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III. CAUSES FOR A CRITICAL SPIRIT

Walking Christian on Critical Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:53
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Take a look at the root causes of a critical spirit.

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A. What Was Modeled in Childhood?

What was life like for Eli, Bill, and Zo growing up? Were they nurtured in a positive environment, or did caustic words of criticism cloud their days?
We don’t know for sure, yet it’s curious that none of the three friends rises to Job’s defense in the midst of this verbal bombardment. In fact, they seem to feed off of each other as they hammer an already crushed spirit.
But the call of God’s Word is to …
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82:3–4
Psalm 82:3–4 ESV
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
The most common cause of a critical spirit is living in a home where criticism abounds—where parents model a critical spirit before their children. Growing up in such a home where critical comments are continually hurled can cause a child to be overly critical in adulthood. After all, with children, more is caught than taught.
Overly critical parents produce heavyhearted children. They feel continually crushed by criticism. Thus, their sense of self-worth is suffocated … they feel stuck in self-defeat.
Ultimately, condemning parents can provoke their children to anger—children who, under the weight of such pressure become “stone throwers.” The book of Proverbs presents a poignant word picture of the damaging weight produced by judgmental people who provoke others to feel or act negatively.…
“Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.”
Proverbs 27:3
Proverbs 27:3 ESV
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
A critical spirit is developed under the weight of:
• Unanticipated anger
• Ungrounded guilt
• Unremitting stress
• Unjust rejection
• Undeserved condemnation
• Unmerited blame
• Undue pressure
• Unreasonable control
• Unending fear
• Unsubstantiated accusation
• Unfair comparison
• Unwarranted attacks
Typically, those who live under the pressure of continual criticism feel the excess weight of false guilt. In truth, they could have easily written these words …
“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.”
Psalm 38:4
Psalm 38:4 ESV
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

B. What Are Childhood Wounds?

Job has discovered for himself that there is no bigger lie than the old childhood adage: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This saying could not be further from the truth.
The accusing words of Eli, Bill, and Zo deliver blow after blow to Job’s spirit. They relentlessly accuse Job of being a sinner and associate shame with his contemptible condition. Zo misguidedly assures …
“If you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear.”
Job 11:14–15
Job 11:14–15 ESV
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear.
It’s true: “Sticks and stones may break my bones.…” However, when faultfinding words are wrong, the same saying can have a vastly different ending: “… but words can break my heart.” Critical comments can cause extensive, even lifetime, harm. No visible wounds will show, but the damage to the spirit of a child can be devastating.
Many children who are assaulted with wounding words resort to criticism as a means of self-defense. To try to lessen the impact of their own emotional pain, they stay on the attack.
When painful words are played over and over in children’s minds, they may retaliate. This explains why so many “hurt people … hurt people!” Children who are raised in an overly critical home experience great emotional pain.…
“I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.”
Psalm 109:22
Psalm 109:22 ESV
22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.
Emotionally hurt children feel the pain of:
H— Harshness … communicating, “You’re not worth any kindness.”
U— Unconcern … communicating, “You have no value.”
R— Rejection … communicating, “You’re not acceptable.”
T— Taunting … communicating, “You deserve to be insulted.”
A critical spirit starts out as a defense tactic. Typically, if one child hits another, the second hits back. Striking back when attacked is a natural defensive response … a natural protection. When you are in a position of having little power, you are unable to protect yourself from the attacks of someone who has much power.
Consequently, you can become skilled in verbal attacks as a means of defense. However, if you want to be blessed with positive relationships, staying on the attack will never solve the problem. That is why the Bible says …
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:9
1 Peter 3:9 ESV
9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

C. What Is the Cycle of Criticism?

Job has had enough … and hopes to quiet his “friends-turned-accusers” once and for all. “You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom” (Job 13:4–5). But the cycle of criticism continues … all three accusers keep up the verbal pounding, which prompts this battered man to plead before his God …
“Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you: Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.”
Job 13:20–21
Job 13:20–21 ESV
20 Only grant me two things, then I will not hide myself from your face: 21 withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me.
The painful situations we experience as children are processed by our soul—our mind, will, and emotions. Over time, we can develop a negative pattern of reacting to these painful situations (becoming critical), a pattern that can remain with us into and throughout our adulthood. We must rely on the transforming work of the Holy Spirit within us to help us overcome a critical spirit.
When you are trapped in a cycle of critical thinking you may exclaim, “I can’t help reacting this way!” Yet your emotions are merely responding to what your mind thinks. Therefore, the cycle is this: Your negative thoughts produce your negative emotions, which, in turn, produce your negative actions.
Since the cycle of criticism begins in our thoughts, we need to heed what the Bible tells us about renewing our minds and appropriate the mind of Christ. With God’s help we can change our thoughts and then experience a changed life. Scripture says it this way …
“ ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.… Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2
1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV
16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Whenever a negative situation occurs in your life, you have a choice as to how you think about it—which determines how you respond. Children often develop patterns of thinking that dictate their feelings and ultimately their actions. The natural progression occurs as follows:
YOUR SOUL
Self-Directed Reaction
MindEmotionsWill
Your mind records the cruel words and thinks angry thoughts. (“He’s so hateful.”)
Many children develop a critical spirit because of the way they process the pain in their lives, and this process is naturally influenced by the ways the significant people in their lives have processed their own pain. (Children often do what was modeled before them.)
Your emotions respond with angry feelings. (“I hate him.”)
Because children are not physically or emotionally mature enough to analyze their thinking process, they base their decisions more on emotions than on reasoning. By the time children have developed their capacity for analysis and reasoning, their patterns of reacting are already established.
Your will reacts with angry behavior. (You act in hateful ways.)
Responding in kind with nasty, verbal attacks or angry, argumentative shouting is a natural human response that follows angry thoughts and angry feelings. This type of response only continues cycles of behavior that destroy rather than give life. As Paul described …
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires.… The mind governed by the flesh is death.…”
Romans 8:5–6
Romans 8:5–6 ESV
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
YOUR SOUL
Spirit-Directed Response
MindWillEmotions
Your mind records the unjust words, and the Holy Spirit, as your Counselor, teaches your mind how to think about the offense.
“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you”
John 14:26
John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
“His words were so hateful. But there must be something painfully broken in his life. I will do what the Bible tells me to do—I need to ‘… pray for those who persecute [me].’ ”
Matthew 5:44
Matthew 5:44 ESV
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Your will acts with prayer as the Spirit directs your will toward the right choice. As your Counselor, He convicts you to pray, whether you feel like it or not.
“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”
John 16:13
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
“Lord, I pray that (xxxxx) will allow You to meet the need for healing whatever past pain is still causing (xxxxx) problems.”
Your emotions respond with compassion as the Spirit encourages your emotions.
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”
Romans 5:5
Romans 5:5 ESV
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
“… those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.… the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:5–6
Romans 8:5–6 ESV
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

D. What Family Dynamics Foster a Critical Spirit?

The intolerant trio are relentless in their criticism of Job. The destructive habits likely developed from having been nurtured in a critical environment.
Eli inquires: “Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind? Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?”
Job 15:2–3
Job 15:2–3 ESV
“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which he can do no good?
Bill follows up with his own set of degrading questions: “When will you end these speeches? Be sensible, and then we can talk. Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight? You who tear yourselves to pieces in your anger, is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?”
Job 18:2–4
Job 18:2–4 ESV
“How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak. Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? You who tear yourself in your anger, shall the earth be forsaken for you, or the rock be removed out of its place?
And Zo makes an arrogant declaration: “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed. I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply”
Job 20:2–3
Job 20:2–3 ESV
“Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me. I hear censure that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
Job has two words for his three contentious counselors …
“… miserable comforters …!”
Job 16:2
Job 16:2 ESV
“I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.
What could cause people to become “miserable comforters” … or critical counselors? Dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional members.
Typically, a child growing up with a controlling, critical parent becomes either a critical adult or a controlled, cowering adult.
Children who have been powerless to stop unjust criticism can feel the need for power in order to keep from feeling powerless again. They feel compelled to be controlling to keep from feeling out of control. Therefore, they adopt a critical spirit to maintain a sense of power and control … but beneath this detrimental demeanor is fearful insecurity.
Scripture gives this admonishment …
“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
Colossians 3:21
Colossians 3:21 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
The Overly Controlled Critical Family
The Structure:
— The tone is authoritative and dictatorial.
— The emotional climate is rigid.
— The parent (one or both) is faultfinding and critical.
— The value of family members is based on their performance.
— The love given within the family is conditional.
— The child is fearful, angry, and task-oriented.
The Result:
The family members become fearful and insensitive … and can, by example, develop a critical spirit.
The Remedy:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
We cannot change the family in which we were born. However, God presents us with a unique, unparalleled opportunity—a remedy to keep us from being insecure and overly critical. The solution for fearful insecurity is to be adopted into another family: a balanced, healthy, functional family where love is unconditional … where our worth is God-given … where our value is inherent … where our security is eternal.
By God’s design, our deepest need is to be adopted into His family. In fact, we are told that this is God’s perfect plan for us.…
“In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.…”
Ephesians 1:4–5
Ephesians 1:4–5 ESV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

E. What Is the Root Cause of a Critical Spirit?

As Job is berated by his accusatory companions, he begins to develop a critical spirit toward God that borders on blasphemy.
He accuses God of denying him justice and makes a daring proclamation:
Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. Surely I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on like a crown. I would give him an account of my every step; I would present it to him as to a ruler”
Job 31:35–37
Job 31:35–37 ESV
Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown; I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.
Self-centeredness and self-righteousness have surfaced in this man of God. The Bible warns and proclaims …
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:8–9
1 John 1:8–9 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In essence, the sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was self-centeredness—the desire for self-sufficiency and self-will apart from God’s will, the desire to take on God’s role and to be in total control. Self-will and desire for control has been passed on to everyone in the human family.
This inherent sin nature in unbelievers and the residual sinful patterns in believers cause those with a critical spirit to see others as inferior and in need of knowing when they are at fault. This is the essence of a critical spirit: assuming a superior role of faultfinding with a derogatory view of others.
In the Garden of Eden, God asked Adam to give an account of himself. Although Adam knew he had sinned, he first blamed God for giving him Eve, then blamed Eve for giving him the infamous forbidden fruit.…
“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ ”
Genesis 3:12
Genesis 3:12 ESV
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
Adam was the first, but certainly not the last to shift blame to God—and then to someone else—rather than taking personal responsibility for his own wrong choice.
For some with a critical spirit, putting others down creates a false sense of significance—a sense of power, a sense of pride—at least temporarily. For them the Bible warns …
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 11:2
Proverbs 11:2 ESV
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
3 God-Given Inner Needs
In reality, we have all been created with three God-given inner needs: the needs for love, significance, and security.
• Love—to know that someone is unconditionally committed to our best interest
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
• Significance—to know that our lives have meaning and purpose
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me” (Psalm 57:2 ESV).
• Security—to feel accepted and a sense of belonging
“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge” (Proverbs 14:26).
The Ultimate Need-Meeter
Why did God give us these deep inner needs, knowing that people and self-effort fail us?
God gave us these inner needs so that we would come to know Him as our Need-Meeter.
Our needs are designed by God to draw us into a deeper dependence on Christ.
God did not create any person or position or any amount of power or possessions to meet the deepest needs in our lives.
If a person or thing could meet all our needs, we wouldn’t need God!
The Lord will use circumstances and bring positive people into our lives as an extension of His care and compassion, but ultimately only God can satisfy all the needs of our hearts.
The Bible says …
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Isaiah 58:11
Isaiah 58:11 ESV
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
The apostle Paul revealed this truth by first asking, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” He then answers his own question by saying he is rescued by “… Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Romans 7:24–25
Romans 7:24–25 ESV
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
All along, the Lord planned to meet our deepest needs for …
Love“I [the Lord] have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Significance“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Security“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
The truth is that our God-given needs for love, significance, and security can be legitimately met … in Christ Jesus!
Philippians 4:19 makes it plain …
Philippians 4:19 ESV
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Wrong Belief:
“My sense of significance is increased when I point out the wrongs of others. The fact that I believe ‘I am right’ justifies my criticism of others.” But the Bible says …
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things”
Romans 2:1
Romans 2:1 ESV
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Right Belief:
“When I am critical of others, I am actually exposing my own sin. Because Christ lives in me, continually extending His mercy toward me, I will reflect His compassion by caring about the needs of others rather than by criticizing them.” The Bible says …
“… encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else”
1 Thessalonians 5:14–15
1 Thessalonians 5:14–15 ESV
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

F. How Can You Escape Criticism throughout Eternity?

In the midst of suffering, Job seems to sway between what he knows about God and what he feels about Him. Job knows that God isn’t unjust, but it feels like He’s unjust. The book of Job is renowned for a mighty proclamation of faith that has inspired strugglers all around the world. Here, Job expresses what he knows about God …
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Job 19:25–27
Job 19:25–27 ESV
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
If you’re in despair from critical, caustic words, there is Someone right now who is eagerly waiting to have a relationship with you. God is inviting you into His family, and be assured, you’ll never hear a single critical word in the heavenly home that awaits. God wants to bring you hope and healing, and He wants to save you from eternal condemnation.
When you enter into a right relationship with God, you are spiritually adopted into the family of God and will always be loved, esteemed, and honored. The Bible says …
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.…”
Romans 8:1
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Scripture gives us four spiritual truths for beginning a relationship with God.
He has graciously provided a way to bridge the spiritual gap that separates Him from us.

4 Points to Consider to Escape a Critical Spirit

#1 God’s Purpose for You … is Salvation.

— What was God’s motivation in sending Jesus Christ to earth?
To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says …
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”
John 3:16–17
John 3:16–17 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
— What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth?
To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said …
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”
John 10:10 NKJV
John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

#2 Your Problem … is Sin.

— What exactly is sin?
Sin is living independently of God’s standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says …
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them”
James 4:17
James 4:17 ESV
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
— What is the major consequence of sin?
Spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Scripture states …
“Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God.… The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23
Isaiah 59:2 ESV
but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Romans 6:23 ESV
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

#3 God’s Provision for You … is the Savior.

— Can anything remove the penalty for sin?
Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins. The Bible says … “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
Romans 5:8 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
— What is the solution to being separated from God?
Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says … “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.… Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …”
John 14:6; Acts 16:31
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Acts 16:31 ESV
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

#4 Your Part … is Surrender/ Obey.

— Surrender to Christ control of your life, entrusting yourself to Him.…
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’ ”
Matthew 16:24–26
Matthew 16:24–26 ESV
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
— Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your “good works” as a means of earning God’s approval.…
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast”
Ephesians 2:8–9
Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—He comes to live inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:
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