Sin is anything that misses the mark, so to speak, of God's righteousness. It is not a matter of good and bad, for those are relative, meaning those things are different for everybody in degrees. Sin is what separates us from a Holy God. Sin is the disobedience and violation of God's law. Sin is what Adam brought into this world and by which all humans are born into. Sin is unbelief, unrighteousness, lawlessness-it is what causes us both in action and thought to turn away from God. It is much more than just breaking the 10 commandments, it is what causes us to be, in very nature, opposed and hostile towards God.
Romans 5:12-21, James 4:17, Genesis Chapters 1-3
DOES GOD REALLY LOVE ME?
Here is what God Himself says about His love for you, and remember, it is impossible for God to lie!
"The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion." Num14:18a
"For the Lord is good, and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:5
"For God so loved the world that He gave His on and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:5
"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we may live through Him. This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:9-10
I can think of no greater act of love then to sacrifice one's own child so that others may live. He took on our sin and died in our place because of His love for us.
WHAT DOES BEING SAVED MEAN?
Being saved means that we will never be separated from God again. It means that we have been reconciled to Him by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. I have been born-again, spiritually, and am now indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It means that we have now entered into a personal relationship with a Holy God and loving Father, through Jesus. Also, we have become new creatures in Christ and that our lives are now His and we no longer have to look to the world for our identities, happiness, acceptance, salvation, or security. We are free from the penalty and punishment of sin which is death (spiritual) and eternal separation from God. We are saved from the control of the enemy and his plans to destroy us, free from a life full of fear, guilt, shame and bitterness. Free from trying to fill voids that nothing seems to fill beyond temporary. It is not easy, but oh so very worth it!!!
WHAT DOES BEING JUSTIFIED MEAN?
Because all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God, there is a legal issue between God and us. We have a debt we cannot pay, and the result of that debt is unrighteousness, through sin. The wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God. Justification is a one-time act on God's part to bridge the gap between a Holy God and sinful man through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That gap is sin. Justification deals with the debt, the penalty of sin in order to take a sinner to a saint, a child of the Most High. Justification-just as if I'd never sinned. Justification assures and guarantees our position in Christ. Justification is the first part of our salvation in which all things pertaining to our position in Christ have been declared. He has declared us righteous, blameless and spotless in His sight. He has given us eternal life, peace with God, total acceptance and love, forgiveness of all sins, and more. Quite simply to be justified means that the legal issue between God and us has been dealt with. We are free now from the penalty of sin, and that is permanent and unchangeable. Justification is what God has already done for us through Christ and what He has given us in Christ. Justification is what ushers us into this new life as Christians. Justification is the foundation of our faith because it gives us our place and standing before God, it shows us how it is Him who is the one who delivers us from sin and self, because we are now alive in Christ, dead to sin, fully His, forever!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE "BORN-AGAIN"?
Jesus explained it this way in John 3:3-7:
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born-again." How can a man be born when he is old? Nicodemus asked. Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born! Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." All Christians are "born-again" whether they use that term or not. See, we were born spiritually dead to God and that is why we need to be "born-again", simply put spiritually alive to God in Christ Jesus. There are not two kinds of Christians, you either are one or you aren't. Going to church, being raised in a Christian or religious family, being a nice or good person, and believing in God does not make someone a Christian. Christian means "Christ-one" or belonging to Christ, being a sincere believer in Him, being "born-again". A Christian is a person who has accepted Jesus Christ into their life and heart as their personal Savior and Lord.
ARE MY SINS REALLY FORGIVEN, EVEN THE ONE'S I WILL COMMIT TOMORROW?
Forgiveness has to do with payment. A payment had to be made for our sins, and He did that through the death of Jesus. We need to be forgiven of our sins so that we may enter into a relationship with God. He cannot exist with sin, so He had to bridge that gap between us. In the Old Testament a sacrifice of blood was required for the atoning or forgiveness of sins. That had to be done over and over and over again. But we are under a New Covenant in which Jesus died for our sins once and for all…for all!!!! He was the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins, and when you accept Him into your heart, you receive that 100% total forgiveness of sins. When Christ died for our sins, He died for all of them, past, present, and yes, even future sins. If our sins were not totally forgiven He would have to be crucified over and over again. But He took our place, paid our debt, and freed us from the penalty of sin through His death on the cross. Those times you don't feel forgiven, ask God to remind you of the work He did on the cross for you. You are forgiven dear one, whether you feel like it or not. And by the way, that goes for those so-called "premeditated" sins as well. He did not separate our sins into categories before He died, He died for them all. He had to, otherwise we could not be His.
WHY DO WE CONFESS OUR SINS IF WE ARE ALREADY FORGIVEN?
Confess means to acknowledge, to consent to the desire of another. In 1 John 1:9 it says that if we confess our sins He is faithful & righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. To "confess" here means to agree with the facts and truth. So we confess to align ourselves with God's purpose and plan. We don't confess so that we may be saved, for we are already saved, but for growth and a deeper, closer relationship with Him. As we confess, we turn to Him and desire what He would have instead of seeking our own way. We find His heart and grace and love when we confess. He says that we are to be conformed into the image of the Son, to have the mind of Christ…confession is the stepping stone to the heart of our Lord.
HOW COME I NEVER FEEL LIKE I AM GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOD?
If you have ever felt this way, and I know that most of us have, it must be recognized right away as just that…a feeling. When we don't know how God sees us, it is easy to feel like we are not good enough, that we don't quite measure up, and that we surely aren't one of His favorites. There is much to clear up here. First of all, and most importantly, God does not condemn us any longer.."For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1. When He sees us, He sees the Son whom He has placed us in. See we forget that He has made us NEW CREATIONS in Christ Jesus and that through Christ's death we are now dead to sin and alive to God. When we take inventory of our lives and thoughts and actions we look at the old person who we were and then think that God sees us that way too. He would have to dig you up out of the ground, so to speak, to see that old person. He knows that we sin and blow it, but He doesn't see us that way, those things don't make us WHO we are. WHO we are is who God deals with us based on His ways, His plans, His power, and through His Holy Spirit. Know this, God loves you based on who He has declared you to be, not on how you act. He has done everything that He required to satisfy Himself concerning you, and now as we live out our daily lives, He is the one that will work into your life all those things that He already declared you to be…..don't worry…."He who called you in faithful, and He will do it."
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