How should my faith lead me away from sinning?

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but since I am only in the beginning stages of my conversion, I will put it here. I am not even sure if the assumptions I make in this question are accurate.

I am aware that I was saved from my sins because Jesus died on the cross, but that I also should make great efforts to avoid sinning. I still sin constantly, and my relationship with Him is severed. Then I can regain His trust by receiving Him in the sacraments.

My question is really: if my sins are absolved and I am in union with Christ when I am able to receive the sacraments, why is it important for me to try to avoid sinning when it is in my nature as a human being to sin?

How then can my faith help me avoid acting on my temptations?

We need to live as Christ has lived on earth. We are saved not because our sins are forgiven, but becaue we repent. Repentance means to change our lives so that we sin no more. Forgiveness of sins has no bearing on us if we reject God by our thoughts and actions, that is through sinning.

Our justification begins with faith, Paul tells the Hebrews, but works perfect and complete our justification in faith
Faith must be accompanied by our own effort to do good and avoid sin.

Phil 2:12-13
"… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

We must work, with God’s grace, to avoid sin.
Remember that in Matthew 25 verses 31-46, Jesus says that it is our practical good works that He shall use as His criteria, requiring both grace and our efforts, not simply faith.

James 2:17
“faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

[James 2: 14-24]
Take the case, my brothers of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.
This is the way to talk to people of that kind:'You say you have faith and I have good deeds; **I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds–now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show.

You believe in one God–that is creditable enough, but the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Do realise, you senseless man, that faith without works is useless. You surely know that Abraham our Father was justified by his deed, because he offered Isaac on the altar? There you see it; faith and good deeds were working together; his faith became perfect by what he did. This is what scripture really means when it says: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was counted as making him justified; and that is why he was called the friend of God. You see now that it is by doing something good, and not only by believing, that a man is justified."
[James 2: 14-24]

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter” [Matthew 7, 21]

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” [Galations 6:7-9]**

First you must deny yourself. Than pick up your cross and follow Him. He never said it would be easy.

Truly the best answer to this is a single word…LOVE

The greatest command is that we Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind (Mt 22:37)
When we Love someone we seek to please them. We do not hurt them. If they ask something of us we try to fulfill their request to the best of our ability…This is Love…
So Love God in all things…

Of course we are not perfect and God is so great that we cannot Love Him as He deserves. So we have a second command…Which is to Love our neighbor as our self…(Mt 22:39) and right before Jesus ascended he gave this command:
“34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

So we are to Love as Jesus (God) has loved us…

Now all of this can sound horribly difficult but a wonderful little girl in France - who died when she was but 24 years old - gave us this wonderful advice…Simply, “Do small things with great Love”. (St Therese of Lisieux - “The Little way”)

Peace
James

“how then can my faith help me avoid acting on my temptations?”

As faith gradually changes your worldview, you will find that many sins become less tempting.

=andyklein;9798707]I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but since I am only in the beginning stages of my conversion, I will put it here. I am not even sure if the assumptions I make in this question are accurate.

I am aware that I was saved from my sins because Jesus died on the cross, but that I also should make great efforts to avoid sinning. I still sin constantly, and my relationship with Him is severed. Then I can regain His trust by receiving Him in the sacraments.

My question is really: if my sins are absolved and I am in union with Christ when I am able to receive the sacraments, why is it important for me to try to avoid sinning when it is in my nature as a human being to sin?

How then can my faith help me avoid acting on my temptations?

Hi Andy, GREAT QUESTION:)

The answer is profound. You have been GREATLY misinformed. Christ sacrificial Death and Resurrection resulted in “Redemption for humanity” BUT NOT by its self anyone’s salvation. Space prohibits a complete with evidence reply on the FORUM. The shocking truth is that Christ death on the cross did not and does not remit anyone’s sins.

Redemption means that Everyone, past. Present and future now has an opportunity to enter into God’s Glory. The Original Sin of Adam and Eve had blocked heaven’s access for all humanity; and this was a Primary, but not the only reason for Christ Incarnation, Passion and death.

So heaven is NOW and forever open to humanity that accepts God call; GODS WAY, for our individual salvation. Salvation ids is By God’s Choice and Commands; a PROCESS of multiple steps.

Grace needed for Faith is ONLY the beginning. Baptism Jn. 3:5, Obedience to the Commandments Mt. 19:17, Obedience to the Catholic Church Mt. 16:18-19, Mt. 28:16-20, John 20:19-23, works of Charity James 2 are other critical elements with very Solid Biblical foundation.

Your issue stems around the Forgiveness of sins, and under the new Covenant there is ONLY One Normal and acceptable way for that to happen and it’s through the CC Sacrament of Confession. Mt. 16;19-20, Mt. 16: 17-20, 1st. Jn.1:8-10, 1st. Jn. 5;16-17 and John 20: 21-23.

It has to do with the critically significant differences in forgiveness of sins in the OT and the ONLY acceptable manner according to Our God, for the Forgiveness of sins in the NT; under the New Covenant. Its interesting that God is “constant and does not change” (Malachi) 3:6. God CHOOSE to use priest in the OT forgiveness of sins and intermediaries: Ezek. 18:21-28, Lev. 5:13, Lev. 6:7 and Lev. 4:20,26 and 31. But now under grace Rom. 6:14 “For sin shall not [MEANS OUGHT NOT] have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Mark 14:24 “And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many” Heb.8: 8, 13 ” For he finds fault with them when he says: "The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is [NOW HAS] ready to vanish away.”

Andy, the TRUTH is your NOT YET saved from your sins [nor or other non-Catholics].
It IS THROUGH the sacraments that One is able to actually and fully be reconciled with Christ. The process of RCIA will explain this further. But e-mail me if you’d further discussion.

Jn. 20:19-23 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Heb.8: 8, 13 ” For he finds fault with them when he says: "The days will come, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

The Catholic Faith AIDS FAR more than any other; even all other faiths combined in that the Seven Sacraments are a source of GRACE needed to AVOID sins and ONLY the CC has all Seven Sacramnets validly and licitly [thus able to supply the fullness of grace God’s intends to make available to Catholics alone. Notably Confession and the Most Holy Eucharist: jesus Himself:thumbsup]

God Bless my Friend,
Pat /PJM here on the Forum

andyklein you said “why is it important for me to try to avoid sinning when it is in my nature as a human being to sin?”

Supposing I stepped on your little toe and said, “I’m sorry”, and then a minute later I did it again and said the same thing. Then over the course of the evening, I repeated this several times. Wouldn’t you be thinking that I couldn’t be sorry because sorry means I won’t do it again.

You also said “How then can my faith help me avoid acting on my temptations?”
It gives you motives, fear of hell, and fear of offending the one you love, Jesus.

The sacraments also strengthen our weak nature by giving us the graces to increase our faith, hope and charity.
To our faith by helping us to realize how destructive sins are to our faith, and raises our eyes to higher values.
To our hope, by giving us renewed courage and trust in the love and mercy of God to overcome our sins.
To our charity, by realizing that God is our lover and how sin tears him from us and destroys our relationship with him.

One way to measure the power of the sacraments is when we neglect them, we experience our weakness in opposing sin, and of doing good.

Just a few ideas.

Hi andyklein, :slight_smile:

I read your post the way that you are saying that you haven’t converted yet, but plan to do so. My answer is related to where I assume that you are on the ladder of faith:

It’s good that you understand that Jesus died for your sins (and everybody’s sins). You are invited to participate in your own saving. That doesn’t mean that you can save yourself, but that you will be saved through the mercy of God,** if you say YES to the invitation to participate. **

In Jn 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” To love is, as you can see, is NOT just a feeling, but it is a bout doing! We are supposed to keep the commandments that Jesus gave.

What did Jesus say about the commandments? He said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments depend the the whole law and the prophets.” (Mt 22:37- 40)

To love with our whole heart is** to try** to keep the ten commandments and to do good to others. To try to do good, isn’t the same as that you will always be able to do this. You might fall into sin, but not sin willfully. If you have a “defect” however that hinders you to control yourself, you can ask for God’s grace to stop sinning or you might see a psychologist/psychiatrist + praying at home. God will love that you work on your problems.

When the date for your conversion is set: Go to confession and confess every sin you remember. If you omit a sin and knowing it, your sins are not forgiven even if the priest says so. If you forget to mention a sin, however, it is forgiven together with your sins.

Confession is a sacrament, that means that God pours out his grace on you and that you are filled with sanctifying grace when you leave the confessional. The three next sacraments that you will receive are, baptism (if you are not baptized into the name of the threefold God from before). Then you will be confirmed and have your first holy communion.

A sacrament is about something God does to you. Something is changed inside you. Humans are weak, however, with inclination to sin as a heritage from our first parents, Adam and Eve. I can almost guarantee you that you will fall into sin again. That’s why we are given the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Please use it often, go to Church at Sundays, receive the Holy Communion often and pray.

It is because of Jesus that we can be forgiven.

Link to the 10 commandments:
vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm

Link to the seven sacraments of the Church:
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3E.HTM

God be with you! :thumbsup:

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