How To Be A Powerful Christian

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the times for you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:13-21 HCSB)

Holiness isn’t a very popular teaching. I think many churches are big on God’s grace (which they twist to mean forgiveness and blindness), and His love.

However, they teach His love as something shallow. Many preachers equate God’s forgiveness with His love and end there. They do not talk about how He disciplines those whom He loves, and how His love is what carries us through the various trials we will face. They steer clear of common biblical truths like tribulations and the expectation of holiness in those professing Christ as Savior. And we see the outcome of this willful avoidance: worldly, weak, and ignorant Christians who rather than growing to a place of holiness and powerful transformation, remain as infants who regularly attend service on Sunday, maybe hang out for a little after, and then go about doing whatever they want.

God is not pleased with mere church-goers. He’s looking for powerful witnesses. (Side note: power comes from the Holy Spirit, but sin puts a lid on the flow of His power through the believer’s life.)

If we are trained up to be holy, to fear God, and to obey Him, this is where power derives. It is not derived from repetitious and shallow sermons on God’s grace and love. It is the hard work of practically removing sin from your life, renewing your mind by delving into the Scriptures daily, rejecting your old lusts, disciplining yourself in prayer, and allowing yourself to be discipled by godly believers.

I promise you: power will not come from attending services twice a week. It will not come by just doing charitable events. It must come from what I previously described.

1.) Genuine repentance

Real repentance isn’t a simple “sinner’s prayer.” It is choosing to side with God, and confess that you’re wrong, and He’s right. It is choosing to walk away from the sins in your life, and chasing after Christ and His righteousness.

2.) Mind renewal

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1, 2 HCSB)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)

When you choose to open up the bible and let God teach you, you will discover His word is alive. It will reveal any wicked motives or thoughts you may have so you can renounce them and replace them with the wholesome teaching of Christ. It will expose any false beliefs you have that are of the world and satan, and renew your mind to believe the truth and nothing but the truth.

Also, getting into His Word will show you what God’s will for every area of your life is. You will receive wisdom and not be a wave tossed to-and-fro by everyone’s unbiblical opinions. You will know what your God wants from you.

3.) Rejecting your former lusts

Now that you’ve repented and accepted Christ as both Savior and Lord, and thus have received His Holy Spirit, and now that you’ve been reading the bible, whenever satan tempts you with things of the past, you reject those things by the power of the Holy Spirit and by knowing the truth. The bible teaches:

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh … those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires … Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16, 24, 25 HCSB)

4.) Being disciplined in prayer

Jesus was a straight prayer warrior! The bible says He would always go to a mountain and spend hours in prayer. Sometimes all night! Now if God in the flesh prayed that much, how can we think we’re good if we pray five minutes a day? Do you think that’s “fervent” prayer (James 5)?

If you’re a new Christian, from one day to one year walking with Christ, I’m not saying you must pray five hours a day. I don’t even pray that long. However, you should be building your prayer muscles, meaning, over time, you should see that you pray longer and more often, and desire to pray more. Think of prayer like this:

In the military, there’s a General, he plans the strategy of attack, and then there’s a colonel. The colonel gets the orders and leads a group of soldiers. God is our commander, and we are His colonels. We go to Him for orders, and then we lead others to victory. But what happens if we do not go to our Commander for help? How will we be victorious without His aid? A weak prayer life equals a weak Christian. A strong prayer life equals a strong Christian.

5.) Get discipled

Even colonels aren’t called to war on their own. The body of Christ, the church, is called to battle together as one. We do life together. You pray and read on your own, but you also pray and study the word together. You serve and preach together (Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs). You eat together. You share everything. You hold one another accountable. This is real church. It’s not sitting in a service for an hour and then leaving. It’s family.

When you become a Christian, you become a part of the family of God. We all need each other to grow. We all have something to bring to the table, and bring we must. The bible teaches that our gifts are not for us, or even for the world, but for the church. Our gifts are meant to build up and encourage other Christians. They are not to entertain others, to receive accolades, or riches. They are for our family in Christ, and if we refuse to share and use our gifts for them and thus for God, we will be judged for that.

So these are the essentials in becoming holy, in becoming a powerful weapon of righteousness, useful for Christ.

Do you wanna be mighty for God, in the front lines of battle, shaking the gates of hell alongside your brothers and sisters, or do you want to be in the side-lines, or worse, a lone ranger who eventually gets shot down and buried?

As always, the choice is yours.

I’m A Christian Who Cusses

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When self-proclaimed Christians cuss, it’s an outward sign of an inward problem. The bible says no foul
language is to come out of our mouths, and Jesus said what’s in the heart eventually comes out of the mouth.

We are to be completely holy. If you’re okay with your cussing, you must not fear God much or care to be holy before Him, and if Christ is truly in you, why are you cussing like a demon? Do you not know that demons love to cuss. If we are to be imitators of a holy and pure God, why are you fine with imitating demons? Are you truly a surrendered disciple of Christ? Is He really in you? Examine yourself to show yourself approved, as the Word says. For we are to be unspotted by the world, we are not to look, talk, do or act like they do. If you make yourself a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Repent and be holy as He is holy. But if you refuse to repent of cussing and find no fault in it, shame on you for continuing to profess to be a Christian.

True Christians fear their God and desire to be blameless before Him. They do not treat the blood of Christ as something common or unclean. They are pure in heart before their Master, not even thinking sinful thoughts or cussing in their mind, because Christ lives in them and has transformed their heart and mind. When they get angry, it’s a righteous anger, not an unholy and out of control swear-fest. What a terrible example to your children and others who know you as someone who professes Christ as Lord.

Are you unaware Christ says He will vomit from His mouth lukewarm believers? He wants you hot or cold, completely for Him, or against Him. You cannot mix the holy with the profane. Satan does that well and has many religions that do that well. Is he your father, or is God your Father?

Repent and let God sanctify you and make you pure in heart. He desires streams of living water to come forth from your heart, not polluted springs. He wants His power to flow through you, His victory, but if you are quenching His Holy Spirit, you are denying the inward work He must accomplish in all Christians before He returns.

Will you be told, “Get away from Me, worker of lawlessness, I never knew you,” or, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? The choice is yours.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV)

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31 NKJV)

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”-Ephesians 5:4 ESV

Matthew 15:10-11 ESV “And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”-James 3:10 ESV

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”-Matthew 12:36-37

Am I A Pharisee Because I Believe This …

Some months ago, I had a revelation regarding Christians and sin. The revelation was that as a born-again believer in Christ, as someone who has been renewed in heart and mind, transformed by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Himself, I do not have to sin. I am not a helpless slave to the very thing Christ came to die for/free me from. I wrote a post about it the morning this powerful truth hit me.

And now here I am, months later, continuing to believe it and share it with others. However, I’ve noticed not many self-professing Christians believe it is possible to walk free from the power of sin by relying on the Holy Spirit. Some actually argue vehemently against it.

I found it troubling that those who profess to believe in Almighty God do not believe His Word. They have believed man’s word, but not God’s.

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Apparently, in their minds, all things are not possible with God.

How outlandish, how pharisaical, how legalistic, how foolish, how blasphemous to believe that in Christ it is possible to completely overcome the power of sin and practice self-control and holiness. Scriptures like these simply must not be divinely inspired:

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1)

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:12-18)

“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (I John 3:7-9)

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 1:24)

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV)

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” (Ephesians 5:1-7)

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”(Ephesians 4:11-24 NKJV)

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” (I Peter 4:1, 2 NKJV)

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble …” (II Peter 1:10)

I believed it too once: no matter what we will always be slaves of sin. But that isn’t biblical. It’s actually a false doctrine preached in pulpits by many a popular pastor. They call themselves and their church congregants sinners, and repeat this mantra as if it were a fact rather than a lie.

It’s true that those who believe they will always inevitably sin while in this body will likely live up to that lie. And so their belief is further established.

Forget taking God at His Word. They’d rather take their pastor’s word. Or maybe like me, they just were so brainwashed they never even considered the possibility of living sinlessly, conquering sin by the power of the Holy Spirit daily. And for these, I plead with you, consider what I am proposing, and look into it yourself. Search the Scriptures, not popular opinion. Do not add or take away from the Bible, just pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you, whatever it is. Read with an open heart, and see what the Spirit shows you personally, for ultimately, He is our teacher.

So that’s my challenge. Consider if we as Christians truly can live free from the power of sin by choosing to obey God every day and clinging to Jesus, letting the Holy Spirit lead and sanctify us. Test this proposal against Scripture.

I pray you come to know and live in the freedom Christ died to give you.

Much love,

Natasha

Why “Once Saved Always Saved” Is A Lie

Some believe the Apostle Paul was a sinner because of these verses in Romans (taken out of context):

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:18, 19)

But when you read the passage in context you see that Paul was speaking in past tense:

“For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:5-25)

And him confessing to be a helpless sinner at the end of Romans 7 would be a total contradiction to what he previously wrote in chapter 6:

“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:15-18)

And a few verses later in chapter 6 he continues:

“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22, 23)

So what does all this mean?

We must, as Jesus Himself said, abide in Jesus if we are to receive eternal life.

So what does abiding in Christ look like? Jesus explained it rather simply:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8)

Abiding in Christ means you stay with Him, you continue reading and obeying His Word. Just as the eleven disciples abided in Jesus, following Him those three years, and then continued following until their death, so we must abide in Christ.

It is an unbiblical lie to believe mere confession in Christ is enough to save you. “Once saved always saved,” though it sounds nice, is not a biblical doctrine.

Jesus was clear: the branches in Him that don’t bear fruit, meaning those who confess Him as Savior and Lord, but continue sinning and not bearing the fruits of holiness, will be taken away, cast out and withered, and thrown into the eternal fire. Genuine disciples of Jesus “bear much fruit,” meaning, they become more and more sanctified and thus, holy. They aren’t worldly and fleshly, partly following Jesus in some ways, like not partying or getting drunk, but then they disobeying Him in other ways like sexual impurity and lying.

Hence the importance of knowing all Scripture, knowing the whole New Testament, not just bits of it or whatever you hear your pastor teach on Sundays.

Scripture confirms Scripture:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16)

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (I Peter 1:13-19)

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:26-31)

I pray we get into the Word and really learn our Bibles, for many perish because of a lack of knowledge, as Hosea affirms.

Much love to you,

Natasha

Repent or Die.

If we are truly in Christ, if we have repented (turned away from our sins) and put our trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, and His resurrection from the grave to deliver us from the power of sin and death, and simply obey His teachings, we should not be struggling with sin.

I make this bold proclamation on the basis of many scriptures, and I am firmly convinced that when we struggle with lust, or envy, or selfishness, it is because we are literally believing lies Satan has/is whispering in our minds.

Quick reminders from Jesus before I go deep with you:

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:18-20)

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44)

When we sin as born-again disciples of Jesus Christ, it is only for one reason: we have walked away from the Truth.

Check it:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31, 32, 34-36)

Many of us professing Christians in America are believing false gospels. They’re quite subtle, they sound close to the truth, but they are not the truth. If Jesus just said those who sin are slaves and won’t “stay in the house forever” that is, go to heaven, but only the sons will—those who are “free indeed” from the power of sin—then we really need to contemplate what gospel we have believed. I guarantee you, the majority believe this gospel:

“We are all sinners. Christ came and died for sinners. If we confess and say a prayer, we will be “saved” from hell and get to go to heaven. However, we will still struggle and sin, but God will always forgive us no matter what.”

This is false doctrine. Jesus Himself just said everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin, and that sinners will not live with Him forever. He also said that His true disciples remain in His Word, and that the Truth of His Word sets them free. 1 John 3:8 says Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, that is, Jesus came to destroy sin. He didn’t die, resurrect, and then give us His Holy Spirit just so we can keep struggling with sin! That’s nonsense! It doesn’t even make sense! If that were the case, all of these verses will be contradictory lies:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

“For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”-Colossians 1:29

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

If being born-again in Christ and being filled with His Spirit meant we would still struggle with sin, then the verses should read: “I can do almost all things through Christ who gives me strength,” or “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength—except stop sinning completely.” Or “I labor with Christ’s strength that is not all-powerful and so it only works sorta powerfully within me.”

And if we have the mind of Christ, does Christ lust after women or men? Does he desire to watch porn, or lie, or cheat, or cuss? If we have His mind, will we think perverted thoughts? Of course we wouldn’t! Christ is perfectly pure and holy, completely sinless. This is why the Bible says we are blameless in Christ. If someone sins, are they without blame? That’s contradictory, is it not?

You might say, “But Natasha, what about these pastors and great men and women of God who end up sinning and fall away from the faith. Were they never saved?”

To that I reply, we can, at any moment, choose to walk away from Christ. When we become disciples of Jesus, that doesn’t mean we turn into robots without free-will. That is why the bible warns many times for Christians to “endure to the end,” to “stand firm” to “persevere” to “resist Satan.” God wants devoted followers, not short-lived ones; how will they be able to remain faithful for all eternity if they can’t for their short stay on earth? Hence, this rebuke and exhortation from Jesus:

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:14-21)

Jesus said:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)

Like I said previously, many Americans believe the false gospel that we are still going to sin after Christ has cleansed us and given us a new heart and mind, and His very own Holy Spirit. Why do you think mega churches are so mega? They’re buildings with lots of sinners who “have a form of godliness but deny its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5)

Actually, many mega churches sound a lot like this:

“For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” (2 Timothy 3:6-9)

And then Paul says immediately following:

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 3:6-15)

How many mega church pastors get persecuted for living a godly life? Instead, everyone loves them and they have lots of fans and followers, only to later get caught committing adultery or being greedy for money.

Paul is telling us what Jesus already has: the Scriptures are sufficient! They set us free from the lies of man, and the lies of satan, so that we may be “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Listen to the Truth:

“Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him — if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.” (Colossians 1:21-23)

Beloved by God, I want you to notice five words in the above passage: “once you were” and “but now.”

You see saints, at one point—in the past—before you trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior, your minds were hostile, but now Christ has reconciled you. You are a NEW person in Christ, meaning you have a NEW mind and a NEW heart. The old has passed away!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26, 27)

So tear down the lies you have believed in!

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:1-16)

And this is what I pray for all of you:

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” (Colossians 1:9-13)

If you need to repent and want some prayer support and encouragement, please feel free to email me at betterthanedward(at)live.com

I love you and I’m praying for you,

Natasha

Christians aren’t helpless sinners so please stop labeling yourself one

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:1-14 NKJV)

Something that has been concerning me is a mantra I hear often in the church, “We’re all sinners.” Biblically, I see Paul calling the believers saints much, much more than he calls them sinners. In fact, he may have only called himself a sinner, and I’m pretty sure he was speaking about his past life before Christ.

This “I’m a sinner” Mantra is dangerous to our minds. We are saints, we are children of God, we are a royal priesthood, a chosen people. This is a beautiful truth that God, in His love, has granted us. Why not embrace our true titles and live accordingly?

So my beloved brethren, do not accept the notion that you are a helpless sinner without self-control. If you have Jesus, the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead lives in you, so you are “more than a conqueror.” As the Romans passage I just shared with you states: sin shall not have dominion over you. That means it won’t have power over you, if indeed you have the Holy Spirit and are following Christ. Obey His Word, and you will do well and be holy.

I love you guys

My “Sunday Best” Get-ups Make Me Holier Than Thou

Recently, my mom was called out by a family member because she wore sandals and jeans to a church service. She was judged by someone with a two-by-four protruding from their eyeball who, with their faulty spiritual eyesight, believed they were holier because they wore their “Sunday Best” and she did not.

I don’t know what it is about church-clothes, but there are some who put them on as if they’re an iron man suit or something. In other words, they think the clothes add something to them, namely, holiness.

But holiness isn’t measured by whether or not you choose to wear a suit or jeans to a church service, rather, it’s measured by the purity of your heart before God.

I don’t think I need to harp on this because Jesus said it best:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:25-28)

Just Got Verbally Pistol-whipped By A Pack Of Atheists

Just got bombarded by mean-spirited self-proclaimed Atheists who said awful things to me because I’m a Christian, and I just want to thank Christ for my family in the faith. I love you all so much and your love for Christ encourages me all the more. The Word says to encourage each other daily, all the more as you see the Day drawing near, spurring one another on to good works and love. For these are the times prophesied by the Holy Spirit through Paul. That people won’t endure sound doctrine, but run aside to myths and will be lovers of themselves and haters of God. Let us not allow their hate to douse our fire of love. Let us bless our enemies and pray for those who abuse us physically and verbally. Let us love them despite their words and actions, testifying to God’s goodness in fear and humility, that they might be freed from Satan’s grip, and repent. Pray and keep moving. Though some of the things those people said were hurtful and brought on tears, I was singing praise after, reminded of all my Savior has done and how good His promises are and the wonderful hope that lies ahead for those of us who endure till the end. Thankful for you all, my brothers, and most of all for Jesus, and for His Holy Spirit who is my comforter.

80% of the church is having premarital sex???

80% of the church between the ages of 18-29 are having premarital sex. WHAT? This should rip our hearts from our chests and make us ashamed and broken before the Lord, our good and perfect Father.

How can we commit our past sins—the ones that Jesus was beaten and crucified for? Have we no love for He who loved us to the point of pouring out His very blood in our rightful place? How can we take these temples—our bodies—and use them as weapons of unrighteousness? Do you not know when you sin, your actions are aimed at the very heart that was pierced for you and pierces it again?

He died to give you power over sin, to practice self-control, which is a fruit of His Holy Spirit that should be living inside of you if you truly did give your heart to Him. Church, we should be angry over this, beating our chests and weeping with shame for the disgrace we’ve caused our Father and Master.

And let us not, I repeat, let us not be deceived into thinking we can so offer up our bodies to the temple of sexual immorality and still expect to receive heaven—which is being with Jesus for all eternity.

If even you couldn’t bear the thought of standing before the Holy, Perfect Son of God for all eternity knowing you chose to sin against Him and have sex outside of the sanctity of marriage, what makes you think He will be able to bear it? “You must be holy,” He commands, “as I am holy.” To believe otherwise is to believe a lie for the sake of fulfilling our own sinful desires in a feeble attempt to trick ourselves into thinking since we appear holy on the outside, God will let us in on the day we face Him for judgement.

Be broken! Repent! Only then shall your souls be truly saved. I speak this from love. I tell you the truth, unlike the world who is under the influence of Satan himself.

If anyone says they’re a Christian, but practices sexually immorality, they are a liar, and the Truth is not in them. But thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, as long as we have breath we can forsake these sins and give our lives to Him. When we truly see how horribly offensive these crimes are to His Holy Spirit and we grieve over them, crying out to Him for mercy and forgiveness, then will He renew our Spirits and give us a heart that seeks to please Him, a heart with new desires. Run from your sin. Your very soul depends on it!

“Don’t judge lest you be judged.”

“Better an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” (Proverbs 27:5, 6)

Last night we got into a good discussion on “judging matters within the church.”

Some of us at first weren’t sure if it was loving to call someone out on a sin they’re in, or to call out those proclaiming to be brothers, but walking in blatant disobedience or false doctrine. A brother of ours was thought to be harsh for being very honest and warning the brothers not to listen to a self-proclaimed Christian rapper who in a music video was dressed up as a voodoo witch doctor.

“Only God can judge me,” is often quoted outside of the church, by unbelievers. But, the same kind of concept has been adopted and embraced more and more within the church. We phrase it this way: “Don’t judge lest you be judged,” (Matthew 7:1). But let’s look at that verse in its context:

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

So apparently, the finishing thought is, you can judge (discern between what’s right and wrong), only if you yourself have first dealt with your own sin. Once you do, you may now approach a brother in sin, point it out to him, so you can, “help him take the speck out of his eye,” so he won’t be deceived and inevitably destroyed by that sin.

There’s plenty of verses backing up judgement within the church. Paul the Apostle pointed out hypocrisy in Peter in front of a whole group of people, then warned the Galatian church in his letter in Galatians 2:11-21 about Peter’s hypocrisy (Peter did repent from that by the way). There are many other times he calls out specific people who are teaching false doctrine or who have fallen away. He does this to protect the the church so they won’t likewise fall.

Paul could have seemed harsh when he told the Corinthians to hand over a brother who was in sexual sin to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh,” and rebuked them for their pride in allowing this man to continue meeting with the congregation rather than casting him out:

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner— not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (I Corinthians 5:1-7, 9-13)

When we do not judge (discern), between what is right and wrong, and confront it when we see a brother or sister doing wrong, that is not loving. That’s like a parent knowing their kid is doing drugs, but instead of calling them out on it and making them leave the house if they don’t repent so they can learn what that lifestyle brings and choose to forsake it, the parents decide to ignore it because they’ll be judging if they call it out.

This whole “judge not lest you be judged,” verse has been taken so out of context that it has now become used as a pass to continue sinning.

Again, you are not to call out a sin if you too are engaging in that sin. However, if you are not, it is your duty as a fellow brother to walk in love and truth, and confront that person.

God always sent prophet after prophet to point out Israel’s sin that they might turn from it and not receive God’s judgement and wrath. But they didn’t wanna hear it, and thus, they suffered greatly.

I fear for the church of my generation, that we too would rather look the other way, or pat someone on the back who is in sin and then wonder why they keep on falling into that sin. When that brother who was sleeping with his mother-in-law was cast out of the congregation, with no soft words or pats on the back, he ended up being truly broken over that sin and coming back to Christ and once he truly repented, Paul encouraged the brothers to then lovingly embrace him again.

May we not get offended when someone tells us we shouldn’t be in the relationship we’re in, or that we are prideful. If they love you enough to pray for you and approach you about your sin, they’re a true friend.

Better an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” (Proverbs 27:5, 6)