LEARN THE TRUTH!
BAD NEWS: Many Christian denominations have convoluted the simplicity of Christian salvation. Most people believe that good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell. According to the Bible – this is NOT true.
GOOD NEWS: Christian evangelist and author, Tim Finley, has recently released JESUS CHRIST Is the EASY and ONLY Way to HEAVEN. This easy to read, yet extremely understandable, book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian bookstores, and via this website. Click on “Order Tim’s Book.”
If purchased through this website, the price is ONLY $35.00 – FREE SHIPPING.
A sample chapter of Tim’s book is as follows:
You will continue to sin after you are saved
Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders,
or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
According to the Scriptures, it is impossible to live without sinning
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous – not even one.” Romans 3:1
If it were possible to live a sinless life, then Jesus Christ died for nothing!
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 1 John 1:8
Understand what “repent” means!
Before I became a Christian, for years I constantly heard that to be a Christian one must “repent of sin.” Christians explained this phrase to me as meaning that a Christian must not sin. I wanted to be right with God, but I knew that my carnal nature was not capable of becoming sinless. It was not until I was 34 years old that I learned the phrase “repent of sin” is not Biblical. That was my turning point.
The misconception I had about the Biblical term repent kept me from learning about Jesus. I am certain this same misconception has scared, and will continue to scare, many from enjoying the freedom provided by our Savior. There are many who will never know Jesus because they have been frightened by a phrase that is used inappropriately.
The following is a typical example of a verse that is misinterpreted. Many, at first glance, believe it means to repent of sin.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (NKJV)
This verse does not say “repent of sin.” Yes the term repent is used, but not in the context erroneously taught by those who insist that Christians must live sinless lives.
One must understand the meaning of the word repent. It is a mistake to go to a modern dictionary to find the meaning of a word that was used 2,000 years ago. Repent comes from the Greek word metanoia, which means “a change of mind.” It was used frequently by the Apostle Paul to convince the Jews that they must change their minds, from depending on the laws (i.e. the Ten Commandments) to obtain favor with God, to accepting Jesus as the Messiah. It is one’s belief in Jesus that redeems; Jesus was the fulfillment of the law. That means, Jesus did what man could not do.
NOTE: Speaking of the Ten Commandments – most people do not realize they were not given to non-Jews. The commandments were given only to the Jews. Gentiles were never under these laws, and following Jesus’ death on the Cross, Jews were also freed from legal bondage. If you are under the impression that by your feebly attempting to live, by obeying the commandments, you will go to Heaven, you are dead wrong. That is not the way to receive life eternal.
Yes, the Bible says we are to strive to be moral, but as I have said thousands of times since 1980, “If we could stop sinning, then Christ died for nothing.” Think about that.
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 2:21
The Apostle Paul was a sinner
Many of us feel very unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness, but even the Apostle Paul, who many believe was the greatest Christian who has ever lived, was in bondage to sin. The following words were written by Paul 25 years after the beginning of his ministry. This proves that even after years of being a Christian, we are all vulnerable.
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Romans 7:14-24
Jesus Christ was the answer for Paul’s sins
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Romans 7:25
The only antidote for Paul’s struggles was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the cure for everyone’s struggles.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4
It is a gift!
Jesus became sin
The Bible teaches that Jesus took all of our sins to the Cross in his body. Christ became sin for us so that we would have absolute righteousness. This is called justification, and it is what saves. When we are justified, it means that we are made righteous through grace because of the Blood of Christ. The Christian’s righteousness is imputed by God because of his love for us. It is free and is not earned. It is by grace alone that we are justified, and the Bible says it has nothing to do with our behavior.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14
Many Christians live guilt-filled lives because they don’t understand the truth. The truth is that God does not remember our sins because they were nailed to the Cross with Jesus!
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what joy for those, whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.” Romans 4:7-8
Grace is truly amazing
Grace is receiving something that is undeserved. From a Christian perspective, grace is what God shows to humans by offering salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The following are just a few of many Bible passages that make it clear we are saved by grace:
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:21-22
And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved. Romans 11:6
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9
The Old Testament prepared the world for the forthcoming Savior Jesus Christ. The entire New Testament is dedicated to teaching the grace of that Savior.
Too much grace?
Christians frequently chastise me for emphasizing grace, saying I encourage people to sin. An irate church lady once criticized the late, renowned evangelist Dwight L. Moody for the way he preached. His answer to her was, “I like the way I’m doing it better than the way you’re not doing it.”
Cool! At least I am evangelizing and winning souls to Jesus. Stating that I emphasize grace too much is ridiculous. If I taught differently, I would by lying. Unlike many Christians, I am not scaring people from the Savior who died on the Cross to pay for our sins.
Many preachers love to instill fear by avoiding the powerful saving subjects of grace and the Holy Spirit, even though fear is opposite to what the Scriptures teach. Instilling fear in people by lying doesn’t work. It chases would-be Christians from knowing Jesus, which usually results in more sin, including the unpardonable sin of rejecting Jesus. The immoral behavior of a person will not cause their eternal punishment, but rejecting Jesus will.
Rather than scaring people from Jesus by lecturing about Old Testament and man-made laws, the Apostle Paul attracted his listeners to the Savior by sharing the reality of abundant grace.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21
If Paul can teach it, so can I.
When people become Christians, to show their appreciation for what God provided through Jesus Christ, most attempt to make moral improvements. This is not always easy.
The best way for a person to change is to replace the bad behavior with something superior. There is nothing more superior than to allow Jesus’ Spirit to be one’s personal Counselor. People need to allow Jesus to live through them via the Holy Spirit, rather than to make feeble attempts at changing their own behavior. The flesh is weak, but the Spirit is strong. Once a person begins to allow the Holy Spirit to work through them, the more moral they become, and the less they enjoy immorality.
Listen to the Spirit, not the flesh
It is nonsense to suppose that all Christians must think and act exactly alike. Christians have the Holy Scriptures to guide them and they are given the Holy Spirit as their personal counselor.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:16-17, Jesus’ words
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:26-27, Jesus’ words
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 1 Corinthians 2:14
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 1 John 2:27
One of the meanings of sublimate is to transfer a harmful thought or act into one of value. It is the transfer of one energy into another. This process can be utilized to grow Spiritually.
The Apostle Peter demonstrated the difference between carnal and Spiritual thinking when he walked a short distance on the water, then sank. Peter was doing fine until he turned his thoughts from his faith in Jesus to his own carnality. This same transfer of thought from Jesus to ourselves is what causes us to sink.
When we find ourselves in moral dilemmas, if we listen intently to the Spirit and respond obediently, we will make the right decision. But when we listen to the flesh, down we go.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16
Peter failed and so will you. But the more you try, the more you will grow.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
Learning to live in the way God wants us to live is a growth process. The more we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, the more we begin to live beneficial lives – leaving behind our carnality. There may be periods of slow yet steady growth, and periods of spectacular growth. Whatever the case, accept and submit to it.
When volunteering in a hospital, if you are of the male gender, rather than lusting about the presence of pretty nurses, use that same energy to pray with a patient. It does not always work, but it is worth a try. God understands our weaknesses. If you are of the female gender, use the same technique when drooling over a handsome doctor. Such acts are sublimation.
No more guilt
“Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God – something the Jewish law could never do.” Acts 13:38-39 (NLT 1996)
In the above passage, I underlined freed from all guilt to emphasize that fact. Many Christians experience psychological problems because they have a faulty understanding of the Christian faith. Some have erroneously interpreted certain Bible passages, and others have been taught incorrectly. A Christian should be guilt-free. Jesus did not die on the Cross so his sheep would have to pop pills or live in mental institutions. His death was to free people from condemnation, oppression, and guilt. Jesus said it, and I believe it.
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36, Jesus’ words
Although your goal should be to follow the Spirit and modify your behavior, there will be times when you succumb to the flesh. Remember, if it were possible to live sinless lives, then Christ died for nothing. You will have remorse for your shortcomings and conviction from the Holy Spirit to improve, but if you correctly understand the forgiveness that accompanies Christianity, you will have no guilt.
There is a distinct difference between guilt, remorse, and conviction. Guilt is crippling, remorse is constructive, and conviction is action. Guilt is a powerful weapon used by Satan to accuse, torment, and berate his victims. Satan is an accuser, a tempter, and a liar.
Jesus’ death on the Cross was the substitutionary atonement for our sins. In the Christian community, this means that we are made righteous through grace because of the Blood of Christ. The Christian’s righteousness is imputed by God. That is awesome! Every sin you have ever committed, or are presently committing, or ever will commit is forgiven and forgotten. The following are God’s words, as quoted by Paul in Hebrews 8:12:
“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
If God forgets your sins, by feeling guilty you are telling Jesus that what he did was not sufficient. Because God has forgiven you, you must forgive yourself.
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:15-16