How Does God Deal With Our Sin?

Jesus_laughingLately I have spent more time thinking about my sin than I have in a long time. Don’t panic – I haven’t done anything stupid. It’s just that I rarely think about my sin as sin. Let me explain.

I know I am far from perfect. I make mistakes.

So let me call a spade a spade and admit that, occasionally, I sin. And when I sin, God corrects me.

So what am I doing telling people God never convicts us of our sin? What am I? Some kind of two-faced hypocrite?

As I have explained elsewhere, there is a huge difference between conviction and correction. The word “convict” found in our English Bibles implies the declaration of guilt and God never does that to the guiltless. Don’t you see? You have been justified through faith in Christ and now have peace with God (Rom 5:1). Justification means just-as-if-I-had-never-done-it. Even if you have just done it. Just now.

You are one with the Lord and as he is, so are you in this world (1 Jn 4:17). In Christ, you are as righteous and holy as he is.

But from time to time we all make regrettable choices and when we do the Holy Spirit will seek to bring about a life-giving course correction. He doesn’t do that by applying the rod of correction or scourging us with sickness. Instead he seeks to steer us away from danger and back towards the way of life. Let me give you some examples showing how he does that:

Example 1: Ugly parenting

As a father of three small children I am regularly stretched beyond my coping abilities. I get tired and frustrated and when I do I become a grizzly bear – I grizzle and growl. I frighten my children and say things I regret. If you are a parent, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

How does God respond when I act this way?

First let me show you how grace doesn’t work. Grace doesn’t come and tell me, What a lousy father you were today! I already know that. I don’t even need the Accuser to tell me. No, grace doesn’t expose my ugliness but rather reveals his beauty within me. How does that happen?

For some grace might manifest as a mental picture of themselves parenting really well. Others might be reminded of a scripture that imparts life into a stressful moment. But for me, the most common experience is I find myself abounding in supernatural love.

This doesn’t happen automatically. And it certainly doesn’t happen when I am walking after the flesh and leaning on my own strength and understanding. But if I make the choice to ask my Father for help, grace comes. For me that typically means I begin to see my kids just as my heavenly Father see me – as dearly loved.

It’s hard to explain but in an instant everything changes. Suddenly their noise and energy no longer bothers me. It’s like my shoulders get widened. Instead of being flattened and overwhelmed I find myself wanting to stoke the fires of their youthful exuberance just to see what happens next. Do you understand? It’s a completely different me. It is literally Christ revealing his kid-loving character through me and it’s awesome! I am transformed from grizzly papa into the best dad in the world!

Example 2: Self-pity

Several years ago I was so overwhelmed by a problem that I sat down in a funk and began to indulge in self-pity. Self-pity is huge sin. It’s far more serious than some of the sins we warn teenagers about. Self-pity is the sin of unbelief in the goodness of God. It is saying, “God, I don’t believe you can handle this situation.” Never give into self-pity because it will sink your boat faster than the Titanic.

But on that dark day I gave into it. I began to feel sorry for my pathetic self. What did Jesus do in response to my sin? Did he stand before me like Nathan pointing the accusing finger? Did he warn me like Elijah of the imminent fire of heaven? Of course not! Jesus is not like that at all.

I remember it clear as day. I was sitting there in my little funk with my head in my hands and suddenly, in my mind, I could see Jesus sitting on the chair beside me in the exact same posture as me. Like me he had his head in his hands and he looked worried. As long as I live I’ll never forget what he said:

“You’re right Paul, this is a big problem. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it.”

Then he threw back his head and laughed and laughed at the absurdity of such a thought. Instantly, I was set free.

Do you see what he did there?

He took my problem in his massive hands and laughed at it. He showed me the utter ridiculousness of the lie that I had bought into. How foolish to think that Jesus hasn’t got this! By seeing Christ I was set free from the lie that had held me captive. I began laughing so hard I nearly fell off my chair.

When Jesus brought me back on course he employed neither guilt nor condemnation, just laughter and joy (Is 12:3).

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Ask the right question

“Does God see our sins?” “How does God deal with us when we sin?” Frankly, these are the wrong sort of questions for they completely miss the Father’s heart.

God is simply not interested in recording your sins or assigning guilt and blame. Our sins surely grieve the Holy Spirit – they make him sad – but he doesn’t withdraw, condemn, or convict us in response.

In the example I just gave you. Jesus dealt with my sin of self pity without even mentioning it. Do you see? Your sin is not the issue. Your sin was dealt with 2000 years ago at the cross. What really matters to your Father is you and you are not your sin.

Those who worry, “Does God see my sin?” are living in the old covenant. In the new covenant a better question is, “How does the Good Shepherd deal with us when we go astray?” The answer is: gently (see Heb 5:2). When you stumble and make a hash of things, Jesus deals with you gently because he knows what it’s like to be human.

No doubt some serious folk will be offended by the idea of gentle Jesus. They will write to remind me of the Revelation churches. They will say, “Jesus wasn’t exactly gentle with the Thyatirans and the Laodiceans, was he?”

It’s true, those churches got stern rebukes. But don’t you find it interesting that before dealing with those churches Jesus reminded them that he “loves us, has cleansed us from our sins and has made us kings and priests unto God and his Father” (see Rev 1:5-6)? His correction is always motivated by love for us.

I’m not diminishing the seriousness of sin. Your sins can kill you. I’m saying God does not deal with us as our sins deserve (Ps 103:10). Rather, he deals with us on the basis of love. Again; your sin is not the issue. You are the issue and you are the apple of your Father’s eye.

It’s not about your sin

I know this is hard for some to process. We have been raised to beware sin, to resist sin, to run from sin, to overcome sin. With so much emphasis on sin, guilt, and shame, is it any wonder so many of us are sin-conscious instead of Christ-conscious? We need to be set free from this unhealthy obsession with sin!

I said at the start that I rarely think about my sin as sin. Yes, I make mistakes. It’s just that I don’t think about those mistakes in the language of sin and guilt. Paul said, “Reckon yourself dead to sin” (Rom 6:11). How can I engage with something and be dead to it at the same time?

Since I met Jesus I no longer speak the faithless language of sin and death. I choose to live by the law of the Spirit of life. My mistakes are not sins, per se. They are far more serious than that. Rather, they are death-dealing wounds I inflict on myself and others (Gal 6:8). They are missed opportunities to receive and impart life.

“Paul, are you saying you never repent and confess your sins?” I do but probably not in the manner you’re thinking.

True confession is not listing your sins like they did in the old covenant – it’s agreeing with God. And repentance is the same thing – it’s not looking down at your navel but up at Christ who is your life.

You can confess and repent in an old fashion if it helps, but understand that those things can actually deter you from the main thing which is getting back on course before you smash your boat on the rocks of life. When Jesus shows up to laugh at the folly of your distrust, you can either (a) put on ashes and sackcloth or (b) laugh along with him. When the Holy Spirit shows you how to be a better parent, you can spend the next hour either (a) repenting for being a bad parent or (b) being the better parent.

I say “Choose life!” Make the choice that releases his life into your situation. Typically this will mean lifting your eyes off your sin and onto him. It’ll mean praising him for his goodness instead of harping on about your badness.

Rockwell_forgivenAnyway, that’s just me. Perhaps you think my “sin” stories are unspectacular. There was no alcoholism, drug abuse, or pornography mentioned because those haven’t been issues for me. But most of our sins are little ones and it’s good to experience freedom even in the humdrum aspects of life.

You’ve heard my stories; now I want to hear yours. How has God dealt with you when you stumbled? Do you have a story of Jesus gently bringing about a course correction in your life? If so, will you bless us by sharing it in few words below?

Comments

  1. sounds like you get the same responses I do Paul,if go into the throne room,to complain or whine etc,its like he sits there with a smile on his face,and i say ITS NOT FUNNY, and I say i need your help here,and I get a simple answer,and I think,why didnt I think of that,and he says NO PROBLEM,AND HE KEEPS ON SMILING,and I say,Im glad you have a sense humor. carry-on.and I say if you need any advice just ask.
    PS:I might have exagerated a little for effect, sorry

  2. Please no more talk about sin. The poster above says it all, it is perfect because “In Him there is no sin” . You will remember the word the Lord gave to me, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”.

    It’s really not healthy for us to keep talking about this negative issue, especially when all sin has been dealt with once & for all.

    Also, please define sin because, as I understand it, there is only one sin that remains i.e. to “Blaspheme the Holy Spirit” & Believers cannot commit it!

    Yes, we do make wrong choices, which can hurt ourselves & others, but this is not sin & cannot affect our relationship, fellowship or position in Christ, as sin would! God wants us to come TO Him, CONFIDENTLY, even when we have made wrong choices, not hide from Him because we have a guilty conscience.

    The way I see it, what we are doing at the moment is “Accentuating the negative & eliminating the positive”. Maybe we could talk about “SinLESSness”, which is so much more edifying, some time soon?

    Sorry if I sound a bit harsh, I do not mean to, but the Holy Spirit is really impressing this upon me at the moment!

    We continue, by His leading, to pray for you & all who have a “Platform” to reveal the “Gospel of Grace”.

    • Nick, if you have followed this blog for the past 3 years, you will note that I rarely talk about sin. I agree – it’s a wrong focus. I hope I made this clear in the post above. I totally agree that we should accentuate the positive.

      However, many folk out there are accentuating the negative. I am referring to those who have not yet come into the fullness of his grace. Such people tend to dismiss people like me as out of touch with reality. Because I rarely talk about sin they think I am deceived. It is for the sake of those people that I have written these three posts on sin. By discoursing on a subject dear to their hearts I hope to lead them towards a deeper revelation of grace. To the sin-conscious I will become (momentarily) sin-conscious so that by all possible means I might lead some to Jesus.

      For similar reasons I plan to do a post on hell. I have never written on hell because it forms no part of my gospel. But hell is real and some people are terrified of it. Since I don’t talk about it they dismiss my message as irrelevant. To the hell-conscious I will become (momentarily) hell-conscious so that by all possible means I might lead some to Jesus.

      And what is sin? Anything that is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23). So trying to please Jesus through self-effort is sin. So is trying to raise a family without drawing on his reservoirs of grace. It is unhealthy and frankly sinful (according to Rom 14:23) of any of us to pretend we have it altogether. Consequently, my other reason for writing these posts is to promote a greater dependency on the One who leads us in the way of life.

    • Paul is teaching, as he said. You are in a virtual classroom, and you are not the only student. You sound like those kids in math class who “get it” and want the teacher to move on, when a large portion of the class is still looking a bit like a treeful of owls and need the teacher to go over the the lesson just one more time. Artful use of “the Holy Spirit made me do it” but methinks it was your own personal impatience. :)

  3. Really loving the freedom in this. I once was worried about money and past sins, I curled up on my couch and felt myself in Jesus’ arms, my head in his hands. I felt the scar on his hand on the back of my head and he just laughed. My problems just melted away and I laughed with him. He’s so kind. Thanks for all your posts, so many great truths!

  4. sandy hewitt says:

    A few years back I had just committed what I considered a “heinous” sin. I felt so very awful and I was just crying all by myself and asking Jesus to help me with this thing – to help me stop it. Asking how could He love me now? I immediately got a picture of me inside a very, very big suit of armor (Trojan Horse size armor) all cuddled up on a soft pink blanket. Of course He was the armor and He was the blanket. He is my protection and He is my comforter. This is when I began to see that Jesus doesn’t see sin the same way I see sin. What a wonderful journey of Grace it’s been since then. Jesus is All and in All. And like you Paul, I don’t see sin in the same way at all anymore. I remember the first time I told our little Bible study group – “It’s as if sin doesn’t matter to Him anymore”. I was almost afraid to say it. But they were all in agreement and we were all laughing and happy. How could you not be when you see, really see, what Jesus has Finished.

  5. I absolutely love this post. Very very well said. From my own experience, when I finally surrendered my heart (not just my head) to the Lord, I told Him that I’d trust Him no matter what. Well, about 6 months later, I lost my job, and a year after that, my wife at the time told me she wanted a divorce. I began asking, “Uhhh Lord, what’s going on here?!” However, He reminded me of my prayer about trusting Him, and it brought peace. It helped me to be at rest when things were a mess by outward appearances. Initially I had begun to fall apart, but the Lord corrected me, and when I let go of my anxiety, He got me through it, and I grew by leaps and bounds as a result.

  6. I have had it happen more than once where I have felt so condemned by my wrong-doing that I have looked up to God and told him I wanted nothing more to do with him. He has responded by lavishing me with grace and love, usually through another person who treats me with excessive gentleness and kindness. It seems that when I am at my worst with God, that is when he sends someone to give me the best of their love. I do call sin what it is: sin. I John says that if we say we are without sin, the truth is not in us. But I am trying to learn to not be fixated on sin but to fix my mind on trusting God.

  7. I was struggling with a load of negative stuff going on around me but it started getting me down and I responded with criticism!
    God showed me some ivy growing up into plants. As a keen gardener, I was more than willing to get down on my knees and dig it out before it got bigger and ended up strangling the life out of my precious plants. Then I realised this is what being critical was also doing.
    It really helped me see things differently,grow and blossom. I am very encouraged by E2R posts and share stuff from them now as the answer to the negative stuff. It is light in the darkness. Hope for the hopeless, Joy instead of despair.

  8. I often times find that the Holy Spirit speaks truth into a situation and its truth thats set me free. Here is a random example from not too long ago…my hubby and kids were all playing around by throwing crumpled paper balls at each other. In the midst of their foolish fun and just before I could call off the dangerous play, my husband rocket launched a ball my way and it beamed me directly in the eye. Amidst the pain and anger that rose up inside me, I heard that still small voice remind me of a very simple truth…that my husband loves me and would never intentionally hurt me. It was that truth that gave way to a life giving choice, the choice to look up from the pain, smile at my husband and kids, assure them that I would be okay and gently reccommend that the paper throwing game should come to an end. I noticed that when I looked up my whole family was bracing for the storm…they were expecting me to explode in anger/pain/frustration. But because of the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit and the words of truth He breathed into my heart, I was enabled to respond with love. Thats how Jesus deals with us when we blow it….He reminds us of the truth and of His unconditional love.

  9. I love it! (How I wish I had found you a decade ago!) I had committed a huge on top of an enormous sin and was a leader in my church and community. I was devastated and felt I had let everyone down – especially God. I remember specifically when I was locked away at home, recovering, it was like Jesus took my face in His hands one day and made me look into His eyes and He told me, “This is not about you and your husband. It’s not about what your kids think of you. It’s not about what your church thinks or the customers at your business – this is all about you and Me, right now. You. And ME! Just you and Me.You got that?” And I’ve never forgotten that. On my hard days after that, trying to rebuild my life and reputation, I have often remembered that day and His Words to me. He wanted my focus off of what I had done and onto Him alone and our future together. It saved my life and kept me moving toward the goal instead of groveling in sorrow and grief. And our future together, from that day forward, has been glorious and only gets better!

  10. hollyhoell says:

    I just began understanding about walking in grace vs God is in Control, etc.. etc.. in the last couple years. I find it challenging to counter all the religious thinking I’m surrounded by. However, I am really starting to see those that don’t walk in grace seem to be miserable, criticizing and/or complacent Christians who mean well. I am trying to overcome some hurts from what I thought was a close friend at church and I was finding myself deep in self pity, I was told I was acting in Idolatry and I repented and struggled feeling stuck in that sin. But I feel like I am starting to find freedom, just by focusing on Jesus and letting it go trying to hold onto Him and if I am upset, I just rest in Him and look for His comfort and thank Him for His kindness and perfect love. Instead of beating myself up, I am hoping to heal by enjoying Him and the good things he has put in my life.

  11. Many years ago I moved to L. Florida from Michigan.I was so homesick.Complaining about the town.Even though I knew it was in Gods plan.Whining away.I was talking to my friend on the phone who lives in Georgia.She began to tell me about a person who was at her place of employment.She started complaining about being there and being homesick.My friend asked “Where are you from” the lady said L.this was such a light bulb moment for me.She was homesick for the very town I was complaining about.Enough said.

    Wonderful post.Parenting is not a job for the weak.That’s why we need help from the Lord.One time I was looking back at all my parenting mistakes after my children were adults.Feeling condemnation about what I could have done.Soon after I heard a piece on the radio.This particular women commented on such a thought that parents could have.She mentioned the fact that Adam and Eve had the best parent.God himself.Look what happened there.Thank you Eve.Thank you Adam.

  12. I remember sending my then 5 year old off to school after upsetting her and lying on the bed crying and feeling so guilty. My then 3 year old came and stood beside the bed, cocked her head on one side and said “Just a minute, Jesus is talking to me, He is saying ” You tell your Mum that I love her and she is ok with me just as she is”. She was way too young to do all the grammar stuff that had to go with that sentence.

  13. UwaaaaH!! Glory to Jesus! Well spoken, Paul! … the same is true for sickness, pain, relationship issues, psychological problems, addictions, financial trouble and any and everything the enemy brings to your doorstep.

    The Greek word for ALL these things (sin) is Hamartia, which simply means: “to miss the mark, to be in err, to be without a share in, …” in other words to miss God’s plan for you and not to take (receive) share in His perfect plan for you (Jesus!). Allowing the works of the enemy in our lives, we are in hamartia. Why should we? That’s why James 4:7 tell us to actively resist the devil!

    Praise be to Jesus! Today, on this side of the cross (New Testament) we are in a proper position never to miss the target ever again. We can not miss it because we have been washed by the precious Blood of the Lamb and the mark has been hit! HalleluYAH!!!!!!!

    Amen! Daniel: RSA

  14. Alfred Scott says:

    Once I heard an audible inner voice which I believe is Jesus because it was so gentle.

    I had a crush on a girl. And once in a crusade she was standing beside her in the worship team. And my eyes was wandering, wondering. Then I heard a voice. If you want her, I will give her to you. At that moment that desire ceased!!!
    I was like- What??
    I felt an overwhelming joy rising up inside me. And after that I never looked at that girl like that.

  15. All your stories above touched my heart and made me tear.

    I kind of have a “reverse lesson” to share. Instead of sharing how Jesus dealt with me when I sinned, I would like to share what happened when I refused his kind and gracious words when I sinned and continued condemning myself. Through this one incident, I learned that condemnation is deadly. It’s not just a saying. It’s true. In the past, whenever my pastor mentioned, ‘Condemnation kills’, I would say, ‘Amen!’, but on the inside, I had the attitude, ‘Really? Does it really kill? I think pastor is exaggerating.’

    Anyway, once, before church, I did something wrong. I don’t even remember what I did now, but the condemnation came hard and fast. Immediately, Romans 8:1 floated into my mind, but instead of receiving that word, I chose to focus on the condemning thoughts. Within a few minutes, I developed a fever and felt really weak. I could hardly concentrate during the service. When I got home, I felt the Lord telling me, ‘Condemnation kills… Condemnation kills.’ When I received that revelation, and said, ‘There is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ,’ the very moment I said that, the fever left and I felt normal. Fever may not be a ‘serious’ illness, but it was, for me, a very powerful lesson that shows why it is so important to receive the gift of no condemnation.

  16. i grew up in a cult/religion that taught that repentance was a “grieving process” (aka a process of penance you subjected yourself to by fasting, groveling, crying out, and confessing… if you really meant that you were sorry) after Jesus saved me, not one of the leaders i was talking with from my new church told me that repenting was any different from what i had been taught by the other guys… i was in a mess (or rather, I was the mess)… and after days on end of puffy eyes and sore knees, i went to pray and no tears came… so i asked God why i wasn’t able to cry… and then, He told me it was because i was forgiven. at first i thought i was delirious (i was already suffering from panic attacks, anxiety and depression) but when i understood what i had heard, peace and love welled up inside of me and i got really excited (i would have shouted out loud, except it was the middle of the night and everyone was sleeping! lol)
    not too long after, there i was again… crying out and confessing and wallowing in my new failures… when i stopped to catch my breath and think about what else of my mess i needed to beg forgiveness for, i heard, in a fun-loving and matter-of-fact sort of way: “i told you i’ve already forgiven you!” i had to laugh at myself and agree with Him. needless to say, after that, i stopped focusing on my past and everything that was wrong with me (even though i was still being taught at church to do so) – and started asking Jesus to change me into this already forgiven person He told me i was… :)

  17. very similar story,, it is encouraging to me. I kid around allot,but the seriousness of freedom here is important,a old friend of mine used to say,sin is anything that gets between you and jesus,and i used to think, oh boy im in trouble, but when you see that as you come to him with ANYTHING, ALL THOSE FEARS BEGINS TO FADE AWAY.Hope i have helped,remember you are dealing with the KING,he will let you know if theres something not right. remember he is LOVE [NOUN].

  18. Priscilla Nancy Nakitto says:

    What i perceive from “grace” IS JESUS CHRIST our LORD and KING reigning over sin…., i look to the CROSS, i look to GODs’ LOVE for us and all our debts being paid in full, quite simply we are “not guilty”……

  19. God has no problem with sin ,sin is a symptom of the heart , any doctor knows treating the symptom provides no healing. The human heart cannot be repaired it requires replacement,
    God says our hearts are incurably wicked.

    • Chris, I’d like to beg to differ and say that:

      1. God has a HUGE problem with sin. He won’t send Jesus to take our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness otherwise.

      2. When we received Christ into our lives, we are made anew and a new heart is part of that package.

      • chrisvanrooyen says:

        Hi Jordan
        Under the old covenant sins were covered by sacrifice, the problem was that even after this covering the people still rebelled against God. Even with sin taken care of people still turned away.Yes Jesus did die for our sin,s but he was a better sacrifice I will leave it for you to work out why.
        Try and take your eyes of the sacrifice and see the man.

  20. That was beautifully written. Most recently my dad received a diagnosis of diabetes and his kidney function is also not good. He is older, and his doctor mentioned something about dialysis. My old self would have panicked at the prognosis. I won’t lie, I felt it rising up a little. But at the doctor’s office I said, “I’ve seen dialysis patients and what they have to go through, and that won’t be my dad, in Jesus’ name.” On the way home, I told my dad that when he is satisfied, then he can close his eyes and go to be with Jesus (Psalm 91). That weekend, I thought about God’s goodness. I let it prevail in my thoughts over the negative report. I didn’t deny what I heard at the doctor’s office. Those were the facts. But praise God, the Truth of God’s Word always rises higher than the facts! I haven’t arrived (as Andrew Wommack says), but I have left, praise God. The Holy Spirit is there to cause us to remember all the truths that we have received because of the finished work of Jesus. I am starting to grab hold of this, and pray that each day I receive more of His superabounding grace, the more victories I will see manifest!

  21. WE MUST RECKON THAT ALL OF OUR SINS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR AND FORGOTTEN. Because the church has not reckoned this, it has created a low level of “righteousness consciousness” in the Body. The issue has not been SETTLED in our hearts. Do I sin? Yes. BUT, because I am righteousness conscious and NOT sin conscious, I freely admit it without guilt or shame and respond to Holy Spirit reminding me of my new creation nature and bringing me back into alignment with WHO I AM in Christ. BIG DIFFERENCE WITH BIG RESULTS. Thank you, Jesus!!!! You way over paid!
    The parable of the sower comes to mind….Jesus said if you don’t get this you won’t get anything else I say.
    We must get the word in us; receive it, believe it and then SPEAK IT. Especially when I know I have fallen short or when the devil is attempting to sow lies. I find it helpful to speak, out loud, who God says I am. It is life transforming! The currency of the Kingdom is faith and the righteousness of faith speaks. Jesus was consistently modeling speaking and asking and receiving. We have the keys to the Kingdom and we need to learn how to use them.

    • Hi Beverly, I was very pleased to read what you wrote. I have been reading through the Bible beginning from the Old Testament and will finish the New Testament in December hopefully if we are not Raptured in the next 10 months. I am no Bible scholar but I must confess that I do understand some principles of Law. When I say Law I am speaking of laws like the Law of Gravity, the Laws of Speech, the Laws which govern singing etc. I am not a University graduate or even a College graduate but I must confess that I understand the principle of Law. I just finished reading the book of Exodus and find it absolutely fascinating that when all the parts of the Temple badger’s skins dyed red, cloths for service, table for the shewbread, the ark of the testimony etc etc were finished then they were brought to Moses and every piece of furniture and article had to be anointed with the anointing oil Exodus 40:9…… isn’t that a beautiful picture being given to us of the Holy Spirit in us who are God’s temple on earth. The Holy Spirit who makes the Word of God become alive for us and in us. The Spirit of God in us. What an awesome truth to know. believe,own, submit to and declare. The Holy Spirit will never lie to us because He is the Spirit of Truth. In all of this what is our responsibility—that is to know what the Word of God says about our fallen condition but even greater grace our redeemed position, what the Trinity says about Sin even greater what the Trinity has done about Sin, what the Word of God says about who we are in Christ and the glory which is ours when we submit to to Words like, Ye are the Light of the world,, You are above and not beneath. you are the head and not the tail, you are the salt of the earth. We are truly edified and built up when we KNOW who we are in Chirst and therefore we will not perish for lack of knowledge and the wisdom of how to apply it. Halellujah!!!

  22. Josef hauner says:

    Many years ago about fifteen I think and before I used to lay before the Lord and grovel and feel bad about how much I fell short of perfection. One day I was doing that and I heard the Lord say what are you doing down there? It shocked me and I realized how stupid I must have looked to him. That was the beginning of a shift in my thinking. I understood grace to a point before that but I did not realize that I was actually the righteousness of God in Christ and that it was by way of a gift not my efforts at holiness and purity. That was a good day, yes we still miss it at times but that is not who we are if we are saved. The harder I tried to live right the more I failed. Now the less I try the better I live. I am not trying to be a saint anymore I am one, by the grace of God and the gift of righteousness. This makes me want to worship and be thankful instead of grovel.

  23. Phillip Waite says:

    Because we are dead to sin, it does not mean we are perfect in behaviour from our rebirth. If we get the truth, we will experience the power of sin broken in our lives. We cannot sin. Now you are going to say I just contradicted myself. My renewed mind cannot sin. My unrenewed flesh can answer to the power of sin that’s left in me. For a babe in Christ, this is a difficult walk without the truth. (gospel) While we agree our walk is not a walk of morality, trying to please God, but a belief of fact, done, that bares fruit, which appears to be a walk of morality. One Christian ventures on this walk in the Spirit, speaking in unbelief, another walking in the Spirit, believing. You cannot grieve the Holy Spirit with your sin. That’s condemnation. What grieves him is what you say about a persons sin. Read the a little around the scripture. I am speaking to all Paul. Practice righteousness. When you sin, realise it is your flesh becoming captive to the power of sin in you. Christ has delt with this. Say,I am the perfect righteousness of God in Christ. Do this every time you sin. Eventually you will get a revelation of his Grace and your sin will fall away. We sometimes think we are ok because we sin little ones. We use the flesh to maintain this and this is self righteousness. It’s our big ones that make us aware of his Grace. Where sin abounds, Grace abounds more. The power of sin remains alive when under law. I get a sense that many are still under law and discuss sin in unbelief. Just because you sin, this does not change the fact you are dead to it. This is just your unbelief. Remember, liberty, freedom, peace, joy. Not to mention the fruit. The truth will set you free. The conflict in Romans 7 is an example of unbelief. It is not yours.

  24. Asking for prayer because I struggle with absolute Grace. I received mixed messages about who God is when I was young and wrestle mightily with believing I am completely forgiven. It is a torturous way to live.

    • Tim Freed says:

      I understand where you are. I grew up in a fundamental church which preached the “gospel,” but it was not the “gospel” at all. The gospel means good news, and law mixed with grace is not good news! There is so much law mixed in with grace in churches. The idea that my sins are already forgiven and all I have to do is accept it has revolutionized my life, and it will do the same for you! I don’t know you, but I can tell from what you have written you are a dear saint of God. Just bask in His grace. He really really loves you. I’m not going to pray for you because God already wants you to experience His grace. Just accept it!

  25. Grafted Believer says:

    Sin is defined as transgression against the Creator’s commandments found in the Torah based on 1 John 3:4. I am referring to Genesis through Deuteronomy, not Judaism, so please do not mistake the two… While acknowledging and confessing your sins to the Creator and believing on the Messiah’s atoning death for the remission of your sins results in receiving the gift of everlasting life, it is the willing observance and guarding of the Creator’s Torah that shows the evidence of conversion. In other words, a person observes and guards the Creator’s Torah because he or she is saved rather than a being saved because of observing and guarding the Creator’s Torah. The grace of the Creator grants us the ability to reconcile with Him, and when a person has been adopted and grafted in, he or she becomes His child and is to obey the Creator as their Father.

    If you truly love the Creator, you will keep His commandments. If you believe the Creator’s Torah is no longer relevant, then you are in contradiction against the Messiah’s words in Matthew 5:17-19, John 7:16, John 14:15, 1 John 2:4, 1 John 5:3, and so many other New Testament references that show affirmation towards the Creator’s Torah. Like I said before, a person observes and guards the Creator’s Torah because he or she is saved. Ephesians 2:8-10 should be read together to get its proper context.

    • You know the apostle Paul would strenuously disagree with you right? In future, please limit comments to the post above. Comments advocating law-based obedience can go under this post.

    • My friend Jgig would have fun with this post. Paul’s(Rav Shaul as you would probably call him) letter to the Galatians pretty much negates most of what you said in your post. But then being Torah Observant as you are probably has you blinded to the true Gospel. We can hope and pray for the veil to be removed.

    • chrisvanrooyen says:

      I beleive in the Yeshua,s atoning death and have acknowledged and confessed my sins but have trouble keeping the torah especially the torah as expressed by the creator in his sermon on the mount. Am i saved do i have everlasting life, help me ! help me !
      Brother if you have any brotherly love please help me out of this predicament.

      • Colleen G says:

        Trust the words of Jesus- “I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in the one who sent me will have eternal life. They won’t be judged because they have already passed from death to life.”- John 5:24 Others verses John 20:31, 1 John 5:9-13, Colossians 2. It is not what you do or don’t do but who you have faith in that grants you everlasting life.

      • chrisvanrooyen says:

        Hi Grafted believer you have obviously no help in your Gospel, your silence speaks volumes , I can assure you God,s Grace is the answer and not the Torah this said with taking nothing away from the Torah that God did not Give it, He gave it power to save through faultless observance and it never saved anyone.Sorry it did save one but we only receive him by Faith and not the Torah.

  26. Reading this immediately lifted a big burden from my heart. Hope to keep this in mind anytime I get down with self-pity. Read many of your great posts and this one impacted me the most. Thanks Paul.

  27. I read this post right on time. :D I currently do not have a ministry right now, because I left y previous church. I’m attending different churches over the week because I study far away from home. I feel so blessed because this is the moment that God is teaching me more about His grace. Yes, I do not have church ministry, but He’s still faithful. He’s always telling me, “Child, you can find your life’s fulfillment in your relationship with me, your Father, not by serving Me.” And every time I get tempted to self-pity, He just reminds me of the ‘unconditional’ in His love, and how He is my perfect Father, and how Jesus has paid it all for me! He’s taught me that there’s nothing I can boast before Him, now that I seem to ‘be doing nothing for Him’(as some of my friends say). Everything is undeserved. It’s all about Him! Him! Him! And the Finished Work of Jesus! :) Thank you for all your posts, Paul!

  28. Ann Marshall says:

    looking after our grandson who has severe learning difficulties i have times when my ptience is stretched beyond my limits, on one of these ocasions and feeling so bad about myself i realized i am hid in Christ and so is my ” temper”, This freed me from looking at my behaviour ,seeing Christ and knowing i can draw from his strenght and ptience,

  29. Thank you Paul. I love your blog. :) Others find it difficult to believe that the Lord is always pleased with us and smiling upon us even when we sin. This is because we yet identify ourselves with our deeds. But we are not our sin. We are what Jesus has done. So when we sin, let us rest in what Jesus has done and good works will flow from there. Bless you again sir

  30. Nelson Castellino says:

    When I sin,I go before my Abba Father and I thank Him for the precious blood of Jesus that cleanses me of all my sins.I thank Him that my sins are taken away as far as the east is from west,I thank Him for His unconditional love…and so on.Then I feel my Father’s love around me.When this happens the desire to sin diminishes and love for my dad increases.

  31. I grew up going to Sunday School and loving Jesus at a very young age, but as I got older got involved in things I should not have….then I got freaked out about the rapture my parents church taught (A Charismatic Church) and I got saved….along the way I grew closer to God and I knew he was with me……then it happened, I started giving in to my flesh (partying, sex…you know those things a good Christian never does). Then I would confess and repent then come back into good standing with God…rededicate my life….then something would happened and I would fall again…then come back…HOW BIPOLAR…..up and down. Now granted my mind set was a mix of law and grace (not forgiven till I asked) and I even doubted the Holy Spirit was still with me….Then the Spirit and scripture confirmed to me he never left me and I was happy for a time but I questioned If I was seeking God right? Enough? Anxiety Attacks plagued me…..I was trying to make myself believe the scriptures (applying theology) to my mind and not receive it in my heart….Then it happened…Jesus said to me….Let go! It is about me and you LOVE! Not about my performance but my faith in him…who he is and what he has done! Gods Grace has taken sin off the table….It doesn’t even apply to me anymore…. Now I find that Letting Go in Faith…..knowing I am always forgiven, not condemned, and he is joined with me in the spirit is my comfort…..I love Jesus and walk in the truth.

    • Randy, when you are in doubt, or plagued by sin, always remind youself and confess Gods promises like; There is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans).
      You have been set aside, renewed, redeemed,sanctified, for the Lord. Also God tells us in Romans that He imputed His own righteousness in us, and not worry about if we can measure up to Gods standards. When God sees you, He sees Jesus. When you sin, He doesnt see it, in fact He does not get mad, wrathful, and judgmental. He sees the price paid by His Son on the cross.
      The devil likes to remind you and every christian they are unworthy of Gods love when we sin. I had the same trouble you had on my walk with God, and thought it must be works more than grace.
      I am glad you have found true Grace!!

  32. After reading, the responses are similar,Gods grace is a hard thing to comprehend, [the harder we try the be-hinder we get ] when you first get the revelation,you seat and go[ gee I was doing so good.],then you say well I gotta do something,I cant just seat here,and the Lord says,just rest and let me stir,and the more you rest the more you begin to do,because you see so many fears, anxiety’s etc begin to fade, and you begin to see your purpose more clearly,you see that you function in a area really well, then the fruit starts to grow,then comes the love,peace and joy etc.

  33. Several years ago I was extremely heart broken because of my apathy and selfishness. I was so ashamed of myself. In the midst of my sobbing, “Romans 8″ flashed across my mind. I wasn’t familiar with the scripture so I found my Bible and looked it up. As I read, I experienced the sensation of warm waves washing over me. I was blown away! I felt that I deserved to be punished but instead God was loving me with such extravagance. The more that I read, the stronger the waves rushed over me. This experience changed my life forever. My prayer is that everyone would experience God’s love for them in an equally life-changing way. Grace and Peace.

  34. Roshan Easo says:

    Mark Driscoll recently wrote a new book titled Who do you think you are? I have no idea what his particular stance on that implies for I haven’t read it, but I read the title in my church bookstore and and it’s as if God reached all the way down, to a church that doesn’t accept his view of them of them but accepts him because He loves thems. It’s like he went all the way through the trouble of writing a love letter to a completely different world from his and says, “Don’t you think that you matter to God?”

  35. I’ve been listening to the grace message for about 8 mos & I want to experience what you all have experienced instead of guilt, feeling bad about myself.

    • Hello Mary,I am thinking of the scripture,perfect love casts out fear,coming from a place of rejection not from my parents or family,but somehow I was never sure,where i stood,once i began to see the opposite, how saved I was it was important to know that I was anchored on the rock,and he was not going to let me go,many many fears begin to fade away,and it is not sloppy agape, or greasy grace,it is foundational and allows you to move forward,it allows you to see more clearly what you are in the lord,and you begin to flow.

    • Mary – Any progress? I just today came across your post (I read this blog daily) and was interested if you had found any of this peace/joy that we all crave.

  36. Thanks so much Paul! This is really good. I likewise have had dozens of similar experiences. It’s amazing how God can bring in his truth and kindness and motivate change without convicting us of sin. He convicts us of our identity and when we understand our identity and how much he loves us, sin looses its appeal.

  37. Paul, I love you! Thanks for bringing the good news. Keep on!

  38. Thank you for your share in sinning. My revelations gently came to me after asking the Lord to show me clearly what I don’t understand. You mention many times in your writing, “It Is Finished”. I came upon a statment in one Christian site that answered me directly because asked for a direct simple answer due my lack of understanding ( I could see the forrest for the trees) and needed a plain explanation. My query was typed in google, it was “Old Testament vs. New Testament”, The succint plain and simple answer is: when Jesus died on the cross the moment he utter the words, “It Is Finished”, the curtain tore, the earth opened up among many things, it was at that point I understood I was forgiven, at that moment right there before I was even born, everything changed. I was saved from that point on, I did not understand to what extent that was or what it meant, I did not know. My search wasn’t over, In my quest for answers still I came across ETR and another answer from God, and my understanding is clear now. For me right now it is about Faith, turning to God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit and trusting blindly, letting him take care of me “unconditionally”. Thank you. I feel I am in the right space. It didn’t happen over night and I am still a work in progress. I Thank God for your light. Sincerely, Glenn

  39. Being a parent i can relate. One thing that has helped me more than anything has been a remark i heard from a pastor named Danny chambers. He said this one time and a year later it clicked as pertaining to our position in Christ. He said, ” Its not a sin problem but a vision problem”. This is a monumental statement. I have meditated on this statement and it rings throughout the epistles and the old testament through the eyes of the cross. Paul in the epistles is constantly trying to get them have a paradigm shift concerning their new position in Christ. Sin is not the problem. It is not seeing yourself as His righteousness day in and day out being reMINDed. Gideon had a perspective of himself that was “scum” and had identified with himself as such. But when when gave him a new identify and label he began to see himself as God saw him and identified with that. And the grace that moved in his life is recorded where he took 300 men and destroyed an innumerable army. His vision changed. The focus was on his new identity. Our focus greatly dictates our life experience. This has been a great blessing in my walk.

  40. Even if your sin was the worst of them all for so like murder etc.. God forgives you?

    • Colleen G. says:

      Hebrews 9:12-14 & 24-26- eternal redemption. Jesus one time sacrifice was for all our sin not just some of them or certain kinds of sin.

    • i agree with colleen,ruben, its hard to rap your mind around,because of the bottomless depth of gods unconditional love,and ocean full of grace and mercy,all we need to do is accept it

  41. Alright :) I’m just just having trouble in finding what faith is and well im just a “adolescent” trying to learn the word of god. Its just hard as I’m Catholic and as you know they classified sins as in “venial” and “mortal” and well i didn’t make some right decisions in the past and just troubles me making me afraid of everything. I’m just so confused because recently my grandpa passed away and at the funeral it made me think alot , it’s just scary dieing not knowing if the lord will accept you for one self has done.

    • Ruben – You are on the right track reading this website. I want you to get answers to any questions you have. I really think the author (Pastor Paul Ellis) is a great person to guide you via these writings. Also, those who frequent this site (like myself) have come through the same fears you are experiencing and come out the other side persuaded that we are not only OK with God but adored by God and we have strong evidence to prove it.

    • ruben ,I was raised catholic, so i know were your coming from.never knowing if your in or out,back in the early 70s I was born again and baptist in the holy spirit,at the same time,with evidence of speaking in tongues,and the first thing that came to mind is,wow i have a direct line to Gods ear,and Catholicism was interfering with my relationship with the Lord,no more hoops to jump threw,i thought if this spreads we’ll be putting some priests out of business,anyway long story short,a few years ago,i happened upon Joesph prince, and the rest was history,and all that i learned over 40 yrs began to come together and make sense,and everything that was not truth began to fall away,when you learn that we are eternally secure,and though we dont understand it all,he will finish the good work in us that he started, and will not leave you or forsake you,hang in brother, like my mom used to say [im afraid your going to make it.]

  42. Thank you guys, I’ve been reading and understanding that Love is what the lord asks for us to do. I understood that he loves so much i didn’t realize that untill it hit me thatI haven’t forgiven myself and accepted his love in my life. I understand everybody is connected with each other through love and only pure warm love. God bless y’all :)

    • and we love him back with his love,we love him because he loved us first,and [agape] love is Gods love[noun],and even though we can have love for each other with[ philio] love[ freindship],as when Jesus ask peter do you love me,three times, and finally peter admitted lord I only like you,jesus still said feed my sheep,I believe it was the beginning of the Lord depositing [agape] love in peter,which i am convinced is only love that lasts.

  43. Michael Jenkins says:

    I remember just swallowing in guilt and shame. Jesus reminded me that He loved me and never once beat me up with condemnation. He kept saying that He loves me, that changed my whole outlook of sinning. When you are a new creation in Christ, sin looks stupid. After you sin, you think “WOW that was incredibly stupid.” We can resit sin, by the power of the indwelling Christ!

  44. Once my husband was feeling selfpitty, and I was looking at him. I just couldn’t sit next to him because i could’n agree with his feelings. Then i got a vision of Jesus, walking by. He said to me, I will do what you can’t do. He sat next to my husband with an arm around His shoulder, and looked at me with love. I didn’t feel quilty, but relieved that Jesus had that much love, and by showing what He would do in that situation, causues me to give my heart to my husband and sit next to him.

  45. Dear Paul, this post immensely blesses me. You have mentioned that our sins grieve the Holy Spirit. Can you please explain that. I am really so confused. Last Sunday our preacher said the same and it was quiet heavy. It left me wondering what sins grieve the Holy Spirit. First I cod not find in the bible that our sins grieve the Holy Spirit and secondly according to Rom 14:23 I think I commit sin everyday. If that is so the Holy Spirit is grieved most of the times in me. I really don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit if my sins grieve him. Please can you put some thoughts into it. Much appreciate your ministry.

    Andrew.

    • When we sin it makes the Holy Spirit sad because sin harms the objects of his affection – us! Picture how God reacted to Adam’s sin in the Garden. God still loved Adam, but the thing Adam did surely made Him sad because He knew of the harm it would bring.

  46. Hmmm! Still I don’t get this. Please correct me if I am wrong. The Holy Spirit doesn’t remember our sins to convict us of it, but He remember our sins to get grieved over it. By letting us know He is sad, is He not convicting us indirectly?
    When Adam sinned, the situation was different (I think). Adam was a spirit being living in a body. His spiritual death ment Adam has now become a flesh being. God was sad because Adam has fallen from being this glorious being to just a mere flesh being.
    The situation is different for new creations. He relates to us in the spirit. Our spirit is always holy because of Jesus. Sin is not imputed to our born again spirit. If what I am saying is true, then how can the Holy Spirit be grieved by my sins?
    Note: I am not trying to find an excuse to sin. But as I teach the gospel of grace these are some questions I am facing. Thanks for your time. Blessings.
    Andrew.

    • Much hangs on the definition of the word convict. For some it means to assign guilt, rebuke, or find fault. Others say it means to chastise, by which they mean assign guilt, rebuke, or find fault. Is sin good for us? No! Do our sins sadden the Holy Spirit? Of course. Can we detect his sadness in our spirits? Definitely. But there is a big difference between sensing all is not well and assigning guilt, rebuking, or finding fault. He’s the Spirit of grace, not the spirit of guilt.

      These are good questions, but we need they cannot be meaningfully answered as long as people have different meanings for words. Words like convict and correct mean different things to people, as I explain further here.

    • The spirit is to testify of Jesus , Jesus has forgiven ALL you sin, now how do you think you grieve the Holy Spirit.I would think he would be grieved by you holding onto your sin.

  47. Many years ago when I did not understand about God’s unconditional love (I was born again), my husband and I had an argument. After the argument, I was thinking to myself how wrong my husband had been and how unfair I thought he was. The Lord spoke to me so plain. He said, “I am not withholding one bit of my love from him. I am not at all mad at him and I am not holding his wrong against him at all. I love him as if he never sinned.” My religious mind just couldn’t understand but years later I do. I am so thankful I can now receive His wonderful love because I heard the good news.

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