Friday, July 17, 2009

"Walking in the Light: Turning Away from Sin"

The truth is that if you could turn yourself from sin you would not need God, and if you could turn from one sin, eventually you could turn from all sin and Christ would have died in vain.

"To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your iniquities" (Acts 3:26, NKJV).

"Each one may say if he will, 'O Lord, I am Thy servant, ... the son of Thy handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds' (Psalm 116:16).

"The thing is true whether we believe it or not. We are the Lord's servants, though we may stubbornly refuse to serve. He has bought us; and having bought us, He has broken every bond that hindered us from serving Him. If we but believe, we have the victory that has overcome the world (1 John 5:4; John 16:33). The message to us is that our 'warfare is ended' and our 'iniquity is pardoned' (Isaiah 40:2).

'My sin--oh, the bliss of the glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!'

"All this deliverance is 'according to the will of our God and Father.' The will of God is our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3). He wills that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). And He 'accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will' (Eph. 1:11). 'Do you mean to teach universal salvation?' someone may ask. We mean to teach just what the Word of God teaches--'the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men' (Titus 2:11, RV). God has wrought out salvation for every man, and has given it to him; but the majority spurn it and throw it away. The judgment will reveal the fact that full salvation was given to every man and that the lost have deliberately thrown away their birthright possession." [1]

Ever remember that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and not the power of man.

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul writes that he did not come declaring the mystery of God with excellency of speech so that their faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. He only wanted to know Christ and Him crucified among them. Colossians 1:26, 27 explains that the mystery of God "is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (glory being character). Following this mystery of God to Revelation 10:5-7, we read, "in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished." This is the finishing of God's character in us just before the close of probation.

Writing about the experience of the apostle Paul, Waggoner says, "1. The Gospel is a mystery. 2. It is a mystery that is made known by revelation of Jesus Christ. 3. It was not merely that Jesus Christ revealed it to him, but that he was made to know the mystery by the revelation of Jesus Christ in him. ... The conclusion therefore is that the Gospel is the revelation of Jesus Christ in men." [2]

Being crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the present mortal life that I am now living in this flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20). "Even now Christ bears the sins of the world, for 'in Him all things consist.' ... Therefore, wherever sin is found, there we may be sure is the cross of Christ." [3]

"So believing in Christ, we are justified by the faith of Christ, since we have Him personally dwelling in us," by the Spirit, and "exercising His own faith." [4] His faith that never failed to keep the commandments of God and His endless life that endures in us to the end (Rev. 14:12).

"In Romans 6:6 (KJV) Paul writes, 'Our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.'

"That which is destroyed is the body of sin, and it is destroyed only by this personal presence of the life of Christ. It is destroyed in order that we may be freed from its power and may no longer need to serve it. It is destroyed for everybody, for Christ in His own flesh has abolished 'the enmity,' the sinner's carnal mind. Our sins, our weaknesses, were upon Him. For every soul the victory has been gained, and the enemy has been disarmed. We have only to accept the victory, which Christ has won. The victory over all sin is already a reality." [5]

"The offense of the cross is that the cross is a confession of human frailty and sin and of inability to do any good thing. To take the cross of Christ means to depend solely on Him for everything, and this is the abasement of all human pride. Men love to fancy themselves independent. But let the cross be preached, let it be made known that in man dwells no good thing and that all must be received as a gift, and straightway somebody is offended." [6]

The flesh cannot be converted. It must be crucified. --Daniel Peters
[1] The Glad Tidings, Ellet J. Waggoner, edited by Robert J. Wieland, pp. 13, 14 (Pacific Press Publishing Assn.; Glad Tidings Publishers).
[2] The Everlasting Covenant, Ellet J. Waggoner, pp. 18, 19 (Glad Tidings Publishers ed.).
[3] The Glad Tidings, p. 44.
[4] Ibid., p. 42.
[5] Ibid., p. 43.
[6] Ibid., p. 113.