I Am Saved, But What If I Sin?

In I John 2:1 the apostle John is writing to Christians in the world and he addresses them with tenderness as he calls them my little children or born ones.  John continues; These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  

Believer’s are commanded not to sin because sin breaks the fellowship we have with God.  If we do sin, we have an advocate with God the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

An advocate is he who is called to one’s side or to one’s aid.  In a court of justice, an advocate is the counsel for one’s defense.  He pleads another’s cause or acts as an intercessor before the judge. When a Christian sins, (and all sins are against God Psalm 51:4), Jesus Christ, God’s Son pleads the believer’s case and intercedes with God the Father on our behalf.

When believers access the throne of grace by faith in prayer, Christ intercedes for us.    Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy (only given to the guilty) and find grace (divine favor) to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:14-16

Jesus Christ, the believer’s substitute, died in our place.  He died for all our sins….past, present and future.  As our defense counsel (advocate), having paid our sin penalty Himself, He intercedes for us as we confess our sins, declaring that the believer’s sins are paid for in full by his own sacrifice.  By the which will we are sanctified (set apart) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified (set apart). Hebrews 10:10-14  

When God the Father looks at believers, He does not see our sin. He sees only the righteousness of His Son.  God’s justice is satisfied, on the behalf of believers, in the substitutionary death of Jesus  Christ.

The Apostle John gives specific instructions on what to do when a believer does sin.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness I John 1:9.  To confess is to speak the same thing or to agree with.  It is to admit one’s guilt as a result of inward conviction.  

When we confess our sins to God, we are saying the same thing about them that He says.  Confession which results in cleansing occurs when believers agree with God against ourselves.

The Scriptures describe the life that a believer receives from God as eternal.  Eternal life begins when one accepts God’s provision for his sin.  Eternal life is life that never ends.   To commit an act of sin does not change the type of life received from God when trusting Christ as one’s only hope of salvation.

What is affected by a believer’s sin is his fellowship with the Father and his inward peace and joy.  We must keep short accounts with God.  The believer’s goal should be to have no unconfessed sin.

When we recognize sin in our life or in our heart, we must deal with it immediately by confessing it to God.  By faith we consider it to be cleansed and forgiven according to I John 1:9.  

To strengthen oneself against the power of sin, believers should obey Psalm 119:11.  Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee (God).

Go Down Death (A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

Heart-broken husband–weep no more;

Grief-stricken son–weep no more;

She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning.

God was looking down from his great, high heaven,

Looking down on all his children,

And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,

Tossing on her bed of pain.

And God’s big heart was touched with pity,

With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,

And he commanded that tall bright angel standing at his right hand:

Call me Death!

And that tall bright angel cried in a voice

That broke like a clap of thunder:

Call Death!–Call Death!

And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven

Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,

Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,

And he leaped on his fastest horse,

Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.

Up the golden street Death galloped,

And the hooves of his horse struck fire from the gold,

But they didn’t make no sound.

Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,

And waited for God’s command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,

Go down to Savannah, Georgia,

Down in Yamacraw,

And find sister Caroline.

She’s born the burden and heat of the day,

She’s labored long in my vineyard,

And she’s tired–

She’s weary–

Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn’t say a word,

But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,

And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,

And out and down he rode,

Through heaven’s pearly gates,

Past suns and moons and stars;

On Death rode,

Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;

Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,

She turned her eyes and looked away,

She saw what we couldn’t see;

She saw Old Death.  She saw Old Death

Coming like a falling star.

But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;

He looked to her like a welcome friend.

And she whispered to us: I’m going home,

And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,

And she lay in his icy arms,

But she didn’t feel no chill.

And Death began to ride again–

Up beyond the evening star,

Into the glittering light of glory,

On to the Great White Throne.

And there he laid Sister Caroline

On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,

And he smoothed the furrows from her face,

And the angels sang a little song,

And Jesus rocked her in his arms,

And he kept a-saying: Take your rest,

Take your rest.

Weep not–weep not,

She is not dead;

She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

                                                               James Weldon Johnson  1871 – 1938

Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know

Ask ye what great thing I know

That delights and stirs me so?

What the high reward I win?

Whose the name I glory in?

Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes?  

Who consoles my saddest woes?

Who revives my fainting heart,

Healing all its hidden smart?

Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

Who is life in life to me?

Who the death of death will be?

Who will place me on His right

With the countless host of light?

Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

This is that great thing I know;

This delights and stirs me so:

Faith in Him Who died to save,

Him Who triumphed o’er the grave,

Jesus Christ, the Crucified.

                                                                         Johann C. Schwedler, 1672-1730

I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I Corinthians 2:2 

Did You Know? #5

For the wages of sin is death…..

Physical death is the separation of you and I from our physical body.  We are spirit beings confined to a physical body until the body dies.  When physical death comes, we are released into eternity to live somewhere forever.

Spiritual death is the separation of unbelievers from God.  The second death is the separation of unbelievers from God forever.

Because of sin, we are born into this world spiritually dead or separated from God.  That is why Christ told Nicodemus that he must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God.  

The second birth is a spiritual birth that unites us with God as one of His children.  All those who have been born of the Spirit have been born again.

He that is born once, dies twice. He that is born twice, dies once.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23

But as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even  to them who believe on his name.  John 1:12

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church Today – Part II A – The Sealing of the Holy Spirit

Parts 1A & B of this series are an introduction to the Work of the Holy Spirit Today, from the book of Ephesians.  If you have not read Part 1A & B recently, it would be helpful to scroll back to those blog articles and re-read them before beginning Part II A.

The first reference to the Holy Spirit in the book of Ephesians indicates that one aspect of His ministry is the sealing of believers. “In whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13 NKJV

“In whom also” is a continuation of the theme “In Him” or “in Christ” that begins in verse three of chapter one and continues through verse thirteen.  Paul writes that we are chosen in Christ.  In Him we have redemption and forgiveness of sins through His blood.  We are purposed in Him.  In Him we have obtained an inheritance and in Him we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Believers are sealed “in Christ”.  For in Him (God) we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).   Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians also says; “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us, and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” II Corinthians 1:21&22 NKJV

Believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit when we believe on Christ. Our believing and His sealing are simultaneous.  One cannot be a Christian today and not have the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:9b says; “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”  One becomes a Christian by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as one’s only hope of salvation.  

The action of “having believed, you were sealed” or “upon believing, you were sealed” is a one time action in the past.  This construction is also passive which means that the subjects “you” or “you believers” were acted upon in the sealing by God Himself.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.  II Timothy 2:19





Reliable and Trustworthy

Recently I had a conversation with a gentleman who related several instances in his life that seemed to be miraculous interventions. Because of these experiences he ascented to being a believer. When I asked him if he read the Bible, however; he related that he didn’t because of all the different interpretations out there.  In his view, the Bible was not reliable.  His experiences were his authority.

It is always interesting to me when individuals can relate to Jesus, but cannot relate to His written word. The written word is where we get our information concerning Christianity and Jesus Christ.  

If we study how much the Lord quoted the Scripture and how He referenced it’s written authority, we have to conclude that the Lord Jesus identified Himself with Scripture and that the Old Testament Scripture is full of references to Jesus the Messiah.

To believe in Jesus Christ and hold a low view of the Bible at the same time is an oxymoron.  It is a contradiction.  To deny the written word is to deny Christ. 

Speaking concerning the Scriptures, Christ said; “…..these are they which testify of me and ye will not come to me that ye might have life.”

The Bible is reliable and trustworthy.

Up until the middle of the last century, the oldest manuscripts of the Old Testament, that we possessed, were dated about 1000 AD. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, we suddenly had manuscripts that predated Christ.  

As the Bible scholars compared those Old testament manuscripts to the texts we have today, they found them to be ninety-five percent in agreement. The five percent discrepancy had nothing to do with doctrinal teaching.

The New Testament manuscripts are all about quantity and families of manuscripts.  When a holy man of God, an apostle, wrote a letter as he was moved by the Holy Spirit to a particular church, it was copied and redistributed not only to the church for which it was intended, but to other churches as well.  

These letters were treated as they claimed to be, as from God. These letters were instructions from God and were received as such by the churches.

As the letters from the apostles were sent out and redistributed, families of manuscripts were created and preserved.  These letter manuscripts were not always saved complete.  Sometimes there were only pieces of letters that survived, but there were many of them.

The quantities of these families of manuscripts made it possible for scholars not only to study and compare them for authentication and genuineness, but to know with accuracy what the complete letter contained.  

In some cases there are more writings available for authentication of the New Testament books than there are for many ancient secular writings.  In other words, the case for the historicity of many New Testament books is stronger than it is for some of the ancient Greek philosophers.

For those who argue that the Bible, as we have it, is unreliable and subject to the errors of oral tradition, you and I may say with confidence; that is simply not the case.  

The Bible, because of what it claims for itself, has been subject to the utmost skepticism and scrutiny.  Through it all the Scripture has survived as the most printed and published book in the history of mankind.   

As a Christian, you and I need not apologize for believing the Bible. The burden of proof is upon those who would deny it.