How Much Can a Christian Sin?

How Much Can a Christian Sin and still be saved?

A reader responded to a devotion about sexual sins saying, “God won't send you to hell for ignoring his commandments. If you accept him as your Lord and Savior, and confess your sins to him you're saved and you will go to heaven no matter how much you screw up.”

She’s right that no one goes to Hell for ignoring God’s commands.

They go to Hell for not loving Jesus.

A Christian is someone who loves Jesus.

Christians still sin, but they don’t ignore God’s commands because you can’t love Jesus and ignore His commands. It’s not possible (see verses below).

Jesus didn’t teach a permissive view of salvation. He said we must count the cost (Luke 14:25-34). We can’t earn salvation, but it always, always, always changes those who receive it. Genuine believers love Jesus and want to “live a life worthy” of Him (Ephesians 4:1).

How much can a genuine Christian sin? Only God knows the answer. But no one who loves Jesus wants to find out.
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These are good supplements to this devotion:
Grace Can't Be Earned
Are Christians Saints or Sinners?

Scriptures that refute the belief that you can love Jesus without obeying Him:

1 John 5:4: everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.

1 John 5:18: We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; the One who was born of God protects him, and the evil one cannot touch him.

1 John 3:9: No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

1 John 2:29: If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:6: No one who remains in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has seen Him or known Him.

John 14:23: Jesus replied, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

John 8:51: Truly, truly, I tell you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.

John 14:15: If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14:21: Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.

John 14:24: Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. The word that you hear is not My own, but it is from the Father who sent Me.

John 15:10: If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and remain in His love.

How Much Can a Christian Sin and still be saved?


Half-Truths Many Christians Believe (#17-20)

Half-Truths Many Christians Believe (#17-20)

This is part 5 in the series "Half-Truths Many Christians Believe."

Half-truth #17: I only need to honor parents who are worthy of honor.

https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2015/12/lets-grow-up.html
It's a command with no age limit and no exceptions, a command with a promise attached.  Yet many Christians disregard, marginalize, and disrespect their parents. Why? Because they don't understand the meaning of honor and they don't believe God when He promises to bless those who obey.

These links explain more:
Let's Grow Up!
Honoring God by Honoring Our Parents
Speck-Finders
Bless Your Marriage: Love Your Mother-in-law

Half-truth #18: God's love is unconditional.

https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2009/09/better-than-unconditional-love.html
Satan is always happy to mislead people. No wonder the word "unconditional" has become the most popular description of God's love even though it's not found in Scripture and is responsible for many misunderstandings. God's love is eternal, incredible, unbelievable, merciful, awesome, perfect, undeserved, and conditional. Describing God's love as unconditional lowers the beauty and perfection of His love. 

These links explain more:
Why God's Love is Better than Unconditional
Scripture Never Calls God's Love Unconditional
Q&A About Unconditional Love

Half-truth #19: God literally forgets my sins when He forgives them.

https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2017/01/we-must-define-forget-correctly-as-it.html
In the legal sense, God "forgets" our sins (i.e. no longer counts them against us). But He does not forget them in the literal sense. We need to quit confusing figurative poetic language with literal truths. If you don't believe in a flat earth, then you shouldn't believe God literally forgets your sins. And you shouldn't even hope that God forgets your sins in a literal sense. That would make Him less able to help you and no longer all-knowing.

These links explain more:
Forgive or Forget?
We Must Define Forget Correctly

Half-truth #20: We shouldn't talk about Hell with unbelievers.

https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2015/02/is-hell-necessary.html
Let's take our cues from Jesus. This link explains why:
Is it Necessary to Mention Hell When Sharing the Gospel? 



Half-Truths Many Christians Believe (#17-20)
 

Divine Guidance

Does God Still Speak in Dreams and Visions?

In the Old and New Testaments, God spoke in dreams and visions.

Does He still do that today?

Short answer: God does whatever He wants.

He can and does use dreams and visions today, but not as often as in early church history.

Why?

1. The Bible is complete and it is an indisputable source of truth.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2. God typically used dreams and visions to speak to prophets and apostles so they could transmit His truth to His people. Those messages became part of Scripture. Now, leaders, teachers, and pastors transmit God’s message by teaching Scripture. 

See Romans 15:4 and Hebrews 4:12.

3. When God speaks today in dreams or visions, it’s for specific instruction, guidance, warning, or encouragement for an individual, group, or church. It's not Scripture (not meant for the Body of Christ as a whole) and should be cautiously tested.(1) 

See Acts 10:1-15.(2) 

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(1) 1 Corinthians 14:29 speaks of prophecy in general, but it would apply to dreams and visions as well. 

(2) This passage gives an example of two types of visions: The first given to an individual for his specific situation, the second given to an apostle for instruction to the whole Body of Christ. The first is a type of vision that may happen today. The second is a type of vision that ended when Scripture was completed.

I encourage you to do the Bite Size Study on this devotion. It offers some warnings about dreams and visions and also gives Old and New Testament examples for you to study.

Does God Still Speak Through Dreams and Visions?

Who Changed the Price Tags?

Beware: Satan changed the price tags in our world.

If someone snuck into a store one night and switched all of the price tags, we’d immediately recognize the error. 

But we’ve grown used to the switched price tags in our world.

When Satan convinced Eve that her relationship with God wasn’t as valuable as the benefits of a forbidden fruit, the values in our world were turned upside down.

That’s why we highly pay and highly praise many immoral, selfish people while ignoring many godly men and women.

It’s why we undervalue things that take hard work and commitment (like marriage), and overvalue shallow, temporary pleasures.

But Christians should be different because “Everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:16-17).

Let's seek daily to do the will of our loving God!
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These 1-minute devotions also address our Christian values:
Do You Value What God Values?
We're Valuable Because of the Name

Beware: Satan changed the price tags in our world.


13 Instructions for Dealing with Mistreatment

13 Instructions for Dealing with Mistreatment from Psalm 37

When we face injustice, mistreatment, slander, hatred, jealousy, or resentment Psalm 37 has a rich message for us.

1. Don’t fret (worry). verses 1,8
See also: Philippians 4:6
2. Don’t envy the success of bad people. v.1
See also: 1 Corinthians 13:4
3. Trust, hope, and find refuge in the Lord. v. 3,9,40
See also: Proverbs 3:5
4. Commit our way to God. v.5
See also: Proverbs 3:6
5. Wait patiently for the Lord. v.7,34
See also: James 5:7-11
6. Don’t become angry. v.8
See also: James 1:19-20
7. Be content. v.16
See also: Philippians 4:12-13
8. Remember God cares for the righteous. v.18-19,23-24,28,32-33,39-40
See also: 1 Peter 3:12.
9. Remember God’s faithfulness. v.25
See also: Psalm 25:10
10. Don’t return evil. v.27
See also: Romans 12:17-21
11. Speak wisely. v.30
See also: James 1:5
12. Follow God’s Word. v.31
See also: Psalm 119:9-16
13. Look for Godly examples. v.37
See also: 1 Corinthians 11:1

Concerning the wicked:
1. The Lord laughs at them. v.13
2. Their plans will backfire. v.15
3. Their plans, lives, and memories will die. v.2,10,17,20,33,34,36,38

The righteous will:
1. Inherit “the land” (peace, a future). v.3,9,11,22,29,37,39
2. Be granted their desires. v.4*
3. Be proven right. v.6
4. Be loved and enjoyed by God. v.23,29
5. Not be condemned. v.33
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* The righteous will be granted their desires because they desire the will of God. For a full explanation see Whose Heart Desires

To see an example of creative journaling using Psalm 37, check out Psalm 37 - Jesus Journaling.

13 Instructions for Dealing with Mistreatment from Psalm 37


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