- About CIR
- Start / Help
- Hear Hope
- Where do I Start?
- Why Christian Recovery?
- 1st Things
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Feeling far from God?
- Local Help for You
- Member's Help Center
- Info & Help
- Bible Studies
- Sex Addiction
- Training for Recovery Pros
- Anon-Those Who Love Dysfunctional People
- Eating Disorders
- Emotions & Mental Health
- Info & Help
- BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
- Bipolar Disorder
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Shopping Addiction
- General Recovery
- Pastors & Pros
- Physical Health
- Prison / Jail
- The Past
- 12 Steps
- What are they?
- Studies & Software
- Books on the 12 Steps
- Prayers for
- Worksheets & Workbooks
- 12 Signs
- 12 Steps Bible Studies
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4
- Step 5
- Step 6
- Step 7
- Step 8
- Step 9
- Step 10
- Step 11
- Step 12
- Bible Studies
- 12 Step Studies
- ANON Studies
- Abuse Studies
- Addiction Studies
- Adult Children Studies
- Christian Classics
- Death Studies
- Faith Studies
- Family Studies
- Intervention Studies
- Money & Debt Studies
- Pain & Suffering Studies
- Pastors & Pros Studies
- AA & Big Book Related
- Beyond Recovery
- Bible Related
- Book Studies
- Chat & Meetings
- Group Handouts
- Pastors & Pros Tools
- Podcasts / Videos
- Signs & Symptoms
- Sponsors & Buddies
- Worksheets & Workbooks
- 12 Steps
- Compass Points
- Fellowship & Networking
- God's Will For Us
- One Day at a Time
- Peace / Serenity
- CIR Goodies
- How to Help
- Contact Us
- Log Out
Collection of ebooks and software FREE for CIR Members
2 Peter 3:11-12
Hebrews 2:1, 3 NKJV
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. . . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.
There was a time in the American Church when we didn’t believe that salvation was simply a one-time experience that we could do, forget about, and still retain. There was a time (and in my lifetime) when those who attended church understood that their behavior was an important part of the salvation process, not that we earn our salvation, but that we appropriate it through our choices day by day.
- “We must give the more earnest heed.” The NRSV translates it: “We must pay greater attention.” How do we measure how much attention we give something? For me, it means what I think about, what I focus on. Do we spend time focusing on the things we have heard (meaning the Bible and the things of God)? Or do we spend time on other pursuits? How much do we know about the Bible compared to other things we know about? What consumes our conversations?
In Haggai 2:12-19, God drives home a very telling point to the prophet. If we place an unclean thing together with a clean one, the cleanness of the latter will not rub off onto the former. If I rub my dirty and ink-stained hands on a clean towel, the cleanness of the towel will not rub off onto my hands: rather it is dirt that is transferred, and the towel becomes dirty.
By this means the Lord made clear to Haggai and Judah that sin is contagious, but righteousness is not. We are not Christians simply because we belong to a good church, a good family, or a fine community. Moreover, a good profession of faith does not make us holy or godly.
What is forgiveness of sin?
1) To forgive sin, is to take away iniquity.
"Why dost thou not take away mine iniquity?" Job 7:21.
It is a metaphor taken from a man that carries a heavy burden which is ready to sink him, and another comes, and lifts it off, so when the heavy burden of sin is on us, God in pardoning, lifts it off from the conscience, and lays it upon Christ.
He has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6.
2) To forgive sin, is to cover it.
Thou hast covered all their sin. Psalm 85:2.
This was typified by the mercy-seat covering the ark, to show God’s covering of sin through Christ. God does not cover sin in the Antinomian sense, so as he sees it not, but he so covers it, that he will not impute it.
3) To forgive sin, is to blot it out.
"I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions." Isaiah 43:25.
The Hebrew word, to blot out, alludes to a creditor who, when his debtor has paid him, blots out the debt, and gives him an acquittance; so when God forgives sin, he blots out the debt, he draws the red lines of Christ’s blood over it, and so crosses the debt-book.
4) To forgive sin is for God to scatter our sins as a cloud.
"I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions." Isaiah 44:22.
Sin is the cloud, an interposing cloud, which disperses, that the light of his countenance may break forth.
This maybe one of our most daunting challenges; to daily apprehend through faith, the gospel of grace for yourself and others aggressively.
"Aggressively" literally means it will be marked by obtrusive energy and will be strong in effect and intention. Wow! Too daily apprehend through faith, grace strongly and intentionally toward ourselves and others.
Instead, most are passive about their daily faith in the gospel of grace. Whatever will be will be? No! May it never be!
Your salvation is not a reward for good behavior! It was a grace thing from start to finish; you had no hand in it. Even the gift to believe simply reflects His faith! Ephesians 2:8 (Mirror)
You did not invent faith; it was God's faith to begin with!
It is from faith to faith. Romans 1:17 (Mirror)
He is both the source and conclusion of faith. Hebrews 12:2 (Mirror)
This aggressive grace journey progresses in/by a "mind shift" away from re-penance (faith in the law) to (faith in grace).
"The word 'repentance' is a fabricated word from the Latin, penance, and to even give it more 'religious' mileage, the English rendering became re-penance!" ~Francois du Toit
That is not what the Greek word means at all! The true word that sets the journey of grace, by faith in motion is "Metanoia." This comes from (meta) - meaning together with, and (nous) - meaning to mind together with God's mind; continuously perpetuated by a "radical mind-shift."
I came across a humorous post on the internet:
"Someone's therapist knows all about you."
It made me laugh… and think. I thought back to many therapy sessions I engaged in, talking about certain individuals and their impact of my life, disorder and state of mind. I talked about my mother, my dad and my childhood bullies. Believe me, I had A LOT to say. So, yes, even though my therapist never met them, she knew all about these people.
But this humorous post touched on something bigger. It wasn't just about the acquired knowledge a therapist gained when his/her patient ranted about their issues. It had to do with God - the ultimate therapist-and His role in our lives as we struggle, hurt and encounter recovery.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12>
Cue the heart, therefore:
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
But this heart issue is not a passive thing, ignored by God. Quite the contrary, in fact.
"…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
In other words…
If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.1 John 2:1
From time to time we hear - sometimes even in the secular media - of some prominent Christian who has fallen into scandalous sin. I remember when Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart very publicly got caught in sin, and they were neither the first nor the last people to endure those circumstances. When we see such famous people - famous, at least, in Christian circles - fall into sin, many questions can come into our minds.
Obviously we wonder whether these people are actually Christians - a legitimate question, though we have to be careful not to condemn on partial evidence, for what would someone think of us if he had no more hard facts than we receive through the media? There is also the question of what happens to such people if they are in fact truly regenerate. Sometimes it might seem that a sin is so public, and so egregious, that surely the person involved must have lost his salvation if he ever had it.
Of course to create doctrine based solely on our reason is dangerous - our minds are as fallen as any other part of us, and are as subject to malfunction as our hearts or eyes. We simply don't think clearly in this world - the most brilliant preachers and theologians in history (I think offhand of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and J.I. Packer - with a little work I could extend the list a long way) have not been as brilliant as they would have been had there never been a fall. Every one of us, from little children just born to certified geniuses, suffer from the effects of the fall on our minds. This is one reason why we must always derive our doctrine from the Scriptures, and subject our doctrine to the Book, for there is no human mind capable of infallibly reasoning its way to the truth.
And when we think of the
Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
beatings make clean the innermost parts. Proverbs 20:30 NRSV
We see sin in ourselves most often when we are in pain. In fact, it often takes the hard circumstances in life for us to even stop and listen to God. And He uses those hard circumstances to keep us from running off the precipice of the cliff of sin.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 2 Samuel 11:2-3 NRSV
Most of us are familiar with the adulterous affair of David and Bathsheba, the wife of one of his commanders. The Israelites built homes with flat roofs and used their roofs for rest and relaxation when it was warm. Whether or not Bathsheba chose to bath on the roof hoping to catch the eye of the king, at that moment David was presented with a choice. He didn't have to ask who she was; he could have averted his eyes. He didn't.
The result of their extended affair was that Bathsheba got pregnant. In a fit of panic, David ordered her husband, Uriah, to the front where he was logically killed. David then took Bathsheba into his home (and his bed) and his wife, thinking that his sin had been unseen. I'm sure that he believed that he was doing the "right" thing by marrying Bathsheba, that this marriage was a sign of penance toward God. But God wasn't fooled. Manipulation is never part of repentance. Yes, we are to make restitution, but first comes confession. And David hadn't confessed.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the lamp of the wicked—are sin. Proverbs 21:4
I'm dealing with haughtiness right now . . . my own. Haughtiness is a superlative pride, a feeling of being or doing better than others. It's antonym is humility. And I personally think that seeking the praises of those around you is a part of that.
Scripture is very clear. This is sin. And what's interesting is that this verse doesn't talk about sin that we do, but rather sin that we are . . . how we feel and think and make choices. It can be easy, within our church culture, to act like a Christian. In fact, I've had some Christians tell me that they never sin. And if we were speaking only of the sins that we can do, they may be right. Likely they don't kill or steal or commit adultery. But the Lord looks past our actions into our hearts:
Two people, standing side by side, could look very much the same from the outside and yet one could be truly humble and one could be truly prideful.
Tozer, in his book, That Incredible Christian, lists the attributes of a spiritual person: