Tag Archives: grace

When Our Testimony Goes Awry

FallingFromGraceEverybody loves sharing their conversion story, also known as their testimony. This is the story about how bad you once were before you became a Christian. Every Christian has their story and I have mine too. These are usually great stories about how people were enslaved in drugs, alcohol, gangs, crimes, or a life filled with endless greed never  quenched. Then there is this “aha” moment were God taps them on their shoulder or hits them square in the face and realize Jesus is the answer to all of these former problems. Then we share how God changed our lives and we are not the people we once were, rather we are changed from the inside out. Our desires change, and we are no longer bound to that sin that held us captive. While these stories are true and encouraging to hear, what happens when we fall back into the sin we were first guilty of?

When it comes to our testimony we love to share how bad we once were, but then we become quiet as a mouse when we fall back into sin, and we usually try to cover it up so no one finds out. It sounds great when people say I used to be hooked on drugs before I gave myself to the Lord. For some reason though if you attend church and are a Christian and get back into drugs it seems shameful and we hide it. For men in the church, there are many who are addicted to pornography that will never admit it because God forbid anyone find out they are not perfect. This is where  hypocrisy creeps into the church when we pretend we are perfect when we are far from it.

We have legalistic tendencies that we continue to nurture. We don’t have a hard time understanding that we are saved by grace and not by works, but once we accept that we think we need to be perfect. We know that we are not able to cleanse ourselves of all of our past mistakes. We therefore come to Christ for forgiveness of our past sins, but then act as though we need to take it from there. We try hard to be a better person, we go to church, read our bibles, pray, and put on our smiley faces saying we have it all under control. Then we fail, we fall back into an addiction, stop reading the bible everyday, miss a couple of Sunday sermons and start drinking a little here a little there. We then feel like failures, like we let God down and we are no longer good Christians. Forgetting that we were never “good” to begin with.

We needed to be saved by grace,because we can’t atone for our own sins and we can’t live a perfect life by our own means. Not only is our past sins forgiven, but  our future ones also. We need to stop pretending that we are perfect, and that we got things under control, because we don’t. We need to bring our sins, past and current to the forefront, in the right situations of course so 1) others know that it is normal not to be perfect even if your saved. 2) To encourage and pray for one another 3) To keep us from being judgmental and hypocritical, and 4) to remind us not to “try to be better” rather to daily crucify the old self and carry our cross.

We need to create environments within the church so that people can open up about struggles they are going through without feeling looked down upon or feel like a lesser Christian. We need to stop feeling like we need to be perfect, rather we need to remember we are sinners that are saved by God’s grace and not our perfectness or good deeds.

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Principles of Spiritual Growth

I am going to veer from my normal style of blogging, and do a series on spiritual growth or sanctification if you will. I am going to post weekly on a topic of spiritual growth and build on it. As believers we all know, or should know that our salvation comes from grace alone, by faith alone, by Christ alone. Our salvation is a free gift given to us by the redeeming work by Christ accomplished on the cross. “For our sake he made him to be sin, who knew no sin the we might become His righteousness” 2 Cor.5-21. We, if believers had the moment were we accepted this truth and repented from our sins and believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior as the redeemer of our sins, and the Holy Spirit now indwells us. This is the good news that is the gospel. But the question is,  then what? We continue to come to church and here this message and witness others coming to Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. We continue to grow in knowledge but how do we grow in Christ? How are we to become “better” Christians, and “be conformed into the image of Christ”? Rom 8:29a.  A lot of times we are taught we are saved by grace, this is a free gift, there is nothing you can do to earn it. But once we have accepted it, now we must work to keep it? So I would like to take some time and vet out the truths of God’s word and how it pertains to us growing in Christ, and how to become spiritually mature.

I would love for there to be a running dialogue during this series, for I am quickly to accept the fact that I am no expert on the subject rather an enthusiastic layman who seeks to know Christ more.  “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

Since this is different from my normal intended audience I will list it under the category of sanctification with the same tag and will  start each title off with the word Sanctification with a sub title. For Instance, the first one in the series will be called “Sanctification-Faith”, the second “Sanctification-Time” and so forth.

It is my goal that we will grow together in our growth in Christ.

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