Question:

I am currently 21 years old. Every day I wake up and cannot get the sins I have committed in my past out of my head. They haunt me day in and day out. I want to get to know Christ better, but I feel like I can no longer be the Christian I could've been before I committed my sins. I want to teach others about the grace of God. Let them see how amazing His love really is, but my past sins make me feel unworthy. Can I still teach others? Can I still perhaps go into ministry?

I have also committed fortification twice. I was so lost and let my own desires control my decisions in life. I needed someone to be there for me and didn't realize at the time that someone should be God. I am no longer seeing either girl in a relationship, but my friends and I are currently still friends and hang out with them. It is hard to see them and be reminded of the sins I did. I do not know what to do from here. I know that neither girl is for me. I want to keep our friendship and move on, but it is so hard with what I have done with them. I feel like my sins with them make it hard to be friends now, and I don't know what to do. Can I invite them to church?

Am I forgiven of past sins? How can I go about this situation the way God wants me to so I can serve Him. That is all I want: To live my life for God. Only Him. What can I do to get started?


Answer:

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:6-9).

I find it interesting that you wish to teach about the grace of God, while you deny that God's grace can operate in your own life.

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:1-10).

Paul fought against the church in the first part of his life. He arrested Christians and testified against them, leading to their deaths. Yet, he was saved.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life" (I Timothy 1:12-16).

Since I don't know your background, I would like you to read What Must I Do to be Saved? and see if there are things that God requires that you have not done. If there are things you need to do, then get busy correcting the situation. If you have properly became a Christian, then you need to ask God for forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). It has to a sincere prayer, asked with full faith that God keeps His word. "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-8).

If you need salvation from your sins, why do you think it is fine to leave those you sinned with behind in their sins?

Thank you for responding. I understand everything you are saying, and it was very helpful. I do seem to deny God's grace can operate in my life. I feel like my sins are worse than others, even though God forgives all sins.

I now finally understand the importance of sex and how God intended it to be for one man and one woman. I do not want to leave those I sinned with behind. It has hard knowing now the spiritual bond I now have with them, since we are now considered one flesh. I guess I am just confused on how sexual sins are forgiven? Can I marry another without going against God's word and covenant? Will I always be one flesh with the two girls?

I read What Must I Do to be Saved? It was very helpful. Although I do believe wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ died for my sins, I have never been saved. I want to do so in my immediate future, and I am also looking for ways I can practice my faith. I want to do more than just go to church every Sunday. Every day I am beginning to see more and more of the grace of God. I want others who are lost like I was to be able to know that they are saved through Jesus, but I feel ill-prepared. Is there anything I can do that will acquaint me more with the teachings of Jesus, so that I will be able to answer the hard questions individuals might ask about God, His existence, and his plan? Should I just start reading the Bible, or is there a good plan that will help me further my understanding? I want to start reading every day, and I will make time. I just do not know where to start.

I hope what I said makes sense. It can be difficult to put what I am thinking into words that make sense to others. I love God, and I believe I am forgiven, even though my previous statements may contradict that. I do not know why I have such a hard time with my sexual sins. Maybe it is because I lost something very special, while also taking something very special that was not mine to take. Maybe I am looking at all of this the wrong way, and do not fully understand God's grace yet. I want to change. I want to give everything to the Lord. I no longer want to live for myself, but instead I want to follow the path Jesus has made for me, wherever that may go. I understand that most of society will disagree with the path I take and as a college student I might get criticized for it, but I know that if the Lord is with me, then who could possibly be against me?

I really like I Timothy 1:12-16.

You were one body for a moment with those girls, but you were not one flesh. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him" (I Corinthians 6:15-17). Notice that there are three states mentioned:

  • One body
  • One flesh
  • One spirit

Paul proves that sex binds the participants. It is not a permanent or stable bond, but it is a bond nonetheless. Those who engage in sexual sins are physically coupled during the act. They become for the moment one body (the Greek word soma). This is different from sex in marriage where the two become on flesh (the Greek word sarx). Illicit sex is just a joining of bodies, which is unstable. Marital sex is the joining of two human beings into one life. And our joining to the Lord is an even greater bond, being a spiritual fellowship. Marital sex is compatible with our spiritual bond because the Lord blesses it (Hebrews 13:4). Illicit sex is not compatible with our spiritual bond with Christ.

Why should we take what God has freed from sin (Romans 6:1-7) and then bind ourselves to sinners, even on a temporary basis? We are a part of Christ (Ephesians 5:30) and when we sin, we are attempting to force sin to join with Christ through us. It won't work because what is flawed is cast off. Our reaction to sins, such as fornication ought to be run away from it as far and as fast as we can.

Having sex outside of marriage creates no permanent bond. When we read, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24), there are three steps:

  1. A man leaves his parents
  2. He is joined to his wife. He gets married to a woman.
  3. The two become one flesh. They begin the process of two people becoming a new single unit: a family.

You did not marry the girls you had sex with. You committed fornication with them. Since you are unmarried, you are still able to marry a woman.

The idea that you can be forgiven of your sins without being saved is not biblical. What do you think you you are being saved from? "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"" (Acts 2:38). Peter told his audience that they needed to repent and be baptize in order to have forgiveness of their sins. "And" means that both repentance and baptism have to be accomplished before sins are forgiven. Ananias told Saul, "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Acts 22:16). Though Saul had seen Jesus, believed in him, spent three days fasting and in prayer, he was still in sin until he accomplished all that God commanded.

Learning God's Word so you can teach others is accomplished with other Christians. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:11-16). You need to become a part of a faithful congregation so you can further you knowledge of God's word. You can learn some on your own, but you need other Christians to help you learn things that you would not realize on you own. You also need fellow Christians to encourage you to keep going when the way gets rough. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:23-25).

If you let me know what town you are close to, I'll try to find congregation and a preacher in your area whom you can talk to.

Thank you so much for your insight! It really means a lot. I was nervous to talk to someone about all of this and didn't really know what to do. What you have said has really inspired me, and I think it will be a catalyst for my relationship with God. You have opened my eyes to a lot of things. I did not understand the importance of being baptized, and hope I can do so as soon as possible. I relied on myself to accomplish things, and now I realize I need to rely on God, and everything else will work out.

A few of my friends attend church. Perhaps I can start a Bible study with them, and get more involved with the church I attend. My roommates are not religious, and I know they have opinionated views of Christianity due to past experiences, and life events. My hope is that God will use me or someone else to reach out to them, and they will be able to see God's grace and love.