Ask Your Preacher
When a person hears the Word, accepts Christ, repents, confesses Christ, is baptized, I understand they are put in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Now, this is followed by a life of obeying God's commandments, enduring temptation, loving one another, and living for God. But are God's commandments just to believe in Christ and love one another? What are the commandments we have to obey?
I’d Like A Checklist
Dear I’d Like A Checklist,
After you are baptized, you become a christian (Acts 2:38). As you said, after that, you spend the rest of your life growing and following God’s commandments (1 Pet 2:2). All of the specific commandments are too numerous to list here because the whole Bible is full of God’s commands (Ps 119:160). All of God’s teachings can be summed up in “love God” and “love your neighbor”… that is what Jesus said on the matter (Matt 22:36-40). All the rest of the Bible is full of specific rules and principles that help us to properly love God and our fellow man. A life dedicated to God is built upon the Bible’s teachings (Rom 10:17), and His Word, in its entirety, should be the guide for our lives (Ps 119:105).
What should I do if I've committed blaspheme terribly? I was baptized when I was six (I think), and I've gotten closer to God, left, gotten closer, and left. Blaspheme is something I struggle with. Why do I do these things? I'm fourteen now.
Watching My Mouth
Dear Watching My Mouth,
We can be forgiven for using the Lord’s name in vain… but only if we repent and turn to the Lord. God has provided a means for all sins to be forgiven – His Son’s blood. When we become christians (read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” for details on how to become a christian – this is important because part of becoming a christian involves mature, adult choices that were impossible for a six-year-old to make), all sins are forgiven, even our previous blasphemy against God. There is no single act that is so evil that Jesus’ blood can’t wash it away (1 Jn 1:7). Many of the first-century christians had horrible sins in their pasts (1 Cor 6:9-11). The key is to get up every time you fall down (Pr 24:16). Continue to work on cleaning up your language, and you will eventually succeed.
In the Old Testament, it talks about unintentional sin. Is there also unintentional (accidental) sin in the New Testament, like Paul before his conversion? Thank you.
Sinful By Mistake
Dear Sinful By Mistake,
Unintentional sins are committed every single day. Paul said that all of his sins had been committed out of ignorance and in a clear conscience (1 Tim 1:13, Acts 23:1). Paul also pointed out that he still needed mercy for his unintentional sins. Ignorance is an explanation for our sins, but it doesn’t excuse our guilt. God is patient with us, but eventually, we are responsible for seeking to remove our ignorance by finding the truth of God’s Word (Acts 17:30). It is understandable when people sin because they don’t know any better, and that understanding engenders God’s compassion (as it should ours), and that is exactly why God’s love sent His Son, so we might have a way of escape from our unintentional rebellion (Jhn 3:16).
I need a basic gospel message and, perhaps, some proverbial wisdom for someone in particular. This is a person who claims to believe in God but doesn't have faith that God can deliver her from Satan's captive hold on her. She comes from an alcoholic family, is an alcoholic herself, and is depressed and very emotional when in a drunken state or stupor. She claims she has read the Bible a lot and doesn't see how it is possible to help her change. What's the best approach in her situation?
Where To Start?
Dear Where To Start,
The next time this friend (while sober) brings up the fact that she can’t be saved, offer to show her something. Then open your Bible and have her read 1 Tim 1:15-16:
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.
Paul had killed christians, and yet, God forgave Paul and molded his willing heart into a better man. Ask your friend if she believes these verses, and if she does, what is she going to do about it. What happens next will tell you exactly where her heart is (Heb 4:12).
Does God understand our own personal faults even if we don’t?
Ps 1:8 says that God knows even our secret sins. God is aware of all that we have done in this life; He is even aware of the number of hairs on our heads (Matt 10:30). God weighs our hearts (Pr 21:2) because everyone feels that we are living good lives, but that doesn’t mean we actually are. That is why it is so important that we let the Bible be the lamp for our feet (Ps 119:105). Many people will plead ignorance on the Day of Judgment, but God will render to each of us according to a higher knowledge of our lives and hearts (Pr 24:12). All you can ever do is let the Bible be your faithful guide (Rom 10:17), and don’t lean on your own understanding (Pr 3:5).