Are You Wicked? A checklist

How guilty I am.

Why Not Believe?

The Bible says that all people are wicked (Romans 3:10). In Romans chapter one the Apostle Paul provides some specific ways in which we humans rebel against God and do evil. Read the list below and see if it calls to mind any of your sins. Every honest person will admit that they are guilty of some of these sins, in which case they need to repent of it before God:

 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing…

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Free will to do what I want?

I did not write it. My (brother), brother in Christ did.

Perceived Free Will

Free will or what people call free will is an illusion. There is no such thing as free will.  People like to think that they have free will because they say “Because of my free will, I do whatever I want to do, go wherever I want to go, or choose whatever I want to choose.”  In reality, this “freedom” is formed from a complex set of predefined notions or determinants, learned experiences and personnel preferences linked together in a continuous series of cause and effect events, so no choice made could really be classified as “free”.   With each choice there is a set of dynamic rules that determine how, when and where the choice is made.  Any choice that would truly be free would be made without concern for preferences or about the outcome.  Every choice, whether it is known or unknown has a cost.  How can anything that has a cost be free?

True Free Will

True free will implies that choices are made without any kind of governing constraints.  No person will randomly make a choice of any kind without first consulting their internal evaluation system, no matter how trivial it might be.  Exerting true free will is really a violation of this internal evaluation system, making a choice with total disregard for the outcome or any pertinent circumstances.  Most people with any understanding know that a person who truly operates a free will in that context will probably not live very long just by the very fact that certain wrong choices can be fatal.  The pragmatic reality of true free will is that no person can ever possess it and be a functional human being.  To make an actual choice requires preference, preference requires a prerequisite knowledge of comparisons and outcomes, and without these determinants a person cannot make a decision.  A person of true free will would be unable to participate in life or even to sustain their own life because making any kind of choice would not be possible.

The Comfort Zone

It is a basic characteristic of human nature to always choose or have the perception to the path of least resistance.  We are forever seeking what is most pleasurable or what is most comfortable in our lives and would never knowingly make a selection that would cause pain unless there was no other choice.  Often we choose to help others, not so much for wanting to do what is good, but for the fact that it will make us feel good about ourselves, and to a certain degree, it would be uncomfortable for us if we didn’t help. This innate tendency is another factor that makes true free will choices less conceivable because the outcomes of such choices would most likely cause higher degree of anguish than any of us would be willing to endure.

The Natures of Man

If a person has designated himself or herself as a Christian and they understand the truth of the Bible then they accept that there are only two natures of man, a sinful or Adamic nature, or a redeemed or Christ-like nature.  If man possesses the nature of Adam, which is the state of every man at birth, then he is a slave to sin and is controlled by Satan.  If a man has been truly redeemed and regenerated, believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and the only way to salvation, then he is a bondservant of Christ and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  A sinful man can only choose sin, nothing else.  Even the good a sinful man does is tainted by his fallen nature and cannot truly be good with respect to God.  A redeemed man is given good works by God for the glory and purposes of God.  Even though he may do other things in his life that are not representative of his redeemed nature, they will not be held in account against him because only the things that truly are of God survive and are rewarded.   A slave is not free to do whatever he desires; he has master that controls his every action and decision, even though the perceived autonomy may be believed as “free”.   God has determined from the beginning of time which nature a man will ultimately possess for eternity and no decision by man can alter the purposes of God.

Cause and Effect

From the very beginning, as established by God in creation, there has always been the basic principle of cause and effect.  God said “Let there be” and “it was so”.  God was the initiator of it and the effect was creation.  God passed this capability to man as he was created in the image of God (again, cause and effect).  Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned against Him.  They caused sin to come into the world and the effect was a fallen nature and a cursed creation which was passed on to their descendants.  This principle of cause and effect is still in operation today and is part of every decision we make.  It is a never-ending linked series of choices and outcomes.  We decide what to choose from previous choices and their outcomes, producing future outcomes and more choices.  Where God is unlimited in what He can cause to happen, man is limited, either by society or himself, but ultimately by God.  There are definite restrictions for what man can cause to happen, to the point where his choices, if pursued to the ultimate conclusion, will culminate in his destruction.  Once you are dead, you can’t cause anything to happen or affect anything and any future choices will not be made by you.

Human Will as a Means

If there was such a thing as true free will then we would be operating outside the established principle of God and there would be no means for our salvation.  It is human volition that God uses to bring us to salvation.  The natural man has a human volition that is primarily controlled by the flesh, by the world and by Satan.  Every choice that is made is representative of his fallen nature and is derived from the knowledge that has been learned and acquired without respect or thought of God.   The natural man possesses a truth “that is right in his own eyes” and does not consider that there may be an absolute truth, for him everything is relative, everyone having a right to their own truth.   If the natural man is destined for salvation (is an elect of God) he will be drawn irresistibly by God to His truth through the various means God uses to spread His truth.  Once God’s truth is heard and accepted, the will of the natural man is supernaturally altered and becomes oriented toward the will of God and His purposes.  God works in you on your will, to produce the intent, the inclination, the will to do what He desires.  As more of God’s truth is poured into the now redeemed man, the knowledge acquired from the world is diminished in value and the choices that were made based on this knowledge become inferior against the new choices made being based on the true knowledge of God.  The human volition, once an ignorant slave to sin, is now an enlightened eager bondservant to Christ.

The Final Destination

In the end, there will be an end to all things temporal and there will only be two destinations for man.  He will continue to cling to his illusion of free will and end up in an eternal hell or he will have his will converted by God and spend eternity in heaven.  There is no other choice and it is a choice that man cannot make, God has made this choice for him. Why God has chosen some for election and some for damnation is a mystery and is in the consul of God for His purposes.  We might think that unfair but the real truth is that all men deserve damnation and it is by the grace and mercy of God that even a few are chosen to share His eternal life.  If you are a true Christian then you are thankful for God’s choice and understand that it was a choice that you could never make because what you perceived as free was really captivity and only true freedom comes from the knowledge of Christ.  “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”  [John 8:34-36]

Heirs through the Spirit.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus, and if you are Christ’s then, you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5) 
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, then–heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:12-17)
 
Every believer has been made an heir of God, our Father (Matthew 25:34; Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 1:12, 3:24; Hebrews 6:12, 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4) 

From my devotional Jesus Calling

By Sarah Young for every day of the year.

I, The Creator Of The Universe, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack, it is because you are not connecting with me at a deep level. I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything.

It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving, and watch to see what I will do. I am the Lord!

Romans 8:31-32; Micah 7:7

Good advice for all of us. Amen!

Jesus, His promise to all who will come to Him.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. (John 14:1-4)

He is the Good Shepherd. No one can enter heaven any other way. Doing what you think is good enough, isn’t. (John 10:1-42) There is no other way to heaven except through Jesus.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1-9)

Paul tells us and the church at Philippi to not be led astray by false teachers, pretenders posing as friends of Christ:

Brethren,  join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told often, and now I tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their own belly, and whose glory is in their shame– who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3-17-21)

God only grants grace through faith, Paul writes to the Ephesians:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a 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 2:1-22)

The mystery revealed. (Ephesians 3:1-21)

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming–in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning–lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say is to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:32-37)

I am starting to readjust from my pity party.

Well, I went for my three-month psychiatrist appointment. I told him what I have been dealing with trying to get a job and that I was having a hard time. So he upped one of my meds. I think it is working because I feel more relaxed. I also went to my job coach and she checked on my work history with the last company. They did not say anything about what had happened. We were both surprised it was not on my record (The Lord’s Will). They won’t take me back here. I called and they never called back, I understand. It really was just too much pressure for me working full-time.

I have my Lord’s work and my mom who is going to be eight-one this September. I do the yard and snow in the winter. I don’t mind at all. I just don’t want her doing things by herself, like climbing ladders, going in the attic. We had our issues last summer. She was working outside in ninety degree weather. I gave her the business, worrying about her. It did turn into a big blowup because other family was here for the weekend. It’s like they know it all. They are not here that much. She thinks she is invincible. I don’t want her falling and breaking a hip. She is in good shape for her age. She has to listen. We got bags of mulch the other day. She wanted to help me move them. The guy had put them in the van at store. So she kept trying to help unload them. We had this trolley and she is pushing it and I was pulling three bags. One fell off and down she went. I told her see how easy it can be to hurt yourself. So just maybe, she got it. I was worried about her shoulder. It took six months to get better the last time.

I caught up on my devotions, just yesterday from May. Things I should have read early in the month. I went away feeling useless for a bit. He made me feel loved and cared for. He knows what I am going through. No matter, He loves me and is waiting for me to let His will be done. I am listening to my bible on my MP3 and sermons. I need to pray more. He is hearing me I know. He always knows what we need.

Please, Lord next week, I hope and pray I get that home health care job. It’s what I need to be doing and making a little money. Please Lord, fix my low iron blood problem so I can give plasma again. Lord keep me in line with Your Will for me. Amen!

I am starting to question?

I am wondering if what I have is really psycho babble. I am wondering why I have these two illnesses. I want to say that the Lord is my rock and that I trust Him on all. I heard someone preaching and saying things like we bury that old self. That we don’t need to go there digging all that stuff out. I kinda disagree, because it is still part of me and my testimony. I did dig and it helped to forgive things. I still have those mental parts, I call my sinful nature. No matter how much I don’t want them they are there. If I stopped taking the pills I don’t think I would be trusting God. I know how I feel with them and how I did when I wasn’t on the right ones. Yet when things get in my face, my illnesses come out. Over the last few months, I have had several bouts, and then I am better. I feel like I should be able to handle more rejections and trials by now.

I look at the other side and when I am busy working for the Lord I feel less stressed, joyful. It’s a whopper of a truth, Lord I need help with rejection. It takes a few things happening, disappointments, people not listening to me, people just being unfeeling in their questions. I am like where can I go without facing questions why are you here. I am here because I visit people and know people. I have a badge that says I can. Anyway,  just saying people have no idea of how they treat others. It is truly a sin. I was like that not knowing the Lord. I would get angry when someone got in my face. Now it just catches me off guard. Then later it hurts. 

Not to mention, Pastor’s sermon was about mothers. I held my own. I did not stand up with the others. I did not cry until late in the evening. I did get a Happy Mother’s Day from my daughter in Lebanon and my son called. I told him I was not a good mom, and he said never mind you’re doing better now. That’s him now belonging to the Lord also.

I guess what I am saying is I am reading the Word, praying, being faithful to the Lord’s will. I just have to wait it out to see where the Lord is taking me.

In all that is, He is beside me and His Holy Spirit dwells within me. That is a certainty for me, because I am changed but, not all the way yet. I just have to remember. One day is like a thousand years to God. Our days slip by in a moment. Tomorrow is coming. I’ll be here still or with Him. I think that every day.    

Amen. Lord Jesus, come quickly!