Jonathan Powell's testimony "God Is Good! Sin, Dealing With The Past And Hope For The Future!" on 4/29/2016, 11:12am...
Isn't our God good! Not only does he save, not only did He send His only son to die for us but also give us an eternal amount of chances. This testimony is not of me but of the saving,restoring and hope filled Lord. I don't have a large amount of time so my long story which is one filled with the grace of the Lord shall be told in short and I apologise but I shall not go into a great deal of detail. I was born and raised by my gracious day Christ worshipping parents in a lovely Christian Family. I always thought I was a true child of God but in 2012 I was on a summer camps, camps which the Lord works greatly through. I realised that I was and am a wretch, a sinful unworthy human and I knew that John 3:16 was what the gospel is all about and the only way of Salvation. That I must not only believe and trust on Christ but also must accept Him as who He is and I needed a personal relationship with this amazing saviour...Jesus Christ. That night I accepted Christ into my life. I tried to live a life for Christ but sin entered in. Now I am not saying that a Christian is perfect for I know that we are all sinful and although we who are Children of the living God are declared holy the process of sanctification is a life long one. We shall not actually be holy and without sin until in heaven but God sees us as holy now for He sees Christ’s Righteousness clothing our wretchedness. Anyway.....I entered into sin once more. I was bullied and for this reason I wanted to be 'normal' so I tried to act as my rebellious 'friends'. I lived 3 lives. Good/Christian/God honouring child with my parents, Nice/hard worker with my teachers and wanna be rebel and 'normal' child with my friends. In this period which when added up was a short period I sinned sins which no one should, especially a Christian. So I was saved and assured that Christ was my saviour but I wondered away from my first love..Christ! I backslid not into unbelief but backslid into sin. After My backslidden period I went back for the third year running to the Camp I was saved on. My consciousness was overwhelming. I couldn't think straight and I cried. Who was I to firstly receive undeserved Forgiveness and then sin and say sorry and sin the same sin again. I repented truly. I knew I was wrong and that night I returned fully to my first love, my saviour,my king and my Lord! So far I have talked on my saving Lord, My forgiving and welcoming back Lord and now to close I would like to share on my Restoring and hope filled Lord who can be yours to. Since repenting and going back to my Lord I for the last year have had such a large battle and spiritual warfare with the devil. Guilt,shame,worry,regret and bad memories....Now I could write pages on this but I through prayer, advice,help and the grace of God have started overcoming the past and looking forward. Serving Him in my ministry and evangelising! I feel the problem for many like me is the moving on, leaving the past behind....,This is what I wrote in my book......
Before I move on and talk about sin it is so important for us to remember that we have ‘ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!’ So many people today don’t take sin for what it really is. The first step of being able to live an enjoyable and God honouring life is to realise how vile and WRONG sin actually is. It is our biggest problem. The concept of sin is so easily forgotten or watered down into thinking that it is not really as wrong as it is. Sin is a vast moral disease and it affects every human being from every where and background. The bible is so clear that not one of us is clean in God's eyes. To understand man in our sinful nature, we must go all the way back to the start of the Bible in Genesis 3. Even though the Bible tells us that the devil is behind sin we are not excused from our sin.
Here are a few verses that explain to us that we are sinners and there is only ONE way out of sin…..
Romans 3:23-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
1 John 5:17-All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
Mathew 9:13-But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 5:32-I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Sin is rebellion against God. When we sin we are acting wickedly (Daniel 9:5) and it is wrong. When we sin we are turning away from God which is called transgression. Do you want to ignore God, cast doubts upon Him? These next five points briefly sum up sin…
Sin starts in the heart.
Sin brings Gods wrath upon us.
Sin is our greatest problem.
It is the root of ALL evil.
It brings Hell which is separation from God.
We have all gone against the will of the Lord. Many people kid themselves in thinking they are being dealt with unfairly but the truth is that God is just and righteous! Many try so hard to be sinless but it does not lead anywhere. The reality is that all without Christ are headed to hell…. The one and only way is through Christ Jesus who died for US and defeated sin and the devil.
In Exodus 20 we learn that we must live our lives according to God. All the commandments God gave to us we are to keep. But if you turn to Romans 1 it lists all the sins we as sinners commit. We receive these rules from Exodus to guide and to glorify God, but unfortunately we fail to keep them…..
Verse 21- We have rejected God and not glorified Him.
Verse 22- We use the knowledge God has given us to dishonour Him.
Verse 23- We dishonour God and blasphemy against him and his son Jesus.
Verse 24- We think of lustful things and ruin our bodies.
The list goes on and on …. I am sure you have done most of those things if not all…. I know I have. As Christians, we are not perfect, far from it. We still sin and do things we regret. But the great thing is God doesn’t judge us for our sin any more! We must always try and be holy and right in God's eyes but by his grace we can be forgiven through the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord God is only angry when he needs to be. Sin separates us from God and his amazing glory. We must praise the Lord for his grace and mercy that he gives to us time and time again.
“And he said, if now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.”Exodus 34:9
As Christians it is so easy to fall into the slap hazard ways of “I will be fine, I am saved and sin can no longer grip me anymore...” If that’s your way of thinking then I urge you to consider. As a Christian you will face so many trials and temptations. The Devil is always trying to tempt you and pull you back into sin. Don’t get me wrong it is not a sin to be tempted, The Lord Jesus was tempted by the devil but Christ has never sinned. Sin is powerful and does destroy lives but you must stay by the Lords side. Grow in him and keep praying and reading his word. The Lord is the way. He is our shield and defender.
GUILT AND REGRET
First of all I would like to make clear that there are two types of guilt. True guilt and false guilt. The centre of guilt is sin. I am not saying it’s a sin to feel guilty, but sin is the cause. First you sin then the battle of guilt with many regrets. It’s not an uncommon feeling and process and it can be so hard to break the chain. If there is one place to seek advice on the problem of guilt, shame and regret it is in God’s word the Bible. To make this chapter simple yet effective and helpful I will give you an explanation on a topic and then questions with answers from scripture.
We must remember that we have all sinned. So many Christians who sin feels cut off and distant from God. But the truth is we are all sinners and God is always with us. Here are a few questions that you might want answers for.
Am I the only one to sin and am I short of Gods standard?
• “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
Do those in Jesus have any blame on them anymore?
• “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
How can God wipe out my sins?
• “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
Will God forgive me when I sin the same sin over and over again?
• “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19
If we are forgiven does God see our sin when he looks on us?
• “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Where can we have rest and comfort?
• “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Guilt in itself is not a sin; it can be a good thing because God can work through our minds reminding us that we have disobeyed Him. This guilt in our conscience may be from God telling us that we need to pray for a clean new heart like David did in Psalm 51. Also there is false guilt which is from the devil. Satan will put thoughts into our minds which could make us doubt Gods love for us. Leaving us feeling low, sad and unwanted. Do not believe any of these thought from the devil! Our God is a God who provides. In scripture he promises that if you go to the Lord and cry out to Him confessing he will forgive. When false guilt arises think of the hymn ‘Blessed assurance…..’
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood…….
Shame and regret
After the guilt will probably come shame and regret. You may have gone to the Lord and asked him to forgive. Thankfully the guilt is gone but the shame and regret lurks in the shadows and things remind you of what you did. We cannot change the past but we must learn from the past. Not dwelling on our sins but laying them before the Lord. The Lord has pressed the delete button on your sins, so why not delete them from your memory? So many people who claim to be Christians try so hard to be perfect, but we all sin and the key to life is keeping close to God who is our perfection. Here are a few verses to help you and encourage you if you are going through a rough time and dealing with shame and regret of past sins……
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies…...The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.” Psalms 6:6-7, 9
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 2 Timothy 4:7
Remember we are sinful and we alone are helpless, Christ our hope saves and restores. If you are not a child of the living God go to him as Lord and because He is the only merciful God He will save. If you who like I did have gone astray...Do Not Worry...Our Lord is a welcoming God and He will pardon our sin and forgive over and over again...Micah 7:18-19 is such a helpful part of the word of God!