Starting over again, with the right view
Sometimes we just need for someone to point in the right direction (conformation), and sometimes we are so far away from the right path that pointing isn’t going to work out. In the past ten years, I have discovered that there are Christians who want to do what is right, and receive the results they are seeking, and then there are those who want results without following the instructions.
Get the instructions right. write them down, check them off, or whatever you have to do, but get it right.
I didn't get everything right the first time, or the 50th time. No, I still have notes on the dash of my truck, on my computer, and sometimes even taped to me. It depends on how bad I need to be reminded of something.
God has ways to help us remember His ways too. However, you may be like me. I'd rather get things under control before God needs to.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. NKJV
I've had plenty of what I call "wake up calls." So many that I don't want any more. I know some of you think that I woke up one day, and haven't sinned since. I wish that was the case, but that far from even being close to the truth.
I've had to figure out what I could do, and what I could never do again over the past twenty years, and God has been very merciful to me. Now, I also had to do all of that while well-meaning Christian folk were telling me that we could not stop sinning.
I did a website name search for the term "How To Stop Sinning" back when I first wrote the book, and that's when I purchased both howtostopsinning.com. At that time, there were only 4 no name people like myself on the internet, who even dared to say that Christians could stop sinning. We were like outcasts. Now, every denomination has a "stop sinning" page. I think even the atheists are saying that they can stop sinning now. Praise God.
The main thing that I want you to know is that everything is connected to believing the evidence of scripture to the point of living by it. That’s faith, which is the substance of what we hope for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Learn a lesson from Noah concerning how to live by faith.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. NKJV
God warned Noah of what He was about to do and told Noah what he needed to do in order to save his family. Noah believed God and therefore Noah’s faith in God caused him to obey what God said to do. Obedience comes from faith (Romans 1:5).
In the same way through our faith in Jesus Christ, we believe what He said and react accordingly. Let me give you an example. Just as God told Noah that he was going to have to build a boat, Jesus told us that “if we do not forgive, we would not be forgiven” (Matthew 6:14-15).
14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. NKJV
Faith in Jesus Christ will make those who believe in Him act in response to the written evidence and forgive others. In this way the substance of our hope (to be forgiven), causes us to follow the evidence of things not seen (forgive others) in order to receive the promised outcome. That’s how we live by faith.
Now, do you see where lack of knowledge could easily bring about someone’s destruction (Hosea 4:6)? Imagine what would happen if Noah did not believe God concerning the flood, and then became darkened in his understanding of what was to take place. Would there have been any hope?
You might be thinking that Christ died for our sins and so we are forgiven past, present, and future. That sounds good, but allow me to tell you the truth and then show it to you in black and white.
God so loved the world (John 3:16), and Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future (1 John 2:1), but that doesn’t guarantee that any of us will make it. There is no promise in the Bible that says Christ died for our sins so it doesn’t matter how we live. No, not at all. How we live this life will determine where we end up in the next.
We were forgiven of sins when we accepted Jesus as the Lord of our lives, praise God halleluiah! As far as future tense goes, the blood of Jesus purifies or cleanses the sins of those who walk in the light, but those who walk in darkness have absolutely no fellowship with God or those who walk in the light and they do not practice the truth. They need to confess their sins (1 John 1:5-9).
1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. NKJV
What does the evidence say? You need to believe the evidence and not something that is figured. Yes we may all sin from time to time, but we don’t all walk in the light, and there is sin the leads to death and sins that does not lead to death (1 John 5:16-17). Which are you involved in? For more on sins that lead to death see my webpage “What is Sin that leads to death” or my books, “How To Stop Sinning any type of sin” and "Stop Sinning and Be Healed."
Get this. The just, justified, righteous, or whatever your Bible says in Romans 1:17, shall live by faith. In other words, those people who are right in God’s eyes live by faith. They may have just fallen 10 times in one day alone, but they are righteous because they live by faith. You need to know that.
So who are the righteous? The righteous are believers who live by faith. If you do not understand what we have covered so far on faith start this section over, because you are going to have to learn to “live by faith” if you are going to receive God’s righteousness.
If you are looking for a righteous person then you are looking for someone who believes every Word of God and not necessarily someone who did not sin today (Romans 4:20-24). As I have already mentioned, faith always includes the evidence of scripture. You have to believe that evidence in order to respond to that evidence and your belief must be in line with Abraham’s belief described below. Only those who are of faith are children of Abraham (Galatians 3:6-7).
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. NKJV
Imputed righteousness is because of “belief,” and believing in the way Abraham believed who was “fully convinced” about what God said and he did not waver through unbelief. Are we on the same page so far? If not ask and Lord willing I will help you understand it, but make sure that you read the whole page and believe the verses that I have shown you. I have wasted a lot of time in the past on people who did not believe and they delay me from helping people who want to learn.
Now, according to the verses above, you can’t look out and say that because a person sinned they are not righteous. No it doesn’t work that way, but if that person speaks in direct opposition to what is written in the Word of God they cannot possibly believe what God has said. That person cannot be righteous because the righteousness of faith involves speaking in line with the faith and refusing to speak against the faith (Romans 10:6-8). It’s just that simple.
6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach). NKJV
According to the verses above, the righteousness that comes by faith involves saying certain things and not saying certain things. Those who speak against the faith need to repent and then refuse to speak against the faith in order to be righteous by faith.
If you cannot see what I am talking about then try reading the verses out loud so that you can hear them in your ears (Romans 10:17). This will help if you have spoken against the faith in the past, which most people have (1 Timothy 6:20-21). If you still don’t understand it, and you do believe the verses, please contact me and maybe I can help answer any questions you may have.
Now think about that for a moment. I know some pretty good people. They are well to do, they pay their bills on time, they drive the speed limit, they never bother anyone, and they’ve been married forever. They do the “expected thing” in the world’s eyes, and they attend church every week, but they are very far from being righteous by faith. You wouldn’t know that by looking at them, but only by listening to what they say. A tree is recognized by its fruit (Matthew 12:33-37, 7:15-20, 15:15-20, John 7:38, James 3:2).
Let me ask you this. Would you say that Jesus loved to the Pharisees who spoke in direct opposition to the faith? Would you say that Paul loved Peter when he opposed him to his face in front of everyone (Galatians 2:14)? It’s very easy to make a judgment call according to the world’s standards because that’s how we were raised. Jesus said that we should not judge by appearance, but according to righteousness (John 7:24).
Like the Pharisees, those who claim to know the right path, but lead people astray need to be corrected. They are in danger of becoming blind and their sin remaining (John 9:39-41). Some can simply be shown a verse and they will change their mind. Others need a little nudge, and still some need to be rebuked sharply (Jude 1:22-23, Titus 1:13, 2:15, 1 Timothy 5:20). It is written in Titus 1:14, Give no heed (pay no attention) to those who reject or turn away from the truth (Titus 1:14). Withdraw from them (1 Timothy 6:3-5, Romans 16:17-18).
As you can tell, it is far more dangerous to listen to someone who speaks worldly wisdom or philosophy that is in opposition to the Word of God, than to listen to a sinner who believes every word written in his Bible. The most righteous person I’ve probably ever met did some time in jail, got off drugs a few years ago, and he is now a deacon in a denominational church. He is certainly righteous by faith and his righteousness is probably close to being sealed by now (Romans 4:11, Colossians 2:11, James 2:20-24). However, most will not allow him to preach because their kind of faith is based on what they can see with their eyes.
2 Corinthians 4:18
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. NKJV
Now that you know how to be righteous by faith, and how to gain understanding, and just how important the actual Word of God written in your Bible is, let me show you a promise that is for the righteous.
6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." NKJV
Who is this promise for? You see if you did not know about righteousness and the things we have covered so far, then like millions of people who quote promises out of context you would not be able to see who this promise is for or how to apply your faith to it. Everyone claims this promise, but as you can see it is only for the righteous person, and how can those who speak against the faith, be righteous by faith?
Grace only reigns through righteousness (Romans 5:21). In other words, if you are righteous by faith, you cannot out sin grace. Every Christian in the world thinks that we cannot out sin grace, because that is what we are taught every Sunday, but grace only reigns through righteousness. A lot of people are going to have gnashing teeth on the last day when they realize they have been deceived.
So now imagine that you were living in sins that lead to death, and someone just showed you this verse and said, “live like you want to live because God loves you so much!” God does love us, but we live by “every Word of God (Matthew 4:4). We have to read scripture with scripture. Our interpretation of the book of Romans should not violate the book of Ephesians and so on. God is not leading one group in one direction and a different group in another. There is only one way, one path and it is narrow (Luke 13:22-28).
The people who read verses like Romans 4:6-8 above and quote it out of context cannot see the things you have learned so far. You can try and explain it to them if you want, but they will have to be a believer before they will turn. For more on righteousness, see my blog post "Righteousness is Connected to What We Say, Romans 10:6-8,", and my blog post “Who are the Righteous.”
If you have questions, Lord willing, I have answers. Just ask.