Is Imperfection the same as Sin?

by jgnat 52 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Tashawaa

    Job 1:1 "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God and turned away from evil"

    Genesis 6:9 "THese are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God"

    hmmmm, perfect people die I wonder, did they sin????

  • brother devoted
    brother devoted

    Peace jgnat

    Thank you for invitig me. well to but it simply sin=missing the mark,( or informally put anything then will seperate us from God)so adam and eve brought imperfection to existence when they decided to disobey God

    so to answer "Did sin make him imperfect?"

    I would say his sin was deciding to eat the fruit that was clearly forbidden to him this his sin brought imperfection. to the rest of us

    more later,
    Brother devoted

  • Tashawaa
    sin=missing the mark,( or informally put anything then will seperate us from God)so adam and eve brought imperfection to existence

    So does sin=imperfection???? What is imperfection? Are they tied together? Explain how both Job and Noah were perfect.

  • outbutnotdown

    Happy Guy,

    I was not specific enough about what I meant. I meant I was with you on the fact that there are better things to do today than to discuss a topic that, as another poster said was similar to the never ending question of what came first, the chicken or the egg.

    BOTH, by the way, tasted great today, at lunch.


  • onacruse

    Sin caused imperfection.

    God made it possible for humans to sin.

    Everything God does is perfect.

    Therefore, the imperfection resulting from sin is not imperfection, but a manifestation of the perfection of God.

    Ergo: Imperfection=perfection.

  • a Christian
    a Christian

    I understand the words "imperfection" and "sin" to mean basically the same thing. To "sin" means to "miss the mark." What "mark"? The mark of God's own incredibly high standard of being perfectly righteous in every way. When we compare our own righteousness to God's we find that comparison to be less than a perfect match. Because we are less righteous than God, we "fall short of the glory of God." And, according to Romans 3:23, falling short of God's glory is "sin." God is perfect. We are not. Why is this so? Because the Bible tells us that God can do no wrong. ( Some would say this is simply because He defines what is right and wrong, implying that His decisions on such matters are purely arbitrary. However, the Bible tells us that they are not. The Bible indicates that God's definitions of what is right and what is wrong are based on His love for us, in other words, what is in our long term best interests.) Thus, because God cannot do wrong, He never does wrong. We, on the other hand, are fully capable of doing wrong, just as Adam was, and because we are, we often do what we are fully capable of doing. We often do what is wrong, just as Adam did. I believe that the story of Adam and Eve in Eden was meant by God to illustrate some important lessons. Primarily that no human being, being less righteous than God, is deserving of eternal life. And that because we are always less righteous than God (fully capable of doing wrong and often thinking of doing so) we are always in need of His forgiveness even when we have not recently committed any "sinful" act. I believe this lesson was illustrated by Adam and Eve being totally unaware of their nakedness before God until after they had committed a blatant act of disobedience. (Nakedness is a condition always portrayed as shameful in the scriptures.) Then, suddenly, after they had "sinned" they became aware of their nakedness and felt the need to "hide from God." Just as we often only become aware of our shameful condition before God after committing some "sinful act." And just as we then often feel ashamed of ourselves and try to hide from God by withdrawing from Him by not praying or by not attending Church, etc., until we finally get over our guilt. However, the fact is, we are no more worthy to stand in the presence of a perfect God before committing a "sinful act" than we are after doing so. Just as Adam and Eve were, in reality, just as naked before they disobeyed God as they were after doing so. They just didn't realize it.

    The only way the story of Adam and Eve makes sense is to understand that God not only knew how things were going to end up in Eden, but that He deliberately set the whole thing up to make a point. What point? This one. If Adam in paradise, without a problem in the world, could not manage to obey one simple command from God, what chance does any human being have of living their entire trouble-plagued life without sinning either in word, thought or deed? No chance at all. That is the lesson that was illustrated in Eden. Human beings have a sinful nature. A nature which God gave us.

    Why did God give us a "sinful" nature? Because "God is love" He wanted to create people whom He could have a loving relationship with. But since true love can be neither forced nor programmed, in order to have loving relationships with us, God had to create us as free people. Free to choose to love God and His ways or to not love God and His ways. In other words, free to do both right and wrong, free to do both good and evil.

    Because we can do wrong and often do, and because God can't do wrong and never does, we are less righteous than God. And because we are, none of us deserve to live forever. That means all human beings have, in effect, from their births been condemned by God to die. Not because of anything Adam did, but because we ourselves are all undeserving of eternal life.

    Some may ask, "But Genesis indicates that Adam and Eve didn't know good from evil until after they ate from the tree. So how could God rightly condemn them for doing wrong when, at the time they did wrong, they didn't know right from wrong?"

    I believe those who ask this question miss the meaning of "the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." First of all, Adam and Eve already had a knowledge of good. For Adam and Eve knew God and God is good. Adam had not only talked with God himself, but he and his wife had both walked with God in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:8) So, since Adam and Eve already had a knowledge of good, their eating from "the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil" represented their also gaining a knowledge of evil. To expand on this a bit, the "knowledge of evil" that Genesis refers to in the story of Adam and Eve may well refer to "knowing" something "in the biblical sense." This kind of "knowledge" is an "intimate knowledge." Such as in the Bible's statement that Joseph did not "know" Mary until after she had given birth to Jesus. (Matt. 1:25) That being the case, Adam and Eve had an intimate knowledge of good before they disobeyed God. For they personally knew God and they knew by experience all the good things being obedient to Him brought them. But until they disobeyed God they did not really "know" evil. For they had no intimate knowledge of evil. For such a "knowledge" would include having experienced the harmful effects of evil, a knowledge which Adam and Eve only acquired after they disobeyed God.

    In any case, I believe the accent should be placed on the word "and." As in "the knowledge of good AND evil." For God knew that, as free people, Adam and Eve could not possess any knowledge of evil. For simply having a knowledge of evil corrupts free people and makes them unworthy of eternal life. How so? Because when free people have a knowledge of evil they always, at least briefly, consider doing evil. And, even having evil thoughts for a brief fleeting moment makes people less righteous than God. Why is that? Because the Bible tells us that "In God there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) So, since only people who are perfectly righteous deserve eternal life, free people who are automatically corrupted by a knowledge of evil are all unworthy of eternal life, and thus they all deserve to die.

    That, I believe, is what was represented by Adam being told that if he ate from the "tree of the knowledge of good AND bad" that he would die. For eternal life is something which God says only those who are perfectly righteous deserve. And free people can never be perfectly righteous. So free people can never be worthy of eternal life. They can only hope to receive it by God overlooking their unrighteousness. Fortunately for us, God has said that He will do just that, if we will only believe in our hearts that the death of His only Son Jesus Christ paid the price of all of our sins. When we do this God willingly overlooks all of our unrighteousness and views us as being perfectly righteous, and thus fully worthy of eternal life.

    Some may ask, "So why does God punish us for the sinful nature He Himself gave us?"

    He doesn't punish us. He gives us all life. Every day of life is a gift. He gives us all more gifts than we deserve. And he offers to give us all much, much more than we deserve, eternal life, if we will only believe in the way He has chosen to give it to us.

    God creates us as free people, allowing us to do both right and wrong. So He does not force anyone to do things "His way." That seems to be OK with most folks. Then God treats every one of us equally well, allowing His rain and sunshine to fall upon all of us, both those who choose to serve him and those who don't, allowing both good things and bad things to happen to all of us equally, both those who choose to serve Him and those who don't, all of our natural lives. That also seems to be OK with most folks. Then God says, that since only those who are perfectly righteous deserve to live forever, He will overlook all of our unrighteousness and give us all eternal life, even though none of us deserve it. Again, most have no problem with this. Then God says that He will do this if we will just believe in our hearts that He paid the price for all of our unrighteousness by allowing His only begotten Son to die in our place. He also asks us to then begin living our lives as righteously as we can. This seems to be the part that is too much for many people. They say God should just give them eternal life and not ask anything of them. They say that God is asking too much of them when He says they must believe something and then give God their best in order to gain eternal life. To me this seems quite odd. Why? Because people are often willing to believe something or do something difficult or unusual in order to gain just a few years of life. But they are often unwilling to believe something and do something which God requires in order to gain eternal life.

    People often jump out of burning buildings because they are willing to believe the promises of complete strangers that they will catch them in a large blanket when they do. People on sinking ships often jump into icy cold seas because they are willing to believe the promises of complete strangers that they will immediately pull them out of those waters and into a nearby lifeboat. They don't complain that their rescuers are asking too much of them. They don't say that their rescuers should come and physically carry them out of those buildings and off of those ships. They don't say that their rescuers asked too much of them by requiring them to take a "leap of faith" to gain life. But people complain all the time that God asks too much of us by requiring us to take a similar "leap of faith" to gain eternal life.

    Go figure. This is obviously a long and difficult subject. I believe to fully understand it we must also take a new look at Paul's words which have lead to the doctrine of "the Fall of man." But that's another discussion.

  • Tashawaa

    a Christian said the same thing as Onacruse except he used way more words!!!!!!!!!!

  • Narkissos
  • jgnat

    Gotcha, happy guy. My early morning brain-twist brings to mind another favored scripture of mine,

    Proverbs 27:14 (Darby)

    He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be reckoned a curse to him.

    I am not so interested in the age-old question; would a perfect man sin?

    My inquiry is more along the lines of does imperfection = sin? My JW relations seem to get mixed up on this. They believe the more perfect they become, the less sinful they are. Often sins are brushed off as "man's imperfection", as if it were, say, a faulty gear that needs burnishing, instead of a wilful trespass against God.

    If a toaster can't sin, then imperfection DOES NOT EQUAL sin. Only sentients can sin, since it is a choice to willfully disobey.

  • jgnat

    Perhaps we are trying to apply modern ideas of perfection to a history that never intended this. Today we create machines smaller than the eye can see that are virtually identical. Absolute perfection may appear attainable in modern society. Perhaps the "perfection" of Job and Noah were more along the moral sense.

    Onacruse; knock any of your premises, and the argument falls down. Perhaps this is the one to doubt?

    "Everything God does is perfect."

    After all, he was remorseful after the flood. He modified his destruction plans after talking them over with Abraham.

    Tashawaa, thanks for the references

    Job 1:1 H8535 tâm From H8552; complete; usually (morally) pious; specifically gentle, dear: - coupled together, perfect, plain, undefiled, upright.

    Genesis 6:9 H8549 tâmı̂ym From H8552; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: - without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

    From narkissos, thank you for the link.

    The notion of "perfection" attributed to Adam or Jesus is WT language, not Bible language. I can't see any Bible text stating that Adam or Jesus were "perfect".

    My study on the use of the greek word "perfection" in the new testament:


    tel'-i-os From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: - of full age, man, perfect.

    Most of these scriptures do not refer to perfect people or perfect behavour, but coming in to a more complete understanding of what Christ has done for us. If we look at this as full grown and complete rather than perfection, I think these scriptures make more sense.

    Knowledge of the complete purpose of God (Romans 12:2, Eph 4:13, Col 4:12). To know Christ is in us, completely (Col 1:28). Jesus' more perfect tabernackle, paid by his blood rather than that of goats. (Hebrews 9:11) Wisdom. (1 Cor 2:6, Col 1:28, James 1:4) Perfect love (1 Cor 13:9, 1 John 4:18). Perfect gift (James 1:17) Perfect law (James 1:25) Perfect talk (James 3:2)

    As for the young man who wanted to be perfect, I personally think Jesus gave him a rather sarcastic reply:

    Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Matthew 19:21 ASV)

    (Phi 3:15 BBE) Then let us all, who have come to full growth, be of this mind: and if in anything you are of a different mind, even this will God make clear to you:

    (James 3:2 BBE)
    For we all go wrong in a number of things. If a man never makes a slip in his talk, then he is a complete man and able to keep all his body in control.

    (1 John 4:18 Darby)
    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has torment, and he that fears has not been made perfect in love.

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