Knowing you have sinned vs. knowing you're a sinner

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    When I got saved I don't know wether I knew that I am a sinner or wether I only knew that I had sinned. Does this matter? I mean what happens if you don't really understand what being a sinner means, if you don't have this revelation yet, but when you know that you have sinned? In order to get saved do you have to understand that your nature is sinful and that you're carnal and all that? I don't think I had this. Understanding what being carnal means and what the flesh is and all this stuff came much later in my case. The stuff which Paul described in Romans 7 for example. I didn't know this when I got saved. In order to realize how sinful you are you first of all have to be sensitive to sin and you're not very sensitive to sin when you become saved, are you? In my case I simply knew that I had sinned because I had done things which were clearly not correct. To know this I didn't have to be very sensitive to sin. :confused:
     
  2. Clean1

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    Yes. I believe that it is very important to know that you are a sinner. Look at John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." Since you sin, that automatically makes you a sinner. As long as you realize that you are a Hell bound sinner ineed of a Saviour (Jesus Christ) to save you (from your sin and Hell) and that you ask Jesus Christ into your heart, thats all God is really asking of you.
    Sensitive to sin? You bet. God doesn't take that sin nature away when you get saved. Look at Simon Peter in Luke 5:8, "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Simon Peter was saved and he still sinned as well as the Apostle Paul. We committ sin daily without even knowing that we sinned. Just waking by someone with a really nice car and having the thought, "I wish I had that car" is the sin of covetousness. I would say that everyone is sensitive to sin.
    xdisciplex, everyone has a different maturity level; a different rate in which they grow, spiritually speaking. You will grow gradually into the 'knowledge of God' at your own rate in your own time. It would be great if as soon as we got saved we knew everything there is to know about the Bible. But, sadly, it doesn't work that way, so instead we have the Holy Spirit. Look at John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." The Holy Spirit will teach you, guide you, and convict you of sin if you are truly saved.
    Look at Acts 17:11,"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." The Thessalonians searched the scriptures to see if what was being preached was true. If your not sure on these things... search the scriptures.
     
  3. genesis12

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    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    The knowledge, the awareness of sin comes, obviously, from the fact that your status is sinner. You are guilty of original sin, and you commit daily sins. But Jesus came to save you from all that. The Holy Spirit is the One who calls your status of sinner to your attention. You eventually come under conviction; that is, you agree with God that you are a sinner. You receive Him at that point by faith. God lovingly imparts his gracious forgiveness, wiping the slate clean. Past, present, and future sins are forgiven. Do you continue to sin? Of course. That's why future sins are forgiven! Original sin was erased at the Cross. The penalty for daily sins was erased at the Cross. When you are thereafter convicted by the Holy Spirit that you have grieved Him, you go to 1 John 1:9, not to be "saved" again, but to restore fellowship with the One who has already saved you. (Some days you'll visit 1 John 1:9 rather often.) Be aware that once you have been saved your status is no longer sinner, your status is saved, redeemed, justified before God. When He looks at you He sees not what you used to be, He sees the price Jesus paid at the Cross. Tetelestai!! Paid in Full!! :thumbs:

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Not to worry. He saved you. That's enough to shout it from the housetops, sing it in the village streets!
     
  4. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. I tried to reply a couple of days ago, but I guess it got lost in transmission. I'll try again.

    At the start, let me say that I have not put tons of study into this, and I'm willing to be corrected if need be. The following is purely my opinion based on the Bible.

    I think there is a difference between being guily of sin, and being a "sinner". I think one can be guilty of sin, and yet not be what the Bible refers to as a "sinner". Let me give a couple of examples.

    Cornelius (prior to his conversion) is described as "a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway" (Acts 10:2). He is described by some of those who worked for, or under him as "...a righteous man, and one that feareth God, and well reported of by all the nation of the Jews..." (10:22). If anyone's going to talk trash about you, it'll be those who work for, or under you, right? Such was not the case with Cornelius.

    All in all, a pretty stand-up guy, not exactly what one thinks of when he hears the term "sinner". But he was still lost. He still needed to be saved.

    Another might be the Eithiopian eunuch. In Acts 8:27-28, we find him retuning from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship, and reading the prophet Isaiah. If anything, he sets a good example for those who profess to be Christians, by spending his spare time reading the Bible! Again, not what one thinks of when he hears the word "sinner", but still one in need of the gospel in order to be saved.

    Now, in these two examples, we have good men in need of salvation. In contrast, let's look at James 5:19-20.

    Instead of getting hung up on the OSAS debate, ('cause you know how we all like to get side-tracked), let's just examine the text.

    19 My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him;
    20 Let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

    Let's note first that this is adressed to Christians, thus the term, "brethren". While it is true that this term is elsewhere used of unbelieving Jews (ie. Acts 7:2), I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that in this context, fellow Christians are being adressed.

    "...if any among you..." Again, this is for any among the Christians that James is writing to.

    "...err from the truth..." 2 John 9 tells us that one who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. Departure from NT doctrine leaves one without God.

    "...and one convert him..." Erring brethren are to be brought back into the fold, actively pursued by the whole congregation. Unfortunately, not all efforts are successful.

    "...he that converteth a sinner..." The Christian who has erred from the the truth is called a "sinner".

    "...from the error of his way..." It is the error of his way that causes one to be a sinner.

    It seems to me (again, my opinion), that to be a "sinner" in the sense that the Bible uses the word, is to depart from the truth, or to lead a life characterized by sin, or as I've heard it put, to be "in the business of sin".

    This may even include those with great religious zeal (Saul, Acts 9), who have been deceived into following a man-made plan of salvation, or who refuse to follow the NT pattern for worship.

    The sexually immoral, drunkards, profane, etc, are obvious feet for this shoe to fit.

    Well, there you have it. Hope it helps.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
    #4 bmerr, Jun 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2006
  5. Clean1

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    Everyone is a sinner because they sin. Being a murder, sexually immoral, drunkards, etc. are bad things (sinful) things, but being a lier is just as bad. God looks at each sin equally. My lieing is just as bad as someone murdering someone. Romans 2:11,"For there is no respect of persons with God."
    Just because the Bible talks good about someone doesn't make them sinless. If they still need to be saved then obviously they are sinners. We wouldn't need salvation if we didn't sin. Luke 5:32, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Romans 6:23, "For all have sinned...." Everyone is in the 'business of sin'. Lieing, bad thoughts, coveting, not going to church, watching a bad movie, saying certain things, gossiping, etc. is all sin. How many of these things do we do daily? I know that I catch myself gossiping, lieing, bad thoughts, etc. constantly. Why? Because I'm a sinner.
    Cornelius was a good guy and, just like bmerr said, not what a person thought of as a sinner. Well, look at David. He was a "man after God's own heart" and he still sinned.
    Bmerr,
    what did you mean when you talked about Saul and his conversion being a man-made salvation?
     
  6. bmerr

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    Clean1,

    bmerr here. I probably could have worded it better. I did not mean to imply that Saul was converted according to a man-made plan of salvation. He followed God's plan. My intent was to use the pre-conversion Saul as an example of one who is zealous in his religion, and yet lost.

    Many sincere religious people today have not obeyed God's plan of salvation, but have submitted themselves to a man-made plan of salvation. They are quite zealous, and sincere, but they are still lost.

    Again, I should have proof-read better. I will try to be more clear in the future. Thanks for calling me on it.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  7. bmerr

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    Clean1,

    bmerr here. I probably could have worded it better. I did not mean to imply that Saul was converted according to a man-made plan of salvation. He followed God's plan. My intent was to use the pre-conversion Saul as an example of one who is zealous in his religion, and yet lost.

    Many sincere religious people today have not obeyed God's plan of salvation, but have submitted themselves to a man-made plan of salvation. They are quite zealous, and sincere, but they are still lost.

    Again, I should have proof-read better. I will try to be more clear in the future. Thanks for calling me on it.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  8. xdisciplex

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    Hi everybody!
    I simply don't know if I already knew that I am a sinner. I mean being a sinner is rather general. It involves knowing WHY you're a sinner. To know this you also have to know about the flesh and about the original sin and all this. I didn't know of all this stuff. I only knew that I had committed sins. Is this not enough to become saved? I mean can you fail to get saved because you lack insight or a revelation? :(
     
  9. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. One excuse many people give for not obeying the gospel is the ol' "I don't know enough yet." If one were to go to the book of Acts, one would see that the vast majority of those converted had heard the gospel message one time. Those receiving the word gladly were baptized (Acts 2:41), at which time they were saved, and added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:47).

    Certainly they had much to learn from that point forward, but what did they know at the time they responded to the gospel? They had sinned. Jesus had died for their sins, and had been raised from the dead. They were to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins.

    That's all they knew. Is that what you knew?

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  10. Clean1

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    Why do you sin? Because of your sin nature. Since the fall of Adam everyone has been cursed with sin. What is a sin nature? A sin nature is when your nature is to sin. Does that make sense? Let me clear it up: It is a dogs nature to bark; cats' nature to meow; man's nature to sin. We're automatically gonna sin everyday and, most likely, every moment.
    Does the lack of this knowledge prevent someone from getting saved? NO! You just need to realize:
    1)that your a sinner. Nothing but filthy rags in a filthy wash pot (which is the world).
    2)That you can't get to heaven on your own and that you need Jesus Christ to be your Saviour
    3)Do what Romans 10:9-10 say, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
    "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
    God didn't base salvation on how much you know the Bible. You just need to know what I listed and that God loves you so much that He sent His "only begotten Son," Jesus Christ to take your punishment for you.
     
  11. Clean1

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    Thanks for clearing that up bmer. I understand now.
     
  12. xdisciplex

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    Thanks everybody,
    sometimes I simply become insecure when I think about all these things and then I ask myself what if I did something wrong back then or what if I failed to receive my salvation and so on...
    I have heard so many different sermons where pastors talked about cases where people failed to receive their salvation even though they wanted to be saved. This scared me. :(
     
  13. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. Those converted in Acts were saved, right? If we believe what they were taught, and respond as they did, will we not also be saved? Most assuredly we will. If we don't, then we should be afraid!

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  14. xdisciplex

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    Hi bmerr,

    once a pastor told a story of a man who wanted to get saved and he had prayed a sinner's prayer many times but he was waiting for a feeling. He was waiting for something to happen but he never felt anything and so he prayed again and again and the pastor said he failed to receive his salvation. Then the pastor talked to him and explained to him that he has to receive his salvation by faith and then they prayed again and then he felt something and got saved.
    Is this biblical? I mean why wasn't this guy directly saved? Only because he was waiting for a feeling which he didn't get? Is God like this? I cannot believe that God stands up there and says: Sorry, but you messed it up, you wanted a feeling and didn't receive your salvation by faith.... try again next time.

    Can a person really fail to receive their salvation by having wrong conceptions about what has to happen when you get saved? Or does the salvation happen nevertheless and the person simply doesn't feel anything? I mean if somebody told me that if you really get saved you will feel something and then I want to get saved but I feel nothing then I will also think that something went wrong, but does this mean that it really didn't happen?
     
  15. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. I think the problem in this situation is relying on "feelings" to give assurance of salvation, instead of relying on God's word. When I know that I have folowed God's plan of salvation by believing what the 1st Christians believed, and responding the same way that they did, then my "feelings" will be based on the absolute truth of the Bible, and not my own ideas of what I ought to feel.

    If I believe the account of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, with the understanding that it was my sins that He paid for when He died, and I respond to this good news (gospel) by repenting of my sins, confessing Jesus as the Son of God, and being baptized for the remission of my sins, then I can know assuredly that I have believed the message the first Christians were taught, and that I have responded as they did. I can then know certainly that I am what they were: New Testament Christians.

    The person you mentioned in your post "prayed the sinner's prayer". Can such a thing be found in the Scriptures? No, it cannot.

    His "pastor" told him to "receive his salvation by faith". Did any apostle or other inspired preacher ever tell anyone that? If so, it's not recorded in the New Testament of Jesus Christ.

    Neither of these teachings has any Biblical grounding. They are the inventions of man, and cannot save.

    Look at the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:39), and the Phillipian jailer (Acts 16:34). They both rejoiced. They both experienced deep emotions. Emotions are not "bad", they're just not a trustworthy basis for determining what's true.

    Emotions are fine as long as they're based on the knowledge of God's word.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  16. xdisciplex

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    Hi bmerr,

    the problem is that if somebody came to me and asked me wether I felt something and told me all this stuff then I would become pretty confused and really doubt wether I really received my salvation. I mean confusing another person isn't that complicated and I think that you could also talk a person which is saved into believing that she never received their salvation. if the other person isn't that stable in their faith and becomes easily confused then this is very well possible but does this mean that a person loses her salvation if another person could talk this person into believing that she never received her salvation? I don't think so.
     
  17. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. I guess it would depend on what the persons' faith was based upon. If it were based upon one of the doctrines of men, (ie: "faith only", "say the sinner's prayer", etc), then simply showing that person what the Bible says could and should challenge their belief, and cause them to question their salvation.

    But if a person's faith is based upon what is plainly written in the Bible, that one will be able to return to the Scriptures when their faith is challenged, and reaffirm their faith by reading or hearing the word of God again. For "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom 10:17).

    Faith in anything other than what is written will eventually be found false.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  18. xdisciplex

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    But what if a person has no bible and simply cries out to Jesus to be saved? Or what if the person wants to be saved but is not yet a bible expert? How likely is it that a person first of all read the entire new testament before she gets saved? Not very likely.
    This also means that the person will not have this whole understanding when she gets saved but I don't think that becoming saved or not becoming saved is based on understanding because then it would be gnosis and only the wise could be saved. Getting saved has to be easy so that everybody can become saved.
     
  19. bmerr

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    xdisciplex,

    bmerr here. Without the word of God, how would anyone know they needed to be saved, let alone Who to call on?

    Again, let me refer you to the book of Acts. As preachers went forth to preach, many of those who heard them were hearing the name of Jesus Christ for the first time. The simple gospel message was proclaimed, and when asked what to do, those inspired preachers told their audiences to believe (Acts 16:31), repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19), and to be baptized for the washing away, or remission of their sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

    They were not told everything in the New Testament. They did not need to know everything in the New Testament to be saved. They needed to know that Christ had died for their sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and was raised again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3-4). Then they needed to know how to respond to this message, which we looked at in the second paragraph.

    Those who obeyed God's commands pertaining to the gospel were saved. Those who did not, were not. Simple enough. Anyone can obey the gospel. Very few will.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  20. Clean1

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    No one is a Bible expert. No one knows everything about the Bible. All these people who are proclaiming that they are Bible experts are a bunch of liars. No one knows what every little word, phrase, or passage means in the Bible. If that were true then there wouldn't be anything to learn about God or the Bible.
    God made salvation easy (i'm sure that you know the Romans road and how to be saved. I won't explain it all.) You don't have to work for it or try to keep your salvation. It says in 1 John 15:3," ....that ye may know that ye have eternal life..."
    We used to have a member at our church who basically had the same doubts that you do. She was actually saved, but at every little thing that came up she started doubting her salvation. My youth pastor's wife told her that Satan can bring things up that will hinder your growth in the Lord, such as doubting your salvation. How are you going to grow in the Lord if your constantly doubting your salvation (when your saved)?
    Listen to Bmerr, he has some very good advice. God didn't base salvation on a feeling. If he did then I wouldn't know when I was saved or when I wasn't, because my feelilngs constantly change. Getting saved doesn't give you this... warm, oozy, lovey dovey feeling. I know that I felt joy (that God had saved me) and it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders (because He forgave me of my sins). But was my salvation based on this feelling? NO! Not everyone has the same... I don't want to say 'feelings'.... Lets put it this way: Some people cry, some jump around, some go around telling everyone, some scream and yell, and then some just keep to themselves (like I did). I was embarrassed a little when I got saved because everyone thought I was saved. I was afraid when they found out that they would criticize me. But to find out, they were over come with joy. I held off on my getting saved because of that fear. Satan helped in that; making me fearful.
    If you do have questions about your salvation you should to talk to your pastor or a mature Christian about it. Or even better... pray to God for guidance and wisdom that you will know that your saved.
    I don't know if I helped or not. Sorry if I haven't and also sorry for gabbing so much. (as most people say: Girls have the gift of gab!)
     

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