If it had been possible for us to live a perfect, sinless life, then Jesus would not have had to die on the Cross for our redemption. But God knew that we would fail and come short of perfection. It is no surprise to Him, so He made a way, before the foundations of the earth were laid, for us to be reconciled with Him. A simple, yet very expensive plan. One that we could not purchase for ourselves, so Jesus purchased it for us. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live (abide) in us. He is our teacher and guide, but He will not force us to be obedient, it is still our choice, Our flesh wars against doing God’s will and when we give in, we must confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness. We can do this boldly and without fear of punishment. Because of His great love and mercy, we will find the grace that we need when we need it most. We should fear (respect) God, but we are not to fear (be afraid) of God. Our love for Him should cause us to respect and obey Him. We will fail but God is waiting with open arms to forgive and restore us to Himself.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. — Acts 2:22-24 NLT Acts 2:25-41
Our story never changes. It is the old, old story that is new every morning. It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope. Jesus voluntarily gave up HIs glory in heaven temporarily. He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God. He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him. Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now. But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place. Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption. God would not allow it. Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed. Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story. We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands. But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account. He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us. We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us. So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross. We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated. Romans 8:38
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins,and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.— Hebrews 7:23-27 NIV
Under the Old Testament law, the priests were required to make specific sacrifices at specific dates throughout the year. One of the sacrificial rites was for the forgiveness of their sins, both intentional and unintentional. The high priest would slay a bull to atone for his sins. Then he would sacrifice a goat for the sins of the people. The blood of both the bull and the goat would be sprinkled on the atonement cover and the horns of the altar. He would then lay both hands on the head of a live goat and confess all the sins of Israel. The goat was then taken outside the camp and released into the wilderness. This was done year after year, over and over again. But, thank God, we have a better covenant, a better Priest and a better Sacrifice. Jesus died once for all of our sins making the way to salvation very simple for us. But we still need to examine ourselves daily and ask God to forgive us of our sins, intentional and unintentional. Yes, we are saved and our salvation is secure without any further blood sacrifice. We just need to keep the Temple clean by admitting our failures and we can only do that if we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:-10 NIV
1 Tell believers to live the kind of life that goes along with accurate teachings. 2 Tell older men to be sober. Tell them to be men of good character, to use good judgment, and to be well-grounded in faith, love, and endurance. 3 Tell older women to live their lives in a way that shows they are dedicated to God. Tell them not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of virtue. 4 In this way they will teach young women to show love to their husbands and children, 5 to use good judgment, and to be morally pure. Also, tell them to teach young women to be homemakers, to be kind, and to place themselves under their husbands’ authority. Then no one can speak evil of God’s word.–Titus 2:1-5 (GW)
In Matthew 28:19-20a, Jesus told us this: 19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.(GW)
Paul is encouraging Titus to do the same thing. We should all be mentors to those that are younger in the faith then we are. We should be teaching younger Christians starting with those in our household and then those that God puts in our path. There is no such thing as coincidence or a “chance meeting”. God has a plan and the people we meet are a part of God’s plan for us. God has put each of those people in our lives for a season and for a reason. The season could be as short as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime. The reason is for us to spread the Gospel and introduce others to Jesus Christ. If they already know Christ as their Savior, then the reason is for you to teach them or for them to teach us. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit, when He says speak, He will give you the correct words. Don’t be afraid of failure, God never fails and we are working for Him
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 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–1 John 1:5-9 (NLT)
To live in the light means to be obedient to God by allowing His Spirit to lead us into all truth. Does this mean that we never sin? No, if it were possible for us to live sinless lives, then Jesus died in vain. It means that we do not choose a lifestyle that constantly repeats the same sins. All humans fall to temptation, but we should not allow the devil to use those failures to beat us up and keep us depressed. Do our failures send us to hell? No, but they do break our relationship with Jesus Christ. So what do we do? John tells us in verse 9, when we fail and we will, then we must confess our sins and allow God to cleanse us from our sins. Then our relationship is restored and we can rejoice in His goodness and mercy.
1 You were once dead because of your failures and sins. 2 You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else. 4 But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. 5 We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness that saved you.)–Ephesians 2:1-5 (GWT)
None of us have lived a sinless life, we all were once dead spiritually because of our sins and failures. Not knowing any better because we were born in the flesh, we allowed our lives to be ruled by satan. Under his dominion, we followed the desires of our flesh. These desires caused us to mistreat others and live lives that were disobedient to God. All of us desired to die because of our disobedience. We were dead in in sin, but God already had a plan in place to redeem us and bring us back to Himself. Because of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to die for us. When He raised Jesus from death to life, He made a way for us to be made alive together with Christ. We should live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God, not because of obligation or debt, but because we love Him deeply and want to please Him.
9 But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”–Jonah 2:9 (NASB)
1 Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for although You were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” — Isaiah 12:1-2 (NASB)
Living a Holy life is impossible on a human level. Just as the people in the Old Testament could not fulfill every point of the law, we cannot live a sinless life. Jesus was and is the only perfect man. There will be times that we fail (and sometimes we will fail miserably) but Jesus has already paid the price for our forgiveness. So, if you have sinned (intentionally or unintentionally), you are already forgiven. Do we need to confess those sins? Yes, forgiveness is free, but you have to ask for it. When Jesus was hanging on the cross and He said, “It is finished”. All of His redemptive work for all times was complete. Jesus is not going to die on the cross again. So, if satan is beating you up over a mistake you made, quote him a Word of Scripture and/or sing Him a good old hymn. Just tell him, “God is my salvation, He is my strength and my song. The point is this, we cannot live perfect lives, but God forgives and restores. Don’t let satan trick you into thinking that now you are useless to God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God still has a plan and a purpose for each of us. God sees each of us as a finished project while we can only see the work in progress. Just remember, it is impossible to surprise God. Before He saved us, He already knew the mistakes we would make, but He saved us anyway. So rejoice and sing praises to Him because He is always faithful.
14 Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. 15 For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. 16 Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.–Hebrews 4:14-16 (NCV)
There are many times in our journey that we fall short of the mark. There will always be those times as long as we remain in these human bodies. When it comes to being tempted, we are very weak. Because Jesus went through the same temptations when He walked on this earth, He understands our failures. The devil will take those failures and beat us up over and over, telling us how we are no longer a child of God because we failed. But don’t let those failures stop you from repenting. Just remember that guilt and condemnation come from the devil, who is a thief and a liar. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and calls us to the throne room of God where we can ask for and receive His forgiveness. We can be very sure that we will receive mercy and grace from our Father. We will receive this not because we have done anything to earn it, but simply because of what Jesus did for us at the Cross. Even right now, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. The Father will not refuse anything that the Son ask from Him. So, hold on and press on because Jesus has paid the price.
1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.–Galatians 6:1-3 (NLT)
When we see others doing things that appear to be sinful in our eyes, what is our response? Are we quick to think the wrong thoughts or do we remember that we have made mistakes as well? Do we criticize or do we correct? Criticism is most often a knee-jerk reaction and usually destroys. If it destroys, then it mus have come from the destroyer (satan) himself. Our reaction should be to pray and then humbly help that person back to the narrow path. To do that requires us to be a channel of God’s love to those around us. This helps us to understand that when we feel condemnation, it comes from satan, but when we feel conviction, it comes from God’s Holy Spirit. God doesn’t condemn Christians for their failures, but He doesn’t wink at sin, either. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. Romans 5:( (NLT)
19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Rev 3:19 (NLT)