A Little Clarity…
I found a video on YouTube that was slightly fascinating and somewhat troubling to watch. On one side, is the maker of the video, stating a warning to False Gospel teachers. His main point is a warning against the teaching that salvation is through perfect obedience to all of God’s commandments.
On the other side, are the people he’s addressing. One person says that Jesus’ blood doesn’t cover all sin. Several, who state repeatedly the notion that you must stop sinning, if you sin at all you’re not saved and you’re going to Hell, and so forth.
It appears these involved in this video, on both sides, aren’t expressing themselves completely. The clear truth of the matter is as follows:
Jesus died on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It is ONLY through Him that we can be saved. Salvation is a gift, it is undeserved mercy, and it only comes through Jesus. There is -no- other way to Heaven.
Works do NOT win you your way to Heaven. The scriptures clearly state this and even tells us why. You can only be saved through Jesus by repentance, making Him the Lord of your life, and putting Him first, choosing to serve Him for the rest of your days.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Obedience is fruit of salvation. The more we love Jesus, the more we will -want- to obey Him, and serve our selfish desires less. You don’t obey God’s commandments to be saved. You obey them -because- you’re saved, and it’s a sign of your love for your God. While works don’t earn you your way into Heaven (you could never do enough to, even if that -was- a way), once saved, you should be doing good works out of love for God and your fellow man, instead of sitting idly and attending only to your own interests.
If you are a born again Christian, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to sin, and that nothing you do can ever be called sin because you’re ‘born again’. As humans we all have times in which we stumble and fall. But once we are born again, those occasions should be fewer and fewer as we grow in Christ.
God’s grace isn’t just detergent to wash the sin stains out of your soul. God’s grace is God given strength and help to overcome sin on a continual basis when temptations arise. Think about this for a minute: when someone takes the higher path when at first they felt like doing something else, how often is it said, “It was only by the grace of God that I didn’t (fill in the blank). That’s not just an idiom. For the born again believer, if you’re faced with a temptation to sin and overcome it – it is by God’s GRACE that you did it, and God should be glorified for it.
When you repent for sin, you don’t just repent once and then all past, present, and future sins are washed away. That’s not how it works. Your past sins are forgiven, yes. But you cannot continue in current sins, saying to yourself, ‘it’s okay, Jesus saved me.’ Or that, ‘God doesn’t mind this because it’s not hurting anyone’. Those wilful sins -must- go.
Those idols you clung to before coming to Jesus must likewise, go. Not all idols are statues and pictures, in our society the most common idols are television sets, movie, tv, sports and music ‘stars’. The simplest definition of an idol is anything that’s more important to you than Jesus.
You -must- make a conscious effort to pursue a perfect, sinless life – yes. However, it’s the earnest pursuit of perfection that matters – not realized perfection. God knows your heart. God knows if you’re trying to obey and please Him. He also knows if you’re harbouring impurity in your heart, and He also knows exactly what those impurities are.
If you’re a Christian and you do sin, and you repent of that sin, you are still forgiven. But this is not an excuse for wilful sinning. It’s not permission to hold on to an addiction. It’s mercy extended by God to sinners – and we are all sinners. If we say we do not sin we are liars.
We all have sinned. Every single one of us. And that’s why Jesus’ blood is so precious. He is the only one without sin, yet He died to cleanse us of ours. We are the ones who deserve to be hung on a cross! Yet by His mercy we are spared.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
1 John: 1:8-10 (NLT)
So, don’t say you don’t sin. Or have not sinned. If you do so, not only are you a liar, you’re calling God a liar, and God cannot lie. Confess your sins to God, repent, and ask Him for help to not do those sins again.