24 November, 2010

The One in Charge

I am about to rock your churchy, religious rowboat. Are you ready for it? It is going to shock those of you who have been rooted and institutionalized to think a certain way about God. You are probably going to cut me off when I say it - or perhaps you will keep reading, but you will be so upset in your mind that it will all go straight over your head. I hope that neither are true. This is something I have come to realize over the past few months, and it makes more and more sense with each passing day. Ready? Here we go: you have more power over your life than God.


Are you still with me? Angry yet? It is true, though. Think about this for a moment: if the Bible says that "by his stripes we are healed" (Isa 53:5), and yet you still walk around declaring "I'm sick, my head hurts, I can't see anyway of this leaving..." whose words win out? If Jesus said, "He who the Son sets free is free indeed" (John 8:32) and you continue to declare that your sins are beyond forgiving; that you have just been too bad; that God could never use a person like you; whose words win out? The point is, God has already declared us free from all sin, sickness, disease, poverty, addiction, depression - you name it, He's fixed it. Yet we continue to fight and struggle against them all. It all starts with our thinking and our speaking. We need to get our attitudes fixed on this one.

Confession is the engine; it is where the power lies. Our freedom is found when we continually declare the Word of God over the word of anybody else. If you are sick, then speak the Words of healing found in Scripture over your life. Do it continually. I never said I had a fast remedy. The devil won't suddenly go on vacation because you got a revelation from God's Word on how to get healed. If anything, he's going to fight harder. This is a lifestyle choice; one that we all must make. If you still struggle with addiction, even though you are already a Christian, then find verses on freedom and declare them over and over. Understand that you free already from whatever struggles you are facing. You see, somewhere along the line we got the notion that becoming a Christian fixed the problem immediately. When we opened our eyes after saying that first prayer and still felt a temptation to sin, we caved - then we got confused. Then the church got the idea that we are in the process of being saved. Excuse me? Did you just call Jesus a liar? He said you were free. Now. When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, your spirit is remade. You are born again into a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come (2Corinthians 5:17). How many people do you see acting that way in our churches? It does not happen often enough. Our spirits are made new, but our minds must be continually renewed in the things of God, so that our thinking lines up with what has happened in our spirit. We are talking about being continually renewed, not being continually "resaved". You are saved, free and clear. Now you must be trained to think and act accordingly. That takes finding out God's Word - such as this passage in 2Corinthians -  and confessing it over and over again, making it central to all that we are.

Confession is what drives our faith - in every arena. If you confess sickness, lack and depression, you will be sick, broke and sad. I know this from personal experience. Declaring the joy of the Lord brings forth joyfulness. Declaring the freedom I have in Christ solidifies the work He has accomplished in me. Declaring my love for my wife - to her, myself, God, and that little worm - solidifies my love in my heart. We have both found that to be central to our marriage. We speak our love, we cultivate it, and it grows more everyday. If we ever get lax in our confessions - of faith, love, or anything else the Lord has told us - we quickly backslide into bickering, fear, or depression. Confession is what drives faith. We are not talking about lying to ourselves. This is not a form of spiritual coercion, but declarations of our faith in God and in His Word. The Word of God is likened to a double-edged sword in Scripture (Hebrews 4:12), because it is the weapon we are to use when dealing with spiritual oppression. It is what will defeat our addictions. It will bring a final end to lack. It will finish off our sicknesses and disease. The Word of God is what will solidify the work He is doing in your life.

We have beaten that "God is Sovereign" notion to death. God is Sovereign, yes; He has planned your life from before the foundation of the world. But He will not go against His Word. His Word says we have dominion over all the works of His Hands; so we have the ability to make a real mess of things. We need to shake the idea from our minds that everything that happens is a direct result of God's making. God does not make bad things happen. He may allow them to happen, yes; He does not orchestrate their existence. Often times, it is our own fault that something has come against us. We have let the devil walk in and take what is ours on a whim. We, through our own doubt and unbelief, have tied up the hands of God. God responds to faith! If you do not have any, God cannot respond to it. If you have negative faith, then you leave the door open for negative things to happen. Faith is a spiritual law that will operate, for good or bad, in your life. We have a greater say in what happens in our lives then we realize. God instructs us to cast all of our cares upon Him (1Peter 5:7). There are numerous places where God instructs us to lay aside worry, not to fear, not to take on our cares... Why? Because care is a form of pride. It is saying that God cannot handle your situation appropriately, so you need to take it back and worry about it and how to handle it. That is when you become greater than God. That is when the trouble starts. You have more power than you think...

Our freedom from sin is found in our confessions of freedom. Our healing is found through our confessions of divine health. Our love is found through our constant declarations of God's love working within us. These are statements of faith. They open the door for God to move and work more freely in our lives. Jesus is still on the throne, yes; but He cannot operate to the fullest extent in your life if you continue to handcuff Him with your words. He is Lord when you make Him Lord; when you place everything at His feet and let Him have control over everything. Simply saying a prayer in church does not give God authority to operate fully on your behalf. You must operate in faith, the way He operates (Romans 4:17). You must listen to Him and follow what He says. You need to seek His wisdom in all things. That is how you place God at the center of your life; that is how Jesus is able to be Lord; that is how the Holy Spirit is free to work and operate more fully in your life. Shut down the devil with confessions of faith. Spend time, daily, with God and in His Word so that you may know Him more fully, and so you are better equipped for what He has in-store. Do not be hearers only, but be doers (James 1:22). Simply hearing God's Word will do nothing. Action is required on your part. If you respond appropriately, then the doors of heaven break open, and God can move and flow fully in your life.

16 November, 2010

That You May Not Sin

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" ~1John 2:1-2, NIV 

First, notice yet another purpose for the writing of 1John: so that we may not sin. We have learned that God wants us to have perfect fellowship with Him and His Son, Jesus; as well as, the completion of our joy.  Now we have another point to strive for: stop sinning. Religion teaches us that we are so bound to our previous sinful nature that it is impossible to go without sinning each day. However, that would be calling God a liar. We have already seen in 1John 1:7, that God keeps us from unrighteousness in all its forms. So here it is reiterated to us: do not sin. God does not call us to do anything that we cannot do, for He has given us His Spirit and His mindset. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (KJV). Christ is not Jesus last name. Christ means the Anointed One and His Anointing. That is why the King James Version rightly puts it "which strengtheneth," not "who strengtheneth." God’s anointing on our lives is what gives us the strength to do anything He wants us to – such as living a life free from sin. Again, as we saw in the last verses of chapter 1, change your mindset on the sinful nature. It can and should be conquered. Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, NKJV). Let us begin to learn to walk out our freedom. Confess your freedom, even when it may look or feel like you are not free. Jesus said you are free, and as one preacher I have heard puts it, “red words win.”

Reading 1John up to this point can be very discouraging for many of us. It certainly has been at times for me. For many Christians, it is not so simple to just “stop sinning.” We have been bound up in our lifestyles for many years. Our thinking is set in its ways; our habits are fixed; our selfish, lustful, proud, evil hearts are running on all cylinders. It does not help that we do not often hear about just how powerful the saving blood and grace of Jesus are. We are often bombarded by Christian teaching that over-emphasizes the sinful state of the believer. Even when we do find a balanced teaching on the powerlessness of sin, John has already pointed out that we will still fall at times, and that it would be foolish to deny that. So, if we are to walk in the light of God, yet we still sin, what do we do? John quickly calms those concerns here. Look at the completion of verse 1 from the Amplified bible: “But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father – [it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action].”  Look at that: Jesus is praying for you. He is praying on our behalf, that we may not fall into sin. He is always keeping watch over us, so that we will not fall back into our old ways of thinking and acting. Look at 1Corinthians 10:13,

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it ~NIV

Now that we are believer’s, now that Jesus is has been made Lord over our lives, we have and Advocate Who is faithful to always provide a way of escape against whatever the devil may throw our way. If we slip, He will pray for us. If we confess we have slipped, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness that comes as a result of our slip. Do not be discouraged when you fall, but be like the prophet Micah, who said, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8, KJV). If the enemy knocks you down, don’t lay there and wallow in your sinfulness, get up!

We need to stop magnifying the sinful nature we are in. We must remember where we came from; but we must also make acknowledgment that we were that. When I hear pastors or teachers talk about how sinful we are, I want to walk out of the room. I am tired of going to church and being told what I can’t do.  Our sin is not too great for God. Jesus took on the sins of the entire world. He has shed blood to eradicate every sinful thought and deed from the entire human race. Yet, most Christians continue to wallow in their sinfulness. We are just imperfect, unholy, unrighteous sinners… Well, we got the imperfect part right, but that was it. We will not be perfect until heaven, but we can be perfect in a moment. We can live holy lives. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2Corinthians 5:21). We have put to death the sinful nature with Him. As Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20, NASB). If Christ lives in you, and He has already died for the entire world’s sins, and you belong in Him, and “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24), then why do we place such a strong emphasis on how sinful we currently are? Again, we do not deny our sinfulness; but we need to stop claiming it as part of our current identity. Jesus died to eradicate it; we have put it to death. That does not mean that urges will go away. The devil is still going to fight you. Look at this passage in James:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. ~James 1:12-15, NASB

The devil is still going to tempt you. The fight is on. James gives us a warning about how we can slide down the slippery slope back into our old sinful habits and nature. Our own evil desires must be put to death on a daily basis, so that we no longer leave a foothold for the devil to drag us back into sin and death. Crucify the flesh daily, not just on Sundays. Get up in the morning and begin to confess these scriptures over your life. Confession is a huge key to walking out a life free from sin. Jesus wants us to confess our sins so that they may be forgiven. Then we must confess that our sins are forgiven and that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Please do not operate under the assumption that God cannot handle your sin. Jesus took on the sins of the whole world. Your sins are no longer a focal point in His mind. Now they need to stop being one in yours.

15 November, 2010

You Can't Bring Me Down

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty...There shall no evil befall thee, neither any plague come nigh thy dwelling" ~ Psalm 9:1, 10 (KJV).

I have noticed something as I read through the Scriptures: it is becoming very easy to tell who is serious about the things of God, and who is simply playing church. If this is a religion to you, you are going to get burned. How many Christians are really dwelling in God? Jesus told His disciples many times to "abide in Me." The New Testament epistles echo that same sentiment. Yet many of us do not dwell in Him, or even stop by to say "hi". It is very easy to tell. Jesus was concerned with our "fruit": the results of living and walking in Him. How often do we look around our churches and see broke, sick, unhappy, unloving, angry, faithless people? That is how we know who is dwelling in God, and who is playing a religious game.

Let us not get the crazy notion, however, that nothing bad will ever happen to supposed "good Christians." Far from it. Jesus said "in this world you will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration" (John 16:33, Amplified). However, He admonishes us to "be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you]." The devil will fight you. However, Jesus already told us that he cannot take us down. When Satan's messenger was constantly harassing Paul, Jesus told Him "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2Corinthians 12:9, NASB). Earlier in 2Corinthians, Paul speaks of God's grace by saying, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (9:8). In other words, when the devil comes against you, take him out! Jesus grace is more than sufficient for you to handle whatever that pesky little worm throws your way. Jesus has already deprived him of power to bring you down, and has given you the grace to handle any device he may bring against you. In fact, His grace is perfected in those times! So do not think that "good Christians" do not face obstacles. Perhaps some have simply learned how to combat them better... Because they spend more time in God and in His Word.

Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Our faith is one of the key weapons in fighting this spiritual battle we are in everyday. Faith is referred to as a "shield" that "will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16, NASB). That implies that the devil is still shooting at you. Placing your life in the hands of Jesus does not mean everything is puppy dogs and rainbows until His return. However, He has fully equipped us to withstand everything the devil throws our way. However, it is up to the individual whether or not to take that equipment. The Word of God produces the faith necessary to handle everything that life throws our way.Our salvation, health and healing, prosperity, hope for tomorrow... All done by faith. Our world is a disaster right now. If you do not trust God to take care of you and assist you, it will bring you down. You must spend as much quality time as you can with God, and in His Word. Abide in Him. Dwell in his secret place. The devil can't find you if you are hiding in the secret places of God. (Duh!) He will show you how to handle each and every trial that will come your way, and He will reassure you that in Him, "no evil shall befall thee, neither any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

12 November, 2010

Who You With? 1John 4:1-6

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."

Who are you listening to? Every spirit is not from God – even in church. John is telling us to watch out for what we listen to and believe. You will find out how renewed you mind is based upon what you believe coming from the pulpit. You’ll discover your depth in God based upon what lies the devil can still whisper in your ear. John gives us a simple test: “Who’s Jesus?” You feel oppressed by something? Ask it Who Jesus is. That is going to sound very strange at first, but it is the test we are given in Scripture. Imagine asking a financial consultant Who Jesus is? That may be very uncomfortable (actually, it is); yet that is the test. Test the spirit of anything you hear against the Word of God.
You will find out just how worldly you are based upon what you listen to and believe. John places an emphasis on teaching (false prophets in verse 1), but this applies to any arena of life. The world listens to the teachings and advice of the worldly. “World” is not a word that is interchangeable with planet. In our culture we have gotten too flippant with our word usage. We use the word “love” for almost everything we find any form of enjoyment out of.  It is not the same thing as loving someone, and we need to be extremely careful about how we use our words. In this case,” world” is a system or a mindset that is contrary to the Word of God. This can apply to any area of life. If you are given a bad report from the doctor, you have two options on who to believe: believe the doctor that you are sick and nothing can save you, or believe that “by His stripes you were healed.” In this current economic climate, you either believe the financial “experts” who scream recession, or you believe “my God shall supply all my needs; God delights in the prosperity of His people; He will give you the desires of your heart; the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” The list goes on. Who are you listening to? How renewed is your mind? 

Any spirit of this world and its systems is beneath you. Anyone or anything that tells you to live below your covenant right as a child of God is not from God (now we are focusing in on the pulpit). Calamity, sickness, disease, destruction, poverty, death… These are not God’s tools meant to humble His people. We are greater than these, because He is greater than these. Jesus said that we would have tribulation. There is no denying that. But He also said that He has already overcome the tribulation of the world, and deprived it of power to harm you (John 16:33, see Amp). We are more than conquerors by Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37). And here in 1John we are told again “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Nothing that this world can throw at us has the power to destroy us – unless we let it. We are to be eradicating, not embracing, the tribulations that come our way. Press the devil; use tribulation as “exercise equipment” (read James 1) It takes a full, growing knowledge of God, through His Word. Otherwise, when you receive a bad report, or some preacher tells you that God is using some calamity in life to humble you, or you read some Christian living book focusing on how lowly and puny your existence is in God’s eyes, you will fall right into that trap. You will be rendered almost useless for the kingdom of God, because you will be broke, broken, and perfectly content to stay that way, because “it’s God’s Will.” If we are biblically illiterate we cannot do much for God or against the devil. Get a firm grasp on God’s promises and use them to shut up any attempt to steal them.

05 November, 2010

Thoughts on 1John 1

1John 1 “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

The Amplified bible gives John’s first line as, “[We are writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning.”  Everything in this letter John wrote is the testimony of Jesus. In John’s gospel, he writes,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory ~John 1:1-4, 14)
Jesus is the Word of life. And John is proclaiming this life to us. It is a letter based in personal experience; John is telling us before he says anything else, “trust me on this one, I saw Him. This is what He told me. This is how He wants us to live, and move, and have our being.” Matthew Henry writes of this passage,
The apostles declared what they had seen and heard, that believers might share their comforts and everlasting advantages. They had free access to God the Father. They had a happy experience of the truth in their souls, and showed its excellence in their lives.
As we read throughout 1John, remember that these men had seen Jesus. They are telling us this stuff works. This is how we come to know and fellowship with God the Father: through the “Word made flesh.”

Knowledge of Jesus is the way to fellowship with the Father. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). John is continuing Jesus’ mission to bring all people to fellowship and life through their knowledge of Him. We are to be partakers and partners in this fellowship, and our fellowship is to be, first and foremost, with the Lord. In verse 3 of the Amplified bible, we see that this fellowship with the Father and His Son is “a distinguishing mark of Christians.” What distinguishes us from the world around us is our fellowship with God. Look around at our churches today and you will probably find a large quantity of lukewarm Christians. These are the folks who are “Sunday Christians.” They come to church every Sunday, sing some songs, try to stay awake during the sermon, and then before they even finish the drive home they are cussing up and storm and talking about how bad life is. They do not give God much of a thought for the next six days until they return to church the following Sunday. What will distinguish us from the madness and stress of the world’s system is our fellowship with God and Jesus. How much time do you spend with Him each day?

Notice the second purpose John states for writing: “And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be made complete]” (v. 4, Amplified). There are too many unhappy Christians today. It is becoming more difficult to distinguish a believer from a non believer. John did not simply write this letter to get some stuff off of his chest, but so that we would be educated in how to live this Christian life more fully. A full, mature life in Jesus results in joy! If you are living a life with a depletion of joy, then you have picked up the write book. Read it; meditate it; and apply it. Simply knowing something won’t amount to anything if you do not apply the knowledge you have. James writes, “But prove yourself doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jas 1:22). It is a delusion to think that simply knowing a large stack of bible verses will get you very far. Jesus made that point very clear, “If you continue in my Word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Diligently apply these principles found in 1John, and your joy will be made complete.

John’s first “report” of Him is: God is Light. God is true and holy, not a light bulb. He instructs us in Leviticus to “be holy, because I am holy” (Lev 11:44, NIV). There is not one unholy element of God. So, with John pointing us towards fellowship with Him, we will walk in the same manner as Jesus, because of our fellowship with Him. Our sinful nature cannot abide in God’s goodness and glory. Those who claim to be Christians, yet continue to live an unholy lifestyle, are branded as liars. Verse six in the Amplified says, “[So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [with the Gospel presents].” Throughout the book of 1John, we will see examples of how to pinpoint the “pretenders” in the faith. Simply put: look at their lifestyle. In this instance, John tells us it is impossible to walk in fellowship with God while continuing in our former ways of living and acting before we came to the knowledge of Christ. He then proceeds here to give us two tangible results we have of “really” walking in the Light of God, as written in the Amplified bible:
1.       “We have [unbroken] fellowship with one another”
2.       “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].”
Why do churches have so much in-fighting? According to John, our fellowship together should be true and unbroken – yet this is not often the case. Jesus prayed to the Father that we would be one. However, a brief scope of Christianity today shows that prayer is a far cry from being answered. Denominations are splitting the body of Christ into tiny pieces. We concern ourselves far too often with “being right,” than with being a loving family. Churches exclude others based upon whether a person has performed a religious exercise (baptism, communion, etc). Other times, those unhappy Christians we’ve already discussed wreak havoc on the congregation. I’ll admit, I have the same issue. Religion drives me up a wall. You want to see me upset; start talking about religion. But, here in Scripture we are given an excellent place to start fixing the problem: ourselves. If there are issues amongst our congregations, we must first take an inward look. Your relationship with Jesus will have a direct correlation on your relationship with others. Jesus said “abide in my love” (John 15:9). We will find many times in this book that love is the central key to all that God has in store for us. 1Corinthians 8:1b says, “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” Our quarrels about life, doctrine, the music, the lighting, and every other large or small issue that we find so prevalent in our congregations will be brought to a halt if we a conscious effort to walk in the Love of God. We can only do that by unbroken fellowship with Him.

Secondly, our deep fellowship with God - walking in the Light, as He is in the Light - removes sin and guilt. Not only does it remove our past sins, but it keeps us from it. Notice the words again in the Amplified bible: “keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations.” That is all-encompassing.  Simply put: as long as we walk in Christ, we can’t sin. The deeper I grow in the things of God, the more difficult it is for me to sin. Sin cannot abide in the Presence of God; God preserves us from sin when we live and move in His Presence. Do I still screw up? YES! But I am no longer a “sinner.” That word is not allowed in our house any longer.  When we screw up, it is because we have stepped out of walking in the Presence of God.  You cannot abide in God and be a sinner – the two natures conflict. You also cannot walk in God and be guilty. Look at Romans 8:1,
                “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the things of the flesh, but after the spirit” (KJV).
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the spirit” (Amplified).
A life that is based upon Jesus and His commandments is a life that is free from guilt and shame. If you find yourself unable to deal with the burden of a past transgression, get in the Word. Meditate on these principles. Find time to sit with Jesus, and let Him “give you a hug.” You cannot spend time in His Presence and still feel the weight of your sin. Psalm 16:11 says, In Your Presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever.” It is time that we stop placing such a heavy emphasis on our sinful nature, and begin to focus on what God has done for us. It is time that we become people of His Presence. That is where our lives are truly changed.

That being said, does this mean we simply discount the sinful nature of humanity? Of course not. That would be foolish. We are given a wonderful balance here. We are not perfect yet. If we claim not to have any sin, we are merely deceiving ourselves. The Amplified bible says, in verse 8, “If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].” It is foolish not to admit our sin. But it is also of no value to continuously admit our sin. Do not glorify the sinful nature. Jesus came to not only save us from the consequences of sin, but from sin itself. We cannot claim that we have no sin, or else Jesus died for nothing. However, the Truth of the Gospel is that, because of Jesus, we are not sinners anymore. God is continuously removing sin from our lives. That nature is no longer the dominate force of our lives. Notice the tense that John uses in verse 9 of the Amplified: it is past tense. We have sinned. “The Divine message” seen in verse 10 (again, go read this passage in the Amplified, it will really help you) is: I have sinned, but Jesus freed me from that sin, and He keeps me from returning to that sinful nature! Our mindsets must change in order for this to become a living reality. That’s why we read in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is.” Renewing is a continuous action. Our minds are to be daily transformed into the mind of Christ by fellowshipping with Him in His Word. Do not dwell on sin; dwell on Jesus. We hear all the time: “I’m a sinner saved by grace.” The mistake I see is that we place all the emphasis on the “I’m a sinner.” We need to focus on the “saved by grace.” That is the Truth of the Gospel in a nutshell. The Scripture says we are the righteousness of God. That needs to become our focal point. Do not deny sin, do not even deny that there are moments of failure; However, allow the Word to change your perspective on sin, through daily fellowship in the Presence of God.