Friday, April 3, 2009


Staying In Fellowship

Q. I know I must sin a thousand times a day. Even the best I do is like filthy rags, so it seems that my very being, the fact that I live and breathe on this earth, is an offense to God. Even the best I do is a sin. When I confess, what happens if I forget the sins I do all day long? I’m sure I have a closet full of sins I’ve never confessed because there are so many I can’t even remember them. So, with so many unconfessed sins, how can I get and maintain fellowship with God?

A. Fellowship is the second level of our relationship with God, beyond salvation. It’s where we begin enjoying the blessings and protections in the here and now while we’re waiting to be taken to Him. Staying in Fellowship requires that we confess when we sin as directed in 1 John 1:9.

The Lord judges us on the motives of our hearts when confessing, not our ability to remember every little detail of our lives. As long as we’re sincere we’re forgiven for all of our sins, whether we specifically refer to them or not.

King David developed a great prayer of forgiveness to help him cover himself completely. He wrote it as part of Psalm 19.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

Praying these verses takes care of both the sins we remember and the ones we don’t.

Why Am I Still Sinning?

Q. I’ve been a Christian just over 3 years now. Several things in my life have changed as a result; however, there are somethings that no matter how hard I try to convince myself I won’t, I continue to fall into sin. I know there are some temptations that we need to flee from, but at the same time, I feel like I should have victory over this sin and not continue to fall to it. Is there something I’m missing or should I just keep running? I don’t like that sin is able to dictate how I live my life.

A. To one degree or another we are all this way. Our sin nature didn’t die when we were born again, but continues to dwell in us. Even Paul complained that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t behave the way he wanted to. In effect he said the harder he tried the worse he became. (Romans 7:15, 19) But then he told us how God sees us. According to Him it isn’t we who sin but the sin nature that dwells within us. (Romans 7:20)

We received the Holy Spirit as a guide to help us act in a way that pleases God, but we still fall short. 1 John 1:8 says that if we claim to be without sin we are liars, and many of us have life long struggles with certain sins. But Jesus knew all this before the fact and agreed to pay the penalty for all the sins of our life before we committed even one of them. (Col. 2:13-14) This is how He can guarantee our salvation.

1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us and restore us to righteousness. This doesn’t mean that we have to keep confessing to stay saved. It means that if we confess when we sin, we’ll be able to maintain a good relationship with God even though we’re still imperfect beings.

Remember, Jesus didn’t go to the cross so that bad men could become good. He went so that dead men could live.

Sinning Every Day

Q. After we believe in Jesus Christ, we know that we are forgiven of our sins. Yet we sin to Lord all the time. We know God does not like us to have a sinful lifestyle and will banish those sinful people to hell. So how do we know if we have a sinful lifestyle if we sin everyday? If we sin everyday does that mean we lead a sinful lifestyle? We all know that we will be forgiven if we ask, but will God be angry because we just can’t stop sinning? And how do we identify if we lead those sinful lives or not? Is there anyway we can know? We are like living in such a sinful world, is there anyway to stop that.

A. First of all, remember that God knew every sin of our lives before He went to the cross and died for all of them. If you’re a believer, there’s no sin that you can commit that can change your eternal status with Him. Remember also that God judges us primarily by the motives of our heart. (1 Cor. 4:5) Knowing that we have a sin nature, He looks at the intentions behind our behavior, not just the behavior itself.

In Romans 8:5 Paul wrote, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

So what is our primary intention in this life? Is it to gratify our sinful desires or is it to live by the Spirit?

Even believers who fully intend to live each day according to the promptings of the Holy Spirit sometimes fall into sin. When that happens God looks down upon us and says, “That’s not my precious child who did that, that’s the sin dwelling within Him.” (Romans 7:20) Then, as soon as we confess, He forgives us no matter how many times we sin (1 John 1:9) and drawing us back to His side, He forgets it ever happened.

So we know if we’re living sinful lives by looking at our intentions. When we wake up each morning is our primary intention to gratify the needs of our sin nature, or is it to try once again to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit? For believers the answer is obvious.


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