A question for Christians
Jesus said to 'go your way and sin no more' and the bible also says not to 'use the grace of God as an excuse to sin'. However the bible also says that 'all sin and fall short of the glory of God'. This means that we can only partially obey the commandment to be sinless. This fills me with as much anxiety that I had while being a Witness. How can I know if I'm being "good enough" for God? Since I can't be sinless, there must be some arbitrary cut-off point where I'm just not good enough. There's got to be a point when I've just committed one to many sins. As someone once asked 'am I going to die because I masterbated one to many times'?.
This means that we can only partially obey the commandment to be sinless.
His grace does the rest.
I believe our only concern should be that we don't make a practice of sinning, which can prove to be fatal.
1 John 5:16-18 For instance, if we see a Christian believer sinning (clearly I'm not talking about those who make a practice of sin in a way that is "fatal," leading to eternal death), we ask for God's help and he gladly gives it, gives life to the sinner whose sin is not fatal. There is such a thing as a fatal sin, and I'm not urging you to pray about that. Everything we do wrong is sin, but not all sin is fatal.
We know that none of the God-begotten makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. MSG
Good questions :) Here are some answers
How can I know if I'm being "good enough" for God?
Since I can't be sinless, there must be some arbitrary cut-off point where I'm just not good enough.
Yes, one sin.
There's got to be a point when I've just committed one to many sins.
One sin is unholy, sinless is holiness, that is the cut off.
In a nutshell
Galatians 2:15-16 (New International Version)
15 "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.And here
Galatians 3:10-12 (New International Version)
10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."
Galatians 3:23-25 (New International Version)
23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.This sums up the radical difference between true Christianity and all other legalistic religions such as JWs.
Galatians 5:1-6 (New International Version)
Freedom in Christ1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
I heard a commentator years ago discussing this subject. He said that the Bible actually presents many things as polar opposites and the truth lies in the tension between those two opposites. For example, Jesus is God and Jesus was a man. (If you've studied physics this sounds a lot like quantum mechanics).
In this case, it takes everything you've got, and you can't do it without the Grace of God. The problem with JW's is that they have no understanding of Grace, their "undeserved kindness" is an abominable mistranslation, made worse by other doctrines they profess. It is not possible to sell enough Watchtowers to buy favor with God. However Grace is a free gift, that needs only to be accepted.
Sylvia is spot on.....
Remember asking forgiveness implies repentance.....
All of us are children of God, he loves you and everyone else.......but like a parent he doesn't always approve of our actions.
You know the basics of right and wrong......as JWs they were hammered into our conscience.
Think about how confessing our sins in prayer creates a conversation where we examine our motivations and discern our sincerity, it brings us closer by knowing we receive forgiveness for those things we are truly repented. It also gives us a sense of connection to God, maybe you aren't sorry for a sin at this very moment and are struggling with it ....so while you ask for mercy from God in this matter you also pray for strength of resistance and reslove and allow holy spirit to guide you in remedying the situation.
The main thing here is to discern, develop and embrace God's love for you and not forsake it through blatant abuse.
Things are dark right now, but it gets better......you are asking great questions and I urge you wholeheartedly to keep pushing forward!
In this case, it takes everything you've got, and you can't do it without the Grace of God. The problem with JW's is that they have no understanding of Grace, their "undeserved kindness" is an abominable mistranslation ...
If this simple - yet complicated to most JW's - fact can be drummed into the hearts of JW's, the WT will collapse like the tons of bricks that it is!
Oh my goodness, tmi. Sorry, you resemble one of my sons.
No one can ever be "good enough;" that is the point of the sacrifice that Jesus made.
“But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, therefore, since we have been declared righteous now by his blood, shall we be saved through him from wrath.… The one who did not know sin he made to be sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness by means of him.”—Romans 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21
It is not good works that makes us acceptable to God, but it is our faith in his Sons sacrifice that makes us righteous Romans 4:5 states "the man that does not work but puts his faith in whom declares the ungodly one righteous his faith is counted for righteousness."
Clearly, God does not want us to practice sin anymore. It's not what is best for us and it doesn't bring glory to him. If someone is using Christ sacrifice as an excuse to sin, you have to wonder if they ever excepted Christ as their savior in the first place. That would be like saying " Hey Jesus, thanks for dying for me, I think I'll go hump everybody on the block tonight."That attitude is different than someone who falls into temptation and sins. 2Tim 2:13 says "if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself" As his sons, or daughters, we are part of him, just as my children are part of me.
Take care, try not to worry so much about these things. Just take things one step at a time.
Paul, my namesake :)
God's grace that he gives freely through Jesus exists BECAUSE we all sin and all do fall short.
Our salvation is NOT dependant on what we do, God loves us anyways.
Yes, we will pay for our sins and we DO, in our everyday lives, but God's love is all forgiving because he can't love us anymore or any less that he does.
We are NOT perfect and while we can try to be, as our namesake Paul tells us to, we know that we will ALL for short of it, but we MUST try not to, for our own good, not for our salvation.
Look at the adulterer, he/she sins and his/her punishment is here, on Earth, in THIS life, the punishment of guilt, of leading a double life, of getting caught, of losing it all.
God doesn't need or want to punish us, we already do a fine job of that ourselves.
Amen Jeff ..... Jesus Christ paid it all kiddo!!! If you asked him too. I did!!!
See they(JW) called me" Undeserved Kindness"then kicked me out when I said
I didnt see Jesus come INVISABLY in 1914!!!!! So I left & took my undeserved kindness with me
& GRACE FOUND ME!!!!In the form of HOLY SPIRIT!!!!!