You Have the Power to Stop Sinning
Lorraine Day, M.D.
“Nobody’s perfect.” That is the mantra of the Christian church. Christians are told by their pastors, “Just do your best, and God makes up the rest. That’s why Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins.”
Christians believe that on this earth, nobody’s perfect and nobody can become perfect on earth - but everyone who professes to be a Christian, irrespective of how he or she has lived that life here, will suddenly be made “perfect” between the time they die and the time they go to heaven. Most Christians believe they go to heaven immediately after they die. Therefore, something “magic” happens when they die that suddenly makes them “perfect.”
Then why do we live our life on this earth? Is this life useless? Why do we go through all this trouble many for 70 or 80 years, or longer if God’s going to suddenly make us “perfect” after we die.
Wouldn’t it be better to die young, so God can make us perfect at the time of death, and we could avoid all this 70 or 80 years of trouble?
If we are on this earth to go through trials and tribulations that supposedly change us and build our character, that plan apparently doesn’t work all that well because, as the churches teach, no one can become perfect on this earth anyway.
So why are we here? What is the purpose of this life?
“. . . it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
“We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness but to holiness… The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.
“God has only one intended destiny for mankind holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity He came to save us because He created us to be holy.
“Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind placing every detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself. Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.” O. Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 1
What does it mean to be born again?
Millions of Christians identify themselves as being “born again” Christians. But from where is that term derived, and what does it really mean?
There are three Bible texts that speak of being “born again.”
“Jesus answered and said unto him (Nicodemus), Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again.” John 3:7
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, that lives and abides forever (for the eons). 1 Peter 1:23
In each text the literal translation is “to be generated from above.”
“Except a man be generated from above, he cannot see (spiritually understand) the kingdom of God.”
Because Jesus has told us that the kingdom of God is “within you,” the phrase “to be born again” or more accurately translated, “to be born (or generated) from above,” means to have the character of Christ living in us. This occurs when we become a “new Creature (or creation) in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“And when He was asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come by observation (You can’t see it with your eyes).
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or lo there!, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
“And He said unto the disciples, The day will come when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you shall not see it.
“And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there; do not go after them, nor follow them.
“For as the lightning, that flashes out of one part under heaven, and shines unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. Luke 17:20-24
When Nicodemus, the Pharisee, one of the great leaders of Israel, came to Jesus at night, Jesus told him,
“Except a man be born again (from above), he cannot see (understand) the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” John 3:4
“The answer to Nicodemus’ question is: Only when he is willing to die to everything in his life, including his rights, his virtues, and his religion, and becomes willing to receive into himself a new life that he has never before experienced. This new life exhibits itself in our conscious repentance and through our unconscious holiness. . . The new birth gives me a new power of vision by which I begin to discern God’s control. His sovereignty was there all the time, but with God being true to His nature, I could not see it until I received His very nature myself.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 15
“Christ in you, the expectation (not hope) of glory.” Col 1:27 (We can expect it, not just “hope” for it.)
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” John 14:23
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20
In denominations such as the Evangelicals, Assembly of God, Pentecostals, the designation of being “born again” is defined as “receiving the Holy Spirit” or “having the gift of the Holy Spirit” or “having the gift of tongues” or “speaking in tongues.”
But this blatantly “sensual” (“soulish”) interpretation is clearly false, and stems from an unregenerate heart of one who doesn’t understand spiritual things. The Bible tell us:
“The natural man does not receive (cannot understand) the things of the Spirit (Breath) of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know (understand) them, because spiritual things are (only) spiritually discerned (understood).” 1 Corinthians 2:14
Breath of life physical
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
The breath of life is physical breath that circulates to every cell in our body, keeping us alive physically.
“Through faith we understand that the ages (eons) were prepared by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Heb 11:3
God uses the visible things the physical things to teach us about the spiritual, or invisible, things.
“I will put my spirit (breath of holiness) in you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ez 36:27
The last thing Jesus said to His disciples before He ascended to heaven was:
“And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
This power is referred to incorrectly as the “Holy Spirit” which we have repeatedly shown is a mistranslation of the words “breath of holiness.”
The word “spirit” in Greek is pneuma (# 4151 in Strong’s Concordance) and means a current of air i.e., breath, or a breeze. The word pneuma is the root word for pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, having to do with physical breath. The word pneuma does not in any way refer to a “ghost.”
By mistranslating “breath of holiness” as “Holy Spirit” the Bible translators have disconnected the teaching lesson God is giving us regarding physical breath that keeps us alive physically, and spiritual breath God’s breath of holiness that keeps us alive spiritually.
At Pentecost, the disciples of Christ had been studying in the upper room for weeks after His crucifixion, trying to figure out from the Scriptures, if Jesus was truly the Messiah. They had also been hiding in the upper room “for fear of the Judeans” (incorrectly translated ‘Jews’), those in the organized church system the synagogue system who had called for the execution of Christ.
Then Jesus appeared to them in the upper room:
“Then the same day at evening, being the Sabbath, (NOT “first day of the week” see “Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?”) when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the “Jews’ (literal translation: Judeans the “believers” specifically, the Pharisees), came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
“And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you, as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.
“And when He had said this, He BREATHED on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye God’s BREATH of Holiness.” John 20:19-22.
The last verse, verse 22, the words “God’s breath of holiness” are incorrectly translated as “Holy Ghost” in virtually every translation of the Bible. The Greek words are pneuma hagios. (pneuma = #4151 in Strong’s Concordance and means breath, or breeze or a current of air) (hagios = #40 in Strong’s Concordance means holy or sacred).
So there you have it: pneuma hagios means BREATH of Holiness, NOT “Holy Ghost” and not even “Holy Spirit.”
When Jesus “breathed” on the disciples, He didn’t “breathe” a ghost on them, He breathed HIS “breath of Holiness” on them.
Physical vs. Spiritual Breath
God uses physical things to teach us spiritual things.
God breathed physical breath into Adam to give Adam physical life.
God breathed His Breath of Holiness (spiritual breath) on the disciples to give them spiritual life.
The physical breath containing oxygen must circulate to every cell in our body to keep us alive. And the physical life is nourished by food.
Thus, God’s breath of holiness (spiritual breath) also must circulate to every part of our body to keep us alive spiritually. And the spiritual life is nourished by prayer.
This is the “power from on high” Jesus was referring to in Luke 24:49 (above).
God’s “Breath of Holiness” radically changes a person’s life.
When the disciples received God’s “spirit” more correctly translated “breath of holiness,” they were changed people. They could now understand spiritual things something they could not do before.
“The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit (Breath pneuma, #4151 in Strong’s Concordance) of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14
And they were emboldened to preach the gospel, irrespective of the consequences.
Before Peter received this “power from on high” at Pentecost, when Jesus was arrested, Peter was terrified and he denied Jesus three times just to save his own skin. He even cursed when asked if He knew Christ.
But after Pentecost, Peter miraculously healed the lame man soliciting alms in front of the temple (Acts 3:6), and for this Peter was arrested and commanded by Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas, to stop healing and preaching in the name of Jesus. But Peter was no longer afraid.
“Now when they (the high priest and the Pharisees) saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
Being “born again” means a person is “willing to die to everything in his life, including his rights, his virtues, and his religion, and become willing to receive into himself a new life that he has never before experienced (John 3:4). This new life exhibits itself in our conscious repentance and through our unconscious holiness.” Ibid. August 15
“…unless one is born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“The new birth gives one a new power of vision by which I begin to discern God’s control. His sovereignty was there all the time, but with God being true to His nature, I could not see it until I received His very nature myself.
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin…” 1 John 3:9
“To be born of God means that I have His supernatural power to stop sinning. The Bible never asks, ‘Should a Christian sin?’ The Bible emphatically states that a Christian must not sin. The work of the new birth is being effective in us when we do not commit sin. It is not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have actually stopped sinning. Yet 1 John 3:9 does not mean that we cannot sin it simply means that if we will obey the life of God in us, that we do not have to sin.” Ibid.
“Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not.” 1 John 3:6
When a person’s life is changed by Jesus Christ in every way, when that person is given the character and disposition of Jesus Christ, when Jesus Christ is making every decision in that person’s life, he or she is given that “power from on high” the power not to sin. All one has to do is - - use it!
“You shall be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:48 (literal translation)
What was the last message Jesus gave to His followers right before He ascended to heaven?
“And being assembled together with them (His followers), Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.
“For John truly baptized with water; but he shall be baptized with the Breath of Holiness, not many days hence.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
“And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.
“But ye shall receive the Power of God’s breath of holiness (not “Holy Ghost”) coming upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:5-9
When God puts in us His breath of holiness His nature, His disposition, His character, His wisdom we have the Power, His Power, to stop sinning Now!