Grace: The Power to Overcome All Sin (Part 1)


Let me start by asking: Who is a Christian?

I know some will quickly give an answer by saying, “A Christian is one who is Christlike.”

This is definitely true. In fact Mrs. White wrote clearly that “to be a Christian is to be Christlike.”— Adventist Home, 427. But when we take time to study those who profess to be Christians in our environment and in the Church of God, this question lead us to ask another question: “Did Christ sin in thought and deed?”

The answer to this question is an emphatic No. He didn’t sin. It was written of Christ:

“For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us [humanity], who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (emphasis supplied).

“And ye know that he [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied).

Who then is a Christian?

A Christian is one who have experienced deliverance from the power of sin Satan and the world. Therefore, Christianity is a religion that teaches deliverance from the power of sin, Satan and the world. A life that has not experience deliverance form the power of sin is not a Christian life in truth. He may profess to be a Christian but in reality he is not; he is still in bondage to the power of sin, Satan and the world. “A Christian has victory over his besetments, over his passions.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 158. Christ is not a minister of sin and His followers should not be the minister of sin like wise (Gal. 2:17). It was written of Christ that He hate sin but loves righteousness. “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” Heb 1:9.

It is also written of the true Christian that, “He hates sin . . . The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Christ, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294.

The primary purpose Christ came into this world is to save His people from their sin. Angel Gabriel told Joseph the mission of Christ when he appeared to him in a dream. He said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21.

It is imperative to note that the Angel didn’t say, “He shall save his people in their sins.” Christ does not save in sin, but out of sin. John gave a similar record. He wrote that Christ “was manifested [revealed] to take away our sins” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied). Satan seeks to present to professing Christians another gospel which is false. He wants them to believe that Christ will save them in their sin. Sin is powerful and until we understand this fact we cannot understand the power of grace. The failure to overcome sin daily lies in the failure to understand this fact that sin is powerful and controlling. Overcoming sin of any kind is not about trying, it is by grace. Overcoming sin lies in a power stronger than sin and outside of us. This is where grace comes in. The embodiment of grace is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

Forgiving Grace

Grace is popularly defined as unmerited favor of Christ towards a repentant sinner. This is right and true. This definition steam from some Biblical accounts such as the flood account when “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” despite living amidst a corrupt world that is “filled with violence”. (Gen. 6:8, 11). Or when Lot found grace in the sight of God before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 19:19). Jacob, Joseph, Moses also found unmerited favor in the sight of God (Gen 33:10, 39:4, Ex. 33:12). These account and many more proves that when a soul finds grace in the sight of God finds unmerited favor. This unmerited favor is what Christ gave as a gift to humanity that they might be saved from sin, Satan and the world.

Paul wrote that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9. It is by grace, the unmerited favor, of Christ extended to sinners like us that delivers us from the power sin. But this grace, being a gift, must be received by faith. The hand that receives this precious gift of grace is faith. Faith is not the power that saves. Grace is what saves. Faith is the invisible hand that receives from the omnipotent God that saves. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” 1 John 3:1. Such grace is called forgiving grace. This grace justifies the sinner who believes in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and receives it by the hand of faith. This grace cleanses the soul that is defiles with sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. This grace reclaims the sinner from the garb and stronghold of sin.

What is your habit? Is it anger? Is it addiction to fornication, adultery, pornography, masturbation, gambling, lying, stealing? Do you indulge in drinking alcohol, smoking and gluttony? Are you struggling with sinful passions? You need the forgiving grace that delivers from any manner of sin. This grace does not just forgive but removes sin of the heart. John rightfully said, it also “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. To cleanse means to take away or remove sin out of the heart in such a way that the stains and filthiness of sin will not be seen by God the Father anymore because of the antoning blood of Jesus Christ his Son who has made it so. Some may say, how is this possible? All you need do is have faith and it is so.

Despite the aforementioned definition of grace being an unmerited favor of Christ toward the repentant sinner. This grace is called FORGIVING GRACE. But this grace has a second part. Grace is not just forgiveness of sin, reclaiming or deliverance from its power. Grace is also the power and strength given to those who have experienced the new birth; those who have experienced the forgiving grace that they may daily overcome through the strength and power of Christ that works in them. This is what I call, the OVERCOMING GRACE. Many receive the forgiving grace and went on to rely on their strength in overcoming sin. They end up falling and rising, falling and rising believing this to be a true Christian experience. This is false.

If we are Christians, bearing the mark and stamp of Christ’s name upon our forehead, did Jesus Christ, sin, repent, sin, repent while he was here on earth? A true Christian should daily overcome every known sin, that the spirit of Christ reveals to him or her through the Law, by the power of Christ that Christ is willing to give them daily.

In our next article, we shall study carefully this OVERCOMING GRACE and see from the scripture how it can be obtained NOW.

 

 

 

 

PART-TIME CHRISTIANS VS FULL-TIME SATAN


Someone once said, “part-time Christians can not defeat full-time Satan.” Who will deny this truth? Satan have a perfect understanding of our spiritual state and he will do all he can to prevent us from knowing our spiritual condition. We are in a Laodicean state of lukewarmness.

“Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect PRAYER and the searching of the SCRIPTURES, will be OVERCOME by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind.”– The Great Controversy, p.519

YOU and I spend 3 hours a day, atleast, with our phone.

2 hours talking nonsense with people whom you should be leading to Christ.

2 hours watching soap operas, hollywood, nollywood, bollywood, gollyhood, robinhood, “porn-hood” and all the woods in the forest of worldliness.

We spend 6 hours atleast for sleeping and naps which it is a good thing to do.

10 hours working for our daily bread, some in banks, consulting firms, oil companies, schools, market place, shops etc

But less than 10 minutes with GOD and we expect to be overcomers!

Do you think Satan is a FOOL? He is perfectly studying your weak point? Like an hurricane or earthquake, he will come in like a flood to sweep us away.

“Satan is constantly at work; but few [Christians] have any idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows better than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him.”–Maranatha, p.60.

Leave all that you are doing NOW.

Spend just 10minutes with God NOW, asking him for grace and strength to be a full-time Christian. Confess to him your sins and acknowledge your sinfulness and weakness. Tell him about your struggles to overcome SIN, SATAN, and the WORLD.

Satan is watching you and he seeks to overcome you in your weakest point.

It is perfectly true that Satan is stronger than you. Infact who are we? If Satan could tempt Jesus, the Son of God, with the fiercest temptations man can never bear, he is able to tempt and harass us.

But read this, it is the promise from God to weak and fallen humanity:

“Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him (Satan) and all his angels, and if brought to the test he would be able to prove his superior power.”– Maranatha, p. 60.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

BE SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, JUST AS MUCH AS SATAN IS SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE TO SIFT YOU AWAY.

Investigative Judgment and the Blotting out of sin


This is just a short study about the blotting out of sin. The reader is advised to do his or her own personal thorough study of this grand subject. There is a lot to include but that will be left for future study. This should be seen as an introduction to future studies on different aspect of this subject such as the time of the judgment of the dead and the living, when will probation close for the church of God and the general public, the mark of the beast and seal of God, the latter rain and loud cry etc. I will only focus on the blotting out of sin of the righteous during the investigative judgment time period.

The gospel without Judgement is an incomplete gospel. In fact it is “another gospel” which is different from what Paul preached (Gal 1:6-9). Paul preached the complete gospel of Christ which comprises of righteousness, temperance and judgment.

“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:24-25.

The judgment brings fear to unrepentant sinners as it does to Felix, but peace of mind to the righteousness in Christ as it does to David. For David said:

“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Psalms 26:1-2.

Therefore, the Judgement is intrinsically part of the gospel. No wonder the everlasting gospel preached by the first Angel message of revelation 14:6, 7 include in it the judgement our message.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev 14:6-7.

But the question is: Which Judgement are we talking about? We have the investigative judgement, millennial Judgement and executive judgement. The first occupies our present focus, while the latter two will be discuss in future studies.

God shall judge both the righteous and the wicked at an appointed time. Every purpose and every work of both the classes shall be judged.

“And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Eccl 3:16-17.

But both the righteous and the wicked shall not be judged at the same time. They shall be judge at different time. The judgment will begin with the dead righteous and move to the living righteous. Then when the righteous dead and living are judged and rewarded with the touch of immortality at Christ second coming, the judgement will pass to wicked, both humans and angels, during the millennial time period.

During the millennial time period, the saints shall partake in the judgement of the wicked. Thus this means that the saints must have pass the test of the judgement before they can sit in the judgement with Christ to judge the wicked. The following text proves that the saints shall partake in the judgement of the wicked humans and angels with Christ.

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” 1 Cor 6:2-3

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20:4

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Dan 7:21-22

If the above is true, that means the saints do not partake of the judgment of the wicked until their own case have been decided and they have been given immortality and they are seated with Christ on his throne of glory. (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-53).

The righteous must have been tested and examined and screened before they can be accounted worthy of immortality. Therefore, those who are accounted worthy at Christ second coming must have been screened prior to his coming with his reward in his hand. This period when the saints are tested, screened, and examined is called the investigative judgment time period which must precede the savior’s coming in the mid-air and the gathering of the saints.

The righteous must have overcome all of their defects and their sins must have been blotted out at this investigative time period before Christ comes to reward the saints. When the sins of the righteous are blotted out, they can no more remember them. All our sins are written in a book called the book of sin, although it is not specifically called the book of sin but these text indicate a marking down of or sins in a book. (Jer 2:22; Deut 32:34; Rom 2:5, 6). When the sins are blotted out both in life and in the book before the coming of Christ, this signifies that the saints will live before Christ as holy and blameless and shall not remember the sins anymore.

David prayed that his sins shall be blotted out. (Ps 5:19). Nehemiah and David prayed that the wicked sins should be retained or remembered and not be blotted out. (Neh. 4:5; Ps 109:14). When our sins are blotted out, it brings newness of life which will lead to glorification (Isaiah 44:22, 23). And God remembers them no more when it is blotted out in life and in the book. (Isaiah 43:25).

It is this time of refreshing we need to send up our sins to Christ that they may be blotted out in life and in the book. Only those whose sins are fully blotted out will have their name retained in the book of life and be rewarded with immortality. (Rev 3:5). We must fully overcome all sins during this investigative judgement hour before we can partake in the millennial judgment of the wicked humans and angels. I pray the Lord make us fit through Christ righteousness. Amen!

SIN IS ENJOYABLE


Let us sincerely face the reality. Many of us, like me, go to God crying:

“LORD forgive me my sin. Help me to overcome this sin and habits that do easily beset me. I am tired of this sin. Please save me” and so on and so forth.

There is nothing wrong asking God for forgiveness, the grace to overcome and salvation from sin. In fact there is nothing more that he speedily gives to us than forgiveness of sin if it is from a genuine heart.

But the sad fact is, not too long after this prayer we often find ourselves committing the selfsame sin, even in a greater magnitude than before and we tend to wonder:

“Why me Lord? Why? Why have you allowed me to fall into this mess again? Didn’t you forgive me? Didn’t you cleanse me not quite long? Why me Lord?”

Well the answer is simple.

It is impossible for you and I to repent of that SIN or HABIT from the heart when we enjoy committing it.

Who will deny the fact that SIN is the most enjoyable act in the world. I mean, it is the most sweetest and enticing act to indulge in. Am talking from personal experience and facts.

We dont commit sin because we hate it, rather we commit sin because we enjoy it. If SIN, no matter the magnitude, either secret sin or open sin, is not enjoyable definitely none of us will ever commit it except we are not in our right senses.

QUESTION TO PONDER UPON:

I want you to pause for a moment and just imagine within your mind the greatest thing you hate the most with disgusting hatred in this world. If SIN was to be that thing would you commit it?

It is a fact that many of us wouldn’t commit it because we hate that very thing. So therefore, we need to accept the fact that sin is enjoyable. Whenever a sinner is drawn by the loving kindness of God to come before the throne of mercy, he or she must confess how much he enjoys committing this sin.

We need to be honest with God. This is what He needs from us- honesty. We need to quit playing games with God, deceiving ourselves. He knows all things. He knows us more than we know ourselves. He knows the recess of our hearts. He knows when we are honest or not.

SWEET TEMPTATION

The reason why a man, after confessing his sins and asking for cleansing and forgiveness, would after this go back to commit the same sin is because he enjoys the sin.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14-15

It is true we are in a world that is bent to sin. It is also true that some temptations are more from without than within. But it is equally true that temptation to sin in most cases would not arise if, in the first place, we don’t desire or long to have it. Temptation to commit a particular sin occur as a result of us enjoying the sin when we first committed it. The desire and longing to partake in the sin is still lurking in the recess of our hearts even when we go to God to confess them because we enjoied it. It is a fact that many of us make provision for most of the sin that we commit. No wonder Paul warned:

“. . . make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

It is said of Moses:

“By faith Moses . . Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” Heb 11:24-25.

Moses refuse to enjoy the pleasures of sin. He chose to partake in the suffering of Christ than to enjoy sin for a season.

Let us carefully read this inspired commentary:

“It is true that Satan is the great originator of sin; yet this does not excuse any man for sinning; for he cannot force men to do evil. He tempts them to it, and makes sin look enticing and pleasant; but he has to leave it to their own wills whether they will do it or not. He does not force men to become intoxicated, neither does he force them to remain away from religious meetings; but he presents temptations in a manner to allure to evil, and man is a free moral agent to accept or refuse.”–Testimony for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294, par. 1.

As we approach the throne of mercy in prayer, we need to confess the reality that we chose to commit a particular sin at our will because we enjoy the pleasures of sin. We need to include in our prayers that we acknowledge the fact that we love sin and enjoy it.

“Conversion is a work that most do not appreciate. It is not a small matter to transform an earthly, sin-loving mind and bring it to understand the unspeakable love of Christ, the charms of His grace, and the excellency of God, so that the soul shall be imbued with divine love and captivated with the heavenly mysteries. When he understands these things, his former life appears disgusting and hateful. He hates sin, and, breaking his heart before God, he embraces Christ as the life and joy of the soul. He renounces his former pleasures. He has a new mind, new affections, new interest, new will; his sorrows, and desires, and love are all new. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Christ, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing. Heaven, which once possessed no charms, is now viewed in its riches and glory; and he contemplates it as his future home, where he shall see, love, and praise the One who hath redeemed him by His precious blood.”–Testimony for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294, par. 1.

We should pray thus:

“LORD I know sin is sweet, enjoyable and dwells in the recess of my heart, Help me learn how to hate sin with perfect hatred. Please uproot the desire to sin out of my heart. Eliminate the carnal mind that often lead me to partake in transgression. Implant in me the love for righteousness. Amen!”

Jesus “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” let us therefore earnestly ask for the mind of Christ to hate sin with terrible hatred. Heb 1:9

 

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GO AND SIN NO MORE


I am not an expert in writing about sin and how to overcome it, especially when i remember how the evil one, Satan, have used me to vindicate his claims that man will continue sinning until Christ comes. In fact when writing on such a topic I often place myself on a danger zone making me Satan’s number one target to tempt, lure and to draw away from Christ. But my hope is placed on this powerful statement written over 100 years ago:

Christ’s Object Lesson, 157

In the whole Satanic force there is not power to overcome one soul who in simple trust casts himself on Christ.”

So brethren, i need your prayers daily as we journey together in this world full of sin and evil.

Writing such a solemn and sacred topic does not mean i have attain the point where i could boast by saying, “I have no more sin to confess.” But one thing i know is that, the Bible is full of precious promises for us who are longing to “go and sin no more. Lest a worse thing come unto us.” This is just a short article of encouragement to all, like me, who are not only desiring to live out this commandment of Christ, but who also seeks to bring glory to Christ which is none other than the perfection of the character of His people.

THE END IS NEAR

Review and Herald, December 23, 1890 par. 19 

“The end is near! We have not a moment to lose! . . . One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other — Christ our righteousness.”

John 5:14

“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

John 8:7, 11

“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her . . . She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

1 Cor. 15:34

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (KJV)

“Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” (RSV)

WARNING: Strong faith is needed to believe the statements we are about reading in this article.

Review and Herald, March 10, 1904 par. 26

“He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.”

WHY DID JESUS DIE?

1 Peter 2:24

“[Jesus Christ] Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Titus 2:14

“[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 441. 4

Christ has not died for you that you may possess the passions, tastes, and habits of men of the world.”

1 John 3:5-9  contains the most amazing and mind stretching promises I have ever read in the Bible. It has the most seemingly impossible statements that only one with the mind of Christ could understand and experience. let us read these verses carefully.

1 John 3:5-9 

“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

GREAT DECEPTION

Wait a minute! Did we get what Apostle John wrote?

He said if we sin, either in thought or deed, we are of the devil. No matter how much we try to play around this statement, it is a factual statement that no man can gainsay. In Christ is no sin! Outside of Christ is continuous sinning! For it is impossible for Christ to be a minister of sin.

I had previously been in great deception believing that i am in Christ and at the same time cherishing known sins. It is a deception to believe we are in Christ or we are Christians when we have not overcome our sinful habits as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. We must do all in our strength, cooperating with Divinity, to overcome all our hereditary and cultivated sinful habits and way of life.

We are of the devil when we claim to be in Christ but at the same are indulging in open or secret sins. Apostasy is written on our foreheads and our sins are written beside our name in the books of heaven. Unless we ask for repentance and confess our sins, we are in a lost condition.

WE CANT BLAME OUR SINFUL NATURE WHEN WE SIN

When we sin, we often find excuse for our sin. There is no excuse for sin. We can not blame anyone for sinning. We can not even blame the weakness of our sinful nature for God has given us the divine power, in Christ Jesus, to overcome and bear fruit unto righteousness. Our only hope is  Christ working in us to will and to do of His perfect purpose. We must have the assurance that we are born of God. When we are born of God, Jesus keeps us from falling because we are not connected to Him by creation. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.

The Ministry of Healing, p. 180

“The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

1 John 5:18 (RSV)

We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 1, p. 341.

“Fallen man is Satan’s lawful captive. The mission of Christ was to rescue him from the power of his great adversary. Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot successfully resist so terrible a foe unless Christ, the mighty Conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength. God alone can limit the power of Satan. He is going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. He is not off his watch for a single moment, through fear of losing an opportunity to destroy souls. It is important that God’s people understand this, that they may escape his snares. Satan is preparing his deceptions, that in his last campaign against the people of God they may not understand that it is he.”

It is a fearful thing to note that Satan, in this last days, is preparing his forces against the people of God to lead them not to understand this basic truth of Salvation. We may know all the details in Bible prophecy, we may know all the Bible verses offhand to back up our present truths, we may observe all the health laws, but if we can be deceived in this basic point of truth, then Satan must have accomplished his work of deception in the lives of God’s professed Children.

But God forbid! God shall surely raise a remnant, called the 144,000, that will disgrace the campaign of Satan. They will live a life so perfect as that of their Master Jesus Christ. For it is written:

Matt 5:48

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 311. par. 2-3

“This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.

HOW DID JESUS OVERCOME?

Note: Jesus never had advantage over us, for if he did, then he would not be a perfect sacrifice and example for you and I. He took all of man’s fallen nature that He might be a merciful and faithful high Priest (Hebrew 2:16, 17; Romans 8:3).

John 6:38

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 5:19-20

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 5:30

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 8:28-29

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

The Youth’s Instructor, April 25, 1901

The enemy was overcome by Christ in his human nature. The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory.

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE TODAY?

John 15:5

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

1 Peter 2:1

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.

Phil 2:14-16

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 4, p. 534. 535

Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of His will. But many who profess the faith know not what true conversion is. They have no experience in communion with the Father through Jesus Christ, and have never felt the power of divine grace to sanctify the heart. Praying and sinning, sinning and praying, their lives are full of malice, deceit, envy, jealousy, and self-love. The prayers of this class are an abomination to God. True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 657

Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness.

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

“All who profess godliness are under the most sacred obligation to guard the spirit, and to exercise self-control under the greatest provocation. The burdens placed upon Moses were very great; few men will ever be so severely tried as he was; yet this was not allowed to excuse his sin. God has made ample provision for His people; and if they rely upon His strength, they will never become the sport of circumstances.”

Philippians 4:13 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.

Tit 2:11-14 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching [Training RSV] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

I Know how many times i have fallen into sin and this thought is often discouraging to me as i strive for perfection of character before my probation closes. One thing i have come to understand when ever i fall is that Christ is ready to take be back. But Satan is always ready to discourage us from coming to Christ. But Christ promise is this to all who have fallen or have backslide:

1 John 2:1

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Testimonies Vol. 5, 177

Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. . . Mercy is still extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in all our wanderings: “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” The blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the pleading voice of His Spirit. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.”

Do not give up O tempted soul! Do not give the devil any room to tell you it is impossible to overcome your habits! All you need do is to tell him:

“For this same reason Christ died for me. That i might be made free from all iniquity.”

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS


Forgiveness is not mere clearing us of our sinful act in the court of heaven but an actual making one righteous. The story of the paralytic in Matthew 9:1-8 is an illustration of how I and you can receive the life of Christ to keep us from sin. The article below was originally written by E. J. Waggoner in may 1894 under the title: The Power of forgiveness. Except for slight editing, the following article we originally his.

Waggoner wrote as follows:

“So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.” Matthew 9:1-8

One of the most common expressions to be heard among professed Christians when speaking of religious things, is this:

“I can understand and believe that God will forgive sin, but it is hard for me to believe that he can keep me from sin.”

Such a person has yet to learn very much of what is meant by God’s forgiving sins. It is true that persons who talk that way do often have a measure of peace in believing that God has forgiven or does forgive their sins, but through failure to grasp the power of forgiveness, they deprive themselves of much blessing that they might enjoy.

Bearing in mind the statement concerning the matters that “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name,” not as simply the miracle before us. John 20:31. The scribes did not believe that Jesus could forgive sin (see Mark 2:7). In order to show that he had power to forgive sins, he healed the palsied (or paralytic) man. This miracle was wrought for the express purpose of illustrating the work of forgiving sin, and demonstrating its power. Jesus said to the palsied man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house,” that they and we might know his power to forgive sin. Therefore the power exhibited in the healing of that man is the power bestowed in the forgiveness of sin.

Effect of Christ Word

Note particularly that the effect of the words of Jesus continued after they were spoken. They made a change in the man, and that change was permanent. Even so it must be in the forgiveness of sin. The common idea is that when God forgives sin the change is in himself, and not in the man. It is thought that God finally ceases to hold anything against the one who has sinned. But this is to imply that God had a hardness against the man, which is not the case. God is not a man; he does not cherish enmity, nor harbor a feeling of revenge. It is not because he has a hard feeling in his heart against a sinner that he forgives him, but because the sinner has something in his heart. God is all right, the man is all wrong, therefore God forgive the man that he also may be all right.

When Jesus, illustrating the forgiveness of sin, said to the man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house,” the man arose obedient to his voice. The power that was in the words of Jesus, raised him up, and made him well. That power remained in him, and it was in the strength that was given him on removing the palsy that he walked in all the time to come, provided, of course, that he kept the faith. This is illustrated by the Psalmist, when he says: “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.” Psalm 40:1, 2.

There is life in the words of God. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. The word received in faith brings the Spirit and the life of God to the soul. So when the penitent soul hears the words, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee,” and receives those words as for living words of the living God, he is a different man, because a new life has begun in him. It is the power of God’s forgiveness, and that alone, that keeps him from sin. If he continues in sin after receiving pardon, it is because he has not grasped the fullness of the blessing that was given him in the forgiveness of his sins.

Christ illustration of forgiveness

In the case before us, the man received new life. His palsied condition was simply the wasting away of the natural life. He was partially dead. The words of Christ gave him fresh life. But this new life that was given to his body, and which enabled him to walk was but an illustration, both to him and to the scribes, of the unseen life of God which he had received in the words, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” and which had made him a new creature in Christ.

With this simple and clear illustration before us, we may understand some of the words of the apostle Paul, which otherwise are “hard to be understood.” First read Col. 1:12-14: “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” See the same statement concerning redemption through Christ’s blood, in 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Rev. 5:9.

Redeemed by His blood

Mark two points,-we have redemption through Christ’s blood, and this redemption is the forgiveness of sins. But the blood is the life. See Gen. 9:4; Rev. 17:13, 14. Therefore Col. 1:14 really tells us that we have redemption through Christ’s life. But does not the Scripture say that we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son? It does, and that is just what is here taught. Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” Titus 2:14. He “gave himself for our sins.” Gal. 1:4. In giving Himself, He gives his life. In shedding His blood, He pours out His life. But in giving up His life, He gives it to us. That life is righteousness, even the perfect righteousness of God, so that when we receive it we are “made the righteousness of God in Him.” It is the receiving of Christ’s life, as we are baptized into His death, that reconciles us to God. It is thus that we “put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” after the image of Him that created him.” Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.

Now we may read Rom. 3:23-25, and find that it is not so very difficult: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified [that is, made righteous, or doers of the law] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission [sending away] of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

All have sinned, not all should sin

All have sinned. The whole life has been sin. Even the thoughts have been evil. Mark 7:21. And to be carnally minded is death. Therefore the life of sin is a living death. If the soul is not freed from this, it will end in eternal death. There is no power in man to get righteousness out of the holy law of God, therefore God in His mercy puts His own righteousness upon all that believe. He makes us righteous as a free gift out of the riches of His grace. He does this by His words, for He declares-speaks-His righteousness into and upon all who have faith in the blood of Christ, in Him is God’s righteousness, “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” And this declaring or speaking the righteousness of God upon us, is the remission or taking away of sin. Thus God takes away the sinful life by putting His own righteous life in its place. And this is the power of the forgiveness of sin. It is “the power of an endless life.”

How to keep us from sinning

This is the beginning of the Christian life. It is receiving the life of God by faith. How is it continued?-Just as it is begun.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Col. 2:6.

For “the just shall live by faith.” The secret of living the Christian life is simply that of holding fast the life which, received at the beginning, forgives the sin.

God forgives sin by taking it away. He justifies the ungodly by making him godly. He reconciles the rebel sinner to himself by taking away his rebellion, and making him a loyal and law-abiding subject.

It is sometimes said, “But it is difficult to understand how we can have the life of God as an actual fact; it can’t be real, for it is by faith that we have it.” So it was by faith that the poor palsied man received new life and strength; but was his strength any the less real? Was it not an actual fact that he received strength? “Cannot understand it”? Of course not, for it is a manifestation of “the love of God that passeth knowledge.” But we may believe it, and realize the fact, and then we shall have an eternal life in which to study the wonder of it. Read again and again the story of the healing of the palsied man, and meditate upon it until it is a living reality to you, and then remember that “these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” 

Image resultWaggoner, Ellet Joseph (1855-1916). Physician, minister, teacher, editor, and writer. Well known for his messages on Righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus in the 1880’s.

HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part two)


In Part one  we concluded with the thought that the only condition for this woman [you and I], who desire to gain deliverance form the bondage of her despotic husband, is to kill her husband [flesh, carnal mind, Old man, Old husband, body of sin]. But the question not answered in part one is this:

“Who does the killing; the woman or another?”

This is what we will seek to answer in this second part as we study from the Bible.

WAIT A MINUTE!

Do not read further unless you read part one on this topic. Your understanding of part two is based entirely on part one. Do well to read it before forging ahead.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

We were able to identify, unequivocally, from the Scripture that the woman married to Satan (under the auspices of the old husband, old man, body of sin and carnal mind) is all humanity- all born of Adam. Therefore for us to successfully kill our husband, we need to know how we initially got ourselves into this unpleasant marriage. We need to ask:

“When was the first marriage with Satan/flesh/carnal mind consummated?”

It is written:

“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men (including you and I), for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12. (Emphasis supplied)

The following statement will clarify this text better:

“As a result of Adam’s disobedience every human being is a transgressor of the law, sold under sin. Unless he repents and is converted, he is under bondage to the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, and bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah.”- Heavenly Places, p. 146.

“When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy.” – The Great Controversy (1911), p. 505.

Adam and Even dissolved their original marriage with Christ, which was consummated in the beginning of creation at Eden, and joined themselves to another husband when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 2:16, 17; 3:1-7). The result of that disobedience was a natural bent to evil that was transferred to their offspring. Adam and Eve lost their first marriage through spiritual adultery and married Satan. Ellen G. White, commenting on Genesis 3, wrote the following:

“The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist.”- Education, p. 29.

Our marriage was consummated on our behalf at Eden by our first parents. We were born into this world with a sinful, fallen, degraded nature. We came with a carnal mind bent to do evil and desperately wicked. We all are naturally in harmony with Satan and love to do his bidding.

Satan becomes the first husband the moment a child is born into this world. No one is born holy except the Son of God, although the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came into this world with a sinful flesh to do that which man could not do. He received all that Adam could pass to his posterity. But Jesus, though man, he was born of the The Holy Spirit at birth.

It is written of Christ:

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.

Mrs. White also wrote:

No man inherits holiness as a birthright, nor can he, by any methods that he can devise, become loyal to God. “Without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Human righteousness is as “filthy rags.” But with God all things are possible. In the strength of the Redeemer, weak, erring man can become more than conqueror over the evil that besets him.”- Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 310.   

Our birthright is sinfulness and filthiness. All are born with a carnal mind which is enmity with God. (Romans 8:7). None of us were consulted in the first marriage with Satan. Our first parent contracted the marriage on our behalf and we all found ourselves in this pathetic situation. By nature, humanity became the lawful captive of Satan. We were plunged into the bondage and despotic power of Satan the sin master.

Again Mrs. White wrote beautifully:

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;” “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan, “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26.” – Steps to Christ, p. 43.

In fact Mrs. White said all born of Adam are lawful captive of Satan.

Fallen man is Satan’slawful captive. The missionof Jesus Christ was to rescue him from his power. Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot of himself successfully resist so terrible a foe, unless Christ, the mighty conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength.”- Messages to Young People, p. 51

THE STRONGER MAN

To recap: The woman represent all humanity from the fall of Adam to the end of time. We were given to marriage against our will into the captive of Satan and we all long to be delivered from his cruelty. We are powerless to deliver ourselves because the flesh is weak. Since that which is born of the flesh is flesh we can not obey the Law of God. We may will it, but to perform that which is willed is not there. Satan, through his despotic power of the carnal mind or the evil seed planted in us, is far stronger than us to deliver ourselves from his bondage or unpleasant marriage.

As we struggle daily in our own futile strength and plead for deliverance from this body of death, a glimpse of light from another Man, Jesus Christ, shines in our heart. As this Man continue to woo us and convict us through His Holy spirit to accept Him as our new husband, we begin to see the sinfulness of our sin and greatly desire to contract a new marriage with Him. The most fascinating thing about this New Man is His supernatural power. His divine power is exceedingly and abundantly greater than the old husband. This New Man is far stronger than the old man making it possible for Him to totally eradicate and destroy the old man and give deliverance to the woman which in this case is you and I. Another interesting thing is that, it is this same Man who justifies us in the court of Law. He is our advocate and our high priest. When we are brought to the judgement bar, as a result of the Law condemning us, this Man will be our Advocate to justify us.

Jesus emphatically said:

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” Luke 11:21-22.

The first strong man that keeps his goods is Satan. His rightful goods which he keeps is man or humanity. We are is rightful property because Adam sold us to him. Satan stole us from our original Husband and no one can rightfully take man out of his hand because he is strong and armed. All born of Adam are in bondage to his cruel power through the carnal mind or sinful mind that all were born with. This carnal mind is the power of Satan to led us to sin. Satan is powerless without the carnal mind. The carnal mind is his abode to rule over man. But the good news is this: There is another stronger than he and His name is JESUS CHRIST.

This stronger man “shall come upon him, and overcome him” if only we surrender our helpless will to Him. Jesus Christ will take from him all his goods and make them free. For it is written of Christ, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36.

The Son does not just set us free while the sin-master is living, far be it! rather the Son of God make us free. Jesus is in the businessnof making us free and not setting us free while the carnal mind is still alive. This is the exact reading of the text. The Son of God bids the old man/husband while he makes us free and to spoil his house. The Son of God, according to Luke 11:22, said, he “shall come upon him, and overcome” Satan. Mark, writing of the same account of the strong and stronger man said, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Mark 3:27. Jesus will not only set us free but he will make us free while at the same time He binds the strong man.

Jesus, through Isaiah said:

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:24, 25. Jesus promises to contend with Satan in out behalf. He said he will save us and our children [fruits] from his hand.

Please it should be clearly noted that at this point Satan is not yet literally bounded when we are delivered from sin or experience this new life, he will experience his literal bounding at the beginning of millennium reign when Christ shall come the second time.

The experience noted in this article is a spiritual work that Christ does in us and for us. It is only Christ that can deliver us from the despotic power of the carnal mind. What is bounded is the power of Satan which is the power of sin that reside in the flesh. This power is the carnal mind that is enmity towards God. This power must be taken away and destroyed by Christ.

Satan, after we experience this new life in Christ, will still be well and alive, even to tempt us and test us. He will persecute us, bring sickness, and throw blocks before us to make us stubble as we walk the new life in the Spirit. But we must not succumb to his tactics and allurement. So long we put on the lord Jesus Christ and we do not make provision for the flesh we shall not sin or fulfill the lust thereof (Romans 13:14).

But it is a sad news that many of us do not really desire to be made free from the attachment of the old husband. We enjoy to do his bidding because sin is sweet. Until we come to the point in our life when we say with Christ, “Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God” we shall continue to do the will of Satan which is nothing more than transgressing the Law of God (Hebrew 10:7).

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “HOW IS THE OLD MAN DESTROYED?”

We have seen that Christ is the one who does the killing of the despotic husband but we have not yet answered how he does this. This would be answered in Part three.