Being a sinner or what some people would simply call a juvenile delinquent for most of my early life, the darkness of my acts has always shrouded my ability to see the light and goodness in the world. This inability to see the good made me hate that which I didn’t understand.

Figure emerges from the comos

The English word sin means to “miss the mark.” 

It is derived from the Biblical Greek New Testament ἁμαρτία hamartia “sin”, missing the mark (failure or error) which is derived from the Hebrew hata – “sin”. A word that originates in archery and literally refers to missing the “gold” at the “center of a target,” but hitting the target – i.e. “to miss the mark”

So when we sin, humans are missing the mark. We are not getting the whole point of life which is to treat people how we want to be treated, to be blessed, and to love and live a good life.

Looking back on those years, I can honestly say that I was missing the mark and my sins caused me to have broken relationships and multiple trips to jail and prison. Obviously, the drugs, parties, music, violence, and girls were just part of the scene that constituted my sins.

Sins that almost killed me on multiple occasions and have killed countless peers.

But even in my darkest hours, I dreamed about the light and breaking the chains that bound me to my evil ways. I often thought, what does it take to make things right and what steps must I take to stop sinning in order to begin the road of redemption to recover my lost and tattered soul.

To many people outside of religion, a supernatural conversion of a bad person or even a former criminal or Satanist is ludicrous. Some people would even say that recent converts to the Faith are mentally deranged. However, my research into the subject and my own journey into the Valley of the Shadows of Darkness ie Hell, and back to the Light ie Heaven has shown me that there is something metaphysical happening when a person truly makes a conscious decision to change their evil ways.

A modern example of a high-profile famous person who has done this Great Work of Justification in redeeming his soul is Brian “Head” Welch from Bakersfield, California who plays bass in the iconic Nu Metal Rock Band, Korn. From finding God and quitting Korn, to going solo and then back to rejoining Korn, this man has traveled the dark labyrinths of Hell back to the Light of God to bring testimony to as many people as possible.

Like Brian Welch, I had a similar journey but less public and with a lot less money. My research into his story and his path over the last decade proved to me that he walks the talk. He is a shining example of someone famous who has redeemed his soul. A man who appears to be humble while still playing in the band Korn and testifying of his conversion. In a future article, I will speak more about his story and hope to interview him for a new book I’m writing.

So how does a real-life sinner like Brian Welch or myself make a miraculous conversion? How do we stop doing drugs, sex, and a debauched lifestyle to become a good man who no longer does those things ie sins, and give his life to a higher power ie God?

As the Scripture informs us, sinners can go from darkness to light to be saved from death to life via the Christian concept of Justification.

The Fathers of the Church, both Greek, and Latin, unanimously teach that justification effects the forgiveness of sins. Justification is described in the Bible not only as a remission of sins, but likewise as the beginning of a new life, a renewal of the Spirit, a new creation, a regeneration, a supernatural likeness of God, etc.

The concept of Justification renews the sinner inwardly and makes of him a new person.

This remission event first occurs in a person’s mind when they truly imagine and want to stop their sinful or bad ways. Then through their thoughts and actions, they do the work that is necessary to, for example, stay clean from drugs or stop watching porn to help with their sex addictions. 

This new mindset to live clean followed by real-life action put to Death or Crucify the old Ego or old self/creature and the figurative rebirth of a new person occurs. Like Christ, we can rise to live again from our Tombs. This is the whole point of these Christian teachings.

They have sloughed off sin and become just and holy in the sight of God. Cfr.2 Cor. V, 17: “If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new.”

As we read in John: “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren; he that loveth not, abideth in death. (1 John III, 14)” In Colossians: “And you, when you were dead in your sins, … he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offenses, (Col. II, 13),” and Ephesians. V, 8: “For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord.”  

The word “justification” also occurs in two other meanings in the Bible. Ps. CXVIII, 8 and 26 for the “law”: “I will keep thy justifications;”  and “Teach me thy justifications.” Apoc. XXII, 11 and other passages it signifies “growth in interior holiness,” which theologians call Justificatio secunda.

The earliest Church Father to write about this concept comes to us from Clement of Rome: The Letter of the Church of Rome to the Church of Corinth (Clement’s First Letter) who was familiar with St. Paul’s Epistles, and he certainly believed and taught that we are justified by faith and also via self-control, being humble and this is not in word only, it is “justified by deeds.”

Clement had written:

And we, therefore…are not justified of ourselves or by our wisdom or insight or religious devotion or the holy deeds we have done from the heart, but by that faith by which almighty God has justified all men from the very beginning (ch. 32:4).

We should clothe ourselves with concord, being humble, self-controlled, far removed from all gossiping and slandering, and justified by our deeds, not by words (ch. 30:3).

These quotes by Clement really hit home for me.

I always hated gossip and myself when I partook in it. Self-control is something I have battled with since being a little chubby kid who was picked on by my peers or to my alcohol and drug addictions. Today, the art of self-control plays a big part in all that I do.

I have never been a man who thought by Faith only we are redeemed or saved. To me, these people who walk by Faith only are hypocrites who do not walk the talk. They give Christianity a bad name. The very people Godless Atheists and Satanists poke fun at all day long.

The Eastern Father St. Justin Martyr (AD 100-165) makes it clear that it is not those who “merely profess” Christ on their lips, but by the values of their actions through those who “do the works” the Saviour commanded that will be saved:

Those who are found not living as he taught should know that they are not really Christians, even if his teachings are on their lips, for he said that not those who merely profess but those who also do the works will be saved (cf. Matt. 13:42, 43; 7:15,16,19)” (The First Apology of Justin, ch.16).

Each man goes to everlasting punishment or salvation according to the value of his actions (The First Apology of Justin, ch. 7).

Ignatius of Antioch (AD 35-107), Apostolic Father from the East, informs us that along with baptism, faith, and charity, our works will be our deposits to receive what is our due:

“Let your baptism be ever your shield, your faith a helmet, your charity a spear, your patience a panoply. Let your works be deposits, so that you may receive the sum that is due you” (Letter to St. Polycarp, 6).

Most Christians fail to understand that when you are “dead in your sins” and when you move from being a sinner who lives in darkness to the Light of the Lord, it is a form of Baptism by Fire.

A self-initiation in which you consciously make the decision to stop living a selfish life by the mind of the flesh and to no longer be ruled by your material things, money, and the world. This does not mean that you no longer have a need for material necessities such as money, a house, and or a car, but they no longer define who you are and or take precedence over the most important things in life like family, love, and our spiritual life such as God.

When a person has genuinely made this decision to stop consciously sinning by living in Mind of the Flesh, and their thoughts and actions validate this fact, it is called Justification that their sins be forgiven. They now walk in the Light of the Lord ie Spiritus Principalis ie, the directing or Governing Spirit of God as Jesus had done.

Unfortunately, many people deceive themselves and continue to sin, so you must understand that this cannot be done in words only. They miss the mark.

There is also the misconception that our sins are caused by one man and also have been forgiven by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Having faith and just merely believing this will cause you to be saved. As we read in Romans,  “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19), and to overcome this alienation from God by sin, Jesus died on the cross, thereby reconciling us to our Creator, insisting that “when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).

But this interpretation is wrong because if we are to examine the Greek and Hebrew Scripture, we would find that

The Scripture is emphatic that Forgiveness is imparted via penance from God. NOT by Jesus dying on the cross, a preacher, or some outside authority. It comes from both within and God, which is Natural Law.

Another Eastern Father, Basil the Great (AD 329-379), tells us of being “acceptable to God” through obeying the gospel, purging sins, and being active in good works:

He who would obey the gospel must first be purged of all defilement of the flesh and the spirit that so he may be acceptable to God in the good works of holiness (The Morals, 2, 1).

Basil believed that simply renouncing sins was not enough for salvation; rather, an act of penance was necessary as well:

Mere renouncement of sin is not sufficient for the salvation of penitents, but fruits worthy of penance are also required of them (The Morals, 1, 3).

The people who are saved ie break free via the values of their actions are Redeemed, which is the Christian concept of Redemption.

The word Redemption comes from the Latin redemptio which is originally rendered from the Hebrew kopher and Greek lytron which, in the Old Testament, redemption (Hebrew ge’ulah) referred to the ransom price of slaves (Exodus 21:8). In the New Testament, it is designated as the “great price” (1 Corinthians 6:20) which the Redeemer paid for our liberation.

Greek Fathers, like St. Athanasius (De incarnatione, in P.G., XXV, 105), St. Cyril of Alexandria (Contra Julianum in P.G., LXXV, 925) and St. John Damascene (De fide orthodoxa, in P. G, XCIV, 983), emphasized that Redemption is a remedy for original sin as almost to make it appear the sole and necessary means of rehabilitation.

In this regard, Gregory of Nyssa introduced the concept of Satan and souls on a fishing hook.  Just as in fishing, Satan clamped down on this hook (i.e. Christ), and found a surprise.  This surprise was the claims of all the souls taken from the devil.

This concept of redemption has been extended to the law for example of human chattel or slaves: an Israelite slave, an Israelite captive, and the firstborn son, pidyon haben, (Hebrewפדיון הבן‎) or redemption of the first-born son. Firstborn’ derived from Jacob, who are God’s slaves forever, but are currently held captive, even while residing in the modern state of Israel.

Redemption is extended from the person to material possessions like real estate for foreclosed properties. Before a bank can cease or take back the property from a delinquent owner, they are given a Right of redemption, which is a right to reclaim the foreclosed property.

The right of redemption to transform individual persons one mind, heart, and soul at a time.

Through Justification, they have been saved from the jaws of Leviathon, the Devil, or the earth’s biosphere which controls the mind of the flesh.

Their souls Redeemed by thoughts, words, and actions.

Thus the ransom has been paid.

Proof that they are no longer his slaves.

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