Biblical correction – old vs new
My three-year old son is a regular Michelangelo.
The other day he drew a purple-crayon masterpiece on the walls of his bedroom. Needless to say, I was furious. I told him he was a vandal and a crook and I belted him within an inch of his life. Then I said if he did it again I’d kick him out of the family.
Of course I did no such thing!
And yet this sort of ridiculous over-the-top reaction is exactly how some Christians imagine their loving Father responds when they sin. They say things like, “God convicted me, then he chastised me with scourging (see Hebrews). He’s so loving to do that. I know he’s just making sure I don’t get removed from the Lamb’s book of life.”
This kind of talk makes me nauseous. But I understand where it comes from. I understand that many folk imagine God to be more like Elijah than Jesus.
What you look through determines what you see. Read the Bible through the fractured lens of the human wisdom and you will think the secret to life is doing right and avoiding wrong. You’ll go to God with an attitude of, “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” But you are eating from the wrong tree. You are trusting in your own understanding when God would rather you trust in him.
Eat from the life-giving tree
Life is not about doing right and avoiding wrong. Nor is it about sinning versus non-sinning. That’s carnal Christianity and it’s a language your Father doesn’t speak. The issue isn’t good vs evil but life vs death. And this issue is most clearly seen when we’re dealing with sin.
How does God respond when you sin?
In my last post I said the Holy Spirit never convicts us of our sins. Instead, the Holy Spirit brings about a life-saving correction.
“But Paul, isn’t that just two ways of saying the same thing? What’s the difference?”
The difference is this: If you think the Holy Spirit convicts you because of your sin or corrects you because of your sin, you’ve missed everything. You’re looking backwards instead of forwards and down instead of up.
The Holy Spirit isn’t your personal sin manager but your Helper, your Comforter, your Counselor. And in that role he will guide you (Joh 16:13), correct you (2 Tim 3:16), and, if necessary, rebuke or admonish you (Heb 12:5). He does none of this in reaction to your sin. He does it because he loves you, he cares for you, and he doesn’t want you to wreck your life on some harebrained death-dealing decision.
A simple test
Here’s a simple test to see how well you understand this: What comes to mind when you hear the word correction?
Do you think of a mistake that needs to be punished? Do you think of the “rod of correction” and naughty boys in need of a good whipping? If you do, God bless you but your thinking is influenced by the old covenant (Pro 22:15).
In the Old Testament the word for “correct” can mean “to chastise with blows.” It means to apply the proverbial rod to the seat of learning. In grown-up terms it means plagues and punishment sent in response to sin. At least that’s how David understood it:
Remove your plague from me; I am consumed by the blow of your hand. When with rebukes you correct man for iniquity, you make his beauty melt away like a moth. Surely every man is vapor. (Ps 39:10-11, NKJV)
Under the old covenant the chastisement of the Lord was sometimes fatal. If you got it wrong, you were toast. Thank God for the cross! Thank God that “the chastisement for our peace was upon him” (Is 53:5). Jesus died for our sins so that we don’t have to. This means we need a completely new definition of correction.
When I hear the word correction I think of a sailboat heading in a dangerous direction. A course correction needs to be made. The sailboat isn’t necessarily sinning or wrong. In fact, it may be completely innocent but misguided. The sailboat’s sin is not the point. You can curse the map and apply the rod of correction to the sat-nav but what will that accomplish? Far better to just get back on course.
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness… (2 Tim 3:16)
In the new covenant the word for correction means “a straightening up again.” Isn’t that wonderful? It’s not “straightening up for the first time” but “straightening up again.” This implies all is not lost. You are not toast.
You may be heading towards the shoals or you may have already hit the shoals and sunk your boat, but a Holy Spirit who raises the dead can still lead you back to the way of life. Your life is not over.
Case study #1: The Galatians
Need an example from the Bible? Then think of Paul correcting the Galatians:
You were doing so well until someone made you turn from the truth. (Gal 5:7, CEV)
The Galatians had started well but veered off course. They needed to be straightened up again and the Holy Spirit worked through Paul to bring about that course correction.
In the Bible correction (gentle warnings) and rebuking (big warnings) often go together, as we see from 2 Timothy 3:16 above. This is how a loving Father trains his sons – not through sickness or other so-called character-building tribulations and certainly not through blows! The word “discipline” means training and God does that primarily by giving us a revelation of his righteousness through the word.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season. Reprove (admonish), rebuke (announce those life-saving course corrections), exhort (invite, implore, beseech)… (2 Tim 4:2, NKJV)
Read the Bible through the lens of the cross and you will find that your loving Father is not really interested in fault-finding and sin-hunting. However, he loves you too much to stay silent as you sail towards the hidden shoals of life. If you are making poor choices, your Father will most definitely seek to bring a course correction and lead you in the life-giving way of righteousness.
Case study #2: Marriage
If I say or do something to hurt Camilla, here’s what the Holy Spirit doesn’t do:
– he doesn’t chastise me with the blows of sickness to teach me a lesson
– he doesn’t accuse me of wrong-doing (there is another who does that)
– he doesn’t dump a bucket of guilt all over me (I’m capable of making my own guilt)
– he doesn’t condemn me as a sinner and a wicked man (I am my Father’s beloved son!)
Instead, the Holy Spirit gently lets me know that I am sowing death into my marriage. Like a lighthouse-keeper he illuminates the dangerous shoals in front of me. When realization dawns it is natural for me to feel like a complete jerk. “I am a terrible husband and chief of sinners.” When that happens the Holy Spirit is right there to convince me that despite my poor behavior, I am still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (John 16:10).
Our problem is we often confuse behavior with identity. When we screw-up we tend to think “I’m a screw-up.” When we sin, we tend to think “I’m a sinner.”
“Not true!” declares the Holy Spirit. “Just as your righteous acts never made you righteous in the first place, your unrighteous acts don’t make you unrighteous. Even though you did something dumb and sowed death-seeds into your life, you are still righteous. Now let’s go and reveal the life of Jesus into that situation.”
When you act out of the false identity of who you used to be (independent and faithless), the Holy Spirit will always seek to remind you of your true identity in Christ. “You are holy and righteous, so act like it.”
Love greater than our messes
Look at how Jesus related to the disciples and you will find him doing all the things the Holy Spirit continues to do: guiding, correcting, and rebuking. Not once do you find Jesus saying, “Peter, you’re an idjit. Have some cancer. It’ll help you wise up.” And just look at how Jesus related to Judas. Did he call him sinner and traitor? No – he called him friend (Mt 26:50)!
I am so thankful for the gentle correction and occasional admonishment of the Holy Spirit. When I have gone astray he has consistently brought me back to the way of life. In my next post, I will give you some everyday examples of how he has does this. (After that I plan to return to my series on eternal security.)
But hand on heart I can tell you now that without the Holy Spirit’s help, I would’ve married the wrong woman, chosen the wrong career, and I’d still be preaching the wrong message. Walking by sight I would’ve sown death left and right. By the grace of God I am who I am because my Father love me, he is good, and he cares about the details of our lives.
And the good news is that if you do make a purple-crayon mess of your life, he still loves you, he still cares for you, and he will never kick you out of his family!
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Love this, Paul. One of the things I always struggled with before coming to the knowledge of God’s complete grace was that i though God was the one convicting and reminding me of my sin. Boy was I wrong, and I became angry for no one ever teaching me correctly of the Holy Spirit’s role in my life. You bring out truth in the scriptures, and I tell everyone I can about your website. Some of my minister friends and I are about to start a new website for our new ministry. May we develop a ministry like yours and make impacts on our communities. Thanks for the post!
Just sooooooo good!!
Great teaching, however Hebrews 12:5 “rebuke” is the Greek word “convict.” They are the same words. Convict does not mean “be declared guilty of.” God’s loving conviction is His correction. It is His gently steering us back on course, if we have strayed. It is His reminder to us that we are dearly loved, highly valued and if we are living in sin as Christians His channel to keep us safe from walking into sin’s destructive forces.
Convict is an English word and it means to “declare someone guilty of a criminal offense.” The Greek word you’re looking for is elegchō. Strongs offers several translations of this word including convict, convince, rebuke, and reprove. However, for reasons I have explained elsewhere, “convict” is a mistranslation when referring to the work of the Holy Spirit. He never assigns guilt to the guiltless. As you have illustrated, the only way to apply the word convict to the Holy Spirit is to change the meaning of the word. I suggest we just use the proper word.
Thanks Paul for clarifying the word “convict” in the Bible. Unfortunately, my friends who have read JPs Destined to Reign take from the book that the Holy Spirit never reproves rebukes, or corrects us in love . While JP is correct in saying the Holy Spirit does not condemn us he is not clearly stating as you have done what the word “convict” means. JP says the Holy Spirit only convicts us of our righteouness in Christ Jesus. He has confused my friends although one would have thought from even reading Revelations they would understand about reprove rebuke etc. Before JP challenges anyone he should make it abundantly clear what he means and should have someone on his staff at least reply and clarify if he indeed has the same understanding as you. I don’t know if JP would even agree with your study of the Greek meaning. My friends from listening to JP disagree with you and me as I think they believe JP has been given a special revelation or something. In His Grip M.
Convict has acquired another meaning in church circles. The phrase ‘the holy spirit convicted me of this sin’ has come to mean the HS has revealed this to me and gave me grace to repent of it without any guilt trip. Thus there is indignation when people say that the HS does not convict of sin since many believe that this has been a positive experience for them. But others are not ‘convicted’ by the HS and have in fact been condemned by preaching. The pastor/priest is often taken to be GOD by immature Christians.
Paul, I am trying to understand how 2 Timothy 3:16 relates to parts of the Old Testament such as Abraham ” being told by God ” to sacrifice his son. I’d appreciate your understanding of this.
What about the word “scourges” in Hebrews 12:6? “For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.” (AMP)
See this recent post entitled, “Hebrews 12:6 – Does God scourge his kids?“
Hi Paul …THANK YOU that’s a BIG THANK YOU ..every day you are blowing me away with your wonderful posts..I thank God daily [almost without ceasing :)] for the wonderful wisdom that He has given you and pray that it reach ore and more Christian who are still in chains…Lots of love to you and Camilla and your beautiful babes xxxxx
this is totally synchronous with the example that Jesus gives us about the vine and the branches: the branches that are not bearing fruit, because they have fallen into the dirt, are washed and lifted up… corrected… straightened up again!
ps. your budding artist’s masterpiece made me smile… such talent to express himself with the most royal of colors… and in perfect contrast to his yellow walls! 🙂
(btw, if you are opting to give him a new canvas, mr clean magic erasers work wonders on purple crayon… if they are available there in nz) 😉
looking forward to the next post!
Thanks for a well done write-up once again. I agree absolutely. He is our Abba Abba [in Hebrew there is no word for very – Abba Abba in this sense means “perfect Father”. If you want to accentuate something in Hebrew you double it , like “verily, verily” is actually “Amen, amen” … or absolute truth ( … and that’s Jesus … WoW!) the intensive form of the word. He is not just Father. He is Perfect Father!]. Rom 8:15 we are adopted children by Love!
Our Perfect Father, Who knows what we need even before we ask, teaches us gently with words of encouragement and love and not by somehow destroying us first to teach us a lesson. That’s child abuse!
Yes, I love the way you put it Paul – The Holy Spirit has the same perfect character attributes we see in our Lord Jesus, gently guiding, correcting, and teaching his beloved. Amen!
Paul, your posts are always a blessing. Today’s is especially poignant for me because I am the prodigal who stands a sees the father far off, wondering if he will greet me with “About time you came back, you moron.” or as he was in the New Testament story. I’m stuck, trying to believe when it seems my prayers are bouncing right back to me, unheard. The last nine months have been mostly nightmare and I’m so worn out. I keep thinking it must be my sins that are keeping me from the peace others seem to find.
I wanted to offer a work done by Dr. C. Baxter Kruger entitled “The Parable of the Dancing God.” It is a short booklet– free online in PDF form. It is the unpacking of the story of the Prodigal in a clear and powerful way. It has been used by YWAM in their curriculum on the Father heart of God.
I second the Dancing God book. It is amazing. Also Classic Christianity by Bob George is good for resetting stinkin’ thinkin’
Colleen G, Classic Christianity by Bob George is the one that reached me. I was deep in the duties of religion and burnt out. I was a deacon in a big 3000 member baptist church and I wanted to be God’s man so I was going, going, going. As Bob points out in his book, Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing – and like Bob, I was very busy and active for the Lord, but DOING NOTHING. Anyway, our assistant pastor put that book in my hands at the right time and the lights came on – God went to work transforming my mind. I was so relieved by the freedom Grace brought in my life and so happy to be set free from the shackles of religion that I got on a plane from North Carolina to Dallas just to meet Bob and thank him for the message he proclaimed. Funny side note, I started telling folks in our church that we got 1 John 1:9 all wrong and we don’t have to keep chasing after more forgiveness and the same pastor that gave me the book came and told me how I can’t be saying stuff like that. That was back around 1999 – 2000. To take from Paul’s post, the Holy Spirit has been guiding my sailboat ever since and I’m no longer driven by guilt, shame, fear and doubt. Love is a much better teacher.
2 of my favorite examples were,[course correction].When you sail a boat,sometimes the course is zig zag,because of the wind,you sail and God corrects your course. in [AGAPE ROAD] B Mumford, sometimes we go in the ditch, we are still , within the confines of the road,but we are in the ditch.The lord pulls us out, and tells,shows etc us how not to get back in the ditch. Unfortunatly some people remain in the ditch.
Thank you for such liberating teaching. My family and I love you and are lifting you and your family up in prayer.
I like the overall thrust behind the thoughts presented here, especially in regards to life not being over and the redemptive nature of God’s correction, but I have to be honest that there seems to be a subtle rejection of a portion scripture in order to make some points. The article dismisses chastisement completely, and attempts to paint chastening as something that is never painful…
The post above has to do with correction (2 Tim 3:6), not chastisement/discipline (Heb 12:5-6). I plan to upload a post on God’s discipline in the coming weeks.
I am always blessed by your posts, and often forward them to others. Thank you so much….many people are reading “The Harbinger,” and I surely would love to hear your thoughts on the book! Thank you! Is there a difference in judgment on a nation and judgment on individuals? Still learning and loving God more as I “see” His love more and more!
I have not read that book. As it happens, I am today drafting some posts on judgment, so expect more on that score soon. You may also want to check out this old post on 1 Pet 4:17.
I am continuing to be immensely stirred and helped by your posts Paul. As a former Calvinist it has been a battle to reprogram my mind towards grace and my true identity in Christ. (Calvinists and Arminians each have their own versions of a works-based theology.) Interestingly it was a Calvinist (although I believe an inconsistent one) who began to break into my thinking with the following quote:
“The only people who get better are people who know that, if they never get better, God will love them anyway.”
― Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel
from what i have been observing, the true gospel of grace is emerging from within many different Christian denominations. and there is really only one possible reason for it: it is because it’s God’s Truth revealed by the same Spirit of Christ who lives within each of us. 🙂
Powerful! Thanks for sharing this Paul! Interestingly I was just reading John 16:10 the other day and thought the same thing!
Great post =o).
But what I really wanted to say was in reference to the ‘Fawlty applies the rod’ photo: One of the FUNNIEST shows EVER. Now I must dig out that VHS tape I made 20+ years ago when PBS ran episodes of ‘Fawlty Towers’ . . .
I’m glad someone recognized that screenshot. Yes. It is the single funniest scene in the funniest British comedy ever!
Blah…easy as pie m`lady!
Quite a few others videos of the series.
Brilliant! I’ve seen this a hundred times and it still makes me laugh. What a perfect picture of the self life. It starts with the attitude, “I can do this. I can make it happen.” But disappointment and frustration is inevitable. When we trust in self things we inevitably end up broken down on the side of the road. And when that happens, frustration and hostility are not far behind. Sure, it may comfort the raging flesh to make threats and warnings – even hand out a “a damn good thrashing.” But Fawlty shows us the utter futility of old covenant correction. Thrash away Basil, but nothing will change.
I love your blog Paul! The only good news we have is God’s grace. I’m glad you’re sharing the true gospel with people.
So I’m curious. If your son’s masterpiece on the wall truly was incongruent to your desires, what sort of wage did it earn for him? How did you actually handle the situation and communicate this to your son?
I ask because I desire to reflect the Heavenly Father to my children when correcting. BTW. just found your blog today and am greatly encouraged! JB from Kansas USA.
Good question, JB. Since he was asleep when we found him, we let him sleep and cleaned the walls around him. But not before I first took some great video footage to use at his birthday parties when he’s older. Plus, if he turns out to be a famous artist, this’ll be a particularly great memory.
If he draws on the walls during the day, however, it’s a different story. We remind him of the one thing he can freely draw on – paper – and then send him to time-out to think about his drawing choices. Time-out is a quiet place at the bottom of our stairs. It’s a good place to talk to him free from distraction. We explain why scribbling on the walls isn’t smart and remind him of our love for him.
Hi Paul. Loving your posts. Just stumbled accross them today as I am reasearcing the Holy Spirit for some preach prep. My church has over the past couple of years begun to embrace the true joy and freedom of the gospel and has realised the blinkers and bewitchment that religion has placed on the church. I look forward to so many more of your posts, and am currenlty enjoying much of your back catalogue.
Thank you for your clear and very well researched and balanced approach to your writing. I feel like I can turn to your posts for the scriptural refrencing that I need to back up my thoughts, and I am grateful for the free and deliberate approach that you are taking to sharing the scriptural foundations for what you believe. Thank you again.
This whole concept of being “corrected” rather than “convicted” is very refreshing, especially today when I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by guilt for a mistake I made. but where does “rebuking” fit in? and how do we know when we are simply being set back on the right path or rebuked for our poor choice?
This is something I talk about at length in chapter 11 of my book The Gospel in Twenty Questions which (cough!) comes out next week. A rebuke is a warning. Don’t think of it as God screaming, “Look at what you did!” but “Watch where you are heading – there are dangerous rocks ahead!” God is not a faultfinder. But he will warn you when the sailboat of your life is heading towards trouble. He does this not to judge or punish you. He does it because you are the apple of his eye and he doesn’t want to see you shipwreck your life.
Not trying to spam you, but I remember the discussions concerning repentance.. If I.remember, your posts prior were to the point that repentance is not “turning around”, but is “changing our mind”.. But, reading your description of your walk here, you say He keeps you from harebrained schemes, out of love, and gently and lovingly corrects you when you went astray.. Well, by whatever other name you want to call it, that is “turning around”.. If you had gone astray and come back, you have “turned around”, “changed your mind”, producing the corresponding action or fruit of repentance, or, plainly put, by any other name, you have done my definition of Biblical repentance.. To the ‘T’… And, what is the consequence of not obeying that correction through changing our course? We come out from the protection and safe shelter of His better plan, or.love. We can ignore that, but we’ll miss the joy He’d planned…
Turning around is often a fruit of repentance but repentance itself is simply a change of mind.
Why is it some christian churches use the punishment of casting people out of the church and fellowship if they sin or fall out with the pastor and tell all there members to treat the person has a tax collector or a pagan that the person is no longer a brother or sister in christ and they are to have no more to do with that person or there children etc and all the members are made shunn the person which hurts the person so much they don’t believe God loves them anymore has they have been cast out to satan and even when they beg forgiveness! Grace and mercy and say how sorry they are the elders and pastor say its not true repentance and still continue to treat the person this way. The church tells them they want proof of the persons repentance and the person can do no more and feels like there going to go to hell because they are cast to satan it affects the person so much they want to end there life. I know this cause I’m that person and no matter how many times I tell them I’m sorry for all the wrong things I done and no matter how many times I beg to be forgiven they won’t and continue to treat myself and children this way its been 10 long months of this and I’m ready to walk away from christianty cause I don’t believe God loves me anymore cause he won’t tell them my repentance was so true and allows them to continue hurting me so much, I spend a lot of time crying I have no friends cause the church was my friends or so I thought but everyone shunns me and my family xxx
Before you leave “christianity” (which you can’t 🙂 ):
I was never church disciplined, but as a deacon in a large denomination; I was certainly a part of the process. None-the-less, I got to the same place you are at now. No matter how much I read, served, participated, tried; I never measured up to the expectation of the leadership (though I did to pastors who worked directly with me). The problem is that when you are in a performance/grace religion, you can, wrongly, project the views of church leadership on God. “As goes the leadership, so goes God”. In a perfirmance based religion > judgement is inherentl. How can one determine one’s performance without judging it. God is NOT the puppet of this church!!
I started googling “Fed up with church”, and one of the many books I found was Andrew Farley’s “God without Religion, is it really that simple”. I found out, at least, a big part of the problem, and I was to blame. After reading that and many others (including Paul Ellis’ great books).
The problem? I had allowed pastors and churches to replace the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t get me wrong, I was saved and indwelled with the Holy Spirit. But I was “looking in all the wrong places”. Part of Andrew’s big conversion was Hebrews; where he found we no longer need a priest (or religion per say). In the Protestant religion, often, we just relabelled “priests” as “pastors” in many churches (though, of course, not all). A true pastor is a shepherd. You will know them …. They smell like sheep.
So I did a total reboot. I removed any outside authority, and studied the, bible while still relying on teachings from authors and pastors. SEE this point: I did not stop listening and learning (I attend a different church). Rather I chose to let the Holy Spirit be my authority. When I got scared because it contradiated so much I had been taught. I prayed and plowed on through; wanting truth only.
Jennie, that’s when I found peace, freedom, and truth and you can too!! I love my Father more than I ever did. I love to share His love more than I ever did. Don’t walk away from Christianity (you know you couldn’t if you wanted to 🙂 ). Rather walk away from flesh (performance) and focus not on how much you love God;rather on how much He loves you!!! Let the fruit of this Truth create a new fruit in you. Jennie, if you get this. Your walk the the Gospel is not ending …… It’s just beginning!!!!!
Thankyou for your reply jimmi
Repentance by any other name.. John the Baptist would say the same, “often a fruit, but o, that it would be more”.. Luke 3.
My apologies on too long a post, prior. But, it really feels like you’re just a little dishonest here.. If repentance is the same either way, you’re just spitting doctrine now… In what true changing of mind (metanoia) would there NOT be a change in behavior (turning around)? Two sides of the same.cloth?
Arguing semantics doesn’t interest me.much.
This is more than semantics. Telling people they must follow a prescribed set of repentance behaviors is pure law. It’s walking after the flesh (“do what man says”) rather than following the Spirit. It’s confusing the fruit with the root.
This is where mixed-grace believers can get confused. “If you’re saying we should obey and do all the other stuff, what’s the difference?” The difference is WHY you’re doing all that stuff. If you’re doing it because you think you must or because you believe it earns God’s pleasure or your sanctification, you’re operating in 100% unbelief.
You truly understand God’s grace!
I’ve been talking about GRACE FOR CORRECTION this Month of May, and your thoughts have somewhat straightened out my idea. Thanks a whole lot!
Do God’s rebukes (big warnings) make one feel bad?
Let’s say you’re driving down the road chatting to your daughter. You take your eyes off the road and your daughter sees that you are about to hit a deer. She yells a big warning causing you to see the deer and take evasive action. Does your daughter’s warning make you “feel bad”? The answer to that question is the answer to your’s.
Ah, ok, now I see. Thank you!
Biblical Correction brings to mind being thrown out a church with my family being called pagan and no longer a sister in christ because I questioned the pastor on his treatment towards people being shunned for last 18 months by everyone in that church that’s what Biblical Correction means to me but myself and family will never step foot in any church again the pain was to much to bear to ever trust again also it lead me to thinking that God must throw people away has he never stuck up for me dispite my begging for forgivness off this pastor but no forgivness ever came and its been 18 months and they all still shun us so I guess that’s what it means to me and we will never trust ot step foot in any church again
Many times grace isn’t a problem but the set-up is . We think, ” Well grace keeps us from sinning so i gotta keep from sinning!” or worse, “God won’t give me grace because I already have enough to overcome this!” (when the truth is I clearly I don’t). What I’m glad about is that the Lord kept leading me here. Otherwise, no grace. It’s like missing pieces to a puzzle. Life is so hard, we need every piece we can get and you offer much of it for free here.
But still it’s frustrating problem. Does God lead us around on strings? Maybe it’s ungodly confusion that does that. (I won’t name names, it’s probably bad teaching somewhere. But why doesn’t this bad teaching ever get corrected? It’s probably my own ignorance, but man I can’t carry that kind of load!) There isn’t supposed to be any sweat involved in this stuff but sometimes we want some or sometimes we can’t seem to stop sweating. I wonder where the grace of God is in times like that.
After reading your Jesus is grace article, I realize much is wrong. But Jesus is grace. And that article is revelation!
I understand the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. I understand that He does Not convict, condemn or accuse me when I sin. I would like to never sin again, however, I have a feeling that I will. Even Paul struggled with sin. My simple question still remains: How do I know when I have sinned? Should I just wait for the accuser to accuse and condemn me and then thank God for the Grace and forgiveness gifted to me through Jesus Christ? I don’t want to sin, but I want to know when I have sinned.
The line of people who will tell you when you have sinned is long. It starts with your conscience and ends with the cops knocking on the door. Your heavenly Father is not silent when you sin. My point is that he does not convict us like a judge, but guides us as a good Father. More here.
THANK YOU SOooooooooooMUCH brother. I did a lot of reading on your archive. You answered my question. Muchisimas Gracias hermano. Dios te bendiga.
PS: about God’s anger concerning the seven churches. You are a blessing my friend
Hi Paul, thank you for your posts I consult them regularly for questions. About the topic of correction, I believe God corrects gently but what about those Christians who repeatedly ignore the signals such as those who are very stubborn/ignorant or blinded by self-righteousness like the Galatians? Does He let them fall in order to let them see their error in hopes that they would turn around?
“Let them fall” is a strange phrase. Let’s take a simple example of a man who ignores all the signals and regularly drinks and drives. The government doesn’t want him to do it. His friends and family don’t want him to do it. The pastor preaches a message on the dangers of doing it. Yet he still does it. He is a repeat sinner who refuses to learn. Can we then say that God “let him” crash to teach him a lesson? No, the crash is entirely the man’s fault. God made us free. If you drink, drive, and crash, all ten fingers are pointing at you. Is it God’s will for you to drink, drive, and crash? Of course not. It’s all you. That’s how freedom works. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us in the path of life and daily seeks to guide us. But if we ignore him, we will find that sin is a powerful teacher as well.