I know from my own experience that, I as well as many other people, have been deceived in the understanding of what was required for salvation. I came from a Church of Christ belief of hell, fire and brimstone and that God was an angry, mean old white haired buzzard that threw lightning bolts at you when you failed, there was no mercy in that congregation, including my parents. I wasn’t confident in this theology stance of uncertainty in my view of Jesus Christ. I walked away from Christianity when I was 18 years of age. I didn’t like the legalism and the ignorance of fundamental beliefs that Christians had back in the 60s & 70s. Unfortunately things today have not changed much but there is a people that valued the true Word of God and the Lord would show me the way to them, and only because I hungered and thirsted for the Truth. God blessed me by showing me where I needed to be and that was to following a Pastor- Teacher who is a man of God.
In Las Vegas, I attended many churches that believed you could lose your salvation by choosing to do so or just the fact that you are not continuously walking in the Spirit. If you were unable to pray before you died that night, to clear your slate of any sin you did that day, even in ignorance, you would go to hell. This is the same way my parent’s church believed, you could only be saved by being baptized, but you still had to be completely obedient to God afterwards. To say the least, as a female to male transsexual, I was deeply hurt, miserable, frustrated, and depressed. There was nothing in the Bible that said anything about me or being a transsexual, and I was told that the book of Romans spoke out against homosexuality and painted a bleak picture of perversion and labeled as having a depraved mind. Although I knew I was not a homosexual, I felt I was a part of this group of people because of my lifestyle, living with and loving a female, we would be seen as lesbians if they were to know that I am biologically female. People don’t understand my dysphoria so they just label me a homosexual. It was easier for them to label me a homosexual instead of dealing with a dysphoria that was unknown to them. But, I have found out that most Christians don’t know that you do not go to hell because of your sins. You only go to hell if you reject Jesus Christ as your Savior. Your belief system has everything to do with your salvation. Sin is not the issue anymore but, it’s your attitude and the nature of meekness before God, and knowing you do not know anything as you should, and break the prideful heart and be humble before the Lord, because with out Him we are nothing. Furthermore, nobody in this entire world has lived a perfect life except, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. When the Father sent the Son to earth to be the Lamb of God that would be slain before the foundations of the world, his mission was to save the people, he didn’t come to condemn them, John 3:17-18, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved .”He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
There are a lot of ignorant people out there that call themselves Christians, but have no idea what the Bible really says. They just attend church because out of duty and guilt. They believe what their pastor or priest preaches on Sunday morning, and then they just go back into the world doing the same things they always have and never grow in the grace and truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He did everything for us, he took upon Himself every sin that was ever committed on earth, and suffered the shame and guilt of those sins so that sin would never be the issue of our salvation. We need to hold on to the Perfect Man, the God of Creation, the Risen One, the Lamb that shed His blood for our sins, past, present, and future, completely forgiven and forgotten.
Now it is the time for the race, for rewards that will be given to those who finish the race, get the promotions, and will sit on the right-hand side of the Lord, Jesus. There, we will reign as rulers and priests with Jesus as high priest for the Kingdom of God to reign a thousand years.
I tried so hard to study the Scripture that might help me to know where I stood with God. The only thing I found encouraging was in, Matt 19:11-12:
“But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”( NKJ)
In those days eunuchs were outcast by society. They were seen as not perfect because of a defect, they could not be priests, they were male servants that were castrated for the service to the wives of the King, and some were just label unmarried men. I believe these people were abused just as we are here in the 21st century. They have put negative remarks on our character, even though they do even know how it feels to be rejected. I wish there was some way that they who abuse us could just spent 24 hours in our shoes, I would hope they would think twice before they abuse and malign us again. In my case, I can live and work around anybody and look like I fit in with the rest of society. But, people who make hateful comments about us really piss me off. But, my Pastor has made it very clear that we should never look at anyone in the flesh because we do not have the ability to look at the heart and know their intentions whether good or bad. It is not our right to judge. Only the Lord can see the heart of man and knows everything about us.
Our commission is to bring the Good News of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to all people, because everyone has the right to make their choice in receiving or rejecting Jesus Christ. Once they are saved and born again, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to lead us where God wants us to go. I believe people like me have the responsibility to preach Jesus to them to tell them God loves you and wants you to believe in the Son He sent to the world to save the world.
For those who don’t know about me, Transsexualism is where a person acknowledges at an early age that the sex that he or she is born into is not the sex of the brain. My body and mind are not in harmony, my psyche, the soul and mind is 100% heterosexual male, but my body is biologically female. As a child, I was confused and very sad and afraid, and as I grew older I began to have panic attacks where I would weep out of control and completely worried, and out of my mind with guilt, shame, and sometimes even thoughts of suicide as a teenager. But I was taught at an early age that committing suicide would also sentence me to hell as well. So I was fit to be tied, I felt as if I was between a rock and a hard place. I thought I was a bad person or I thought I might be insane.
These thoughts scared me spiritually. I knew I could not keep the Ten Commandments, the very first commandment was hard for me since I didn’t know God. I knew nothing about him. It was hard for me to love someone I could not see or feel. I had problems loving my own father, let alone the heavenly Father. I did not even have a clear understanding what Jesus was trying to do by dying on the Cross for my sins. If He was truly God, why didn’t he save himself? And if by some chance he died for my sins, which sins did he forgive and what sins were left for me to deal with and ask for forgiveness? I felt I could not win so I concluded I might as well live it up as long as I had to live on this earth. I still was looking forward to just getting it all over with and die. But that attitude did not last for long because I was afraid of death and what would happen to me in the future. Would I have to suffer starvation and disease. Would I have to go through the Great Tribulation? Would I take the mark of the beast? How would I survive? What would hell be like? How much pain and suffering would I have to endure to be saved? And is it true that the soul lives forever? What would it be like living without God for eternity? I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to search for the truth. I had to know the truth, because I didn’t want to believe that a loving God would leave me in this state of gender dysphoria without giving me hope that I, an outcast of society, could be a child of God.
Over many, many years of searching for truth, through so many churches, I finally found a church that was rightly dividing the Word of God and gives the full counsel of God, in season and out of season. Even things I didn’t want to hear but I did and I finally started to know more about Jesus and the purpose He came to provide for everything a believer would need for salvation and more. The Pastor-Teacher is the head of his flock, he makes the decisions and he will not be intimidated by men about what he will say or teach. He only teaches the true, the pure Word of God, there is no compromising the truth. He says it just like it is written in the Scriptures. He expects his congregation to bring their Bible, to listen, and take notes, of the teaching he has presented before the congregation. And, to go even further to study at home and make sure the teaching you heard that morning lined up with the Scriptures and if not, ask questions, and then apply the teachings to their daily lives. My pastor believes a practicing homosexual is sinning, but I do not believe being homosexual is a sin, but I do believe that promiscuity is and that also goes for heterosexuals as well. The heterosexual lifestyle can be just as sinful, too. There are so many sins we have made that we don’t even know what we have committed. It is the deeds of the body, whether good or bad, that will be known at the Bema Seat where we will be judged by God for our deeds in the flesh which will all burn up. And the deeds led by the Holy Spirit will be the rewards we will have in heaven forever. I believe that homosexuality in itself is not a sin, it is how you treat yours. Is your heart full of hate, bitterness, angry, envious, jealous, slander, pride, or negative or critical? The attitude of the heart is what is measured along with your faith in our Lord.
I have been very blessed by God and I know this to be true because when I cried out to God, he heard me and he let me find Him and He reassured me that I was a child of God. He sang an old hymn called, “In the Garden”, which I sang to my mother when I was young. We would sing in the car as we went to church on Sunday morning. It was a very personal connection. I knew the words by heart but I didn’t know what was being said in the message of the song. But, when Jesus was singing this song to me, I understood the words and knew without a doubt that He was reassuring me that I was one of His. No one would know except me, my mother and maybe my sisters, but God bore witness to my spirit that I was His child. What freedom I felt that night, calling upon His name and He answered me and told me that I was one of His own. The chorus of the old hymn went like this: “And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
From that day forward I knew that I was a child of God, now all I needed to do is to understand why, a miserable wretch like me could be a child of God. I really needed to know why otherwise I only had a dream and nothing really substantial to rely on. I must continue to search the truth about God and not what I was told but by evidence to back up what I needed to be finally confident in my Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the Greek, the word for believe is, pisteuo (pist-yoo’-o); which means; “to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ): KJV — believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.”
In John 3:14-19, Jesus taught, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (NKJ)
In Acts, Peter explains that the Gentiles only need to believe to be saved.
Acts 15:7-11, “And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (NKJ)
In Romans 10, Paul speaks of whoever those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ can be saved.
Rom 10:8-17, “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJ)
So sin is no longer the issue, since Jesus Christ died for every single individuals sin that ever lived on the face of the earth, Heb 9:24-28. Our salvation has three divisions: First, we have been saved from the penalty of sin: “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (NKJ)
Through the death of Christ on the Cross, Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”(NKJ)
Secondly, we are presently being saved from the power of sin over us.
Romans 5:10-11, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” as we reckon ourselves dead to sin and yield to the Spirit of God within us, Rom 6:11-16, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
And we will be saved from the presence of sin, Heb 9:28,” so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” When Christ returns of when this “corruptible” is replaced by “incorruption”, 1 Cor 15:42 “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”. at our death, for “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:8, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
My Pastor continues to remind us to be precise and thorough. Therefore we must together learn to “endure in sound doctrine,” and, not get weary in academic discipline.
2 Tim 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
There is another example that we need to look at before I go any further. This is found in 1 Cor 2:14, where the term natural man is found, and in verse 15 where the term spiritual man is found, and also in Chapter 3: 1, of the same letter where the term carnal man is found.
The natural man is not born again, and therefore cannot receive the things of God. The Spiritual man is born again and is not only in a relationship with God through the new birth, but also in fellowship with Him through yielding to the Spirit. Now the third man is the carnal man, and this man is born again because he is referred to as “a babe in Christ.” Yet, he is carnal in his behavior because instead of yielding to the Spirit.
Rom 6:11-16, ” Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” He grieves the Spirit, Eph 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
He is still in a relationship with God as his child, but yet not in fellowship.
Our position as believers is always “in Christ”, this will never change, although our fellowship does change, and our fellowship will determine our experience. We will either be abiding and bearing fruit.
John 15:1-5, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” or we will be slaves to our flesh, Rom 6:16, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” And candidates for divine discipline, Heb 12:1-7, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?”
So my position according to scripture is “in Christ.”
2 Cor.5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. and my position declares that I an “seated in heavenly places” Eph 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
And my position declares that I am “complete in Christ.”
Col 2:9-10 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”, and the Word of God declares that I have been “perfected forever”, Heb 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Now I may not understand this positional truth completely, I dare say no finite mind can, 1 Cor 8:2, “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.”
But I have learned that illumination comes through believing God’s Word. Therefore if God’s testimony concerning me is this, who am I to argue with God armed only with human reasoning.
I, like my Pastor, believes that, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin”, as so revealed in Romans 14:23:
“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.” I have come to believe that any thought that does not originate from the mind of Christ is a “vain imagination and high thing that exhales itself against the knowledge of God”. 2 Cor 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
Therefore, I, a believer who sins, will confess my sins to God and avail myself of his cleansing blood, I John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And will joyfully experience the peace of purged conscience, Heb 9:13-14, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
I will not as some arrogant believers do, say I do not sin, nor will I claim that I do not fall, but what I will do is rest on God’s Word concerning my fall and not on human opinion that stinks of relative righteousness with it’s comparisons. The problem being they never compare themselves to a pure, holy Jesus Christ, but they compare themselves to other humans and compound their sin. I will believe God’s Word which states:
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore. For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
As we can see that even when a believer falls, the security of that believer rest in the power of God keep him saved, not in the power of the believer to keep himself saved. Phil 1:6:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…
Our confidence is not to be in our performance, nor in our ability to keep ourselves, but it is in “this very thing,” that God was the one who initiated the work in us and that he will continue that very work until he comes back for us. It is a good work because it is the Holy Spirit who does the work. Only the works of God can be called good, since we know that man cannot produce anything good, seeing that his very nature itself is described by God as no good.
Romans 3:10, “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; Rom 3:23, …”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Isa 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
In conclusion, we have a New Identity, in Romans 8: 15-16,23:
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,… Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.(NKJ) And Galatians 4: 4-6 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”(NKJ)
We are adopted- adopted into His precious family, legally adopted as one of His own.
We are complete in Him forever, Col.2:10:
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Of course, if we continue to sin, we will be chastised. If, over a long period of time, we refuse to get right and ignore repeated warnings by the Holy Spirit, we could even be taken home early. But as we go, we will still be complete, though we will suffer the loss of rewards.
In 1 Cor. 1:30-31, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption- -that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord. “(NKJ), and 1 Cor. 6:11, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (NKJ), we are sanctified – separated from the power of darkness, Col. 1:13, ” He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (NKJ), perfectly cleansed and set apart unto God.
Then, we are forgiven forever. This is such a foundational truth, found in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Micah 7:19, “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” and Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” among many other verses.
Do we realize what it means to be forgiven? Don’t even try to weigh it on the scales of grace. It is God! It is all Christ. This knowledge about the Scriptures is exactly what I’ve been looking for all my life, now I have peace with my God, I have confidence in His strength and not my own, I am meek because I know without God I am nothing. But He made it possible that a wretch like me can be saved because of the Finish Work of Jesus Christ, I can now believe, it’s the only through grace that we have faith, because He loved us first. This is why He should be all in all in our lives – not self-occupation or self-preservation.
We will see that we are quickened, raised up, and we are seated in heavenly places, Eph. 2:5-6:
“even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,… where we are perfected forever, saved by the Blood of the Lamb. And thanks be to God, in Ephesians 1:6, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. “
We are accepted. When loved ones reject you, when your partner leaves you, when you fail and you can’t accept yourself, you are accepted by God!
Because those things happened in our lives the moment we were saved, we are made meet – made adequate and precisely adapted to meet the Master, Col. 1:12, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”, to be in the presence of the King of kings, poised and confident, knowing we are where we belong.
I pray that this article will change your way of thinking and begin to study the Scriptures so that you to can have the “mind of Christ, knowing where you belong and truly know that you are “in Christ,” hid in Him and depending on His imputed righteousness that clothes us and loves us.