CHRIST DOES NOT SET US FREE, HE MAKE US FREE.


CHRIST DOES NOT SET US FREE. HE MAKE US FREE.

“Wait a minute Mr. Preacher,” Someone might possibly say, “Are you saying Jesus does not set us free from sin? Didn’t you read in your Bible that “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free . . . If the Son therefore shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed John 8:32, 36?” I will reply by saying, the Scripture didn’t say “the truth shall set you free” rather the Scripture say, “the truth shall make you” and “the Son shall make you free.” That is why we need to use a good Bible translation. It will be advisable to make us of the KJV translation. The NIV translated it as set free, but in the KJV it is translated as make free. In fact no where can we find the phrase set free applied to Jesus or salvation, it is always make or made free. Someone might possibly ask, “Why is this so important? It doesn’t matter if Jesus set us free or make us free, all that matters is that we are free.” To such person is this article written.

The Mission of Christ

Jesus mission into this world is to save His people from their sin. It is written of Him.

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

He was also revealed to save His people from the works of the Devil and the works of the Devil is the works of the flesh.

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.

Jesus came into this world to make us free from sin. Jesus is in the making free business and not the setting free business. It is true that sin is like a cord that binds us to Satan and the world and we become his goods or his slave. But one cannot be bound up with a cord or chain without first being captured or entrapped as a slave.

Proverbs 5:22 clarifies this: “His own iniquities shall take [entrap] the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” First we are entrapped or taken before we are held with the cords of our sin. Sin destroys the image of God in us and when tasted leaves us spiritually dead, lifeless and in bondage. Those who are bound by the cord and chain of sin are slaves to sin; they are regarded as slaves to another power stronger than them. Jesus made this clear in John 8:34-37 when he was speaking to the Jews:

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.”

The word servant in verse 34 literally means bondservant or slave. A slave is one sold to another person called master or lord. Paul further made it clear in Romans 7:14 where he wrote that he is carnal “sold under sin.” The master is sin or the sinful practices which we indulge in either openly or secretly. Satan, through the fleshly passion of our carnal heart, binds us to himself that we may do his bidding and makes us is rightful captives. Satan, through the sinful passions or sinful practices, becomes our master or what Jesus calls the strong man of our life.

The strong man and the Stronger Man

Jesus gave a parable about the strong man and the Stronger Man that overcomes him in Luke 11:21-22.

“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.”

The strong man that is armed and that keeps his goods is Satan. His goods is man, those that are under his slavish power, those who have committed sin and are in bondage. The Stronger Man is Jesus who will come upon him and overcome him and rescues the slave from his armour and he will then destroy his power. But it is interesting to note how the Holy Spirit further explains this in the account of Mark. In Mark 3:27, the Holy Spirit explained to us how this Stronger Man was to rescue or save His good from the bondage of the strong man.

“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.”

The Bible says, the first thing the Stronger Man will have to do is to first bind the strong man before he can spoil his house. This means, before Jesus, the Stronger Man, will begin the cleansing of the soul, the soul that was once in bondage to sin, He would have to first bind up Satan, the strong man, under whom we were held in bondage through our sinful passions, lustful desires, fleshly desires and the evil of our nature. If Jesus does not first bind up the strong man [the power of Satan through the fleshly and sinful passion of our nature] we cannot become free from sin.

It should be noted that the binding of Satan in this regard should not be mistaken to be the same as the binding of Satan during the 1000 years millennial reign of the saints with Christ in Revelation 20:1-3. Again it is imperative to note that the binding of Satan in this article is the binding of his power over us. Satan’s power over his subject is found in the sin that they commit. This sin reside in the carnal heart of man. Jesus said out of within proceed every evil things such as murder, adultery, hatered, lies, fornication etc. [Mark 7:21-23]. Those are partake in the sin that resides in the heart or cherish them are partakers of the nature of Satan. Therefore they are of Satan and they are his rightful goods which are guarded with arms and weapon. Apostle John make this clear in 1 John 3:8 that, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” Only Jesus has the power to deliver from the hand of this strong man because we are naturally weak and dead in sin.

If Jesus sets us free without first binding the strong man, the strong man will rise up again to hold us in bondage. The way of Salvation is not to set us free but rather to make us free. We are made free when the old man, the flesh, the body of sin or the power of sin is bounded up by the power of Christ while the chain and cord of sin is consumed by the consuming fire of God. In order for the Stronger Man, Jesus, to make us free, He would have to first bind the strong man and then do the cleaning up of the house as we cooperate with Him. The strong man have to remain bound and dead before we can receive our salvation from sinful habit and sinful life style.

Can we be entangled again by Sin?

Definitely yes! Jesus bind the strong man but He does not bind our will power of choice. When the power of sin in the flesh are bound up by the power of Christ divine nature which is imputed and implanted into us, we are immediately made free from the power of sin and death but this freedom in Christ does not mean our choices are taken away from us. Paul wrote: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. That mean it is possible to be entangled again with the bondage of sin.

Someone may ask, “How is this possible? But I thought the strong man was already held bound by the power of Jesus?”

It is possible to be entangled again to sin when we, through the choices that we make, set loose the evil passions of our sinful nature that Jesus had previously placed in bondage. It is truthful said: “You cannot defeat the demons you enjoy playing with.” When we give ourselves as instrument of unrighteousness we are going back to bondage and we are setting free the strong man which was previously held bound by the power of Jesus. For it is written in Romans 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” This means that it is possible to yield our members [body, mind and desires] as instruments of unrighteousness or instruments of unrighteousness.

Jesus will make you free

Jesus will make you free, if you allow him to bind the strong man in your life. So long the strong man is bound up and remains in this state, you will walk in liberty and freedom and in victory. How does Jesus accomplish this act? It is through the cross. The strong man is bound up by the crucifixion of the flesh on the cross. The flesh must remain on the cross in order for us to experience victory daily. For us not to serve sin, the body of sin must be crucified and remain dead. It is written in Romans 6:6-7, 12:

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

For us not to obey the lust of the flesh, sin must not reign in our mortal body. For sin not to reign in the mortal body is to be kept impaled on the cross. This impaling of the flesh on the cross is done by reckoning ourselves dead to sin by faith. Through crucifixion the sinful flesh is held bound and man is made free. Freedom in Christ is the same as being made new in Christ Jesus; we are no more slaves of our sinful passion or to Satan or the strong man, but we are now slaves of Christ, the Stronger Man. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Romans 6:22; 2 Cor. 5:17.

Summary and Concluding Remarks

If Jesus sets us free from sin while the strong man, old man, the sinful passions, the body of sin, the carnal mind and the evil heart is not held bound by impaling it to the cross, we will certainly not have victory over our sin and we shall be living believing we are in saved. But if Christ first binds Satan, who works through the strong man, the old man, the sinful passion, the body of sin, the carnal mind and the evil heart then the Stronger Man, Jesus can take his time to make us free, to make us new and make us a new creature. Jesus is able to put under his power the strong man in order to make us free. When He makes us free, we are free indeed and remain so as long as the strong man or old nature or sinful flesh remain on the cross crucified and dead. Are you willing to be made free in Christ Jesus while the sinful passion is held bound, or are you willing to be set free from sin while the sinful passions is let loose and free to harass you over and over again? The choice is your today to make.

 

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.”

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.

HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (Part One)


As a married woman, have you ever wished your husband were dead in order to have peace of mind and freedom to do whatever you desire doing?

Someone might say right now:

“I do hate my HUSBAND. He is rude, controlling, unbearable, immoral, demanding, wicked, insulting, harsh, dictatorial, unloving, fornicator etc. I hate him. I know when he goes out with his friends, he is busy watching other women lustfully and cheating on me. He is such a creep! He is such a pervert! I am so full of rage right now and I feel like breaking something. I just wish I had never met him. Why can’t he just die or leave me alone that I might have peace? My God I can’t stand it anymore! HOW CAN I KILL THIS WICKED HUSBAND OF MINE?

Well i have a good news for you. THERE IS A WAY OUT! But in this case we are not talking about your literal husband whom you are married to but your spiritual husband, even Satan, whose power reside in the flesh or carnal mind. Therefore, this article is not a “how to kill your spouse” article and i am not advocating for anyone to do that. The husband is the Satan but Satan cannot be killed until christ’s coming after 1000 years in heaven, but Satan works through the medium of the Old man, body of death, flesh or the carnal mind. Therefore it is the flesh or carnal mind that must be killed or put to death.

You are not alone in this predicament. All born of Adam, born of flesh and blood, are experiencing this same issue and the Bible has given us the answer to this question. To know how to KILL YOUR HUSBAND, you must follow this series of article till the end in order to grasp the solution. Let us begin with the marriage problem.

THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM

Just as the earthly sanctuary was given to Moses as an illustration of the heavenly Sanctuary, God has designed the earthly marriage between male and female to be an illustration of the heavenly/spiritual marriage between Christ and His church. For it is written:

“But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.” 1 Cor. 15:46 (RSV).

The physical or natural (KJV) comes first before the spiritual. This is an important Biblical principle which we need to take note of. The Lord likens the earthly or physical things of this world to the things of heaven because our feeble and weak mind cannot fully comprehend the kingdom of God. Christ during his earthly ministry used the things of nature; the things around us to explain the kingdom of God. Thus, Paul in Romans 7 chose the marriage relationship as a proper illustration of the Gospel truth.

Roman 7:1-6 is what I regard as the Gospel of Jesus Christ simplified. Although much of what Paul wrote is “hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest . . . unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16. But as we shall see in this study that Romans 7 is one of the simplest illustration of the Gospel truth that one could ever find in the scripture.

Let us carefully and prayerfully read what the following verses:

Romans 7:1-6

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

An Explanation

God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2:24.

It is the law of God that binds both parties together to become one flesh and not two. This law is the law of marriage instituted by god himself. It is the moral law. The man and the woman are united together in mind and spirit and no man is allowed to separate them because the Lord has joined them together (Matthew 19:5, 6). The Law has dominion over a man (or woman) as long as he (or she) lives. (Rom 7:1; 1 Cor. 7:39). He (or she) cannot leave the marriage or break the marriage covenant to marry another person without any genuine reason. If he or she leaves the marriage or break the marriage covenant for another marriage relationship, while the first husband is still alive, the Law will condemn such person for committing adultery (Rom 7:3).

The nature of this marriage is explained as follows:

We see a woman who is tired and frustrated of her marriage. She finds herself bound to the law of marriage against her will. She didn’t bargain for such a marriage. Her husband is cruel, wicked, abusive, harsh, unloving and also controls her against her will to do evil. He is a dictator; forcing her to perform the evil which she wouldn’t want to perform. She finds herself under a severe bondage. She cries daily to be delivered from such unsympathetic and inconsiderate husband. As she lay on her bed daily, she often thinks of how to kill her husband. She reason daily, “How on earth can I free myself from my evil Husband?”

She only has two options before her. These two options were given by Jesus and Apostle Paul.

  1. Adultery: The woman can give her husband a letter of divorce to terminate the marriage if she catches her husband in the act of adultery. By doing this she is permitted to marry another person of her choice and she is free from the condemnation of the law. She can also decide to commit adultery with another man in order to receive a letter of divorce from her husband which will bring freedom from her cruel husband. “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Mat 5:31-32 (c.f Matt 19:7-9).
  2. Death: When the man dies then the woman is free to marry another person of her choice. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” Rom 7:2-3 (c.f 1 Cor. 7:39).

The first option of adultery is broken into two. That is, the man committing adultery or the woman committing adultery. In the case of the desperate and frustrated woman illustrated above, the husband would not opt for the option of committing adultery. He is so attached to the woman that he wouldn’t have time to commit adultery with another woman. Even if he commits adultery with another, he is so clever in the act that he can never be caughtb for it is only when you are caught in the act of adultery can the woman write a letter of divorce. Therefore the cruel husband would not choose to leave the woman in any way.

The option of committing adultery by the woman is also very dangerous. You see, if the woman is caught committing adultery, the Law that binds her to her husband is the same law that will condemn her to death. In fact, like the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11, the law demands her life by stoning her to death (vs. 5). Therefore she cannot choose the option of committing adultery because she will either be jailed or put to death depending on the law of the land and this will even give the husband an upper hand of marrying another woman. She is not as clever as the husband for she would be caught if she commits adultery.

The woman is then left with the second option which is also broken into two.

The option of committing murder by killing her husband is in the same manner dangerous. The husband is far intelligent than her. He is smarter, wiser, and stronger than her. Therefore, she cannot even succeed a hairbreadth. If she is caught in the act of trying to kill her husband in her strength, power and cleverness, the law will condemn her and she shall be found guilty. The knowledge of this truth leads to a deeper frustration. She thought within herself:

“if only I can find a way to kill my husband and at the same time remain vindicated by the law for doing so, then I will be free. But how can I accomplish this plan?”

As she contemplates daily on how to accomplish her mission, Lo, she met another handsome looking Man who is in direct opposite, in every respect, to her present husband. This new Man is kind, loving, gentle, good, sympathetic, strong (even far stronger than her husband), smarter, far intelligent, caring, joyful and patient. “Living with him”, she reasoned, “will bring life, blessing, fruitfulness and peace to her bitter soul.”

But the problem is this:

The Law forbids any marriage outside her present marriage while her husband is still alive even though she desires to marry this new Man that is showing her all the love and kindness she ever desire. It is impossible to marry this new Man because the law will regard the act adulterous despite the much wooing from the new Man. In fact, contrary to his nature, this new Man cannot marry the woman until the old husband is dead. The solution to her despicable marriage is for her husband and her children to be done away with and eradicated before a new marriage can be consummated. She so much hates the husband that her fruits or children is loathed with passion. The only way she can achieve this solution is to look for someone who can kill her husband and her children and at the same time remain vindicated or justified. She needs a power outside of her present marriage that is far stronger than her that will do a clean job.

But the question yet to be answered is this: “Who can deliver her from this mess she has plunge into?”

THE APPLICATION

“Why all this” some one might ask.

In Romans 7:1-6 Paul was using the analogy of earthly marriage to explain our spiritual marriage or union with Satan (satan works through the flesh and all its passion) and Christ. The questions we now need to ask ourselves are these:

  1. Who is the woman in Romans 7?
  2. Who is the first husband?
  3. Who is the second man wooing her?
  4. What are the fruit unto God and fruit unto death?

The Woman

We are represented as the woman. It is clearly stated in Romans 7:4 which says:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

The First husband

The first husband in the actual and primary sense is Satan but in the secondary sense is the flesh. Paul said, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Rom 7:5.

“When we were in the flesh” could be compared to a woman living in the house with a man whom you are not in love with. The phrase “the motions of sins” reads “our sinful passions” in RSV. These sinful passions reside in the flesh. That means sinful passions or propensities are in our very nature. It is woven directly into our very being.

Ellet Joseph Waggoner rightly puts it:

Sin is in the heart of man; “for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within.” Mark 7:21-23. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jer.17:9. Sin is in every fiber of our being by nature. We are born in sin, and our life is sin, so that sin can not be taken from us without taking our life. What I need is freedom from my own personal sin, – that sin which not only has been committed by me personally, but which dwells in the heart, – the sin which constitutes the whole of my life . . . Sin is in all flesh.”- The Glad Tidings, p. 86-88.

The sin that any one of us will commit reside already in the flesh, nature and heart of man that has not been renewed. It is through the flesh that Satan arouses us to disobey the Law of God. He tempts us by what we see, feel, smell and eat. Through the senses of the soul he seeks to gain control of the mind of man. He seeks to awaken the sinfulness in the nature of man that he might transgress the Law of God.

The works of the flesh are nothing but the works of Satan. The works of righteousness, done through faith in Jesus, are nothing but the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In the writings of Paul the flesh is regarded as “body of sin,” “our old man,” “body of this death,” “carnal mind.” (Romans 6:6; 7:24; 8:7). The flesh is evil because it accommodates another power which is regarded as the sin-master or carnal mind that controls use against our will if we are not renewed.

The flesh is also weak and cannot obey the law of God. The law of sin is in our member (flesh) which is continually warring against the law of God in our mind. (Romans 7:23). The war between the flesh and the Spirit is seen pointed out in Gal 5:17:

“For the desires (passions) of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would” (RSV).

This warfare between the flesh and Spirit is preventing us to do the good we would have desired to do. Gal 5:17 validates what Christ said in Gethsemane about the ability of the flesh. He said:

“watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.

The flesh is weak and incapable of doing any good things that we might be willing to do no matter how hard we try. Therefore, the first husband, the husband whom the woman got married to is none other than Satan who controls us against our will through our sinful flesh, carnal mind and sinful heart desires.

The second husband

The second man or husband is Jesus Christ. Paul said:

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:4

Who was raised from the dead?

“Jesus Christ our Lord . . . the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3, 4.

The fruits

The fruit unto God are the fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22, 23. While fruit unto death are the fruit of Satan or works of the flesh listed in Gal 5:19-21. It should be remembered that, the first marriage with Satan had led the woman to bear fruit unto death. Both her self-righteous and sinful deeds were done through the help of Satan. All are righteousness, before God, are filthy rags because they were done through the spirit of Satan.

Killing the Children

There was a time the woman once thought of killing the children. The children represent her actions, fruits, lifestyle and deeds that reveals to the world who she was actually married to, either to Satan or to Christ.

She was busy cutting the branches and plucking the fruits to solve the problem. But the more she cuts the branches and plucks the fruits, the more the branches and fruit reappears, even in a greater degree. Little did she know that Satan will continue to use her and implant in her his evil seed even against her own will. Provided the husband is still alive and she still stays with him, in the flesh, she will continue to bear fruit for him no matter how many of her children she kills daily.

The solution therefore is not how hard she needs to try in destroying the children; the solution to her problem of bearing sinful fruits is the death of her husband. The problem is not the fruits, the problem is the source of fruits. That is why in the plan of salvation, revival must precede reformation. Mrs. White beautifully differentiate the two work of grace that God need to do in man before he can be accepted into His heavenly bliss. She penned the following:

“Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.”- Review and Herald, February 25, 1902 par. 8

Reformation is the cutting of the branches and plucking of the fruits and the reorganization of ones lifestyle which can only be done through the help of the Holy Spirit when one has experience true and genuine revival—the spiritual death of the first husband.

Destroying the Law

Another option that has once occurred to her is the doing away or destruction of the Law that binds her to her husband. The problem is not with the Law. A change or alteration of the Law would not solve the problem. This has led many professed Christians to regard the Law of God (Ten Commandments) as irrelevant.

They say, “We are not under the Law but under grace” and by doing so they tend to abolish the law to their own damnation, while in reality the Law is absolutely still binding upon all. Paul, in the same Romans 7 verses 7, 12-14, 16, 22, 25, has the following to say about the perpetuity of the Law:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet . . . Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. . . I consent unto the law that it is good . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man . . . 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.” Rom 7:7-25.

Thus the issue is not with the Law because it’s the same law which binds the first marriage that will bind the second marriage. The Law of marriage is an eternal principle as long as life shall last. The change that must come in to solve the problem is the death of her husband– the old man, the sin-master, the carnal mind, the flesh, the mind of Satan or the stoning heart.

The old husband must die before the new Husband can come in. It is the old husband that is to be eradicated and done away with not the Law that condemned’s adultery or fornication.

It should be clearly noted by all that:

The same law that condemns any marriage contract outside the present marriage is the same Law that commends or encourage remarriage when the husband dies. The condition for freedom from the present marriage is the death of the first husband. When the husband dies, then a new marriage relationship can be consummated and the peace the woman seeks can finally be secured. Without this experience we shall continue to serve Satan, through the flesh, and bear fruits unto his honor.

To be continued in part two

A GREAT MYSTERY


One of the greatest mystery that has stunned me recently is how millions of we Christians Love Jesus and want to associate with his personality. We all admire His goods works. We are amazed at His sinless life that He lived. We even brag about it to unbelievers. But I stop to ponder and ask myself:

“What exactly do I really admire about this Jesus?”

“Do I also want to live that sinless perfect life that He lived?”

This is certainly a great mystery!

Millions of we Christians are like those seven foolish women spoken of in Isaiah 4:1:

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”  Isa 4:1

That One man is Jesus. We want to be called Christians by those around us but at the same time we want eat our own bread (false teachings) and wear our own apparel (self of righteousness). We want Jesus to take our reproach but we don’t want to have His righteous sinless life.

Someone once wrote:

“Jesus is worshiped and praised by masses of people, yet the idea of living a perfect, sinless life like He lived is considered dangerous, leading to pride, burdensome, and to be shunned!”

It was written about us thousands of years back by Prophet Isaiah under inspiration:

“. . . this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me [claiming to love My righteousness], but have removed their heart far from me [by their evil, imperfect thoughts and lives], and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men[false teachings that justify sinning until Christ second coming]” Isa 29:13.

Paul, the great preacher of righteousness wrote:

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.”  Gal 2:17

Christ cannot be a minister of Sin. While we seek to be Justified, Forgiven, cleansed, delivered, revived, and made perfect and we still love and cherish sin in our heart; not hating it has Christ hated it, then we are making Christ a minister of Sin. It is high time for us to make a decision today to live the life of Christ. He is ready to give us this new life to reflect to the whole world.

Doesn’t it sound simple and easy? Yes it does. That’s the Mystery of Godliness.

 

 

 

LORD, THE STANDARD IS TOO HIGH!


Among the subjects frequently discussed by our people is the question of standards, relating to the true ideals of Christian character, conduct, dress, recreation, eating and drinking, et cetera.

In these discussions we have observed quite a diversity of opinion regarding proper and necessary standards in all these matters. Sometimes we hear the remark that a certain worker’s standards are too high, and that they cause people to be discouraged. Again, we hear of another worker whose standards are too low, bringing reproach upon the cause. We cannot deny that this is a vital matter, and worthy of careful consideration.

The question of first importance is this:

Do we have any definite criterion by which we may determine just what are the right standards for true Christians?

To this we may give the positive answer that God has set His own standards of Christian charac­ter and deportment, and He expects His children to decide these matters on the authority of His Word.

Some may suppose that locality and cir­cumstances enter into the picture, and that a standard that would be acceptable to God in Africa, or China, might not be ac­ceptable in America. While this might be true of some particular style of dress, or form of recreation, we should realize that Christian standards are determined by Christian principles, which do not vary, but are the same in all the world.

It is important to have clear convictions of what is right, and to refuse to be in­fluenced by the personal opinions of others, for our safety lies in seeking earnestly and humbly to learn the principles God has given us, and in adhering to them at any cost.

Christ’s Standard for Us

In His wonderful Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave the command:

Matthew 5
48 Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Has any­one standing as a representative of Christ the right to set before men a lower standard than He did? His messenger to His people in these last days has stated:

The Desire of Ages, p. 311

“God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach.”

From the Saviour’s own words we can­not conclude that His standard for us is anything less than perfection of character. Yet when someone presents the plain teaching of the Bible regarding a life of victory over sin, some will come with the plea,

“Your standard is too high; it dis­courages the people. We all sin every day. We overcome some sins, but others keep coming up and probably always will as long as we are in this poor, weak humanity.”

When we quote the precious assurance,

“Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins,”

they say,

“Oh, yes, He always forgives our sins when we repent and confess them.”

But if that is our understanding of being saved from our sins, we have no assurance that we shall ever stop sinning. If we keep on sinning, and the Lord continues to forgive, and finally takes us to heaven without any change in our character, we are really saved in our sins, not from our sins.

Would it not seem that one who claims to believe the Word of God, and to be a sincere Christian, yet who keeps right on sinning every day, is really witnessing against Christ? Jesus says,

“Give yourself to Me, and I will save you from your sins.”

This man says,

“I have given myself fully to Him, but I keep right on sinning.”

Others say,

“I have gained the victory over some of my worst sins, but of course I still have some little sins. I am trying to overcome them, and believe that with His help I shall get the victory—sometime.”

Strange it would be if the God of heaven could give us victory over the big sins, but could not save us from the little ones!

I believe that many who are having this sad experience would have a wonderful transformation of life if the teaching of God’s Word regarding deliverance from the dominion of sin were made plain to them. Let us read a statement the Lord has sent us, and pray for the Holy Spirit to make clear to us God’s plan for complete victory over sin.

The Desire of Ages, p. 311

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 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. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, be­lieving child of God. The ideal of Christian charac­ter is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life.”

God’s Plan for Us

According to this statement, the words of Jesus, “Be ye therefore perfect,” are a com­mand. Does any worker for God have a right to set before His people a standard that is not in harmony with the command of Christ? Let us thank the Lord that the command is a promise. Would it not be utterly inconsistent to read the command of Jesus, and then say to Him, “Lord, that is impossible; surely You know that I can­not be perfect”? How important it is for each one of us to study His Word and to learn just how the promise enables us to obey the command.

We are familiar with the words of Jesus spoken to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, and we think that we understand them.

John 3
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Many are baptized and unite with the church, and seem quite satisfied, though they lack the evidence that they are born again. Herein lies a seri­ous danger.

Many years after Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus, John, the beloved disciple, was inspired to write,

1 John 5
18 We know that who­soever is born of God sins not.

This is one of those triumphant certainties that the loyal apostle of Jesus declares so enthusiastically again and again.

1 John 3
6 Whosoever abides in him sins not.

1 John 3
9 Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.

We all know that no one stops sinning who is not born of God. But why do so many who claim to be born of God keep right on sinning, yet do not seem to be much con­cerned about it?

It seems to us that the answer is simply that they do not understand what is in­volved in being born again. Nicodemus did not understand Christ’s statement, and he asked for an explanation. He questioned the possibility of a man’s returning to his parents and being born again. Certainly a second birth of the same parents would not change the situation at all. Jesus said,

John 3
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Every human being born in this world since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, has been born of the flesh, inheriting the fallen, sinful, impure, degenerate nature of his parents. Our nature controls our lives; it is the source of all our thoughts and ac­tions, and determines our character. From this inherited nature springs every sin we commit. As the psalmist says,

Psalm 51
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Since our nature controls our life, no human being can stop sinning while controlled by a fallen, sinful nature; and no one can change his nature by an effort on his part.

We hear people say that they do not drink, or smoke, or steal, and that they en­deavor to treat others as they would like to be treated, and so they feel confident that they will get to heaven. Doubtless such reasoning is very pleasing to Satan. Such people do not realize they have a nature that God could never admit into heaven.

Look at Your Nature

Jeremiah 17
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Mark 7
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornica­tions, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wick­edness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness;
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Every child born of human parents has this kind of heart, and therefore cannot of himself live a sinless life. This is why we must be born again. We cannot be children of God until we are born of God.

John 1
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

When born physically of human parents, we inherit the fallen, sinful, unholy human nature of Adam after he sinned. When born again, we are born of God spiritually, and we inherit the pure, holy, divine nature of God.

2 Peter 1 [Weymouth]
4 It is by means of these that He has granted us His precious and wondrous promises, in order that through them you may, one and all, become sharers in the very nature of God, having completely escaped the cor­ruption which exists in the world through earthly cravings.

It is not difficult to understand that when one is released from the control of the fallen, sinful, corrupt human nature, and surrenders to the control of the pure, holy, upright, divine nature, a great change will take place in the life. Here it is graphically described:

2 Corinthians 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.

How unfortunate it is, how really tragic, for one to believe the doctrines of God’s Word, be baptized, and be taken into mem­bership of the church without being born again. Because of this sad experience many church members are not witnessing by their lives that Jesus saves “his people from their sins,” and their example and influence are a stumbling block to others. It is quite evi­dent that “old things” are not “passed away,” and “all things” have not “become new.” Someone may say,

“The experience you speak of is just what I long for, but I fear my case is hopeless.”

Do not forget that the command to be perfect is a promise. Let us cooperate with our Saviour.

The messenger of the Lord has told us that

The Desire of Ages, p. 173

“…the blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 176

“The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to sub­due all things to Himself.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 324

“When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a super­natural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world.”

Thus it is made plain that the experi­ence of deliverance from the dominion of sin, the experience of complete victory in our lives, depends upon this miracle of a change from the sinful human nature to the holy divine nature. It may help to make this clear if we look again at this promise:

1 John 5
18 We know that who­soever is born of God sins not.

We notice that this word “whosoever” is changed to “what­soever” in verse 4:

1 John 5
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

The miracle of transformation is not a physical but a spiritual change, brought into our lives by the exercise of faith in God’s Word. We have not been born again physically, and the natural desires of our mortal bodies are not changed, but the Holy Spirit has created in us “a new being in the image of God.” We are now partakers of the divine nature, which brings a “supernatural element into human nature.”

We know that two natures cannot con­trol us at the same time. When the old car­nal nature controls, we cannot be pure and righteous and victorious. When the new divine nature controls, we cannot do wrong. That makes it plain that “whatso­ever is born of God”—the divine nature­ sins not.

Now the important question is, What am I to do to make sure that the divine nature controls, and that the old nature is power­less? The Bible says we are to

Ephesians 4
22 …put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.

And then we are to

Ephesians 4
24 …put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

It is evident that this is a matter of our own choice, and involves the action of the will.

Steps to Christ, p. 47, 48

“What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Every­thing depends upon the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you can­not of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do ac­cording to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him…Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers.”

Perhaps we are now prepared to under­stand what seems to be a very perplexing question arising from the apostle’s state­ment, “We know that whosoever is born of God sins not.” Many believe that they are sincere, earnest Christians who have been born again, yet they sometimes do wrong. And they incorrectly understand this statement to mean that if a person sins, it proves that he is not born of God. When we notice other statements of John, it is evident that he did not mean that it is impossible for one who is born again to sin. Notice this verse:

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.

In addressing “my little chil­dren” he is evidently writing to God’s people.

It is necessary for us to understand what our attitude should be toward these two natures—the human nature, with which we are born physically; and the divine nature, which comes with spiritual birth from God. The instruction is

Ephesians 4
22 …that ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

How are we to put off this old man, or the flesh?

Galatians 5
24 They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The only way to escape the control of our inherited, sinful nature is to crucify it. That is what the apostle Paul meant when he said,

Galatians 2
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.

When we are born of God by a definite act of faith, we place our old sinful nature on the cross to die with Him, and we en­throne Christ in our hearts to reign.

So Paul was saying, “I crucified self, and enthroned Christ, and now He lives in me.” It was beautifully and simply expressed by Martin Luther, who said, “When the devil knocks at the door of my heart and asks, Does Martin Luther live here? I reply, No, Martin Luther is dead; Jesus Christ lives here.”

This is not an act performed once for all, but a daily experience with the true Christian. Paul said,

1 Corinthians 15
31 I die daily.

A well-known writer has said, “In every human heart there is a cross and a throne; when self is on the cross dying, and Christ is on the throne reigning, we see a true Christian.”

Let us notice how plainly this is set forth in Romans 6:

Romans 6
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

We are controlled by our nature; and if our old nature is hanging on the cross dying every day, and the divine na­ture is on the throne reigning every day, we shall not sin.

Romans 6
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Now the important thing for each one of us is to make this practical, in our teaching and in our own lives. Every day we are assailed by temptation through our different senses and faculties. Many plans are devised by the enemy to arouse evil thoughts, appetites, lusts of the flesh, de­sires of the fallen nature. When such a thought enters the mind, instantly there flashes into the mind the realization,

“Ah, that is the old nature—but it is dead. I nailed it to the cross today.”

And we are thrilled as we realize that the evil thoughts are gone. Faith is the victory, and our mind is reaching out after the higher attainments of Christian perfection.

Growing in Grace

Jesus gave us the command,

Matthew 5
48 Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The apostle John declares,

1 John 3
9 Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.

The Lord through His messenger has caused further light to shine upon these wonderful truths, making it plain how this experience is to be attained. Should we not study this counsel carefully?

Messages to Young People, p. 165

“He came to show man how to obey, how to keep all the commandments. He laid hold of divine power, and this is the sinner’s only hope. He gave His life that man might be a partaker of the di­vine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 194

“It is only through becoming partakers of His nature that we receive power to obey His commandments.”

Ministry of Healing, p. 180

“Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity com­bined with divinity does not commit sin.”

Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 314

“But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God’s pre­cepts.”

The Review and Herald, July 1, 1890

“Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine na­ture, and thus humanity and divinity are combined.”

The Review and Herald, Jan. 13, 1910

“We want to see the King in his beauty. Then let us daily keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, the per­fection of human character, and laying hold of his divine nature, we shall have the strength of divinity to overcome every evil tendency and desire.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 123

“Not even by a thought did He yield to tempta­tion. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.”

Brethren, can the world see the character of Jesus in us? Do our members see in us the ideal we hold before them? Are our lives an irresistible attraction to the lost? If not, is it because we ourselves have not yet laid hold of the promised power to overcome sin? We are His people, His ministers. And the Saviour came to “save his people from their sins.”

Surely God would be pleased if we should kneel humbly before Him and pray:

“Father, You are reaching for my hand of faith, to direct it to lay fast hold of the divinity of Christ that I may attain to per­fection of character. By Your grace I now place my hand of faith in Yours, and rely­ing wholly upon Your infinite love and mercy and the merits of Jesus, I now deter­mine to set perfection of character through Christ as my goal. Lead me on till the goal is reached, and Your purpose is fulfilled. Amen.

Article written by Meade Macguire, 1956. Edited by Odunuga Oluseyi Emmanuel.

Meade MacGuire

HAVE YOU FALLEN INTO SIN TODAY?


“Have you fallen into sin?”

This question was asked over an hundred years ago and is the same question Jesus is asking you and I today. It is a self examination question which all who professed to be called sons and daughters of God need to ask themselves daily, especially before going to bed.

Paul wrote: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Cor 13:5

As Christians, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to examine us. We may not have a true perspective of our own heart but the searching and investigating eyes of God’s Spirit knows the sins lurking in the hidden chambers of our hearts. David in his desperation for a clean heart cried out:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24.

This should be our prayer when we wake and before we go to bed. Sin is deceptive. But when we sincerely pray this prayer, the Spirit of God, who is in the business of reminding us of the activities of the day and how we have let go the hands of faith that was clinging to Jesus.

Jesus is asking you one more time, “Have you fallen into sin?”

“Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. When David was convicted of his sin, he poured out his soul in penitence and humiliation before God. He felt that he could endure the loss of his crown, but he could not be deprived of the favor of God. 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.”– Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, 177.

How can I meet Jesus’ requirement?

“By faith and prayer all may meet the requirements of the gospel. No man can be forced to transgress. His own consent must be first gained; the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never an excuse for sin . . . Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation.” — Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, 177.

But you may ask: If Satan comes to tell me how sinful i am what should i do?

“When Satan comes to tell you that you are a great sinner, look up to your Redeemer and talk of His merits. That which will help you is to look to His light. Acknowledge your sin, but tell the enemy that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” and that you may be saved by His matchless love. 1 Timothy 1:15.”–Steps to Christ, 36.

“As you see the enormity of sin, as you see yourself as you really are, do not give up to despair. It was sinners that Christ came to save. We have not to reconcile God to us, but–O wondrous love!–God in Christ is “reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19.”– Steps to Christ, 35.