34. The Principles of How to Approach Transgressions
1. When you transgress, do not give in to despair. Understand that God’s will is the utmost salvation, and that true repentance is critical;
2. When you discover a transgression, you must examine yourself, seek the truth and understand the essence and root of the transgression. Only by effecting true repentance can you be saved;
3. Take hold of the essence and the root of transgressions, use the truth to resolve the problem, and allow your practice of the truth to take the place of the transgression. Avoid repeating past transgressions that offend God’s disposition;
4. Do not be restrained by past transgressions. As long as you pursue the truth and truly repent, then you can be saved and blessed by God.
Relevant Words of God:
During the time of God’s work of salvation, all those who can be saved will be saved to the utmost limit, none of them being discarded, as the purpose of God’s work is to save man. … During the time of the work of words, many people will expose their rebelliousness and defiance, and they will expose their disobedience toward the incarnate God. But He will not punish all these people because of this, instead He will only cast aside those who are corrupt to the core and who cannot be saved. He will give their flesh to Satan, and in a few cases, terminate their flesh. Those who are left will continue to follow and experience dealing and pruning. If while they follow they still cannot accept dealing and pruning and they become more and more degenerate, then these people will have lost their chance for salvation. Each and every person who has accepted the conquering of words will have ample opportunity for salvation. God’s salvation of each one of these people shows them His utmost leniency, meaning that they are showed the utmost tolerance. So long as people turn back from the wrong path, so long as they can repent, then God will give them the opportunity to obtain His salvation. When people first rebel against God, God has no desire to put them to death, but instead does all He can to save them. If someone really has no room for salvation, then God will cast them aside. That God is slow to punish someone is because He wants to save all those who can be saved. He judges, enlightens and guides people only with words, and does not use a rod to put them to death. Using words to save people is the purpose and significance of the final stage of work.
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter how intense of an environment or what kind of difficulties we encounter, no matter how weak, how negative we are, we cannot lose confidence in a change in disposition, and we cannot lose confidence in God’s words. God has given promises to mankind, and humans must have the determination and the perseverance to undertake them. God does not like cowards; He likes people with determination. Even if you have revealed a great deal of corruption, even if you’ve taken many winding roads, or even if along the way you’ve had many transgressions or have resisted God—or there are some people who hold in their hearts some blasphemy against God or blame Him, have conflict with Him—God doesn’t look at this. God only looks at whether or not a person will someday be able to change.
from “What a Change in Disposition Is and the Path to a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Do not regard your transgressions as mistakes of an immature or foolish person, do not use the excuse that you did not practice truth because your poor caliber made it impossible to practice it, and even more, do not simply regard the transgressions you have committed as the acts of someone who did not know any better. If you are good at forgiving yourself and good at treating yourself with generosity, then I say you are a coward who will never gain the truth, and your transgressions will never cease haunting you, but keep you from ever meeting the demands of truth and make you forever a loyal companion of Satan. My advice to you is still: Do not pay attention only to your destination and overlook your hidden transgressions; take your transgressions seriously, and do not overlook all your transgressions out of concern for your destination.
from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
First, conduct an examination of all your transgressions, and examine all your behavior and thoughts that do not conform to truth.
Second, for each of your transgressions and disobediences look for a corresponding truth and use these truths to resolve them, then replace your transgressive acts and disobedient thoughts and acts with the practice of truth.
from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As long as you now have one hope, regardless of whether or not God remembers the things of the past, you should maintain this mentality: I must seek a change in my disposition, seek to understand God, not be fooled by Satan again and not do anything that brings shame on the name of God. What key areas determine whether someone is now worth anything, whether or not they will be saved and whether or not they have any hope? They are, after you have heard the preaching, whether or not you can receive the truth, whether or not you can put the truth into practice and whether or not you can change. These are the key areas. If you just feel remorse, if you just go and do things and continue to think in the same old way, and have no understanding at all about this matter but instead get worse and worse, then you will be without hope and should be declared as worthless. The more you understand God, and the more you understand yourself, then the more able you will be to master yourself. The more you are able to penetrate your own nature with understanding, the more you will be able to master yourself. After you have summed up your experience, you will never again fail on this matter. In actual fact, everyone has some blemishes on them that have merely not been looked into. Everyone has them, some have small ones, some have large ones; some speak plainly, and some hide their intentions and work in secret. Everyone has them; some people do things that others know about and some people do things that others don’t know about. There are blemishes on everyone and they all reveal some corrupt dispositions, like arrogance or conceit, or they make some transgressions, or some mistakes or errors in their work, or they show some small rebelliousness. These are all pardonable things as they are things that no corrupted person can avoid. Yet they should be avoided once you have understood the truth. It will then no longer be necessary to always be troubled by things that happened in the past. Instead, it is to be feared that you will still not change even after having understood, that you will know that it is wrong to do something and yet continue to do it, and that you will continue to do something even after being told that it is wrong. These people are beyond redemption.
from “To Serve God One Should Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
You have found many manifestations of Satan in yourself, and in your past actions, there are many things that have run counter to God’s current requirements. Are you able to forsake them now? Attain a normal relationship with God, do according to God’s intentions, become a new person and have a new life, don’t look back at past transgressions, don’t be overly remorseful, be able to stand up and cooperate with God, and fulfill the duties that you should perform. This way, your relationship with God will be normal.
… For every utterance of God, after you have read it and you have gained an understanding, you shall put it into practice. Regardless of how you used to practice before—perhaps in the past your flesh was weak, you were rebellious, and you resisted—this is not a big deal, and it can’t obstruct your life from growing today. As long as you are able to have a normal relationship with God today, then there is hope. If for every time that you read God’s words, you have changes and allow other people to see that your life has transformed for the better, it shows that you have a normal relationship with God and that it is put right. God does not treat people based on their transgressions. As long as you are able to not rebel again and not resist again after you have understood and are aware, then God will still have mercy on you.
from “How Is Your Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you are an earnest person who practices the truth then you surely have an opportunity for your transgressions to be forgiven, and the number of your disobediences will become fewer and fewer. If you are a person unwilling to practice truth then your transgressions before God will surely increase, the number of your disobediences will grow more and more, until the ultimate moment when you are completely destroyed, and that is the time when your pleasant dream of receiving blessings is ruined.
from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Regardless of how man may have opposed God in the past, when man comes to understand the purpose of God’s work and dedicates his efforts to satisfying God, his former sins shall be wiped away clean by God. As long as man seeks the truth and practices the truth, God will not keep in mind what he has done. Rather, it is on the basis of man’s practice of the truth that God justifies man. This is the righteousness of God.
from “All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people who have committed a small transgression will suppose: Will I be struck down by God? God did not come this time to strike people down, but rather to save people to the greatest extent possible. Who is entirely free from errors? If everyone is struck down, then how could it be called salvation? Some transgressions are done on purpose and other transgressions are done involuntarily. With involuntary matters, you can change after you recognize them, so would God strike you down before you change? Is this how God saves people? It is not like that! Regardless of whether you transgress involuntarily or out of a rebellious nature, just remember: Hurry and wake up to reality. Press onward; no matter what situation arises, you must press onward. God is working to save people and He will not randomly strike the people He wants to save. Regardless of your degree of transformation, even if God struck you down in the end, then God would certainly do it in righteousness; when that time comes, He will let you understand it. Right now your only responsibility is to press onward, seek a transformation and seek to satisfy God; you should only care about fulfilling your duty according to God’s will. There is no mistake in this! Ultimately, no matter how God treats you, it is always done in righteousness; you should not doubt this or worry about it. Even if you can’t understand God’s righteousness right now, there will be a day when you will be convinced. God is certainly not like a government official or the king of devils. If you carefully try to understand this aspect, then you will eventually firmly believe that God’s work is saving people and transforming people’s dispositions. Since it is the work of transforming people’s dispositions, if people don’t reveal their corrupt dispositions, then nothing can be done and there will be no results. But after you have revealed your disposition, continuing on will be troublesome, it will offend the administrative decrees and offend God. God will inflict different degrees of retribution, and you will pay the price for your transgressions. Occasionally you unconsciously become dissolute and God points it out to you, prunes you, and deals with you; if you do better, God will not hold you accountable. This is the normal process of transformation; the true significance of the work of salvation is manifest in this process. This is the key!
from “God’s Will Is to Save People to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks
While God is working on people, their nature cannot help but be expressed, and due to the corruption of Satan they will inevitably have some transgressions, but amidst this God’s work in them will bear some fruit. If God does not see that, but only sees human nature being expressed, then that cannot be called the salvation of mankind. The fruit of people being saved is principally manifested in their fulfilling their duty and putting the truth into practice. God looks at people’s level of achievement in these areas as well as the extent of their transgressions. Both factors contribute to determining their outcome and whether or not they will remain. For instance, some people used to be very corrupt, completely devoted to the flesh, and not at all to the family of God. They did not expend themselves for God at all, but now they perform their duty enthusiastically and are of one heart with God—from this perspective, has there been a transformation? This is a transformation. It is this transformation that God wants. … However, no matter how great your transformation is, your nature cannot be changed all at once. It is impossible to not have any transgressions. But if your entering in is normalized, even with some disobedience, you will become aware of it at that time. This awareness can bring you immediate transformation and your conditions will get better and better. You may have a transgression once or twice, but not over and over again. This is transformation. It is not the case that someone who has transformed in a certain area no longer has any transgressions. This kind of transformation means that someone who has experienced God’s work can put more truth into practice and can practice some of what God requires. Their transgressions will become fewer and fewer and instances of disobedience will be less and less serious. You can see from this that the work of God has taken effect; what God wants is this kind of expression that these results have been achieved in people. Accordingly, the way God handles people’s outcomes and how He treats someone is completely righteous, reasonable and fair. You need only put all your efforts into expending yourself for God, unhesitatingly put all your heart into practicing the truth that you should, and God will not treat you unfairly.
from “The Meaning of People’s Performance Determining Their Outcome” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
Remember, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to avoid making errors at work, so if you find transgressions or errors, always seize the opportunity to reflect on yourself. Go before God, check and analyze your actions against God’s word, and try to avoid repeating your transgressions in the future. If you become rash as you serve God, your own ideas will emerge. You will become careless, sloppy, and take reckless, overly ambitious steps. This is dangerous. When you discover this nature in yourself, inspect it and get it under control immediately, especially where ideas concerning money, status, and relations between opposite sexes appear. Control yourself to prevent problems from occurring. Sometimes a certain person doesn’t do a good job and ruins things, and as you deal with him, your temper becomes heated and you speak roughly or become angry. This should not be considered a major problem and does not constitute a transgression. This is simply being quick-tempered, and all you need to do is be careful of it and overcome it. At other times you might make an error and cause harm to God’s house. At times like this, simply absorb what lessons you can, but only so long as no major damage is done. All these things are impossible to avoid. Everyone has problems at work, and no one is immune to making minor transgressions, but don’t make major transgressions. Why do leaders have to meet periodically to receive pruning and dealing? Because this is most helpful and beneficial. But the most important thing is that we must seek more understanding of the truth in God’s word. We must strive to understand the truth, pursue a change in our life disposition. This is positively seeking entry. Doing so will gradually reduce the transgressions you make in your work and produce change within you as you work, making your state more and more normal. This is the most effective way to avoid transgressions. …
… Some of people’s transgressions can be forgiven, while some transgressions are unforgivable. What is that based on? It is based on the context that brought about this transgression, on whether you understood just what you were doing. If you knowingly transgress that is grave. If you commit the transgression before you have understood the truth, then undergo pruning and dealing and change after you understand the truth, that is a transgression that is forgiven. If you don’t change after dealing and pruning but repeat the transgression that is unforgivable. Therefore, God manages things in a principled way also. The work that He does is primarily in order to save people, to do the utmost to save people. Tell me whether anyone has not transgressed? Everyone has, but to varying degrees. Some people have transgressed to a lesser degree and then changed after they understood so they don’t do such a thing anymore, as in the saying, “Once bitten, twice shy.” They have learned their lesson, never to do that again, and in this matter have no transgressions. In this matter, if you seek the truth and practice the truth you can satisfy God.
from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life