Christian

Sin No More

In my previous post I spoke to Mary Magdalene’s fictional backsliding in The Chosen.

Anyone who has been dispossessed of devils or who has started to walk in the light and shun their sin should keep in mind one specific teaching of Jesus.

In Matthew 12:43-45 KJV, Jesus taught,
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. [45] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Sin no more is not just good advice, it may make the difference between eternal salvation and eternal damnation.

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Christian, Inspirational

A More Excellent Way

Should we fear the Lord? Does fear mean terror or simply to hold in awe?

Once again, this Sunday, another preacher said we are to hold the Lord in awe and reverence. God doesn’t want us to be afraid of him, the preacher continued, He is simply too kind of a God to want us to fear Him.

Well, that’s what most preachers say these days, but what does Jesus say?

In Matthew 10:28 KJV, Jesus said, And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

What else does the Bible say? In Philippians 2:12 KJV, Paul says, … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

So what does this mean to us? Fear actually means fear. It means to be afraid. It’s still a good idea to hold God in awe and reverence, but if you are not walking in the light, it is also a good idea to actually fear the Lord, who can send you to Hell for all eternity.

So what is the better way? 1 John 4:18 KJV says, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Unfortunately people including preachers want to skip a step. Those who are still sinning are not and cannot be in perfect love with the Lord. In fact if you are still sinning you should absolutely fear the Lord. It may cause you to turn from sin and save your soul.

There are many verses concerning fear of the Lord, especially in Psalms and Proverbs. If you love the Lord and keep his commandments you are walking in perfect love. Be faithful till the end and there is no need to fear. Salvation is ours!

Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV says … Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Proverbs 9:10 KJV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

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Desire Change

I really believe that confession as requested of us in 1 John 1:9 for the forgiveness of sins is best made to another human being.

I just wonder, how can you confess to God who already knows. Yet if confession to God is all you have in you, I suggest you try. Lord forgive my sins … .

Don’t let me dissuade you or cause you to give up. If your confession is sincerely seeking forgiveness from God it includes the desire and intent to change and no longer walk in sin.

In Matthew 9:12-13 KJV Jesus said … They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. [13] … I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Change and repentance walk hand in hand.

Proverbs 28:13 KJV says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

Past, Present, and Future

I’ve heard a lot of evangelists proclaim that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future. This is true, but those evangelists often neglect to explain God’s full plan for forgiveness and tell you the whole truth.

Our past sins are forgiven at baptism. It’s more than just a figurative ritual. With belief you truly are washed in Jesus’ blood at baptism. With belief and repentance you are washed and become a new member of God’s family.

After baptism the idea is to walk in the light and quit sinning. Future sins should they happen are only forgiven by the act of confession. 1 John 1:9

Proverbs 28:13 KJV says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

Lucky

I used to think being born again meant returning to Christ after living in sin for several years. In fact I considered myself a born again Christian because of this very definition. Now, I think a better term for such a return is either lucky or blessed.

Here’s why. Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV says For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, [5] And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, [6] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

We know with God all things are possible, but Hebrews 6:4-6 is a strong warning against sin. In fact it’s scary for those of us that know the truth. How far do we have to go before God will not take us back? According to these scriptures there is a point where it’s impossible to return or to be renewed again unto repentance. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find that point.

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Christian, Inspirational

At What Cost?

What is the personal cost of sin and how does it relate to the search for forgiveness?

In the Old Testament a sacrifice came at a cost. The sacrifice was to be one of the unblemished or finest animals of the flock.

Today if you sin and are seeking forgiveness, there is available only one remedy after full immersion baptism in water. 1 John 1:9 advises us to confess.

Confession to another can come with a cost. The person to whom you are confessing, even if they are family, may think less of you. Don’t die in your sin because of shame or fear, and don’t let anyone talk you out of confession.

What about the cost? Will you actually lose the respect of a family member or friend? Maybe, but you will live. I believe the cost is there in part to prevent future sin. God doesn’t need to hear your confession. He already knows. He does require confession to another, but does not specify who that person needs to be. Confess to clergy, confess to your spouse, confess to a stranger, confess to a neighbor, confess to a friend or an acquaintance. Confess and he, God, is faithful and just to forgive!

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Christian, Inspirational

Discernment vs. Denomination

Well, I’m back attending the Church of Christ. That is where my mom wants to go and it’s just easier to go there with her.

No changes – they still think singing acapella will get them to Heaven while ignoring the Ten Commandments.

In one breath the preacher says everything is biblically based and in the next he’s proffering false doctrine about sin being either public or private and how you only need to come forward if its public.

I tell you, if you believe this you are likely to die in your unconfessed “private” sin. The bible tells us that if we seek forgiveness after water baptism – we need to confess ours sins. 1 John 1:9. It doesn’t say we need to confess publicly, but God surely already knows. This implies communication to another person. That person may be clergy, a friend, or a spouse. It could be written or spoken, but confession does imply communicating with another.

James 5:16 KJV
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

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Unbelief

From subtle to nonsensical, certain teachers take a knock at our faith.

One preacher stated, God looked away from Jesus on the cross, because he cannot look upon sin. I call nonsense. How will God judge if he cannot look upon sin, even the world’s placed upon his son? How is God all knowing if he cannot see sin? My interpretation of Jesus saying in Matthew 27:46, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, is this: Jesus was in great pain and distress and he felt very much alone. My suspicion is God never looked away, not for a second, and when his time of wrath and judgment is come, he will recall every moment of Jesus’ suffering.

Another preacher said that Jesus prepared and orchestrated ahead of time his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. He went so far as to say Jesus set up the placement of the donkey and the availability of the upper room to be discovered by his uninformed disciples. If you cannot believe Jesus knew these thing because God knew them, I think you’re struggling to look for unbelief. Recognizing miracles requires belief that God has power to do them. You can try to limit God the Father or Jesus, but you’re only hurting yourself and gullible listeners. Doubt begets unbelief.

Words that should perk up your ears and actually inspire doubt:

God cannot …

God is not able to …

God must … .

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Bones

I have two more bones to pick with the Catholic Church.

Those are:

Calling men Father. Matthew 23:9 KJV
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Penance. No where in the Bible does it tell us to do penance for sin or that penance is even accepted by the Lord. It does however tell us to confess. 1 John 1:9 KJV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Missing the Mark

I really didn’t care for missing the mark as a definition of sin. It seemed to me to minimalize the seriousness of sin.

Yet, with further examination maybe it’s not such a bad definition. If. If the person is serious about marksmanship. If it is a lifestyle and not a game or hobby. The marksman is constantly striving to hit the mark. A miss is a disappointment and shame.

What would have happened if David missed the mark in his fight with Goliath?

Keep in mind the wages of sin is death. If we follow Christ and walk with him, he will teach us with practice to hit the mark every time. We can be perfect for a few seconds, then for a few minutes, and soon enough days turn into weeks of righteous living.

Job 17:9 KJV
The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.

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