Not long ago, I was confronted with a doctrine with which I was not very familiar. It was a doctrine that states you can continue to sin while you are saved, and God will continue to forgive your sins until you get to heaven.
Matthew tells us that Jesus came to save his people from their sins. The Gospel that saved my soul is worthy of all acceptation. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Now, I know what it was like to be a sinner burdened with sin, bowed down so low with the filthiness and wickedness of this world in my heart. I needed a God that had power to take away my sins and keep me from them. I had the idol Buddha that I used to pray to. The Buddhist's teaching was to be good to everyone and everything. There are several other religions that are also based on this teaching (It is similar to Jesus' teaching of loving thy neighbor as thyself). But this did not keep me from sin and despair.
I called upon the Lord Jesus in great desperation. It was a matter of life and death for me. Life had no meaning, and death meant hell. Jesus answered me with His presence. I knew immediately that He was the true God and that His name is Jesus. I cried out in repentance of my wickedness and sins, and He cleansed my heart. I had a new heart. I was cleansed and felt incredible joy. The Lord helped me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was clean like a newborn babe.
When I was young in the Lord, I was not much of a Bible reader, but I was a church-goer. I took notes when the preacher preached, but I didn't really study the Bible on my own. One sermon the pastor preached was, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” It caused me to realize I was living my life in sections. I had church life. I had work life. I had an army life, and I had a life of friends. I was being this way for one life and that way for another. I realized that this is more than being double-minded. The scriptures say, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
I wanted to submit to the Lord. I wanted Him to be Lord of everything. I thought to be very religious was the way to go. But I was still not reading the Bible to find out what God wanted of me. I was depending on the church and my own religiousness to please God and to keep me from sinning. Oh what a tangled web that was! In all that I found the demons of self-righteousness, and as the scriptures state, “pride goeth before a fall,” and fall hard I did. Through that, thanks to the mercies of God, I learned not to put any trust in myself or my own abilities. I also learned that church and men's accountability can't keep a person from sinning. Sin comes from the devil who rules in man's heart. The only solution is that God must have complete rule and reign. I found difficulty in the flesh as Paul did in Romans 7:14-25. Verse 19 states, “For the good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.” In Romans 6:14-18, Paul said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you: For ye are not under the law, but under grace...Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness?...Being then made free from sin ye became the
servants of righteousness.”
1 John 5:18 tells us that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. Well, I realized that if I was born of God, I shouldn't be sinning. Jesus said in John 8:31-36, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you ,free...Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
I had a witness within me from God that He had begun a good work in me. My life was changed. I had no desire to sin and displease Him. He filled me with His Holy Ghost in the same manner as all God's servants in the book of Acts received the Holy Ghost. Why was I having to struggle with the sin nature? I started to study the Bible and realized what an incredible thing God has done on our behalf. The scriptures state that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are past away; behold, all things are become new. For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. I sought the Lord, and He showed me that I was to enter into His rest and abide in Him, and let Him be complete Lord of my undivided heart. Second Corinthians 5:15 states, “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again.”
I have found that the more I am in the Lord's presence, the more He changes me from glory to glory. My character, my heart, and my life is conformed to His. He is sweet to my soul. I delight to please God because I love Him. I have found His words have become real in my life, and I am a partaker of His promises. God is faithful to keep and perform His word. He has done this for me, and I believe He shall do it for you.