19 Apr 1999


Submitted by theshovel
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To all you little diggers!!! :)

I got a bunch of good feedback from many of you on this ... keep it up. I will make a place for this particular issue on theshovel.net (including some of your comments).

The REAL question, of course, was not "do we have to confess our sins", but: was the bread and wine thing about remembering Christ ... or remembering sin?

Don't you realize that you were raised to be sin-conscious? And this makes no difference if you went to a religious institution sometime in your childhood or not. Just watch the dynamics in the world around you ... it's everywhere! From little children to old folks, we are submerged in judging wrong vs. right, good vs. bad, better vs. worse. But sin-consciousness is the mindset we have been DELIVERED FROM in Jesus Christ!!

Why in the world do we need a meal to remind us of our sins? The problem is that we think on them FAR TOO OFTEN!! From the moment we wake until we lay our head down ... and even in our sleep sin-consciousness chases us like a mean dog!! While many religious leaders and teachers profess a strong concern that believers may become too "flippant" about sin, nothing could be further from the truth.

With all the insecurity and depression and bondage and fear and guilt and shame that we see around us in believers everywhere (even in our own lives), isn't it overwhelmingly evident that something is terribly wrong with the whole picture? Flippant about sin? Just how black and blue do believers need to beat themselves to prove how ridiculous that idea is? Do any of you question the reality of how much we punish ourselves? All you gotta do is notice just how fast and how many of us run to the latest Christian self-help program or seminar!! We, as a whole, are suffering incredibly from the heavy guilt, shame, fear and judgment we think we deserve! Oh, on the outside we can put on a pretty good show, but it's just a facade.

The gospel means GOOD NEWS! You want a picture of good news? Just look at the significance of the wine.

This cup is the new covenant in MY blood 1 Corinthians 11:25

Uh ... new covenant?

I will remember their sins no moreJeremiah 31:34

Don't you get it? The reality of what Christ accomplished on the cross is the ONLY place where we can GET AWAY FROM OUR SINS!! The remembrance of HIM found in this representation reminds us that THERE IS NO SIN TO REMEMBER ANYMORE!

What are you beating yourself up over right now? What is it that makes you feel unworthy? What gives you a sense of inferiority? Why in the world are YOU remembering your sins when GOD DOESN'T?

Am I overlooking the obvious references in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 about eating in "an unworthy manner" and being "guilty of the body and blood" and "he who eats and drinks judgment to himself"? If this passage scares you, then you have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER as to what Paul was saying!! (I will deal more with it and publish it on the website.) Do not fear! There is nothing that is against you or can separate you from the love of God ... not even your fear that there are Bible verses that condemn you!! :)

As you go through your day and are remembering your sins ... remember CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED instead.

Have a shovelacious day! :) :)
Love, Jim

Old Testament: 


Hi Jim. Looks like this post is 11 years old. I don’t see anything on here explaining 1 Cor 11:27-32. When I read the passage, along with the whole of the previous chapter, it seems God was judging the Corinthians for their sins. Concerning 1 Cor 10:13, yes, I understand that God is NOT the one doing the tempting. I realize that God doesn’t tempt us with evil, but rather provides a way of escape. Still, it seems that 10:5-11 are warnings of God judging us for our sins the same way he judged the Israelites. In these verses he mentions what happened to the Israelites as a result of their sin, and in verse 11 says these things happened to them as example and warning to us. I agree that we have total forgiveness in Christ, but I still see judgment for sin in these passages, which is what leads many to hold to the distinction between judicial forgiveness and fellowship forgiveness. I no longer hold to this distinction, which has me stumped as to how to handle 1 Cor 10:5-11 and 11:27-32. Can you exegete each verse? Oops! Forgot to include my name in my comment. I’m Danny :)
theshovel's picture

Hello Danny!

I still have many articles in my former database that I haven't transferred over yet, and that's where I have some articles you might be interested in. I'm heading out the door in a few minutes to pick up my oldest daughter for one of our weekend sunrise walks on the beach so for now I'll just post these two links:


Jim :)

Hi Jim. Thanks for pointing me to your other database. After reading the articles, Revelation 2:20-22 came to mind, so I looked in your Q & A section, and found your response to a question about God’s Anger toward the churches in Revelation. For Thyatira, you wrote, “Be careful of those ministers’ who promote themselves (Thyatira).” Yes, the false prophetess in this passage is promoting herself and her teachings, but in 2:22 Jesus makes it clear that He will place His servants into intense tribulation if they don’t change their minds and stop following her. Verse 20 makes it clear that Jesus’ servants are the ones engaging in these acts with her. I don’t buy any argument that says these servants aren’t saved. Jesus calls them His servants so it is natural that in this post-Cross passage we are dealing with believers. Though they are saved, Jesus is still threating punishment, so it seems that total forgiveness doesn’t remove punishment. Even if you argue that the reason He is threatening this judgment is because they are buying into her self-promotion, the fact remains that He is threating His servants with intense tribulation. How do we reconcile this with Hebrews 10:17? And yes, it’s Danny again :) Aside from the Revelaton 2:22 question, what’s the point of the warning in 1 Corinthians 10:11 if God won’t use the same punishment against believers if necessary? You didn’t address that verse in the old database. And 1 Cor 10:22 seems to imply that God can still be provoked to jealous anger. Yes, the Jews were under Law, but Paul seems to stress the possibility of the same judgment on believers even in the Age of Grace. I really need your insight here.
theshovel's picture

Hello again, Danny :)

You ask for my insight, so I will tell you what I see. I hope you don't disregard whatever I end up writing just because it might not seem to answer what you've asked. And please do not consider that I am in any way scolding you or putting you down, for I desire to stimulate your righteous mind. :)

You wrote:
"After reading the articles, Revelation 2:20-22 came to mind..."

When you assume that forgiveness in Christ sounds too good to be true there will always be that one more verse that simply has to be answered before you can really believe it. I don't suggest that the subject matter of your questions is unworthy, rather in them I already hear an endless string of "yeah"but" objections. I'm not against a cross-reference, but from personal experience I am well-acquainted with rabbit trails of Bible study that bring no real answers.

There are certain phrases that caught my attention in what you've written, such as: "I don't buy any argument that says...", "post-Cross passage", "total forgiveness", "How do we reconcile this with...", and "Age of Grace". I'm not necessarily opposed to any one of these phrases, however to me, collectively they express a rigid framework you expect every answer to fit in.

I think you may have set yourself up on a quest to get grace all figured out so that you can support your views. Perhaps you fear the objections of those who seem to have a better handle on Scripture than yourself. I think it would do you well to read through a book like Matthew or Luke, especially noting how Jesus did or did not respond to the Bible scholars of the day who constantly hounded him. Now if you find that reading those dialogs only prompts questions rather than confidence, you may want to consider that you are approaching them with the very same sin-conscious perceptions of those who opposed Jesus. We are not bound by the logic of those who are "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7)


Sorry for this third comment. As you can see, I always have to add or modify something. I stated that so far I can see God being angry while still being in-fellowship with us. I should have used the word “displeased” instead of “angry.” I don’t actually believe God is fuming at us - since the image of God being angry is a religious staple that many of us have grown up with, I guess you could say the fleshly mind was showing through. You may see the use of “displeased” as fleshly as well, but there are still things to work through. I mean, when a believer has the opportunity to help someone in need, and doesn’t do it, it would be horrible to think to themselves that they are not a believer after all - that kind of Lordship salvation mentality produces unnecessary fear and death, which is much worse than fearing loss of reward. However, when you know you’re righteous before God and therefore should help someone in need out of love (and not law), and you don’t do it,it seems natural to think, “Yes, I’m still the righteousness of God in Christ, but I can’t imagine that God isn’t displeased in some way.” It seems easy to be at ease when you always do the right thing, but you know and I know that we blow it sometimes and don’t help the person in need. Is it really the law forcing you to think that God is displeased? Or is it righteous conviction that you should have done something, since you know you’re a believer saved solely by the Finished Work? OK Jim, as you can see, I added more things. I hope this latest post doesn’t detract from the Rev 2 discussion! - Danny

Hello, As just an observer, I wanted to comment on this exchange. I am glad for the exchange because in witnessing it, I have finally seen something I had not seen as clearly before. Jim I see your response as completely frustrating to the mindset that we learned in this world. lol For what we learned in our churches was all things pertaining to SEPARATION. You not responding in “kind” to Dan’s letter to you is again something very frustrating from the view point of the mind of separation. For THAT mind is always looking for more info. to keep itself separated from Christ. But, we are not separated. When under the delusion that we are separated from Christ through logic and bible words and phrases, we demand that we indeed ARE separated when we are really not, in Truth. Legalities and logic as opposed to receiving grace, only puffs up, takes you down a path of no were and ends up a formula with no life. Grace brings peace and true contentment. We have adopted a strong sense of the law in our demanding to have answers to the legal objections so we can have a more ‘legal’ grace. At the same time our reality in this situation of insanity does sometime demand that we work through obvious errors in interpretations[in the Bible]-but, It is a worthy notation to at least point out the awful trickery of the Devil through just gaining more knowledge. I am not sure that all sounds perfect, but it is what I could come up with to say about it all. Adam
theshovel's picture

These comments were all transferred over from the original website

Posted: August 20-1999 by Steve

Hey Jim:

Timing is everything... I had such a bad day yesterday. A third computer crashed left me rebuilding the HD from scratch and loosing a great deal of work that hadn't been backed up over the past three days. I was not only frustrated but released alot of that tension through words and attitudes that I purposely chose to do.

Your letter hit the spot for me this morning. Thanks for the reminder and the great encouragement in your words.


Posted: August 20-1999 by Candis

Greetings Jim!!

you have hit all three nails on the head!

ps. Thanks for the link,and yes, the Logo, is great.! I am going to learn how to do that some day. Looking forward to the next shovel letter ... did not get the one on Monday. Great job you are doing!

Posted: August 20-1999 by Bob H

Hey Jim!

How's everything? The site look really good!

Posted: August 20-1999 by John

Delivered from "sin-consciousness"? I'm a bit uncertain of your point. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin. The sinner's problem is not that he is too sensitive to his sin - just the opposite! His conscience is calloused to his sin (Ephesians 4:18-19).

On the other hand, you point is well-taken that the main emphasis of the Lord's Supper is not on us but on HIM.

Posted: August 20-1999 by Mark

Freed from the judgment of sin and made alive, freed from the power of sin, yet still we have the habit of sin. We do what we are preoccupied with.

Good thoughts on sin-consciousness.

Posted: August 20-1999 by Roy

Thanks. This is one of the best explanation of scripture the I have ever heard in a while.

Posted: Apr-13-06 by herman

when i mow my lawn & hit a rock i don't stop everything & search for the object i hit. i juz keep on pushin.thanx,Jim.

Posted: Jan-11-08 by AngelaBridget

Hello.! Happy New Year 2008.!

Posted: Jan-28-08 by BibleStudent

Ps 51:3 I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.

1 Time 1:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Sounds like these two (2) guys were very aware of their sin.

Posted: Jan-28-08 by the shovel

Hello BibleStudent ... let's study!

Consider that Psalm 51 was written by David, a man under the Law. You know, I agree with you that David was very aware of his sin, for he had good reason. After all, Paul did quote him in Romans as having spoken about "the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 'BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.'" (Romans 4:6-8). Realize this: he was one of the prophets Peter referred to when writing:

"As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look."
(1 Peter 1:10-12)

You see, David understood the idea of being fortunate enough to not have one's sins taken into account because he was so very aware of his. Like you say, he did live in view of: "my sin is ever before me". But I wonder if you cannot hear the longing in his words that he could have been so fortunate?

But you also quoted Paul's words from 1 Timothy ... and we both know that Paul was not under the Law, don't we?

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15)

Now, can we assume (according to these words) Paul meant to insinuate that he was very aware of his sin? If he was, then how did he ever make a statement like this:

"But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 4:3-4)

And the above statement is not an exception to Paul's message of freedom from sin in Christ. You do know that, don't you? Since Paul was not a man who lived in view of his sin, that he did not examine himself, that he was not conscious of anything against himself, you might want to make the safe assumption that he was not contradicting it in his letter to Timothy. And if he was not contradicting himself, then although it might sound like he was very aware of his sin he was most certainly saying something else. Then, once you get past the erroneous assumption you might see how his words fit so beautifully into the rest of what he wrote Timothy in that letter. You would hear him saying anything BUT the idea that he was very aware of his sin.

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."
(1 Timothy 1:1-17)

This is such a beautiful statement. I could have highlighted every word, but I wanted to bring attention to some. The Law was made for sinners ... NOT for a righteous person. Guess who the righteous persons are? :) Paul certainly knew he was one. After all, he was conscious of nothing against himself. Paul had urged Timothy to stay on at Ephesus because of the men who were teaching strange doctrines, those who were turning to fruitless discussion ... that is, they were preaching the Law, among other things. They were teaching others in a way that they would have to see themselves as sinners ... for that is who the Law is for.

Against this, Paul declares himself the chief of sinners. Why? Because as a FORMER sinner his position still ranked #1 among all men. He knew that God had chosen him as the perfect example of what it was to receive mercy despite his former sins. For his example would forever declare the patience of Jesus Christ in this freedom from sin. Imagine, against ANY who would declare himself too far gone to be redeemable, Paul knew that there were none less deserving than himself. No one could argue that because their sins were so great that they were beyond the grace of God, for in Paul that was already proven false. Paul declared that if HE could be saved then anybody could be saved! His statement didn't contradict his own demand of being totally free from sin; instead, it contradicted anyone who insisted by their preaching of the Law that God's people still needed to be brought into awareness of their sin through its examination.

I hope you consider this in view of what you posted.

Jim :)

Posted: Jan-29-08 by BibleStudent

1 John 1:8-10

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Posted: Jan-30-08 by the shovel

Ah ... so no comments regarding what I wrote, only more misquoted Bible verses, eh? It seems you're really stuck on your sin. You can search out my writings on 1 John if you're really interested in doing more than just throwing out Bible verses.

Jim :)

Posted: Feb-10-08 by kamswaye

stumbled acrossed this dialog, and I must admit, I'm a little stumped. I'm not sure what the message is to me as a believer regarding sin. Are we saying that:

A. People who are really born-again simply don't commit sin anymore, so they should get rid of their sin conscienceness?

B. People who are born-again aren't considered sinners anymore by God, so they should get rid of their sin conscienceness, even though they may do things that by definition would be considered sin in any other format of life?

Not saying that I agree or disagree with "A" or "B". I'm just trying to understand what's being stated in this forum about my having a sin conscienceness. I'm not sure if we're talking about sin that was committed in the past but confessed and we still hold on to it, or the fact the I'm living an adulterous lifestyle, but since I'm a Christian and have been forgiven, I'm not conscience of the fact that what I just did is a sin. Please clarify.

Posted: Feb-12-08 by the shovel

Hello kamswaye,

I understand stumped, for I've been there enough to become an expert on the subject! LOL :) I know that when reason approaches the mind of the Spirit it can only balk as it tries to wrap its arms around what can only appear as concepts. And that is what I hear you struggling with. I know what it is to designate myself with such potent phrases as "born-again", "Christian" and "forgiven" without hearing the proclamation of my true identity as one who had been delivered out of the realm of sin and law by the miracle of Jesus Christ. Sin-consciousness is the perception of the mind of death, which means that when you as a believer try hold it as your own you hold to that which is illegitimate. This perception causes you to balk at your legitimacy as being truly born of God. The truth is you think you need to answer all the objections that are implied by the miracle, and your attempts to formulate an answer have left you no alternative but to see yourself according to the flesh. But Christ has already made an answer for you through his death and resurrection. You are no longer of the flesh, nor of sin, nor of condemnation.

I hope to hear back from you. :)


Posted: Feb-15-08 by kamswaye

Thanks for your response. It is so true that we have difficulty wrapping our minds around the things of God using our logic. Maybe that is what I'm doing in this case. But I guess I'm still wondering what the answer is to my original question. I'm sorry if I'm being redundant or dense. I hope I'm not wearing out your patience, but I really want to know. Please speak to me as a "9 year" old so that hopefully I can get it. I'm sure you felt that you already answered my question, but after reading it several times, I still didn't discern your answer in your response other than the fact that have a sin consciousness is like having the mind of death (which I don't think I disagree with). There were actually two questions that I posed:

Am I to understand:

A. People who are really born-again simply don't commit sin anymore, so they should get rid of their sin conscienceness?


B. People who are born-again aren't considered sinners anymore by God, so they should get rid of their sin conscienceness, even though they may do things that by definition would be considered sin in any other format of life?

Please help....


Posted: Feb-15-08 by the shovel

Hello again, kamswaye

No, you are definitely not wearing out my patience ... I just hope I don't wear yours out. Please know that the reason I don't respond to you as a child is that it will do no good. Not only that, it is beneath you. Ironically, responding to you as an intellectual would be just as beneath you. That doesn't mean I won't answer a simple question with a simple answer. But what if the real question lies beneath the surface of the question being asked? I'd rather take the long road in order to pursue the real questions. After all, what good are answers that only sound like understandable responses?

Consider your two questions. One is contrary to the other, but both ask about the same conclusion. That in itself should make you wonder where that conclusion is coming from. The first almost quotes a particular Bible verse in 1 John 3, and perhaps you are asking if I believe it to be true in view of the contradiction in what you mentioned about your lifestyle; whereas, the second falls back to the more logical assumption that says the first consideration can't really be true but that God has merely determined to see us that way.

I'm not trying to get deep here, I'm just examining questions that demand an intellectual answer. And whether on a nine-year old level or on a college level it's all the same in the end, for it demands that we can understand the things of God by human intellect. True? And I mean, not true that it's possible but true that this is what it demands. I will instead appeal to the real source of life that is in you.

Before I pursue this any further, let me ask how this is hitting you. :)


Posted: Feb-16-08 by kamswaye

For clarification purposes, the lifestyle previously mentioned was a hypothetical and not actually mine. I was trying to give a vivid, practical example hoping that I would get a clear, vivid answer. So I'm really interested in the rest of what you will share with me. So far, I'm hearing you say that the two questions are contrary to one another but have the same conclusion. I think you are about to unfold that conclusion in your next pass. I'm still breathing so go ahead...

Posted: Feb-17-08 by the shovel

Still breathing ... that's a good sign, I suppose!

kamswaye wrote:
So far, I'm hearing you say that the two questions are contrary to one another but have the same conclusion. I think you are about to unfold that conclusion in your next pass.

You hear me say it, but do you see it? If not, any conclusion you hear will become lost within the same confusion.

kamswaye wrote:
For clarification purposes, the lifestyle previously mentioned was a hypothetical and not actually mine. I was trying to give a vivid, practical example hoping that I would get a clear, vivid answer.

This does indeed clarify where you're coming from, but not in the way you probably thought it would. You see, I read this and learn way more about the reasoning behind your questions and hoped-for answers than you might imagine. While you say you hope for clear, vivid answers you stumble over the obvious. Don't you find it contradictory that you had to resort to the hypothetical in order to present something practical? Your struggle comes from the fact that the questions you've asked are of the same nature as your example. Your real questions are buried under the premise of hypothetical practicality. What are those questions?


Posted: Feb-17-08 by kamswaye

Okay, so now I admit that you truly lost me. I started out wanting to get clarification about the sin consciousness issue; whether not having it means that Christians don't commit sin or whether we redefine what sin is. I actually thought that presenting a hypothetical would specify where I was coming from. However, I'm not sure I was successful since it left you believing that there is something more I wanted to ask (which I'm unaware of). Actually, I might have more questions, or even a deeper one if I could get the original one answered. Maybe you already answered my original question and I just missed it (which is why I asked you to simplify for me). Again, I stumbled on this site, and thought I would find some answers to questions that have been on my heart. So far, I don't believe I'm getting any closer. Is there any other literature that you'd recommend on this issue? That way I could do some homework and not take up so much of your time.


Posted: Feb-18-08 by the shovel

Hi kamswaye

Like I said earlier, you are not wearing out my patience, but I suspect I'm wearing yours rather thin. I know you've been hoping for simple answers to what you assume are simple questions so that you might get past your confusion, but your questions are part of your confusion. Now I'm sure you could find someone who would be more than eager to answer your questions in the traditional manner, if that's what you want, but you stumbled upon my site. A coincidence? A mere chance? Maybe, but then maybe not. You say I've truly lost you, and I believe you, but I think you might be assuming that it's a bad thing. I think total confusion is the inevitable result of facing one's own reasoning. I realize that I haven't given you what you were expecting, but I can assure you that I am following up with what I hear from you. I am more than willing to continue on with you if you want.

I'm not sure what the message is to me as a believer regarding sin.

The message to you is that you are free from it, that your life is not what you've been thinking it is. Consider this from Paul:

"For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
(Galatians 2:19-21 NASB)

Does sin seem to have any bearing on our true life?


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