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I was a "Christian".
Granddaughter of a pastor.
A missionary myself.
until....
One Day I read what the Bible really said.
"He Who Abides in Christ does not sin." 1 John 3:6
and I realized I needed something more...

Abiding in Jesus
And my life was changed.
I discovered peace, power, and victory I never knew possible.

 

I Believe:

1. Sin is of Satan - when we sin we are allegiant to Satan and are growing in him.

 

2. Righteousness is of Christ - when we abide in Christ we live His righteousness and grow in Him.

 

3. Christ offers us His gift of perfection - to live it out daily - by daily and moment by moment surrender of my will, asking to hear His voice guide me, and promising and following through to obey His voice.

 

4. Sanctification is both an act and an action.  I am sanctified when I wholeheartedly surrender my entire life to Him.  I then live out the process of sanctification by continuing to walk with Him in obedience.  

 

5. Sanctification is a progressive work that includes growing more and more in Christ's likeness. I am continually growing in knowledge and an intimate relationship with Christ. As an example, in a marriage we can continually learn more about our spouse and grow our relationship.  Another way we grow is through living the sanctified life of obedience; our habits (neural pathways) change and the desire to sin diminishes and dies.  We can also grow by getting rid of things in our lives that aren't immoral sins, but that take up time and money we could use in better ways for Christ.  An example would be hobbies.  We continue to grow by reflecting Christ stronger in all our actions.  

 

6.  Sanctification and sin are incompatible.  I cannot be in the process of sanctification while committing a sin because if I sin, I have stepped out of the rulership of Christ and am living and promoting the character of Satan.

 

7. The requirement for heaven is complete perfection which is only found in complete submission and obedience to Christ moment by moment.  What ruined heaven the first time was Satan committed an unknown sin.  This destroyed the perfect country of purity, love, and happiness.  God will not allow sin back into heaven again - either known or unknown because it would destroy heaven again.  In and of our own education and power, we can never know what perfect obedience is.  The only way to achieve the perfect obedience required for heaven is to be completely and perfectly submitted to Christ moment by moment.  This is the only way the angels who live in heaven, continue to live in perfection – by continually submitting the will, listening, and obeying.

 

The more I study, every Bible verse points to these simple and basic truths.  Yet I have been blinded and deceived for years.  We tend to read the word of God through the lens of human reasoning.  But 99% God's truth + 1% human reasoning = 100% Satan's deceptive lie.

 

We have used our human reasoning to think that as long as we are on the path toward Christ, and are progressively sinning less, we are saved.  Yet this is still living in our own strength and not completely submitting to Christ.  I am not safe walking toward Christ; (although that is a much better place to be than walking away from Him! - and hopefully that will finally lead to Him if I continue and there is enough time!)  I am ONLY SAFE BY ABIDING IN CHRIST!!!!  And I can be in Christ in one second.  By simply surrendering my will.  And I can do that now.  And through His power I can continue to live in surrender.

As long as we preach progressively sinning less - we are not preaching Christ.  Because I can progressively sin less in my own power - I've been doing a great job of it for 41 years.  In that light -I have been perfect and successful.  But when I realized that perfection was required - this caused me to see my need of Christ and surrender completely to Him. It caused me to realize I didn't need to just look to Christ, or be walking toward Christ, or need Christ's help: my only option was to completely die to self and completely fall into the arms of an all-loving and all-powerful God. 

 

I thought I was converted years ago; I thought conversion was saying, “I love Jesus and want Him to live in my life.”  I thought it was slowly but surely experiencing victory over sin.   But I have now finally been converted: I have surrendered my entire life to Jesus.  I have died.  He is alive.  And it is the most glorious life I have ever experienced.

How God Revealed to Me the Concept of Abiding in Christ

My Story:   I was raised to love Jesus.  From my youngest moments, Jesus was part of my life.  But through the years, things would get me off track – sometimes in total rebellion, and sometimes just the little normal sins of day-to-day life. I preached Him.  I thought I knew God, what it was to be a Christian, and I thought I loved Him.

            Several years ago I was convicted I needed to be reading my Bible every day.  As I did this, I began realizing I needed to be listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying His voice every day.  I did my best for years – and this resulted in considerable changes in my life of putting away sin.  But there was still something missing.  My heart was still unreliable – so many times I would accidentally fail and sin again.  It seemed in trials my emotions would just carry me away.

            The Holy Spirit began to ask me some hard questions.  “Lisa, how long are you going to sin? At what age will you finally overcome?  How much time is enough to overcome? Would a loving God call you to a standard you cannot meet, and allow you to continue in sin and bondage, or deliver you completely?”

             In 2017 I read an article by that said Christ used the power of His Word to create instantaneously.  God said, “Let there be____,” and it immediately was.  The Bible says: “Create in me a new heart.” Jones challenged: are we a creationist or an evolutionist?  Do I believe God has the power, through His Word, to create in me a clean heart immediately – or do I believe God is an evolutionist and will slowly change me from sinner to child of God.  I knew I was a creationist and believed God’s power, but I didn’t know how to live out my belief.  But the seed was planted.

             In January of 2021 my mom gave me a book: The Guide to Christian Perfection.  For the first time, I saw Bible verses that proved it possible to live a perfect life in Christ.  I couldn’t deny the Biblical evidence; now I believed. But I didn’t know how to make it a reality in my life.

            In April of 2021, our family went through a series of challenging crises, that showed me “a little tiny normal sin that we all do” results in terrible sin if not completely eradicated from the life.  As a family we determined to have a revival and reformation and completely submit to Christ and cleanse our lives of sin.  Grand improvement was made, but sometimes we would find ourselves back in sin.  We each seemed stuck in a cycle: repent – obey for awhile – sin….

In September 2021, I was gifted and read The Life of Victory.  A week later, I was gifted the book Christ Our Righteousness by Bill Lehman.  I read the entire book that week.  I read that in my own strength I will always be a sinner, but I only need invite Christ to come live inside of me and live His life within me, and I would thus be converted and live the sanctified life.  It seemed too good to be true.  I checked it with scripture and found it to be true.  Others found it to be Biblically true also. 

            After a discussion with someone, I realized I needed to study for myself more deeply – to seek and find.  The first verse I found was 1 John 3:6: “He who abides in Him does not sin.” Ouch– that’s convicting.  In an effort to better understand abiding in Christ, I began to categorize verses by different aspects.  I did this all day for several days and came to a stunning reality: when I abide in Christ, daily and moment by moment listening to the Holy Spirit and surrendering my will, I cannot sin. I grow in Christ by obeying.  Every time I sin, I become more like Satan.  The two are direct opposites.  Growing in Christ and sin are incompatible.

            This is a hard conclusion to come to.  It means I must die.  It means I don’t run my life and do what I want.  It means complete surrender for a lifetime.  But it also means a life of uninterrupted victory to victory.  It means walking and talking with God all day long – every day.  It means daily miracles. WOW!!!!  What a privilege I have!!!  And I have been throwing it away all these years thinking I was bound to sin and couldn’t completely escape.  And if I’m honest with myself, I have lived in sin because I love my sin and believe it brings me happiness – when it is the sin that is making me miserable and killing me.

             I do not profess to be perfect.  My flesh is always 100% wretch.  But I clearly see Christ offers me deliverance and moment by moment righteousness in Him.  I don’t understand everything, but will obey the clear Word of God.   I am thrilled to finally know how to abide in the arms of my perfect heavenly Father: who guides me through all trials, keeps me from all sin, and uses His power to make up for all my weaknesses.  By abiding in Him, I have found supreme joy and victory! The children of Israel wandered in the desert because of unbelief.  I am done wandering.  I will believe and obey.  God can explain the rest in heaven.

God: The Perfect Father

           My Viewpoint:   I didn’t have a perfect father.  I haven’t been a perfect mother.  And so I grew up, and we all grow up, with a skewed vision of God as Father, and presenting a skewed vision of God. 

          I remember one day specifically praying to God, “I know in my brain you are my perfect Father, but I don’t feel You!  How do you say You are my Father when you don’t do what a Father does!”  Looking back on that experience, I think He was saying, “I am your Father – I’m right here – waiting for you to come to me and abide in me.  I’m waiting for you to take your eyes of self and put them on me.  I’m waiting for you to stop living your life your way and trust me.” This was all happening simultaneously to my studying how to abide in Christ.

          As the Holy Spirit worked on my heart, and guided me into more and more truth, my life began to change.  The more I listened to His voice, the more my life changed and the great peace and joy I experienced.   It didn’t take the trials away, but rather more trials came my way.  But I began to view the trials as a blessing – a way to experience God to a deeper level.

          I remember after one particularly challenging but victorious day, I laid down to go to sleep.  God said, “Lisa – I am your perfect Father.  Do you feel me now?”  And I had to break down in tears of joy.  Yes, I had now found my heavenly Father.  I had found a Father who always guided me in all ways throughout the day, who warned me of dangers, who protected me from dangers too complex for me to understand, who chastened me in love when I stepped out of line, and who comforted and soothed my emotions.  I had found a Father who I could feel his presence, hear His voice, and who listened to me.  Wow, what a day that was!

          When I view my heavenly Father, I experience a Father who loves me – the true definition of love – not my previously screwed up definition of worldly love.  He loves me so much that He protects me from dangers I am not aware of.  For example, when my boys were very little, I kept them back from the hot wood stove, because they didn’t understand the danger no matter how many words I used. I believe God protects me even from the sin I don’t know about!  Because a truly loving Father protects His children from all harm if we will listen to Him and obey.  I experience a Father who is always watching out for me.  I tried to do that for my little boys – but sometimes I couldn’t see danger coming!  I experience a Father who judges justly. If I am in sin, He deals me fair consequences so I will learn to see the awfulness of sin and see my need for Him to rescue me.  He also comforts me when being mistreated and tells me to pick my head up and remember I am a child of the King of the Universe.  But what I love about my Heavenly Father the most: He’s always there. I don’t have to call him or drive to visit Him - He is always present to give me His guidance and love.  I never thought it possible – but I truly have found an intimate relationship with my heavenly Father.  I feel His presence.  My Father God is real – and I am willing to lose everything – as long as I still have Him.

Conclusion

          Sin is the most dangerous thing on planet Earth.  It kills everyone it is in.  As God is love, Satan is sin.  We were all unfortunately through our unfaithful father Adam, born with a sinful nature.  Every act of our sin is allegiance to Satan and is further reproducing his character within us.  To “Christians," Satan has very cunningly taught us it is ok to believe in the law, but just realize it isn’t possible to obey.  By doing this, we are deceived: believing we are saved, when our hearts and works testify we are lost.  Our hearts and works testify whose nature we have – who we follow.  We have spent our lives using knowledge and self-control to be better than others – thinking someone must be saved – and so it must be us.  But our self-made goodness is as menstrual rags and causes God to vomit.  God kicked sin out of heaven the first time, and He won’t let it back in a second time.  This all sounds terrible and you may wonder why I even say this.  Because we have avoided this.  We haven’t stopped to see our terrible condition.  And that is why we haven’t become converted; we haven’t changed.  We haven’t seen our need for a Saviour, and so we haven’t searched for a Saviour.  To be converted, we must realize the truth of who we are and our need of a Saviour.

          But there is excellent news:  Christ came to this world to take away sin – that IS the gospel!  He came to save a wretch like me!  God offers to live inside of me and live His victory through me TODAY!  When He is abiding in my heart, I am His holy temple.  When He is in my heart, I cannot sin – for He cannot sin.  He becomes the power of victory in my life to both rescue me and keep me from sin!  And he has prepared Heaven in which there is no sin, sorrow, or heartache.  It is a promise – for eternity!  If I allow Him to live in me and create a new heart and mind in me, I will live a meaningful and powerful life here on Earth.  And when He comes back to take His children home, I can go to live in that heavenly country with Him face to face! 

The way to come to Christ is the simplest method, and yet the hardest.  Simple because we just have to give up.  Hard because we must be willing to give up and surrender moment by moment to Christ.  It begins with true repentance: seeing how awful we are, repenting, and choosing to die to self and let Christ live within us.  This isn’t a once in a lifetime conversion – this is a daily consecration through reading His Word, talking to Him, and committing to trustingly listen and obey His voice.  If we step away from Him and sin – we must acknowledge it as sin that separates us from Christ and grows us into the image of Satan - but we can repent while there is time! – for we have a Mediator!

          Christ is Righteousness.  Christ is Love.  Everything in and of myself is evil.  I cannot produce one act of righteousness or love.  I need to abide in Christ.  I need Christ to take control of my heart and mind and change it.  But He does that only if I will him to – each moment of the day.  Satan will dangle before me crafty lies, distractions, and the thought of self to try and get me off track.  The Holy Spirit will guide me, and if I listen and obey – I will experience victory after victory.  That is sanctification: moment by moment abiding and living out His righteousness.

          While abiding in Christ I will always be growing.  It is as a school teacher who prepares her students for one level at a time.  They love to listen and learn.  At each level they are given a test and pass with 100%.  They are then moved onto the next level of knowledge.   And it continues for all time.  The other growing that needs to occur is that in my sinful flesh, I have neural pathways that have been formed in sin.  This has produced my character of sin.  When I first come to Jesus, it is difficult (but possible) for me to put to death the flesh and surrender my will to Christ in obedience.  Each time I obey, I am slowly putting to death the previous neural pathway and forming a new neural pathway of righteousness.  The more I do this, the more it is my desire and habit to do what is right.  Adam before sin, and Christ who lived sinlessly, needed to form a righteous character through obedience.  We most also form righteous characters from obedience so we will not ever want to sin again.

          Christ is waiting for his harvest to ripen so He can come to Earth and take His children home.  Today is the day of salvation.  Today I choose to reject the crafty lies and believe the powerful truth of the gospel – of Jesus Christ Himself.  Today I choose to let Him move in and cleanse my temple – to kick the devil out.  Today, and moment by moment, I choose to humbly submit to Jesus.  I desire to grow in Him more and more each day and fall greater in love with Him for all eternity.

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