How To Forgive Yourself: A Christian Commentary

by Jack Wellman on October 11, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

God promises to forgive us but we often have trouble forgiving ourselves.  How can we learn to forgive ourselves when we are consumed with guilt?

Forgiveness

There are so many Bible verses on forgiveness that it is hard to select only a few but here are some of the most powerful ones that I could find.  I have memorized these because I frequently have to remind people who are burdened with so much guilt that they believe that God could never forgive them. They believe that they have committed too many sins or sins so grievous that even God cannot forgive them. Wrong!

First John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

It is not a matter of if God will forgive us our sins; it is a matter of if we will confess them.  Then knowing God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. First John 1:9 says that when we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive them.  Not only that, He then cleanses us from all…note that…all unrighteousness.  It doesn’t mean all unrighteousness except (fill in the blank).  He doesn’t say that He will cleanse us from almost all of our unrighteousness but all of our filthy sins.  All in the Greek means…well, all!  It doesn’t matter how many or how despicable these sins are.  That’s irrelevant.

Second Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

If God has made Jesus to be sin for us do we really want to believe that this is not enough?  We become the righteousness of Christ by Jesus’ work on the cross.  Do we believe that this was not sufficient?  What God has made righteous by Christ is righteous.  If you feel that you cannot be declared righteous in Christ, are you willing to have this verse read, “For everyone else’s sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God, except for me?” Of course this is not what it says but if we fail to forgive ourselves we fail to believe in God’s promise in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

God has paid in full what we sometimes want to still make payments on.  When we don’t forgive ourselves after God already has, we are robbing God from the glory that Christ paid so enormously for at Calvary.

God has paid in full what we sometimes want to still make payments on. When we don’t forgive ourselves after God already has, we are robbing God from the glory that Christ paid so enormously for at Calvary.

Forgiving Others and Not Ourselves

Frequently, those who cannot forgive themselves find it easy to forgive others.  What if your child came up to you and asked for your forgiveness after breaking a curfew?  You still may have to discipline them but once you’ve told them that they’re forgiven, you put it behind you.  Then, the very next day the child comes back to you and asks to be forgiven again for that very same issue?  After that, they came back again and again…and in fact, several days in a row.  Wouldn’t you, as a parent, get a little frustrated if not irritated?  Most parents would keep reminding them that they have already been forgiven.  Think how God must feel when we keep bringing up the same sins over and over…the same sins that have already been forgiven!  We bring up these same sins, over and over again, even though God has promised that once we confess them, they’re gone (1 John 1:9).  This is frequently the work of the Devil or his fallen angels.  Let me ask you this: How many of your sins were still in the future when Christ died?  The answer is, ALL of them!  When the Devil reminds you of your past, you remind him of his future (Rev 20:10).  I am not saying that we should not confess our sins each and every day. Jesus told us to come for cleansing daily when He gave us a model for prayer in what is commonly called The Lord’s Prayer. He said we are to pray “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matt 6:11-12). We should keep short accounts with God and confess them every day but not the same ones over and over again!  That is a clue that you are not forgiving yourself if you keep asking to be forgiven for the same sins of the past that have already been forgiven.  Any un-confessed sins will be a burden to us but when we do confess them, why be burdened by something that God has already forgiven?

Paying off the Note

Imagine that you have made car payments for the last 48 months and you finally made the last payment. The car is now all yours.  Then you get another payment notification from the bank for another car payment. You’d be outraged right?  Think how God must feel if you keep dragging up the same sins that you have already had forgiven and you do this over and over again.  When Jesus said on the cross “It is finished” the Greek wording essentially means “Paid in full.”  God has paid in full what we sometimes want to still make payments on.  When we don’t forgive ourselves after God already has, we are robbing God from the glory that Christ paid so enormously for at Calvary.  We certainly don’t want to rob glory from Christ but we most certainly do when we confess our sins and we forgive others but fail to forgive ourselves.

No Fishing

When God buries our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, He then puts up a “No Fishing” sign but many of us still insist on going back to try and bring them up again.  The fact is that “we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1) so why can’t we be at peace with ourselves?  The Justifier (God) has become our justification and so if you insist on not forgiving yourself you are saying that I am not justified. Jesus’ death was intended “to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26).  God says that the reason for Christ being the Justifier is because He wants to “show his righteousness.”  Why would we ever want to get in the way of His displaying His righteousness!?  That robs Christ of glory!  If you feel that Jesus’ death was not enough, then you are saying that I must do something more to be forgiven.  That is not faith…that is works.  Guilt is from the Devil.  Conviction of sin is from the Holy Spirit.  When sins are confessed neither guilt nor conviction should remain. God says that our sins are removed as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12).  North and south meet at the equator but east and west never do.  That means our sins are gone forever so there should be no reason for guilt or conviction over what has been removed. If you still can’t forgive yourself, then it is only in your mind and not in Gods.  You are not only robbing God of His due glory but you are also denying God’s Word.

Conclusion

Is our standard of forgiving ourselves higher than Gods?  It should never be so.  To believe that we can be forgiven by God but then turn around and not forgive ourselves is to make God out to be a liar.  How so?  It is because God says you are cleansed, you are forgiven, and your sins will not ever again be held against you.  So why would you not believe God?  We may not realize it but frequently we cannot forgive ourselves because of our pride. Pride often creates in us a higher standard of forgiving ourselves than God Himself holds too?  Why can’t we claim God’s promise that He will forgive us and then not forgive ourselves?  That is hypocritical in a sense.  Either God’s word is true or it is not and if He says we are forgiven after having repented, confessed our sins, and placed our trust in Christ, then why not believe Him?  One single verse should allow us to have all our guilt removed forever and I repeat it again; it is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Who can argue against God?

Related Article:  How Many Times Will God Forgive Me? A Bible Study

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea October 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Amen!

Reply

Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

Thank you Andrea. I needed to write this for my own sake too and not just for others.

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Linda October 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Super reminder Jack. You did it again, your so right, sometimes its hard to forgive ourselves, and then let it go, then ask God for forgiveness and feel right. But somehow it creeps back and again feel the need to ask God for forgiveness. This is so true.
When or if it happens again, I shall remember this article of God’s promise and move forward so that it never happens again, I’m tired of the Devil, Glory be to Jesus Christ., Hallelujah!!

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

Thank you so much Linda….as I said earlier, I needed to write this as a reminder to myself for the enemy wants me to doubt my being forgiven but I must rely on God’s Word as true and my feelings as highly unreliable.

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bert October 11, 2013 at 10:02 pm

This was particularly helpful for me tonight. Forgiveness has been such a hard thing for me – forgiving others and myself. I feel as though I have lived a long life with a heavy chain around my neck and forgiveness is the key I have needed to unlock the chain. Letting it go, praying and thanking God for forgiveness feels so much better than hanging onto old, rusty guilt and shame. Glory to my Father who loves me and does forgive me. I don’t deserve it but I am SO grateful!

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 10:51 am

Thank you Bert. I can’t count the number of times when Christians have had a hard time discerning the difference between conviction by the Holy Spirit and doubt from the Enemy. I like the analogy of the chain and lock. That’s very good in describing what unnecessary guilt does. Thank you…and yes, none of us deserve what we have in Christ’s work on the cross.

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DocReits October 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

Hey Jack,

Thank you! I always look forward to hearing your thoughts. I have a couple of questions for you.

Do you think a major reason why Christians have such a hard time forgiving themselves is because many are trapped in a pattern of habitual sin in one or several particular areas of their lives?

I can guess guilt and depression might exacerbate their feelings that God is tired of hearing their attempts at contrition and therefore might be unwilling to forgive them yet again.

If yes, what might be a remedy(s) to deliver them from this cycle or pattern of sin?

Thanks,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hello DocReits…great point about ongoing, habitual sin and that this guilt and depression could exacerbate their feelings that God is fed up with the believer in this trap or addiction or whatever it is. I think that’s a clear and concise insight my friend. The only remedy is to know that we can not ever outsin our relationship with God but we can lose fellowship. How to break this cycle or pattern of sin I believe is to realize that no one can live the Christian life without the help for God and crying out to Him and telling Him just that. Victory is only possible when we surrender and reveal that we can not overcome sins or addictions or sin patterns without the power of the Holy Spirit but when we humble ourselves and ask for help from God and show we can not do this by ourselves is only then that God gives us the ability to overcome. When surrender we gain the victory that has been won in Christ. I am not sure if I helped answer completely or not. Thank you for your contribution my friend. I appreciate you so much.

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DocReits October 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hi Jack,

Yes, your thoughts are always helpful! Thank you so much for bringing up the forgiveness issue. It is so important as it is debilitating for so many Christians. Debilitating because this feeling of guilt and subsequent depression leaves the Christian in a weakened spiritual and emotional state.

I agree with everything you wrote here. Please allow me to share my personal experience to perhaps help others struggling with this forgiveness issue. I hope to briefly share on the need for the Christian to awaken to the reality of how God views sin. You know most of my comments in my brief time here on this great site have been on the topic of “repentance”, and more specifically, on what repentance really means.

I have, for most of my Christian life, been under the belief that God will continue to forgive us as often as we seek His forgiveness in “repentance” and I still do. The problem arises when we use the “forgiveness card” as a “get out of jail free card” on this Monopoly board of life. When I was trapped in a downward spiral of repeated drunkenness and lustful thoughts as a Christian, I would be “sorry” afterwards for my sinful behavior and seek God’s forgiveness only to find myself driven to repeat the same behavior again. I knew God forgave me over and over again but I was still marginalized in my Christian life because I could not get deliverance from my repeated, habitual sins. It left me defeated.

I would be happy when I could hold-out for long periods of time before returning to the vomit (Pr 26:11), but I would never have victory over my alcoholism and lustful behavior. I know I am not alone as I now counsel other Christian men who are in the same trap as I was. Let me add that I know I am not without sin (trust me) and I also know that “sin is crouching at my door, eager to control me (Gen 4:7), but I have discovered how to have victory over these other issues I referenced. Here is a short list:

1) Read the 10 commandments. Study them. Meditate upon them. 98% of the Church cannot tell us what the 10 commandments are. Let that fact stand for a moment and reflect upon it. It is the Law (10 commandments) which shows us how sinful we are (Rom 3:20…”Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin”).

David in the OT spent countless hours meditating on God’s Law (Ps 119:97…”O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day”). We need to do the same! We need to read the 10 commandments daily as part of our daily devotionals. The Word is supernatural and will quicken the believer’s spirit to understand what God desires. After all, if His Spirit dwells within us we will become aware of how much He wants us to obey His Law. He alone gives us the ability to obey as we relinquish our desires to His desires, allowing our flesh its rightful place upon His cross(Gal 2:20, Rom 6:11).

2) Once we know His Law we need to become aware of how much God hates sin (not the sinner). He hates it so much that He spent the life of His only beloved Son in the most barbaric death imaginable with the weight of the sin of all time on His shoulders to eradicate the punishment for sin (the lake of fire for all eternity), for those who would simply believe and make His Son Lord of their lives.

3) I tread cautiously here but as we abuse the “get of jail free” card over and over again the question goes back to whether we ever understood the Law and God’s just punishment for those who have broken the Law? There only remains God’s wrath on all of those who have broken His Law and have not turned from their sin (true repentance). There are many more scriptures written concerning God’s wrath over men’s rebellion (breaking His Law..the 10 commandments) than about His mercy, redemption and love.

God hates sin! We dare not go down to the grave in habitual(unconfessed) sin and expect a free pass. Trust me I have preached and taught many years against pure Armenian thought that hell awaits the believer if any sin remains unconfessed. That is not what I am saying. I err on the side of Jesus covering all sin certainly. Be careful though about abusing His kindness through practiced sin (Heb 10:26-27…”If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God”)

This is a very unpopular text but it must remain within the believer’s canon. We need to see sin as God sees sin. He lives within the believer and so if we ask Him to show us how much He hates sin(and what awaits those who practice sin and have not accepted His atonement for their sin) we will by God’s grace see sin as He sees it. We will hate sin as He hates it. We will flee sin. Avoid the liquor aisles of stores if you have been drawn to alcohol. Stay away from those areas of town where women parade themselves for hire. Place a family picture on top of the TV when you go on business trips so you won’t be tempted to watch inappropriate movies. Flee from sexual immorality(1 Cor 6:18).

4) Therefore, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? “(2 Cor 13:5) ” What test? “Jn 14:15… If you love Me you will keep My commandments”.

How do we know if we know Him?

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God” (Rom 8:16) Is God drawing you towards Himself and away from sin? Ask Him. Cry out to Him! I am a wretch and have no good within me. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Rom 7:18)” Thanks be to God though who gives us the victory through Christ Jesus( 1 Cor 15:57)

5) Absorb scripture. Our heart should be longing for more and more of His Word daily. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart(Heb 4:12). God speaks to us through His Word!

6) Share His Gospel with the unsaved. If we are saved we must be driven to share the Gospel with the lost. Are we?

Finally, here is an excerpt from a sermon of Spurgeon back in 1855:

“Repentance” is a hatred of sin, and a forsaking it. It is possible for a man to repent without any terrific display of the terrors of the law; he may repent without having heard the trumpet sounds of Sinai, without having heard more than a distant rumble of its thunder. A man may repent entirely through the power of the voice of mercy. Some hearts God opens to faith, as in the case of Lydia. Others he assaults with the sledge hammer of the wrath to come; some he opens with the picklock of grace, and some with the crowbar of the law. There may be different ways of getting there, but the question is, has he got there? Is he there? It often happens that the Lord is not in the tempest or in the earthquake, but in the “still small voice.””
http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm

Bottom line…habitual sin can be defeated as we appropriate God’s help in abhorring sin as He does and turning from it.

Thank you for indulging this long reply,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Wow…my friend, I don’t even know where to begin. For one thing, Charles Spurgeon may be my favorite pastor of all time. This man got repentance spot on. He preached the Law of the 10 Commandments as a way to show our sinfulness and the impossibility of keeping it to ever save ourselves. I do agree that those who abuse grace and sin is a sin very agrecious and is a presumptuous sin and in my opinion, tramples on the blood of Christ. That is very dangerous ground for 1 John chapter 3 may reveal if they indeed are actually saved or not. We are not sinless no, but we do sin less over time as the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us as time progresses. When I sin, I see what Christ had to pay for my offense before God and makes me fall on my face, hands, and knees. The more I have grown to know God the more I see my wretchedness and how despicable my unholiness is. You really show a firm grip on the essentials of the Bible and this article was written to help free those who are enslaved by their own misunderstanding of what grace actually is. Below check out a great worship song that makes me break down and thank God for His mercy and His grace, underserved and unmerited. It is from Jesus Culture and called “One Thing Remains.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KXsMCJgBQ

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains [repeat]

[Chorus:]
Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

[Bridge:]
In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love…

Have you heard this song? I simply love it. It speaks to loudly to my heart, as deceitfully wicked as it is. Thanks my brother…you are an encouragement and exhorter!

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DocReits October 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Thank you Jack,

Yes we sing it often at our church. I love it! I especially love this part:

“Your love never fails, never gives up…”

He has never failed me!!

It was the “Hound of heaven” who never gave up on me. The great mystery is how He pursues us “all” relentlessly while we have breath.

(I hope I did not lead any to think that I don’t believe in prevenient grace, with my prior Armenian mention, for I truly do. The Gospel of salvation is open to all)

Blessings,

DocReits

Mr Anthony Cotton October 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

You said you were going to to an article on Forgiven Yourself. How right you are Jack I have just watched that video and the first minute I was like stone,but then like you said I just broke down it just overwhelmed me,and I have downloaded it. It might work if I listen to each time I come on the computer.
I read DocReits post and I fit into that category of habitual sin of masturbation. It has plagued me since I started to do it at about 13 years old,and when I found that it was a mortal sin,and the priest said you are on your way to hell. Evan through my marriage I still did it. I found a good priest that helped me. He said you are not doing anything wrong it`s a habit,and he laid his hands on me and said something in latin. I plagued the life out of him 24/7 and he said that I can`t forgive myself you must do that first it`s making you ill God has,but I said I am just doing it again and that I was abusing the confessional he said you are not! you are using it. He lost his temper in a nice way.I am still doing it,and I am coming up to 65,and I looked amongst your posts,and you where saying the same has the priest. It`s like putting the kettle on? I have asked God for help,and I have won a lot of battles over it,but I have also lost a lot of battles. I am not given up because I know satan is very clever filling you full of guilt,and shame afterwards. It might be that this is my cross to carry till the end. Jesus fell down 3 times I dare not evan think how many times I have fallen to this sin and I hate it. It is ripping me apart,but there are a few times when I have been helped by God,and I have accepted it. He must of answered me because I was at peace about a half a dozen times,and I felt great. Then back it comes to torment me again. I think of things that God should have made us when we get to 30 years old anything to do with sex just vanishes. He is God and I have to do His will. This site to me is like a church,and I tell you what is happening to me,and everyone can see what I have wrote. I have bared my soul.

Mr Anthony Cotton October 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Well it`s all down to you Jack,and Robert,Derek,and Dave from europe plus the posts I have read. I have thought seriously what you do,and what you have said to me. To me you are my Pastor and just keep doing what you do. I have evan thought about that poor boy who wanted to go to Hell to see his parents,and a lady told him you will not recognize them if you did honey. I really felt for him I think his name was Joost.
I also took on board about not having a church,but I recognize this is my church(Though I still cannot find anybody where I live)and I am with my brother`s and sister`s here,and I don`t think God would mind if I am using a computer to find out things,and in what You and Robert say. I have never learnt so much in all my life through coming here. I fully understand what you have said,but it was You that taught me that. I am also fully aware that You have had a tough time,and I also thank God for dropping me off here,because I would be in despair,and back down in my pit of darkness stumbling about.
I really liked that song,and I downloaded it,and guess what it stopped me from sinning. I just listened to it about 3 or 4 times,and I sobbed,and sobbed. You are the one that stopped me from sinning with that song so that`s prove that God is providing you with Faith,Hope,and the Strength to do his will.
God must be with you Jack,to keep giving you the Strength!

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Jack Wellman October 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm

No pastor in their rational mind would consider it a greater honor to be a servant of yours my brother and that is what a pastor actually is. I must say that God truly deserves the glory for all that I do and what do I have or what have I written that I did not first receive. The answer is zero! So what I did learn and do have in knowledge comes from God Himself and to Him be the glory forever and ever, amen. Nonetheless Anthony, I can not think of a person that I eagerly anticipate, next to Christ of course, than you to meet in the Kingdom of Heaven. Oh what a joyous day that will be to cry and embrace you my brother. I thank God for you.

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I know it`s Gods work Jack but you make the choices,and mostly the right one`s. God puts the tools in your hand and you don`t know how to use them God shows you how to use them
You are right it`s Gods glory,but I think you have to give yourself the credit in which way you use them.
I have did a lot of wishing, like if your church was here I would be there without fail or Robert. I tried the priest up the road but he just wasn`t interested. God has given him the tools but he has just put them away in a cupboard. I went to him I was desperate for help – answer “It`s my day off”. I was in shock when he said this, he has been the first man to turn me away. He didn`t evan say come back at a certain time in a couple of days. Thats the big difference between You and Him Jack. I hope you are right about seeing you in Heaven Jack.

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Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm

If it were dependent upon me then I too would be worried about seeing you in person in heaven Anthony but the fact is what it is and God says whoever repents and trusts in Him shall not be disappointed and I believe God. Me, don’t count on it! Thanks brother.

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DocReits October 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Anthony,

Please allow me to suggest something that I pray, gives you some hope for deliverance from habitual behaviors that keep you from living in victory. As you keep coming back to Jesus(your “Bent”) do your repeated failures keep you from Heaven. NO!! Repentance (your “Bent” toward Christ, away from sin) and Faith in Christ and His Resurrection saves you.

“Victory” doesn’t mean you won’t sin again, but it will help focus your attention on how real God can become in your life. That awareness of the closeness of Jesus in you, is what changes your heart to turn ever more to the One who loves you(maturity/sanctification) and has already forgiven all of your sins both today and forever.

BTW, your “bent” to do those things which please Him shows that you are already saved (James 2:18). Your depression which follows as you stay in habitual patterns of sin defeats your walk, and it is our “walk” which I will focus upon here, not your salvation. Again we do the following to draw nearer to Jesus and become more like Him, not to be saved.

Those things which have helped me overcome habitual behaviors of sin are:

1) Prayer. Daily crying out to God NOT to save us, for that has already happened as I stated above but to lead Godly lives in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:12 says that we should be suffering persecution as a result. See point four below to find out how to sign up for that assignment…;-).Confess your sins daily relying on Him to help keep us from temptation. We have to obviously help here by avoiding those places, people and things that tempt us to sin. No one on earth knows those things better than you! Get rid of those things which cause you to sin.

Pray constantly. That is not the same as “continuously”, but examples include when you feel the urge to sin…pray! When you hear an ambulance or fire truck go by, pray. When the Lord brings a hard situation to mind, pray. Pray primarily that God’s will would be done here as in Heaven. We tend to make idols out of ourselves in prayer. Remember Jesus’s prayer in the Garden: “Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me; however not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). I love the Navigators mnemonic ACTS. I have used it for years. It is hard to get started in prayer some days so use this. A.C.T.S.:

A) Acknowledge and Adore God. Start prayer by praising the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Great Three in One.
C) Confess your sins to God. List them out loud then ask forgiveness for them and those you do not even know you have committed. Ask God for His help to not sin against Him this day.
T) Thank the Father for all your Blessings. Life here and eternal life through the sacrifice of His dear Son and His Great Gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you richly. Thank Him for your family, health and home. Thank Him for all those things that are special and unique to you and then thank Him for all the things He is doing in this world and your life that you are even unaware of to cause His ultimate plan to come to fruition. We therefore pray, “Even so, COME LORD JESUS” (Rev 22:20).
S) Supplication. Here petition the Father on behalf of all those who are undergoing persecution on His behalf today. Pray for the world, national and local leaders that they would come to a knowledge of the truth and barring that, that they would make Godly decisions in spite of themselves. Pray for your family, friends and co-workers. This list is limited only by your imagination.

2)Reading your Bible and listening to people like Jack, Spurgeon, Moody and others (Hey Jack..look at the company I placed you in) who call us to lead Holy lives. Conviction is good! Let the Holy Spirit work in your soul, through the Word of God and through those who preach It to spur you on to live more Godly in Jesus. Most Christians do not ever open their Bibles. This is sad. We die spiritually, just like we would physically, not eating food as we leave the food of God(Bible) on the shelf week after month after year.
Just open Psalms to start, and read three verse of Psalm 119 every day to start. Here are the first three verses I will list for you:

1)Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong

Congrats! You have read your assignment for day One…;-)

There are enough verses in that Psalm to take you through Dec 17th or 8 days before Christmas! Its a long Psalm. My point, bite off small pieces, “Baby Steps”. This is much, much better than leaving your Bible up on the shelf. You are Roman Catholic from what your post revealed. I know about leaving the Bible on the shelf. I was raised Roman Catholic also. I was almost that priest on the other side of the screen in your confessional.

3) Fellowship with other Christians. Find a good church and get involved in a men’s group (men’s not mixed sex). Tell them what you have shared with us and ask them to pray with and, for you, and to hold you accountable for keeping on track in getting over your sinful habits.

4) Share your faith. This might be the hardest to do and the task which can lead to the persecution I mentioned above. I have found the following easy, even for chicken me. I am a bit of a chicken so do not feel bad. If I can do it so can you!! I buy booklets from this site (I hope you do not mind me providing this link, Jack):

http://www.ptl.org/code/products.php?group=Gospels

The first five pages has the simple plan of salvation and the rest of the booklet is the Gospel of John. The quality of the copy is excellent. The covers are substantial heavy paper and beautiful cover photos of everything from that beautiful baby(Life is Good) to a trucker’s cover (Road to Life). The main site even has a teaching module which helps you to learn steps that help in sharing your faith called “Boot Camp” which is a seven step teaching module sent free to your e-mail.

Hand out these booklets anywhere you go and just say, “Did you get yours?” Works great! Don’t ask, “Do you want one?”. You can just excuse yourself after you give it away or stop and chat. Nothing has helped me to get closer to God and allowed Him to clean up my act more than sharing the Gospel. If you are serious about wanting to stop sinful habits and get closer to God then I urge you to follow these steps I have outlined. If you are a pretender and a spammer then I pray this helps others.

Aside: The focus in most American churches today is on how this is impossible for us as humans(avoiding sinful habits). Pastors tell us sin is so prevalent we just have to allow for it in our lives and trust Jesus to give us a “pass”. While it is true that we cannot be completely free from sin in this life, and turning toward Christ is what saves us… in that turning toward Christ we turn away from sin. It is what the Father calls us to do. We are to forsake sin. Here are verses that talk about this very thing (Heb 12:1, John 14:15, Pr 28:13, Is 55:7, Acts 26:20) In that last verse in Acts Peter says we must “..repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance”

Anthony, it is my prayer that you will have victory over sinful habits. Please consider what I have discussed here. I have been trapped in habitual lustful and alcoholic behavior as a Christian, so I relate with you and all those trapped in sinful habits. We are all in this together, and it is again my prayer that you will lead a victorious Christian life.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman October 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I believe that Mr. Spurgeon, and D.L. Moody, two of my heroes of the faith, probably turned over in their graves by mentioning me in the same sentence as them. Oh yeah, they are in the Kingdom and their bodies are not yet raised! LOL Anyway, I agree….living the Christian life is not hard. No, it is impossible without the aid of the power of God the Holy Spirit. I have known Anthony for some time now and he has made considerable strides due to his perserverance in the Scriptures…he is also in NE England where there are few, nearby evangelical churches. He is also a shut-in so for him fellowship with the saints is what it is here and now….he has no access to churches but he does have a priest I believe that visits him. To look back just a year or so back I have seen growth in him that puts me to shame. This man of God has been so transparent and he is the real deal…and genuine and authentic Christian and I am not defending him but just filling you in Doc, my brother, about this man’s humility and honesty which is so very rare today in the Body of Christ, that I coveted his membership in the church I am undershepherd of to the Great Shepherd. I pray that God continues to work in this beloved brother of mine who I eagerly and with joyful expectation await that Great Day when I get to meet him…and you too my brother Doc, to embrace and fall together in the worship and adoration of the Great King of kings and Lord of lords.

Indeed, we are not sin less but we will sin less in time and like Joseph, this sanctification is an ongoing process but I can look back at my life and I do also Anthony’s and have seen progress…more in him than in me, but rejoice that God divinely and sovereignly crossed our paths and to which I will never, ever be the same.

As for Charles Spurgeon, this man had a great grasp of using the Ten Cannons of the Law to reveal the sinfulness of man and to see our need to throw ourselves at His mercy. And D.L. Moody, ironically I am trying to complete a master’s in seminary at Moody Theological Seminary, perhaps the soundest of all seminaries in all the world and for which I thank God that they would even accept me as a student. I think a sure sign of conversion is when you are surly sharing the way to conversion and that is the bad news of our sinfulness and the news that the wrath of God is on those who have yet not repented and trusted in Christ. Only then can the Good News mean anything to the lost. Its like a doctor coming in and giving you a prescription without showing the lab results and x-rays first. We must show the fatal disease of sin on humanity that has us all under the death penalty. Give them first the bad news of their eternal state and only then will they see their dire need for the Great Physician. To say that “God is love” is to miss the point of the gospel. Even Jesus said “repent or you will likewise perish.” This is the gospel to which I am still falling short in missing opportunities to share and for many, many years, I was living the great omission and being a pew potatoe and interested only in the holy huddles but then I saw how Paul and Jesus proclaimed the gospel and saw the error of my way and began to preach the hard things. As I heard one man say (can’t remember who), “If there’s a mist in the pulpit, there’s a fog in the pew.” No more. By God’s grace, I try to match D.L. Moody’s goal…to share the gospel with at least one person a day at minimum. May God grant me boldness to do so and for His glory for there is really on other purpose give to men. It takes the Word of God, with a man of God, with the Spirit of God to make the children of God….amen?

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I am sorry by what you wrote,but it`s far too much for me to take in. I live in the NE Of England,and religion is out the window. I am housebound with a metal illness and also physical illness. I have no friends,no social life at all,I am also addicted to Valium through no fault of my own and my daughter in law gets my bit shopping in. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. What do you mean when you said I am a pretender or a spammer then I prayer this helps other`s. Are you suggesting that I am kidding,and not taken this serious. If you are then I wouldn`t be on this site. I would be where most people are today not interested in religion at all,and doomed to hell. I was a Roman Catholic,and I don`t believe in the Catholic Dogma anymore (Most of it is rubbish)don`t get me wrong there are some really nice Catholic Christians. You seem a very confident and intelligent man,but unfortunately I am not. I did not know what the word Spammer meant so I looked it up in the English dictionary Meaning- Unsolicited e-mails or text messages sent to multiple recipients. I am not a spammer,and I don`t evan know how you send text messages. That`s that one answered. Pretender- person who makes a false or disputed claim to a position of power. Also I am not a pretender either so what am I?

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DocReits October 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi Anthony,

I apologize Anthony for having offended you…that was not my intention. I do not know you and on some websites people will post things which are not true in order to confuse others.

“If you are a pretender and a spammer then I pray this helps others”

That is what I wrote. Since Jack set me straight that you and he have a history and that you are not a spammer then this does not apply to you.

Once again I apologize for having upset you, that was not my intent. My closing prayer for you on that post remains my hope.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

The words you wrote “If you are a pretender and a spammer then I pray this helps others” These words are a personnel attack on my character,and you said them without not knowing anything about me at all. You do not know this but you go on and try to cover up by what you said with the words “I do not know you and on some websites people will post things which are not true in order to confuse others” You further cover it with the words since Jack set me straight that you and He have a history and that you are not a spammer then this does not apply to you. So just because I and Jack have a history that makes it right.
I am still upset,and it will probably last for quite a few days. It took me about two or three attempts to come to this post and answer you. I will leave the apology to God.

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I knew it would take a while to get over the pain.
In short I accept your apology fully,and not bring it up again. Start again with a clean slate brother.

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Nicholas October 22, 2013 at 2:04 am

test , is my comment being received , thank-you so much for all you do , Nicholas

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Hi Jack can you fill me in on the two men Charles Spurgeon and his Ten Cannons of Law who reveals to us the sinfulness of man.
Also D L Moody and I wish You well to being accepted to the Theological Seminary of this man. (I hope I have got that right)
It`s just that to be quite honest I have never heard of them,because being an ex Catholic you were only taught what was inside the Catholic Church.
I have turned that video “One Thing Remains” into an mp3 and put it in my iTunes collection.
I had to stop listening to it because I kept breaking down with Joy. It just pips Stairway To Heaven,and Nobodies Fault But Mine.
Last night I was tempted very much,and I thought I would crack but I didn`t I asked the Holy Spirit and He answered.
You were quite right Jack from ages ago when you warned me that I would fall it`s not a very nice feeling,but I think I am getting stronger dare I say mentally Jack!

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Jack Wellman October 22, 2013 at 9:56 pm

My brother I am typing this from my smart phone so its short. D.l. Moody is one of the greatest teachers:pastors and evangelists of American and Moody Theological seminaries is one of the biblically sound schools in the nation. Charles spurge on used the law to show that we need a Savior. Google my name and Charles Spurge on for more and take care brother.

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hi Jack I did what you said,and at the top of the page was your article from YaHoo(You get your self about) Then I followed links,and I ended up on an Evangelism page.
I read about a bit about Charles Spurgeon. I like the story when he was going into church with some visitors,but first he went to the boiler room where 500 where praying. I have just come from there and I have forgot what he said they were down there for. I have found out that I am not doing very well. I was amazed at the things that I uncovered,one of them is when we put a picture in our heads what God is like,and God dosn`t like this.
There was arrows of true messages coming from all directions,and I was getting all confused because I wanted to understand it all at once. I have downloaded I think the title was Ten secrets of Hell.(I can`t remember that evan)
I know one thing I will after pull my socks up if I want to get to heaven. Thanks Jack for pointing me in the right direction. Oh! one more thing I did not know that out of a 100% only about 90% get the message,and the the others are Backsliders which I didn`t know that. I think thats what knocking on the door means Actions. Thanks again Jack.

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Jack Wellman October 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I believe that there are today many false converts and this is why Jesus warned those who thought they were Christians but were not in Matthew 7:21-23 but there are more indications to know if you are indeed a stalk of wheat and not a tare or a sheep and not a goat at:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-ways-to-know-you-are-a-christian/

These 10 traits of a genuine, born again person doesn’t mean that every Christian will have all of them but many will have a majority of them…but again, perhaps not all. If a person is missing some of these, that doesn’t mean they are not saved but if a Christian is doing more than 4 to 5 of these traits (at the link in this comment of mine) you see real fruit bearing their being attached to the Vine. Charles Spurgeon is right but you my friend….I see such a sensitivity to sin, and loving heart, a praying man, that there is no doubt in my mind you are the real deal and NOT a false convert. Thanks brother for your inspiring words. You sometimes bring me to tears by your heart being revealed by your words.

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I am finding this all very profound. I was reading Charles Spurgeon,and it was to do with the first commandment. I was forming an idea which I did not know about God,and this is breaking the first commandment. I thought if everybody was doing that God wouldn`t be very pleased about that. I found out it comes underneath Thou shall have no strange Gods before me. I could not believe it this would have only come from you Jack,not a stupid man like me. Then this happened I wrote a post on hear saying that the sin of masturbation must be the cross I had to bear. This must have been the work of the Holy Spirit in my head it said NO! That you are convicted by the Holy Spirit,so When I got off the internet I trashed everything to do with that sin
Without me knowing I had left a loophole for me to commit that sin again by saying this must be my cross to bear. I must have broken down about three times with joy about this being revealed to me. I thought about when I came to this site,and I thought God opened my eyes to me He only half opened them. Thats just the first commandment? What Bible have you got Jack,because this Catholic one has the commandments wrote down to suit them. They have also left out sentences which add up to about two or three pages. You have probably read about the parachute story. I downloaded it plus Sodom and Gemorrah,and watched it and saw Gods wrath the archaeologist said the temperature must have been well off our scale. He opened a bit and inside was Sulphur,and he lit it and it stilled burned. Just keep pointing me in the right direction Jack. God bless You.

Nicholas October 23, 2013 at 2:29 am

OKAY SCIENTIST FOUND OUT THE SKY IS EXPANDING , IN THE BIBLE IT SAYS ABOUT GOD PUSHING BACK THE CURTAINS OF THE HEAVENS , WHAT ABOUT UNDER THE EARTH , YOU READ IN THE BIBLE ABOUT THIS , IN THE END TIMES ARE WE TO HEAR ONE DAY THAT SOMETHING HAS CAME FROM WITHIN THE EART’S CORE PERHAPS ? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ? YOU SEE CHIMNEYS UNDER THE OCEANS AND SEA CREATURES LIVING IN SUCH AN ENVIROMENT , RECENTLY A SPECES OF FISH WAS FOUND ALIVE THAT WAS THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN EXTINCT , STRANGE CREATURES ARE FOUND ON THE SHORE LINES NEAR WHERE HUSH HUSH GOVERMENTAL OR MAYBE IT IS NAVAL EXPERIMENTS ARE TAKING PLACE , WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS , THANKS , NICHOLAS , I AM NOT ASKING TO MEAN TO BOTHER YOU , WHAT MAY BE IN THE BIBLE THAT WOULD MAKE US TO WONDER ABOUT THESE THINGS , I THINK SOMETIMES WE READ THE WORD AND WE DON’T GIVE MUCH THOUGHT TO GOD PUSHES BACK THE CURTAINS OF THE SKY , THEN WE HEAR THAT IT IS EXPANDING AND HEY IT IS AND GOD OF COUURSE ALREADY KNEW IT BECAUSE HE MADE IT HAPPEN , HE KNOW’S ALL , HE CREATED ALL !!!!!!!!!!!

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Nicholas October 24, 2013 at 1:05 am

JESUS SAID TO FORGIVE NOT 7 OR 70 BUT 7 TIMES 70 , THIS ACTUALLY MEANT TO KEEP ON FORGIVING , PLEASE FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER , I SAY FROM EXPERIENCE , IT JUST HELPS YOU TO DO THIS LIKE THIS , I HAVE A NEIGHBOR THAT CAN INSULT ME AND MY WIFE , I HAVE WAITED A WHILE TO EVEN GO OUT AND WORK IN THE YARD , BUT THE SOONER I FORGIVE AND FORGET THE BETTER I FEEL !!!!!!!!!!

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Nicholas October 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I AM REALLY ENJOYING THE CONVERSATION YOU 2 ARE HAVING , THIS IS TRULY A GREAT SITE , I HAD ASKED SOME QUESTIONS ABOVE , I READ WHERE WE SHOULDN’T WEEP OVER GOD’S SECRETS , SOME THINGS WE WILL JUST LEARN WHEN THEY ACTUALLY HAPPEN , I HOPE SOMEONE SEE’S MY QUESTIONS THOUGH AND TELLS ME THEIR THOUGHTS , I LIKE TO HEAR IF I HAVE MISSED SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE OR FORGOTTEN , OR WITH YOUR VAST KNOWLEDGE I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO INTERPRET IT FOR MYSELF , I JUST SEE WHEN THE VERSE SAYS ON THE EARTH AND UNDER THE EARTH , I WONDER DOES THAT MEAN THAT A PERSON WHO HAS DIED DOESN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT GOD WILL REVEAL AS OF YET , IT IS HIS SECRET UNTIL IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS , READ WHERE EVEN JOHN WHEN HE WAS SHOWN HIS VISION DIDN’T UNDERSTAND ALL AND WEEPED ABOUT THIS , THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSE WHEN YOU GET THE TIME , NICHOLAS

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Jack Wellman October 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Thank you Nicholas. Great point about weeping over what we don’t know. I believe that is true. We should not for often I say to people who ask things that are not in the Bible, that is God’s secret and if He wanted us to know He would have revealed it in His Word and we have no business asking or surmising or saying what we think is possible. If the Bible is silent on a subject I think its best for me to be also. Otherwise we get to asking questions that are childish like “How many angels can fit on the head of a pin” or “Can God make a rock so big that even He can’t lift it!?”

When Paul wrote in Philippians 2:10 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow– of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth” is this what you were referencing? I believe that is those who are in heaven, already saved, and those who are not, for when we see Jesus Paul said that “EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” but for the unsaved that confession comes to late (Rom 14:11).

There is another verse in Revelation 5:3 “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” where “no man in heaven” is clearly referring to those who are saved and in heaven, neither those who are under the earth (those dead and not saved) and those “in earth” means those living perhaps both saved and not saved. The reason that they weeped is because they knew the importance of the scroll and what that scroll meant in the second advent (coming) of Christ. I can not say concretely because the Bible doesn’t. That seems to fit the context of the chapter thou. Thanks Nicholas. Did this help or make it clear as mud?

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Nicholas October 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm

HEY , CLEARER THAN SNUFF , CLEARER THAN MUD , CLEAR AS A BELL , AND I LIKE YOUR COMMENT ABOUT THE ROCK TOO HEAVY , MAKES ME THINK OF THE ROCKS THAT CRY OUT — BUT THAT COULD HAVE REALLY TAKEN PLACE IF HE WANTED IT TOO , THANKS SO MUCH FOR SUCH A QUICK RESPONSE , GOD BLESS YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mr Anthony Cotton October 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Jesus said I think no man can forgive sins,but the Catholic has a Man called a Priest to forgive sins. It would be ok if the Priest said God forgives you your sins then say your penance.
I am thinking like this Jack I have thrown myself non stop into trying to understand all of this at once(Which I Carn`t)and it`s taken a toll on me,and this is making my nerves bad plus living alone,and talking to myself all day. I am absolutely mentally,and physically shattered. That gives me an idea how you must feel at times. Thats why I said I am stupid I should have said anxious,and confused. I have had two bad spells of dizzy bouts which havn`t happened to me before.
I will have to make an appointment to see my GP about this,it must be my blood pressure.
Yes I fully understand in what you say. The Catholic Priests answer is they are there to remind you of them, which one person(I thought was funny)said they didn`t have camera`s in those days so how do you know they looked like that. Thanks again Jack for your words of wisdom.

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Jack Wellman October 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Praying for you brother that you get better and find out what’s physically wrong with you. Please let me know Anthony when you find out. I remain in prayer in the meantime and I thank God that you are such a good friend and brother of mine…..like Jonathan was to David, so are you to me.

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Jack Wellman October 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Oh Anthony…I so wish we had more believers like you who are transparent for I too am both justified and still a sinner as Martin Luther so correctly stated. You are following the biblical imperative of confessing our faults to one another and this helps give hope to the hopeless, do you see that my brother? You give me such joy that I cannot even express it in words. I am simply a vessel that was so often rejected by the world when I was young and even today have many personal attacks from so many Christians about the hundreds of other articles over non-essentials that I have written here. By God’s divine grace, He brought you here for my personal blessing and you are a benefactor to so many and that I mean this truly when I say….I thank God for you.

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Jack Wellman October 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hello Anthony. Let me say that you are in no way stupid my brother….absolutely not. We all are incomplete in this life mentally but God gives us what we need and that is the Holy Spirit to make us a child of God. I am a father and grandfather and if anyone called my children stupid I would be angry so you must realize that God would not be pleased if you downgrade yourself for you are a child of His and His love is unending. About the cross that you bear being your sin you mentioned, I believe that the meaning of the cross to bear is not so much our sin but our persecution and suffering in this life and Jesus never bore the cross for anything that He ever did…so when we are told to take up our cross and die to ourselves I believe this means we are to bear our burdens of persecution from non-believers and to live for Christ and crucify our old nature and deny ourselves for the sake of serving others.

As for the Catholic Ten Commandments, you are so right my friend. They have changed them to fit their own doctrine. The Roman Catholic revision is obvious: The Vatican eliminates the second commandment against idolatry, and subdivides the tenth commandment against covetousness in order to keep the number of commandments at ten. This may be because of their many images like Mary and Joseph and of course Jesus. These are the same versions that are used by many Lutheran churches. The Biblically accurate version used by Protestants is the one found on public monuments and in courtrooms in the United States and elsewhere, to the extent that the postmodern “freedom from religion” mindset still permits it and they are the Ten Commandments as given in the Bible.

Commandment #2 used by Catholics is:

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Commandment #2 should be:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.

Commandments # 9 and 10 are also different in the Catholic versions.

#9 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.

#10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

Protestants have it as it is recorded in the Bible:

#9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor

#10 Thou shalt not covet.

That is a huge difference, is it not. Even though no one can keep these perfectly we should strive to keep them and no one is saved by keeping them but a person that is saved should have that desire to keep them. Makes sense brother? Your insight is anything BUT stupid. I admire you desire to grow in knowledge and holiness….and to me, that is a great indicator of good intelligence for the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord. Love you my brother. By the way…we all form God in our own image and after our own likeness….that is a human universal but thankfully we are saved by grace and not works (see Book of Galatians).

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