If God Forgives My Sins, Why Can’t I Do Whatever I Want?


The Bible is very clear that no one can keep God’s law perfectly. Ever since Adam and Even sinned in the Garden of Eden, people have been unable to obey God and keep all of his commandments. That is why keeping the Law is not the way to salvation. Instead, God sent his Son to earth to be a sacrifice for sins. Jesus paid the price for our sins, and we are saved by grace not by our good works.


Paul explained that when we are baptized, we are united with Christ and share in his death and resurrection. For us to share in Christ’s death means that our old sinful natures die away. To share in his resurrection means that our new identity comes to life. This new identity is one that tries, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live a life that pleases God. And we don’t want to take this gift of forgiveness lightly or for granted. We need to continue to strive to rid our lives of sin in thankfulness and service to God.


Romans 6


What Does It Mean To Be Sexually Pure?


Our culture puts a great emphasis on attractiveness and sexuality. Movies, television, popular music, and advertising are filled with images of sexuality. Many people in today’s world seem to think that having sex before marriage is fine as long as no one gets hurt or gets a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, people who decide not to have sex until they are married are sometimes seen as old-fashioned and unusual.


The Bible has many passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament that talk about God’s plan for human sexuality. God created human beings as sexual creatures, and sex is a good gift from God that brings pleasure to people, unites them in a relationship, and is necessary for reproduction (having children). But God wants people to use this gift in the right way. That means that only people who are married should have sex. And people should not have immoral sex, such as sex with prostitutes. The Holy Spirit lives inside each of us, and we should honor and respect our bodies and not use our bodies in ways that would dishonor God.


1 Corinthians 6


Why Can’t I Wait To Become a Christian Until after I’ve Had My Fun?


One very practical answer to the question is that none of us knows how long we will live. If we put off becoming a Christian until some date in the future, we could become involved in a bad accident and lose consciousness or even our life before we have accepted God’s invitation to be a part of his family.


Another reason not to postpone becoming a Christian is that sin may become so powerful and so attractive that we are unable to give it up and in that way lose our opportunity to follow God and do his will.


Still another reason to become a Christian when God calls us is that we should not resist the Holy Spirit working in our heart. God shows great love by choosing his people. If we do not respond to his call, we are insulting God and acting as if his gift of salvation is not important.


Finally, by becoming a Christian when God calls us, we can benefit from participating with other believers as we grow in our faith and do God’s work in the world. And being a Christian can be fun!


2 Corinthians 6


Does God Know Everything that I Do or Think?


One of God’s characteristics is that he is omniscient (all-knowing). God knows everything perfectly about the past, present, and future. The Bible teaches that because God is the creator of the universe, he knows all that has happened and will happen. Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” And Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.”


It can be frightening to realize that God knows everything that we think and everything that we do. We cannot hide from God. When we have bad thoughts or do bad things, God knows all about it. But God loves us in spite of the things that we do that disappoint him. The fact that God knows everything can be a source of comfort for Christians because even though God can see our sins, he also sees the faith that we have in our hearts, and he knows us as his children.


Hebrews 4


Is It Really So Bad To Swear?


Swearing can refer to taking an oath, but it can also refer to using God’s name in a wrong way by cursing. God is holy, and he expects us to honor him. When we misuse his name as a way of expressing anger or frustration, or if we ask God to curse someone with whom we are angry, we are dishonoring God. In ancient times, God’s people were so careful to respect God’s name that they did not speak it aloud or write it out completely. Nowadays, people often swear very casually. One of the most common misuses of God’s name nowadays is the expression “Oh, my God.” Most of the time when people say this, they are simply expressing surprise or excitement rather than giving thanks to the Creator of the universe.


Using God’s name incorrectly or without respect is offensive to God, and it harms our Christian witness. Believers should always remember to honor God’s name as holy.


Leviticus 24


Is Fortune-telling Always Wrong?


People use different methods to try to predict the future. Sometimes they look at the creases in a person’s palm; sometimes they use special cards that they lay out in different ways on a table; sometimes they use tea leaves or other materials to try to tell what the future holds.


Throughout the Bible it is clear that God is in control. He knows what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future. That is a source of comfort for believers because we can rely on God’s grace and providence to care for us in whatever situation we find ourselves. The only people that God allowed to predict the future were the prophets, and they usually did not predict what would happen to individuals. Instead, they talked about the major events that would occur for God’s people, such as the coming of the Messiah.


However, some people are so curious about the future that they try to use different methods to find out what will happen to them in the future. Even if this is just done as a game or for fun, it still is wrong because it goes against God’s commandments and because it denies that God alone can see into the future.


Deuteronomy 18


If I’m Depressed, Does that Mean that I Don’t Have Enough Faith?


Many of the major figures in the Bible experienced sadness or depression. Elijah, Job, Jonah, David, and many others were at one time or another overwhelmed with the problems that they faced, and they even wondered if God was still present. The Psalms include many examples of believers experiencing great sadness. For example Psalm 42:3 says, “My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’”


In life there are many factors that can make us feel overwhelmingly sad or depressed. That is not a sign of spiritual weakness or lack of faith. Often it is a combination of difficult circumstances along with chemical reactions in the brain. Clearly when we feel depressed, we should seek help through prayer, but also by seeking advice from counselors and pastors, and by seeking medical help. Today there are many ways to treat depression, which is a medical condition rather than a lack of faith.


1 Kings 19


Do Miracles Still Happen Today?


The word miracle literally means a marvelous event or an event that causes wonder. A miracle cannot be explained by normal natural forces; it causes people to look for a supernatural explanation, and it may serve as a sign. The purpose of miracles in the Bible was to reveal God’s power and love and to build up the faith of the people. Many miracles are recorded in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.


God is all-powerful and can do anything, so it is certainly possible that he can do miracles today. Many people have testified to events such as healing’s that are difficult to explain in normal medical terms. But since New Testament times, God has chosen to reveal himself more often through the miracle of his grace, the strengthening of the Holy Spirit, and the power of his Word in the Bible.


God can do miracles, but Christians have an obligation to seek ordinary means such as maintaining good health and seeking medical care rather than relying on miracles. When prayers are answered and miracles seem to occur, we should give thanks to God.


2 Kings 20


Is It Wrong To Be Angry with God?


Job was angry because of his suffering, and he wanted to know why God had permitted it when Job had lived a righteous life. But God refused to answer him. It is natural to feel angry sometimes about life’s hardships and even to blame God for allowing bad things to happen.


The Bible describes all sorts of ways that people related to God. For example, Abraham bargained with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses begged God to care for the people in the wilderness. Many of the prophets asked God to punish unbelievers. Even Jesus asked the Father to take away his suffering. Thomas expressed doubts about Jesus’ resurrection.


Because we are made in God’s image, God knows about our feelings and emotions, and he wants us to be honest with him about our feelings. But at the same time, we need to be willing to accept God’s will, even if it sometimes is difficult to understand. We should never become so angry with God that we insult him or lose our faith.


Job 15


How Can I Know that God Really Exists?


The existence of God cannot be proved, so belief in God is a matter of faith (and that faith is given by God). The Bible talks about God and his workings in the lives of his people, but unbelievers can reject that. For example, Psalm 14 says that “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”


There have been many arguments that people have put forth to try to show that God is real. There is the argument from nature: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). Since the universe has such an amazing design, there must have been a Designer. Another argument claims that because all people share a basic understanding of good and evil, this understanding must have come from a holy God.


No matter how convincing the arguments are, it is faith that allows us to believe in God, and faith is a gift of God through the Holy Spirit.


Psalms 19


Is there a sin that God won’t forgive?


When some of the Pharisees saw Jesus performing miracles, they said that Jesus was possessed by the devil and was driving out demons because of Satan’s power. This was an example of very serious blasphemy, because they denied that Jesus was the Son of God and denied that Jesus did miracles with the power of the Holy Spirit.


Throughout the Bible it is clear that God is willing to forgive sins if people repent and ask for forgiveness. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God does not say that if a person commits a single sin he or she can never be forgiven. But if a person continues to deny that Jesus is God’s Son and refuses to accept the Holy Spirit’s work, that person has chosen to separate himself or herself from God, and God will not allow or forgive that.


Mark 3


1 John 1:9


Does God Have a Plan for Each of Us?


Yes. In this passage, Jeremiah was speaking God’s words to the Jewish people who were in exile in Babylon. The letter that he wrote offered the promise that God would restore his people after 70 years. God assured them in Jeremiah’s letter that he would carry out his plan for them and would bless them.


The fact that God took care of his people and loved them even when they turned away from him and were being punished is encouraging. This is just one of the many places in the Bible where God revealed that he has plans for his people, and he will bring them about. Another example of this is the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery but eventually saved the people of Egypt from famine. Throughout the Bible God had plans for his people even when they were in difficult situations.


We know that God loves his people and will care for us today as he has cared for his people in the past. We can try to discover God’s plan for our lives by reading the Bible, praying, and seeking advice from parents and mentors.


Jeremiah 29