I’ve written several times on this blog about my journey to understand and honor the book we call the Bible. My struggles were mighty at first, but they become easier every day. While the language, translated from Hebrew, ancient Greek and Aramaic, can be problematic, the actual content is simple and consistent. All information given to us in the Bible is ultimately about the cause and effects of sin. It is a book about sin. Where it began, with Adam and Eve (for us humans), and where it will go with the second coming of Christ. It also addresses how to become “cleansed” of sin, even while we remain in this sin filled world. The entire Bible is of course also about the Salvation provided for that sin. When it is written in the Old Testament that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with us, they mean The Son of God or The Savior. The Old Testament animal sacrifices were merely a substitute while we waited for Jesus to appear. It was the faith of the people of that day in those sacrifices, that brought them salvation. Now it is about Faith in God and His Grace, and what Jesus did for us on Calvary’s Cross, that saves us from our sin, not anything we can bring ourselves.
The key for me.
When I quit trying to piece together the Bible one verse at a time, in an effort to understand its larger meaning, and I began to understand the entirely of the Bible first, then work backwards to understand all of those verses, it began to fall into place. When you do that, with the help of The Holy Spirit of God, the rest will come.
When so-called Christian “religions”, who want to appeal the “modern person“, tell you that because Christ died for all of your sins, you never need to think about, or repent for sin again, understanding the entirety of the Bible, in order to understand the pieces of it, will help you immensely.
When John preached that WE need to repent our sins daily, he did so with clear knowledge that he was a saved Christian. Remember, he did not say YOU (the unsaved) need to confess sin, he said WE, including himself. He was preaching to the Church.
Why do we confess our sins? We don’t continue to confess our recent sins to remain justified in our salvation, that justification came when we accepted what The Savior did for us. But instead, we confess as a means of sanctification. The aim of confession for the born again Christian, is not to beg for absolution for every sin that we will surely commit, but to remain secure in God, in relation to His Holiness.
John 1:9 If we (saved Christians just like John) confess our sins, He is faithful and Just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.
He is clearly preaching to saved Christians.
When Jesus told his Disciples how to pray, Disciples that He knew full well, were saved and blessed Christians (but still sinners), he told them to say to God, forgive us our debts (trespasses or sins). He was telling them to ask forgiveness of their sins. He didn’t tell them to pray that prayer only once. It was made to be repeated daily, for the rest of their lives.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will ( his will or command) be done on earth, as it is in Heaven ( Heaven is sinless).
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts (sins [forgiveness is always for sin] ), and forgive our debtors. (Those who sin against us. We can sin against our fellow-man as we can sin against God)
Lead us not into temptation (of sin), but deliver us from evil ( sin ): for Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen
Every true church will preach about sin, and the need to atone for it, even after Salvation.
Do you really believe that Christ offered Himself up as a Sacrifice, to wash away our sins with His Precious Blood, just so that you can continue to sin freely an unencumbered by any confession of that sin? When you sin and feel bad about that sin, that is The Holy Ghost (or Spirit) “convicting” you of that sin. It is for your benefit. When you confess that sin to alleviate the guilt, it will be lifted off your shoulders allowing you to remain free and happy. Jesus already made the necessary sacrifice to pay for those sins that we will commit and will need to confess.
I know that some churches tell you to forget that feeling of guilt. Not to worry, no need to feel bad about your sins. They are telling you to ignore The Holy Spirit of God. Maybe they should learn about the blasphemy of the Hold Spirit and the penalty that accompanies it.
The conviction of the Holy Spirit, can be called a conscience if that is preferred. Many, many churches today are embracing the pseudo science of humanistic psychology. Nobody is responsible for anything, we are merely animals who have no choice. There is a name for someone without a conscience. They are called sociopaths. The majority of our mass murderers and serial killers have been sociopaths.
I know there are those who teach us that once we’re saved, we are incapable of sin. Do you really want to tell me that when you lie, or cheat, or think sinful thoughts, that you are not sinning. The Perfection and Holiness of Christ is imparted to us despite our sinful ways, not because of them. We are forgiven of all sin, but need to constantly address it by honest confession to The Father in the name of Jesus. It’s really very simple. Of course it needs to be a sincere and meaningful confession.
Confess your sins as the Word of God tells you too and keep your walk with The Lord clear and fruitful.
Don’t allow those who don’t understand God’s Word, or who intentionally misinterpret its meaning in order to either say what they want it to say, or what they think you will want it to say, to interrupt your walk with God, or even worse, prevent it.
The Bible is only difficult until God through His Spirit, begins to open it up to you.
The internet of course has a lot to say about the subject I‘ve written about today. There are honest disagreements about some aspects of the Bible and our walk as Christians. There are also unintentional errors and there are intentional ones. While among those (several) ministries I have used as an aid (and only an aid) in learning the Bible, some are very critical of false doctrine, but unless asked straight up, they do not criticize individual ministries or denominations. The same cannot be said for those who criticize them. The internet is filled with some truths, and many, many lies. In other words, tread carefully on the internet just as you should read most books written on the subject of the Christian experience, with a very careful attitude.
I believe God should and does bless the trusting person. Just the same, you will be held accountable for you own spiritual discernment, just as it is your job to rightfully divide the Bible. If you are anything like me, you will surely stumble along the way. God is waiting and ready to help the Christian on his/her journey, but alas, you have free will, and the “right” to make the wrong choice.
For the unsaved, The Holy Spirit will (if you let him) show you the Truth of God, as an aide to lead you to Salvation. He may even work miracles, so that you will have no doubt.
Our God is a big God, expect big things
When I write about the Bible, it often reads as if I think I “know it all“. It’s my way or the highway, I seem to be saying. I appear to believe that I am the final word on the subject. I can say in perfect honesty, and with a clear conscience, that I am an infant in the Bible. I know of a pastor who has read and studied the Bible for over 70 years. Almost 365 days for each of those years. He will tell you, that the Bible will still open new revelations to him, on a consistent basis. There is no such thing as finishing one’s study of the Bible, least of all by such a common being as I am. I do however, believe passionately in what I teach. If I didn’t believe it to be true, I would wait (and often do), until I found out more, before I shared it. Also, please know, what I write about concerning the Word of God and what it has taught me, is not new or unusual. It is an old teaching and was first taught, with the help of The Spirit of Lord (my opinion), by people named Paul, John, Mathew, James and others.
Don’t take my word for it. Search out the meaning yourself, but do not put all of your eggs in one basket when looking for teachers. Above all, ask the Lord for help. That is where you will find the true Authority and the final Word on the subject.
As is usually the case when I write about non-photography subjects, this post will be moved to mid-August of 2014 shortly after publication.
God Bless, Wayne