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 in any form. 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 and practical godliness. A life that has not experience deliverance from 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 from sin. John gave a similar record. He wrote that Christ “was manifested [revealed] to take away our sins” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied). Christ was revealed to take away our sins. when he take sit away it becomes His and we become the righteousness of God in Christ. 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 the indwelling grace of Christ in the life. 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, he or she 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 of 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 defiled 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, it 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, 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.

 

 

 

 

THE SIN-MASTER MUST DIE (part one)


“And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make but little impression upon the consciences or the lives of men. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for something which they have not. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. Many who once knew the power of God’s word have dwelt where there is no recognition of God, and they long for the divine presence” —  Ministry of Healing, 143.1.

 Paul says:

Rom 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Saved from What?

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

What is Sin?

First definition

1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin

Sin is an act. Sin is wrong-doing or not doing the right thing which incurs nothing but guilt which leads to condemnation. The sinner needs divine pardon from this guilt. But SIN is much more than an action of wrong doing.

SIN AS AN ACT OF WRONG DOING

SIN AS WRONG ACTIONS —- GUILT/CONDEMNATION— DIVINE PARDON

Second definition:

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

2 Peter 2:19 . . . Whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved (RV)

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

SIN AS MASTER— BONDAGE—-DELIVERANCE

Can you be a servant or a slave to two masters?

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (sin).

UNWILLING SINNER (EXODUS 1:13, 14; 2:23-25; ROMANS 7:15)

Exo 1:13-14 “And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.”

The Israelites were in bondage of their task-master. They want to serve the King of Heaven but they found themselves serving the King of Egypt. The Israelite were rendering an Unwilling service to the Egyptians. What must they do to be made free from this BONDAGE?

Exo 2:23-25 “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  25  And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.”

What then did God do when he heard the CRY, SIGHING, GROANING of the Children of Israel?

Did He forgive them or pardon them for being a Slave to the King of Egypt to for being in bondage? No. Rather He delivered them from that condition.

Exo 3:7-8  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;  8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Why were the Children of Israel building the Kingdom of Egypt even though they were unwilling to do it?

They were doing what they did because of that they were. They were SLAVES to the cruel task-master.

The man of Egypt could not solve his problem by trying to deal with the wrong actions that he was committing in the building of the Kingdom of Egypt which is also the Kingdom of Satan.

The only possible solution for him was to have the power of the SIN-MASTER broken and destroyed.

Romans 7:14-17 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  16  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”

What was Paul’s problem?

Paul was sold into Slavery and under the bondage of the SIN-MASTER. He is CARNAL. He cannot do any good thing because of the SIN THAT DWELLS IN HIM.

The reason Paul commit sin is because SIN dwells in Him and he is in bondage to SIN.

Rom 7:20-23 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

How did JESUS further explain this truth?

Luk 6:43-45 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

The Same principle which operates the natural world operate in the Spiritual world. Just as Paul said, we were born unclean, with carnal mind and sin dwelling within us. We cannot bring forth the fruits of Righteousness. We must first be made righteous before we can obey the Law of God.

The kind of person you are will determine the kind of actions that you will do. You must first be good within before you can do good actions.

What is the solution?

Rom 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

It is clear that Paul didn’t cry out for forgiveness rather he cried out for DELIVERANCE from captivity of the SIN-MASTER. The Sin-master must be killed, destroyed, and cast into the fire before we can bear righteous fruits.

If we do not experience deliverance from the power of Sin we all will remain in a lost condition and we will continue to Sin and confess, Sin and Confess.

We commit sin because we are held captive against our will to a power stronger than us. We may ask for divine pardon for sin committed but we will surely return to that sin if we don’t ask by faith for deliverance from the bondage of Sin.

Until a Stronger Man, Jesus, binds the strong old man and kill him we shall never experience JUSTIFICATION.

What does it mean to be Justified?

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Justification leads to peace. But peace from what?

Rom 8:6-7 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

To be carnally minded is enmity against God. Enmity is the carnal mind that does not bring peace. To be justified is to have peace and the Spiritual mind.

The carnal mind is the enemy that must be destroyed before we can be Justified. We must pray that the LORD will implant in us a new mind, a new nature, Christ mind. We must be recreated before we can be Justified.

2Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

To be Continued . . . .