In Christianity, the belief is that God turns sinners into upright people through the power of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. This transformation is often referred to as "salvation" or "regeneration."
According to the Bible, all people are sinners and are separated from God because of their sin (Romans 3:23). However, God offers the gift of salvation to anyone who believes in Jesus and repents of their sin (Acts 16:31). When a person puts their faith in Jesus and receives this gift, they are reconciled with God and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). This transformation is not something that a person can accomplish on their own; it is the work of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Once a person has accepted this gift of salvation, they are called to follow Jesus and live a life that is pleasing to God. This involves turning away from sin and living in obedience to God's commands. While this process is not easy, God provides the help and strength we need through the Holy Spirit to live a godly life (Galatians 5:16-18).
It's important to note that this transformation is not a one-time event, but rather a ongoing process of growth and change. As believers seek to follow Jesus and live in obedience to Him, they will inevitably face challenges and may stumble along the way. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the support of other believers, they can continue to grow and become more like Jesus.
Here are four examples of people in the Bible who sinned but were ultimately used by God for His good purposes:
Abraham: Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish nation and is highly revered in both Judaism and Christianity. However, he also made mistakes and sinned. One example is when he lied about his wife Sarah being his sister in order to protect himself in a foreign land (Genesis 12). Despite his imperfections, God still chose to use Abraham to fulfill His promise to bless all nations through Abraham's offspring (Genesis 22:18).
David: David is considered a "man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14) and is known for his many accomplishments as king of Israel. However, he also committed significant sins, including adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12). Despite this, God chose to use David to establish a royal dynasty that would eventually lead to the coming of Jesus, the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
Peter: Peter was one of Jesus' closest disciples and is often remembered for his boldness and leadership in the early Christian church. However, he also made mistakes and sinned, including denying Jesus three times when Jesus was on trial (Matthew 26:69-75). Despite this, Jesus restored Peter and used him to be a key leader in the early church (John 21:15-19).
Paul: Paul, also known as Saul, was initially a fierce opponent of the Christian faith and actively persecuted Christians (Acts 8:1-3). However, after a dramatic encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul had a conversion experience and became one of the most influential apostles in the early church (Acts 9:1-9). God used Paul's story of redemption to inspire others and spread the message of Jesus to many people.
It's important to note that these individuals were not perfect and made mistakes, but God was able to use them in spite of their imperfections. This is a testament to God's grace and His ability to work through anyone who is willing to follow Him.