I remember as a child asking God to forgive me and accept me into His family, but afterward, every time I sinned, I would worry that maybe God had kicked me out of His family or that He didn’t love me anymore.
I made it an almost daily habit to ask God back into my heart. I never really knew for sure where I stood with God, and so prayed daily to thank Him for loving me if He still did, but if He did not, then would He please forgive me and start loving me again.
I didn’t really have too many major sins to be worried about. It was just the normal kid stuff, such as talking back to my parents, getting mad at one of my sisters, or stealing a piece of penny candy from the glass bowl on the pastor’s desk at church.
Asking the Devil into My Heart
One time, though, I heard that a true Christian could never be possessed by the devil, so I decided to test whether or not I was a true Christian by praying to the devil and inviting him into my heart.
I remember feeling relieved afterward that I could still name the name of Jesus and pray to God, but for many years after that, I wondered if I had in fact been possessed by the devil and he was just deceiving me into thinking I had not.
So I prayed and begged for God’s forgiveness and that He would keep me in His family.
Getting Addicted to Porn
In Junior High and High School, I fell into a sin which I could never seem to beat. This was a sin which most males struggle with most of their lives, but which few Christians talk about. It was pornography. This cycle of sin led me into a cycle of shame, guilt, and fear, which then led to tearful confessions, repentance, and promises to never do it again, only to fall right back into it a few days or weeks later.
Similar sorts of sins, problems, and fears followed me into college, adulthood, marriage, and even into my first years as a pastor.
Finding Freedom in God’s Love and Grace
It was during college that I first began to see some of the central truths of the gospel, and it was because of these truths that I first began to find the freedom, liberty, and joy in my relationship with God that I had often heard about but had rarely experienced.
These gospel truths liberated me from the fear of God’s rejection and the shame of my sin.
Later, during my years as a pastor, I came to understand the limitless freedom of God’s grace, and how to invite people into a relationship with God centered on grace instead of on our own performance.
In more recent years, these truths have continued to blossom, flourish, and grow into a certainty about the centrality of God’s unconditional love for everything in the life of the Christian. The fact that God’s love is unconditional means that there is nothing we need to do (or stop doing) to earn it, keep it, or prove it.
In my course, The Gospel According to Scripture, I share some of the truths with you that I have learned over the past couple decades which have helped and encouraged me.
I share with you what I have learned about God’s infinite love, grace, and forgiveness. I want you to begin to experience these truths in your own life, so that you not only come to a fuller understanding of the gospel, but so that you can actually begin to experience the promises and freedoms of the gospel in a real and tangible way.
If you take the course, you will see that God is pure love, that God’s love for you is unconditional and unadulterated. Once you see this, your fear and shame will fade away, because there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). You will come to recognize that since God loves you completely and unconditionally, there is nothing you need to do to earn or keep God’s love for you.
Want to learn more about the gospel? Take my new course, "The Gospel According to Scripture."
The entire course is free for those who join my online Discipleship group here on RedeemingGod.com. I can't wait to see you inside the course!
Wow! You torched my heart . I stayed in fear that may be am alone and sometimes felt i should just remain without salvation because mantaining is difficult.
Rimsha Yaqoob Mashi says
I have to be really honest here, and say that I am afraid this just might be too good to be true, and I think it is because I have been quite badly traumatised by past experiences. Something inside me is afraid of more disappointment and rejection. But equally, it is a sin to doubt because God is perfect and above that, and I know He hates unbelief (eg. His people in the wilderness), so I feel caught betwixt and between…… well, you know ….
Christine man will always let you down but Jesus never lets us down he is always there for us no matter what we have been through or are going through he brings healing to our hurts forgiveness and restores us to who we were meant to be.Our past doesnt define us, in Christ we find our identity and the best that we can be it is simple we just have to trust him and follow him..brentnz
Maria Lee says
Scarlet sin shall be as white as snow. That is how powerful Jesus is in changing us and how thorough He is in cleansing us. As good as new!
Hi, Jeremy! Love reading you. The two last sites I found lately have given me great insights and pleasures. Yours was the very last.
On the one before yours I found this podcast that has lots to do with your post.
Please, take a look:
Jeremy Myers says
Thanks, I’ll check it out!
WARD KELLY says
Funny, I was just reading some of the verses in 1 John such as:
“1 John 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.”
“1 John 2:4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.”
“1 John 3:6 Those who live in Christ don’t go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven’t seen or known Christ.”
“1 John 3:8-10 The person who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason that the Son of God was revealed was to destroy what the Devil has been doing. No one who has been born from God practices sin, because God’s seed abides in him. Indeed, he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born from God. This is how God’s children and the Devil’s children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God.”
These are very hard verses Jeremy, what would you say to the new Christian, or even an old Christian about balancing out the wonderful limitless grace of the true believer, and these verses which seem to heap fiery coals of condemnation on the believer who struggles with sin.
Jeremy Myers says
I hope to do some teaching about 1 John sometime here on this site. John’s message is often misunderstood. He is dealing with an early form of Gnosticism and trying to correct their errors. He is saying that while Christians do sin (1 John 1:8-10), this sin does not come from the position of fellowship with God or walking in the light, but from a position of being out of fellowship with God and walking in darkness.
brent Tamatea says
Ward first there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus condemnation and guilt are from the enemy to shame us to make us feel bad about ourselves and to think that God doesnt love us anymore.God convicts us of our sin and brings us to repentance.It seems the harder we try to overcome our sins the greater the battle within and the sin seems to get stronger.The way to overcome our weaknesses is to admit to God that we cant do it in our strength and ask the holy spirit to empower us and he helps us in our weakness it certainly worked for me.I used to be a carnal christian i never experienced the power of God to change my life until i did this now my life has been transformed its not hard being a christian and i desire to Love the Lord with all my heart and share his love with others.brentnz
I never get replies! 😉
One thing that it is hard to understand or agree is why on earth the condition to get good stuff is to believe!!!
One cannot force heart to love. Either one loves or doesnt.
In spite of that most important commendments are: Love God above all things and your brothers like yourself.
God KNOWS we do not know how to do that!!!! We NEED to ask HIM this GRACE!
Alone we cannot!!
It is also impossible to believe….either your mind finds Christ, sees Christ, feels Christ, or it doesnt.
One CANNOT force oneself to trick ones heart/mind into “believing”.
Why would Jesus impose this condition in order to have his deep! unconditional! love! for humankind?
Either is a free gift or it has a price. A “curious” price.
Imagine someone saying: you are my kid if you believe so. You will inherit my genes and my wealth if u believe you are mine.
Otherwise you will be kicked out of all good there is in this world.
(“Surrender” is easier for me to understand than “believe”. It depends more on my will than in my beliefs. Surrender can lead to believe eben though you o not understand some parts.)
Jeremy Myers says
I used to try to reply to every comment, but this has become difficult as the number of comments has increased. Sorry!
You ask a very good question. Don’t think of “believing” as a price. Think of it more as God wanting to know who will accept His offer. God does not force Himself on anyone. God is not going to force people into a relationship with Him.
So what else can He do?
He seeks to show people what He is really like, that He loves them, forgives them, and wants them in His family, and then He makes it as simple as possible for people to join the family: He says “Just believe!”