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Fail Forward

By Pastor John Mateos Ong


If you are to fail, you are to fail forward. Why does the church fail to catch people before they fall?


Christians always think that they cannot sin because when they do, they are judged right away. Instead of being accountable for their mistakes, they just hide it. The world makes a circus out of Christians, who sin, especially when they are sins of the flesh. Instead of helping them, other Christians become judgemental and vindictive. The world makes a big scoop out of their failures. What makes you different from the world?


Failing is inevitable. Everybody fails at one point or another. What is important is you fail forward so that your failures are not merely stumbling blocks but  become stepping stone instead.


Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-wining shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” If you are not ready to take a chance and fail, you will not succeed. Every failure is a step closer to the win. John Maxwell said, “Sometime you win, sometime you learn.” Even if you lose, when you learn something in the process, then you actually win.


Romans 6:12-18 says, ”Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.“


  1. Do not let sin reign (v. 12)

Do not let sin reign over your body or you will be helpless to it.  The word “reign” comes from kings who reign over kingdoms. And kings have their own territories. Your body is your territory. Anything that you cannot say no to is reigning over your life.


Check: David says in Psalms 139:23-24, ”Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.“ Before you go to sleep, ask God if you have done anything that is wrong within the day.


Conviction: John 16:8 says, ”When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:“ The Holy Spirit in you will convict you of the things you have done.


Confession: James 5:16 says ”Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.“ there are 2 kinds of confession: to God and to man. Confess your sins to God so you can be forgiven then confess your sins to other people so you can be healed and sin will not reign in your life anymore.


John 8:10-11 says ”Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”“


Once you check yourself, are convicted and confess your sins, sin no more. Do not go sinning again.


The enemy says

Common - Everybody is doing it.

Cushion - Making the sin lighter than what it really is.

Cover - Pretending nothing really happened, especially if you are doing the same sin

Conform - If you can’t beat them, join them.


There is a difference between a lifestyle of sin and those who just fell into sin. People who continuously sin have become so calloused that they do not feel the weight of their sin anymore. It becomes their lifestyle. Those who just fell into sin feel the burden of their wrongdoing and try their best not to do it again. Paul warns that because of grace, you might think you have been given a license to sin.


James 1:14-15 says, ”Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions, and when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.“ it is important for you to understand that if sin is still reigning in your life, it is a process.


It begins with a desire (food, ambitions in life, etc.) which entice you. If there is no desire, you will not be enticed. If you do not like sexy women, even if they pass by you several times, you will not be enticed. On the other hand, if you like sexy women and one passes you by, you will be dragged into looking and thinking impure thoughts. And then comes sin. When you act upon your desire, you sin. The first time you commit a sin is the hardest. If you keep on doing it, you will get used to it. If you do not confess it right away, the second one becomes easier than the first until it becomes a part of you.  Sin takes you farther than you want to go and longer than you want to stay. When allowed to grow, sin gives birth to death. Even when the Holy Spirit speaks, you do not listen.

Our spirits are saved but our souls are being sancrified.


  1. Receive and give grace. (V14)

When Paul talks about the law, it is not the ten commandments. The Jews even have 613 laws. The law still exists but Jesus gave you a choice. Did you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you want the court of law or the court of grace?  It might be too good to be true for most. But 1 Timothy 1:9-10 says, ”We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.“ The law is not made for a righteous person. Someone who has received Jesus is above the law because His righteousness is in them.

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Galatians 5:4 says, ”You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.“ If you try to make yourself right with God by keeping the law, you have fallen from grace; not because God became angry with you, but because it was your choice.

‭‭You chose to be under the law and not grace.


Romans 10:1-3 says ”Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.“ By adding more laws to the 10 commandments, the jews thought God was happy with them. That is religion. God is establishing a relationship through grace. The law should be stopped but you should not continue sinning. Accept grace because just in case you fall into sin, it is there. You can fail forward.

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  1. Obey God from the heart. (V17)

Not because there is grace, you just wait for your life to end. You were given grace to obey the will of God. 1 Timothy 1:12-13 says, ”I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.“ Sometimes, the enemy uses your failure to let you know that you are not qualified. No matter how high you fall, that is also how high God will pick you up to be able to use you again. He can use you with all your failures. Do your purpose while you still have breath. One day, it willbe your last.

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