One Pastor, Twelve Steps: Preaching My Way Through the Valley of the Shadow of Addiction

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He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

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All we have to do is claim it. This is a list of rules. The bible clearly states this. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Being good has nothing to do with whether you are saved or not. Thank God, because none of us could ever be good enough.

Only one person could ever do this, Jesus Christ. Our sins are erased because of Christ. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

So, you might ask why, then, was the law was given. It was given to show us that we need God.

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As Paul says in Rom I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, you must not covet. Without the law as a standard we would not even realize that we needed a redeemer and savior from our sin. The law was just and correct. There was nothing wrong with the law. This is the way we are called to act. However, as humans we do not have the ability to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds and love our neighbor as much as ourselves all the time, everyday. Because sin was introduced into the world by man, we are inclined to sin and no one can live this way.

So, we are in need of redemption from this predicament. Christ provided this. He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. We are forgiven from all sin; past and future.

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When we receive Him, He gives us his Holy Spirit that has the power to change us and make us more like Him. This is a process, but as this happens we begin to realize that we are living in the love originally required by the law.

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The original intention, the heart of the law, is established in our lives. Our relationships with God and others are founded in love. It is the Holy Spirit that accomplishes this within us, not our own human effort. The Bible describes this process as Holy Spirit producing fruit:. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.

And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful natureto his cross and crucified them there. This is the difference between religion and true Christianity. There is no checklist or list of rules that you must follow. It is ALL about your relationships, vertical and horizontal. There is no rhetoric or rituals that have to be practiced. It is so simple it sounds stupid, and it would be if there was no real power here.

Religion is empty. But, in Christ there is power. But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. So when you look around at the church and what has happened in history you see a lot of bad things, and some good as well. This is evil and God is not in it. Good has been done by the few that truly understand what it means to be a Christian.

These look like Christ. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. It is a quick read it took me about 2 hours and is worth the time investment. How Good is Good enough. Read some of your why Christianity is not a religion. God wants us to have a relationship with him?????

It takes at least two to have a relationship. Both parts need to put in. After four years of trying to have that relationship with God, I have given up. It seemed like nothing I did was good enough for him.

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I never felt his presence, love, help or intervention in my life. I am now totally broken. No faith or trust left in this God who loves me and wants a relationship with me!!. I have cried and prayed but nothing.

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I have more issues than I can handle…. God was the one person I believed could help me no matter what was happening in my life. I thought he was the potter and I the clay that he would mould and shape but now I just believe that we have to make ourselves change through determination etc. I will try harder next time!!! There is nothing left in me to bring to God. My daughter is also in the same place.

She seems depressed all the time and has seen the counselor at church but nothing works or helps. How can this be a loving God who wants a relationship wit us when he ignores our needs and hurts. God is demanding and thats that. The Bible says we must be perfect like the Son and Father. The following response was emailed directly to the person who sent the comment. Thank you so much for having the courage to write me and be so honest about your feelings. It is apparent that you are going through a tough time and have been for a while now.

I really do feel for you and your daughter. I just want to tell you that you are not alone! Most all of us go through times in our life where we wonder where God is and question our faith.


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I have been through it myself.