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Different Kinds of “Unbelief”

I obviously didn’t quite explain the whole “sin of unbelief” thing very clearly a week or so ago. I hope that this clarification helps. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Different Kinds of “Unbelief”

  1. Thanks April. With my husband’s help, I think I understand what you are saying. We try live completely victorious lives, because we never want to cross the line that would bring us to an unsaved state, but as humans, we all have some sin in our lives. If we die with these sins in our lives, we trust Jesus’ blood to cover this. But if we die with unbelief in our hearts we cannot be saved. Would this line up with what you are thinking?

    1. Andytrishf,

      If we never receive Jesus and never put our faith in Him – that is being an unbeliever.

      If we do receive him, we may struggle at times with weak faith, not total unbelief. But, He is most pleased when we are living in total faith in Him.

      If we don’t have Jesus as Savior and Lord, His blood doesn’t cover our sins.

      I don’t believe that Scripture teaches that a person who truly believes in Christ and hopes and trusts in Him can lose his salvation. I think someone can halfheartedly pray a prayer and say that he professes Christ. But if someone belongs to Jesus, Christ is going to dramatically change that person. Thankfully, His blood covers all of our sins when we belong to Him.

      Much love!

      1. I shouldn’t try to answer when I don’t have a lot of time!

        But, Jesus completely provides for our salvation.

        – He initiated the process of salvation.
        – He paid the price for our sins so that we can be in right standing with God because of what He did – not because of anything we did. It is by grace we are saved through faith… (Eph. 2:8)
        – He gives us the faith to trust Him. Without the Holy Spirit drawing us, we cannot come to Him.

        We were totally spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins. We could not wake ourselves up. We did nothing to save ourselves. It was all the work of Jesus on the cross.

        And, we do not keep ourselves in His hand. He keeps us.

        It is all about what He does for us. THANKFULLY!

        JOHN 10

        1“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

        7Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.a They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

        11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

        14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

        19The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

        21But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

        Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

        22Then came the Festival of Dedicationb at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

        25Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than allc ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”

  2. I believe it is possible for a person to have a true new birth experience and be dramatically changed and later fall away from God through continued willful sinning or committing a death sin. If Jesus’ blood covered all our sins after we have truly sincerely given our hearts to Him, and we are forever saved, then there would be no reason for us to strive to live for HIm in perfection the way we do. The security Jesus talks of in John 10:28 “neither shall any pluck them out of my hand” depends upon faith and obedience as taught in other parts of the Bible.

    1. Andytrish,
      I believe we are going to disagree on this point. 🙂 but, I appreciate you sharing your perspective. There are many who believe that we can lose our salvation.

      I believe one who belongs to Christ will return to Him, and that God is able to get our attention, bring conviction and open our eyes to our sin that we might eventually repent.

      But this issue has been debated for centuries.

      I invite you to read Watchman’ Nee’s A Normal Christian Life, and check out John Piper and David Platt’s sermons on the security of the believer.

      My prayer is that we might all desire Jesus more and more and that He might empower us to be faithful.

      Much love! 🙂

    2. Oh!

      There absolutely is a reason to desire to walk in obedience. We obey Him out of love and gratitude for all He has done. We don’t obey Him to ear or keep our salvation but in gratitude and in the power of God’s Spirit filling us. 🙂

  3. Hi!
    This is a subject I’ve thought about recently. I’ve wondered about knowing what’s right, but not doing it. when we sin, it seperates us from God. But scripture says nothing can seperate us from God. And if we believe yet we sin knowing God will forgive us, we are living Luke warm. BUT…as I listened to a podcast last week, reference was made to Hebrews 10:26. So, can we lose our way or not? I haven’t dug in yet to read more. Just wanted to share that this has been on my mind last week. 🙂

    1. PLM,

      This is addressed in many places in the New Testament. Sin can break our fellowship with God as believers, but it does not destroy our relationship with Him. It is very much like if I were to adopt a child. Once I adopt the child legally, he is mine. He may grow up and rebel against me and leave – like the prodigal son. But he is still my son. Check out how the father responded to the prodigal son of his who returned in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.

      When he returned, his repentance restored fellowship with his father. But he was always his father’s son. 🙂

      The entire book of Galatians is about how we don’t earn salvation and we don’t keep ourselves saved with works. Salvation is all done by Christ. The saving us and the keeping us saved, even our obedience is only accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us so that Christ lives in and through us. It is never about our own power or our own strength. It is all about what Jesus has done for us and in us.

      The Judiazers wanted the Galatians to be circumsized and to follow certain Jewish laws and rules. Paul had very strong things to say against that! We were saved by Grace – by nothing we did, except that we put our faith in Jesus. Of course, it does have to be real faith.

      But, while we are saved by faith, real faith does produce real works because we allow God’s Spirit to fill us. Galatians 5 is all about living by the Spirit.

      Here is a link to John Piper’s sermons on the security of the believer.

      1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?a 4Have you experiencedb so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”c

      7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”d 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

      10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”e 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”f 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”g 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”h 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

      The Law and the Promise

      15Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”i meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

      19Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

      21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

      Children of God

      23Before the coming of this faith,j we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

      26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    2. There are those who have said that they belonged to Christ, and they fall away – but they did not belong to Him to begin with. This is like the parable of the wheat and the tares. At first, they look the same, but eventually, you can tell the difference because the wheat produces grain, but the tares do not. The tares never were wheat.

      If there are those who seem to fall away – it is because they didn’t belong to Christ.

      And remember, that whoever loves God, Jesus says, will obey Him. John 14:22-24. If someone claims to be a believer but is totally fine with living in sin – that is not a good sign. A believer will hear God’s voice and repent in time. A believer does not live in habitual sin because he has a new nature, given to him by Christ. (I John) And if someone hates his brother he cannot and does not love God. When Jesus enters a person’s life as Savior and LORD, He radically changes us. He gives us new desires, new power to live for Him, a hatred of sin, etc.. If we stumble, we can confess our sins and God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9.

      Sadly, many, many people in the church today said a little prayer and filled out a piece of paper and believe that means they are saved. But they have never actually trusted Christ or given themselves fully to Him in submission to Him as Lord. There are many who claim Christ. But – Jesus says we can identify His disciples by the fruit of their lives – their love for people.

      HEBREWS 10
      19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

      26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  4. JOHN 2

    My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

    7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

    9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them…

    15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

    18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

    24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

    26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

    28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

    29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

  5. I had a huge relapse today with my husband. Shouting and cussing like never before. We had an ugly fight where we reacted and provoked each other. I am now in a hotel room booked here for 3 nights.

    It was hard to hear him talk about what he found disrespectful (my slightly open underwear drawer, believe it or not, and my reaction to him raising it) when I felt he full on verbally attacked me about it out of nowhere. Really hard to say sorry to him whilst fuming and not being heard myself. I think you wrote a post about not reacting to our spouse’s sin, April.

    I actually left church today happy to return to my husband rather than resentful that he didn’t come – then this. I did apologize (we both did) by phone once I got to the hotel. I don’t think my husband would have apologized and wanted to listen if I hadn’t left.

    Am really tired. A big blow out with us happens about every 4 weeks. I haven’t read as much of his word as I could lately, but the ‘muscle memory’ and joy of scripture reading is still there somewhere.

    Anyway I will press in with God. I have my bible.

    1. Mich,

      Oh goodness! I am so sorry things are so painful. 🙁

      I wonder, if you are on a four week fighting cycle, if it may be possible you might be dealing with PMS or PMMD?

      I am glad you both apologized to each other. I hope you get a chance to really focus on God and. His Word and to get yourself filled up with Christ.

      Sending you a huge hug, and I am praying for you both!

  6. Thanks April. Maybe, although when I was younger and got cramps, the food I ate was a main contributor. Now I eat more healthily, but anything is possible so I’ll keep an eye on it.

    After 2 nights away, I am back at home now after we met and spoke. We realise we both need to change and never want to go back to that again. We’ve agreed to agree HOW we are going to talk, and also agreed to listen to each other share the things that matter to each of us. We know it all needs to be founded on our obedience to and faith in God. Whatever the case, I totally accept that my wherever my husband is, my role is to love and respect him through prioritising my relationship with God.

    We make time on Wednesdays (we literally have it in the diary) to check in the relationship with, so I guess we’ll be using that time.

    Thank you as ever for you prayers. Praying for you too.

    Glad to be home.

    Mich x

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