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Once A Sinner, Always A Sinner

You have heard it said that once a sinner always a sinner but I tell you “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)”

This phrase “once a *blank* always a *blank*” has been used by members of all classes in society to keep the downtrodden down, to keep those who would renew themselves lose hope, to keep those who would repent and return under the leadership of the One True Savior, our One True God, Jesus Christ, stay in their sin and die.

I tell you this day that this statement, and all others like it are nothing but lies. Lies, that began with Satan since the beginning and are being perpetuated by his followers till this day. I call them lies because only one of these two ideas may be true: Either man is imperfect and that’s all he will ever be in this life, or Jesus came to die so that imperfect man may repent and be transformed into righteousness and become perfect. Either we remain sinners perpetually and thereby render Jesus’s sacrifice void, or Jesus’s sacrifice, for the forgiveness of our sins unto righteousness, is upheld and thereby renders void our old sinful ways. Both cannot stand.

I call all statements like “once a sinner always a sinner” and “we all know we’re not perfect” lies because, like in the beginning, they contradict the Word of God. In the beginning God said “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it YOU SHALL SURELY DIE. (Gen 2:16, 17)” What did Satan say to Eve in contrast? “YOU WILL NOT SURELY DIE. (Gen 3:4)” Only ONE of those two statements and ideas can be true.

When Eve lived according to the Word of God, she had life abundantly. But what was the result of her believing a lie (an idea opposing what God decrees) and living her life according to that lie? Death, Pain, Suffering and all that currently ails mankind.

This same phenomenon is happening today. Jesus, God Almighty, and any true follower of His, come to offer mankind the same choice God presented in the garden – Believe my Words and Live according to them. Likewise, Satan, The Deceiver, and his minions, come to offer another opposing idea – You do not need to believe God’s Words and live according to them to have life – one that if believed will keep mankind in a state of death.

Jesus, the King Himself, tells us to “Be ye therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

Therefore, any word, any interpretation that contradicts this, is a lie, no matter their subtlety or ‘good’ intentions.

If you would believe it, any statement contradicting this Word of God, any Word of God, is said only to keep us in our current state of disobedience and death. Even if the speaker is none other than ourselves.

What most people do not realize is that each time they utter the phrase “We’re only human” or others like it, they are in fact “conforming to this world” and thereby rejecting the very salvation Jesus suffered and died to bring them. They are accepting their current situation, knowledge, understanding over the one Jesus taught, lived, and died upholding.

Consider for a moment when people say “once a *blank*, always a *blank*.” What they are communicating is that it is impossible to be or to do anything except what you currently are.

Let us run a quick test. Fill in the blank with a word of your choosing:

ONCE A ___________, ALWAYS A ____________.

I bet that pretty much all of you fill in the blanks with something negative. You can also be certain that whenever this type of language is used it is referring to a negative state of being.

Perhaps the most debilitating lie man ever utters is “We all know we’re not perfect” or “We’re only human” because it perpetuates living a sinful life continually, and it provides its believers with a sense of unity, a sense of community, a sense of belonging, all while bestowing upon them a death sentence. It essentially says “at least we’ll die together!” This all too common phrase is a subtle killer. It paralyzes those who are able to save themselves by lulling them into a false sense of peace under a banner of togetherness. A concept often utilized by cult leaders.

It is not the togetherness, nor the dedication to an idea greater than oneself that is evil or deadly, but the devotion of oneself to a lie.

Here is the lie: That is it better to accept defeat – to accept the status quo; to accept what the eye can see – and do little to nothing differently, rather than hope – to strive for the better that we all know and are able to perceive beyond our current situation- and live differently by accepting the gift of God which is righteousness unto eternal life.

On the one hand, if you believe that “once a sinner always a sinner” or “man can only be imperfect” then all that awaits you is eternal death. On the other hand, if you believe there is an opportunity, another way, to not only live a better life here, but to have life eternal – a way made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus – it is only logical, reasonable, to pursue that hope with all of your faculties; that is if your true intent is to have life.

Imagine being in a house on fire and you are told by people you trust and love that there is no fire, or that there is no way out, that inhaling smoke and/or burning until you die is the way of things. That is the way of those who say “Once a *blank* always a *blank*” or “We’re not perfect”.

Imagine on the other hand while you are in that burning house, a seeming stranger enters the burning house to let you know that not only is the house indeed on fire but there is also a way out – a challenging path for sure- and all you have to do is give up your imminently-fading life in the burning house and follow Him. That is the way of those who believe that Jesus “who knew no sin [became] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)” “That we might be “therefore perfect as [our] heavenly Father is perfect.”

If your priority is to remain with those you trust and love, then you will surely stay in the burning house either believing that it is not ablaze, or believing that it is indeed on fire, but choosing to cherish and spend the short and precious time you have left together with them.

If your priority is to have life and have it abundantly however, you will do your best to persuade those you love of the truth of their situation and to follow you on this newly-learned path to life. If you are unable to convince them, you will surely continue to follow this seeming stranger towards life, safety, and freedom.  

The sad reality about this analogy I use is that too many people do not perceive that this world is much like a house set on fire, and because of this lack of realization, they have no sense of the impending danger they face: eternal death.

So, Is Once A Sinner Always A Sinner? Is Imperfection ALL that man can hope for in this life?

Ultimately, like all things in this life, God offers you a choice: it is up to YOU to DECIDE. You can believe in what your eyes have always seen and what others have told you or you can believe in what God has told you and came to our existence to show you:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16
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Understanding Humility

Everyone of us, at some point in our lives, have heard someone advise “be humble”. In fact, we ourselves might have passed on that same wisdom to others. Many times however, this advice is offered simply as a survival tip, but is there more to it than that? Is being humble merely the act of lowering ourselves in the eyes of others so as to avoid the social consequences of this world, or is it a transformation, a metamorphosis of the self? If we’re being honest, we already know that it’s the latter. Humility pertains to a true self-transformation rather than a deception of oneself and an appeal to others. Two questions then remain, how does one be-come humble and who is the true judge of our humility?

“[True] Humility is the acceptance that we are created beings, made by God, The Creator of all things.”

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What Is Our Authentic Identity?

It is my opinion that existence as we know it is all about choice. More importantly ONE choice; one from which all subsequent others are made. That choice is one of identity. It presents itself as the question that plagues us, demanding that we seek out an answer; Who Am I? What is my identity? Many have consciously forgotten about this question and have consequently on a subconscious level sought out its potential answers in the accumulation of things; wealth, pleasure, power etc.  Others, either through wisdom or experience, understand that “the truth [isn’t] out there” but rather it is within. With regards to identity, is there such a thing as an “Authentic Identity” and if so, how are we authenticated? Let us examine these questions.

“Authentic Identity is the remaining in sameness of a genuine, and real self in the exact likeness of (…) in our nature and quality.”

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Unity, Path To Wholeness

A book I read recently suggested that the Universe, and everything in existence, originated from a single entity. That everything is derived from an all-encompassing essence, including sentient beings such as us, Humans. As I lay here in bed prepared to fall into slumber, the word Unity permeated my being; its meaning, its true essence. I pondered for a moment on the word Unity, and realized that the times we, as humans, are happiest or in the most blissful state are when we are united or feel as such; united with one individual in companionship or friendship, united in a family, united in a society or culture coinciding with the inherent but often unknown essence of what makes usUnity happy. In fact, we desire and go to great lengths to acquire or fulfill this sense of belonging. I dare suggest that it’s because we are all individual parts of a whole, in essence, “in spirit”. Ponder for a moment on these aforementioned instances in which we feel united. Even from our most limited perspective, you’ll find that we are always referring to a Unity Unseen. This Unity Unseen is manifested in natural ways allowing us to perceive it with our senses, but upon some reflection we find that such manifestation is but secondary to the true UNITY that already exists in the UNSEEN. For example, when we desire to feel close to someone, what we are truly seeking is not simply to be physically near them. For even if they perform the most profound actions of love and comfort, absent of the unseen truth behind it, we can perceive the hollowness of those actions and are left feeling empty. Now, if we feel so compelled to be One, Whole or United, and have yet to achieve the state where it is manifested in the natural, this next question begs asking. Is there something, somehow interfering or opposing the very idea of us being united? If so why? And also, how does this force go about interfering as it were with this innate, powerful force of UNITY? The latter of these questions will be the focus of today’s topic.

Unity: joined together or combined so as to form a single whole; in harmony.

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God is Not Religious

God, a fixation for human beings since the beginning of time, continues to permeate every aspect of our daily lives. Some believe in an entity having created everything that exists, others claim that no such entity exists, and that we are here by “miraculous” coincidence, others yet assert that mankind itself, individually as well as collectively, is ‘God’. Either way, one thing is certain, human beings are engrossed in this age-long debate. But who or what is God?

“God is the Unmoved Mover, the Necessary Essence allowing for our contingent and finite existence.”

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Why Pray In The Name Of Jesus?

We all pray. For those who prefer another word, how about this. We all have hopes, wishes and wants, presented to an unknown but innately-recognized entity we believe can provide what we desire. If you are of the Christian faith, you believe your requests or pleas are heard and provided through the name of Jesus. In John 14:14 Jesus reminds us that “if you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” As a result of this, every Christian prayer usually ends in some variation of “in the name of Jesus… Amen.” But what does it mean to ask or pray in the name of Jesus? What does it truly mean to invoke that name besides the perfunctory religious act taught to us by our elders?

“If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”  John 14:14

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Of Parents and Children

In God's HandsAs finite beings inhabiting time and space, our survival has been dependent on a particular ritual. Animals perform this ritual instinctively, but for other beings with superior cognitive abilities such as humans, we find that we can exercise some choice in the matter. The ritual in questions is none other than the one involving the passing of one’s characteristics, traits and values through to the next generation, parenting. Parenting typically begins with the act of reproduction and continues indefinitely. Much like the lion, who for example, gives birth to cubs, ensure their survival, and teach them the ways of the hunt, so is it for humans vis-à-vis their offspring. It is on this basic principle of survival,  and in the case of humans, thriving, that all societies throughout time have observed the staple of “honoring your father and mother.” But what does it mean to honor your parents?

“Parents, in essence, serve as the template by which we perceive and interact with God.”

The dictionary describes Honor as “holding in high respect; or to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of.” The benefits of honor towards parents are obvious when observing animals in nature. Regardless of their positions in what we call “the food chain”, all children, or newborns, if they are to survive against the various threats of life, must rely on the protection and wisdom of their parents. Those who stray from their parents, much to their detriment, often meet deadly ends. As in nature, human newborns depends entirely on their parents for survival, and when they are of an age where they can provide for their own nourishment, their future survival is often dependent not on food, water and shelter, but on the wisdom on how to navigate through life’s many potential pitfalls. While these concepts may be obvious to most, it is another that I offer on this day. As humans, I believe that the ultimate role of parents, knowingly or otherwise, is to prepare their offspring for living a life in concert with their true Father, God. Parents, in essence, serve as the template by which we perceive and interact with God.

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Patience, The All Important Virtue

Ever since the beginning, we have lived with the realization of an invisible clock counting down our time left in this realm. Because we know we are to expire from this existence when the clock hits zero, we become obsessed with time. Some of us, as the philosopher Albert Camus suggests, try to cram in as many experiences as possible into our timeslot, hoping these experiences will provide us some comfort with the seeming absurdity of life. Other folks seek solace in not quantities of experiences, but in their quality. They resolve to live according to certain guidelines or rules, hoping to reach peace and happiness from whatever entity that placed them within time. Whichever way we each decide, absurdity or purpose, we all, on occasion, have had a quarrel with the timing of events in our lives.

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From Dreaming To Realization

dreamsknowthewayWe all have dreams. Aspirations as high as the stars. Unbeknownst to our conscious mind however, we have allowed the clarity and belief of that dream to be extinguished by the dogma of this world. While that is the case for most of us, some have managed to see their dreams realized. Not through any dishonest or nefarious means, but through obedience, honesty and hard work. They were able to realize their dream not because of any superpowers or special abilities that the rest of us do not possess, but simply because they have an understanding that most do not. I believe these folks understand that success, and happiness in life, lies in a universal process through which all dreams are realized. The knowledge of the process is liberating to say the least, and easy to understand. Its application, however, is a much more challenging task. The process is as follows: Word or Vision—Faith or Action—Doubt or Challenge—Realization or Fulfillment.

“Every endeavor, every journey, begins with a Word or Vision.”

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Purpose Defined

What is my PurposeWho am I? Why do I exist? These are questions that have dominated the thoughts of mankind since the beginning of time. The answer to those two questions, or the absence of it will undoubtedly shape your life. Either a life of direction, peace and assurance or one of doubt, uncertainty, and even hopelessness. Today I will share my view on the topic, and hope my insights will shed some light on the all-important and unavoidable question. I say question in the singular because both these questions and its various other forms are essentially asking the same thing: “What is my purpose?”

 

“Purpose is the reason for which something exists or was made. If I exist I must have a purpose.”

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