Judging by the title of this post, I’ll be sharing some of the stuff I find myself sharing on Facebook. My posts are subject to challenge, please, these are not laws. These are how I understand, after praying, questioning & listening to other christians, and reading & studying for myself, using all the resources God has provided me with, including the internet. I’m simply sharing what I have learned and understood, not saying others are wrong and I am right.
I joined Facebook in 2008, when we first got our little laptop, because Irl asked me to. Then, again because he invited me, I started playing Elven Blood, and eventually, all four of the Blood Games. Now the thing about those games is that you are going to need party members. More players. In the game we play now, Castle Age, it is appropriately called an army. And of course, the more, the better.
To get army members, there are game groups, and members add each other and help in quests and monster fights. After exhausting my friend list, and adding almost everyone in Irl’s office who played Elven Blood back then, I was forced to do the mass add, as they are called. The very first one who accepted the friend request once commented on one status I posted: “Welcome to your mission field.”
I decided to take that seriously. He has since removed me from his list, but I still pray for him when he comes to mind. Still, I have to admit that being online has become the greatest faith-check in my life since I was a CB’er with the call sign Christian. It isn’t about flaunting my faith. It’s about reminding myself of my identity. It also makes me watchful, and alert.
And tighten my grip on Jesus, whose grip on me never slackens.
Thank You, Lord! 🙂
It is one thing to have your “face-to-face” friends ask you for insights and lessons you are learning as Jesus leads you. It is another thing to suddenly get mail from a complete stranger asking you questions about your faith. It is so, SO EASY to put up a front, a façade. After all, how will they check on me?
But who would I really be fooling? And who really loses if I did that? ME.
So I do my best to be as candid and truthful as I expect any person talking about Jesus would be. And I am amazed and humbled that these strangers say they are blessed by what I share.
He’s almost 20, from Uganda. He says he saw my comment in a discussion in the group Grace Folk, and decided that I’d be able to help him witha question.
“I was told that the book Destined To Reign has revelation about 1 John 1:9. Do you mind sharing it?”
Here’s my answer, copy-pasted from the message I sent back to him (formatting is impossible in FB private messages, so I’ll add them here):
First, I just wanna tell you that what I will share is how I came to understand 1 John 1:9 after Ptr. Prince said, in Destined to Reign, that confession is not necessary for forgiveness. I am not a bible school student or scholar, I just love asking God questions and looking for answers in His word, among other christians, then checking back with His word. ^_^
A lot of Christians grow up in faith thinking that 1 John 1:9 means that for your sins to be forgiven and fellowship with God restored, you must confess them. Ptr. Prince challenged that: “You don’t have to confess to be forgiven.” It made me look at the context of the verse, just to see which was right.
The verses before and after speak of not agreeing with God, claiming that we are without sin when God says that we are. Verse 9 goes: “if we confess our sins…” and then, i remembered something a pastor had preached on a long time ago:
CONFESS in Greek means “to say the same thing.” Simply, to VERBALLY AGREE. So this verse isn’t talking about HOW to be forgiven, but are simple statements of how we relate with God: do we claim to not have sin and call God a liar? Or do we say the same thing — confess — as God when he says we have sin? If we do agree/confess, then we will find that God is
faithful (He promised a Savior, and the Savior came)
and just (Jesus received the punishment for our sin, so God will no longer punish us for it because the sacrifice of Jesus COMPLETELY SATISFIED the justice of God)
And because the justice of God has been satisfied by Jesus, God now forgives us our sin, and more: He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. So He not only cancels our offenses (forgive), He enables us to please Him (cleansing from unrighteousness).
We are forgiven because of Jesus and what he has done, not because we confess or own up. What confession in that sense does — at least, for me — is to show me just how much God has forgiven me, just how much Jesus has done for me, just how much the Holy Spirit is working in me to become the spotless bride of the Lamb.
When I become aware of sin, I may feel ashamed, or worse, believe the accuser’s lie that I have no right to call myself a christian because I sinned, but God sees me as forgiven. If I should lose fellowship with God because I have sin, I BROKE OFF THE FELLOWSHIP, NOT GOD. God has once and for all declared us righteous in Jesus Christ. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. There was nothing we could have done to earn God’s forgiveness and favor, and there is nothing we can do to lose it. We can choose to ignore it, or even reject it, saying we are not worthy — but then again, who is? — but God no longer holds it back from us. So all I have to do is receive that forgiveness and favor.
So I have come to understand why Ptr. Prince said you don’t have to confess to be forgiven. Only Jesus’ blood is needed for forgiveness. Confession does not earn us forgiveness, but it shows who we belong to and walk with: Jesus.
I hope this answers your question…
God bless you more and more and more!!