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.


A Work of Art provides an encouraging look at what the Lord is doing in the life of each Christian. The article Little Sins examines the question as to whether there is such a thing. (Perhaps the answer will surprise you!)

A Work of Art

Little Sins

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