Q. I write to you feeling very embarrassed and downcast. I love the Lord Jesus but there is sin in my life I don’t seem to get victory over.
Sometimes I feel that I’m not really born again and that I’m only deceiving myself. But I must state that I don’t only believe God exists but know He does and that only Jesus can save me, because I definitely have no way of saving myself and have received the free gift of salvation, but only to go on embarrassing myself and the Lord’s Name whom I confess. I know Satan must be laughing all the way and it makes me feel even worse. Sometimes I feel like committing suicide to stop from being what I am, but only to doubt that I’m saved and then would go to hell, where I know I belong, but really don’t want to go there. I always walk around waiting for God to punish me, it’s become an expectation.
I have asked the Lord that I would write you honestly and prayed that He would give you advice so you can give it to me. I don’t want to go or be lost. Please help.
A. Almost every Christian has this kind of problem, some worse than others. Even the great Paul admitted that he couldn’t keep himself from sinning. Romans 7:7-8:39 are written about this. Basically Paul said that no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t prevent the sin in his life, but that being saved, God knew it wasn’t Paul who was sinning, but the sin nature that dwells within him. Because Jesus had rescued Him from sin God no longer condemns him.
Those who live according to the sin nature have their minds set on sinning and feel no remorse when they do. We who live according to the Spirit have our minds set on pleasing God and feel great remorse when we sin. It’s a sign that we’re saved. But in the midst of that remorse we have to remember that God sees us not as we are but as we will be when we’re perfected. (2 Cor. 5:17) He can do this because Jesus died for all the sins of our lives, past present and future. This is why when we sin, all we have to do is confess and we’re immediately forgiven and purified from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)
If you’ve confessed then you’ve been forgiven and purified, for God is just and faithful. The guilt you feel is from Satan and you must turn your energies toward resisting him. (James 4:7-8) He’s trying to convince you that you aren’t worthy to receive God’s forgiveness, but God has clearly stated that you are. Romans 8:38-39 promises that nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, and that includes Satan. It also includes you. Stop thinking about how bad you are and start thinking about how good God is. (Phil 4:4-9)