By: J.E. Gray
I shall never forget the wonderful day when I came face to face with my need for God and turned my heart over to the Lord. I felt the joy of the Holy Ghost as it began to roll in my soul. Life has been a grand experience since that hour.
Upon the conclusion of the study of the six elementary principles of Christian religion we should grow enough to begin to eat strong meat. We will not be able to grow stronger as long as we are weak in knowledge and practice of these “rudiments of Christ.”
Now Paul says when we have the foundation well laid “let us go on unto perfection.” The subject of perfection has had many varied comments and answers offered.
One of the greatest curses upon the so-called Christian world today is the fact that there are so many people that are in churches that obviously are continuing to live in sin, yet they are church members. As we talk to people to try to turn them to God the stock statement is, “I’m just as good as those church members are, so why should I go to church?” They don’t want anything to do with church because this happens to be the case. Of course, they have admitted that there must be a right way because they have pointed out and observed the wrong way. It is a true fact that people in churches, belonging to churches and presenting themselves as Christians, yet living in sin, form a great barrier against those who need to be saved.
The Bible tells us of perfection, that this is the thing we should strive for (go on unto). The Lord said to Abraham, “… I am the Almighty God walk before me and be thou perfect,” (Gen. 17:1). In Matthew 5:48 Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” So, we are instructed that we should be perfect. We must strive to reach that goal. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” (Proverbs 4:18).
In the writings of John unto the churches he stressed the need of growing in the Lord and becoming more like him. (I John 1:8-10) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.” “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocote with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous!” (John 2:1)
I John 3:8 tells us “He that sinneth 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.” We know that man is, by nature, prone to sin but when Jesus came he set us free from the power of sin. We are delivered from sin and should grow in the Lord and attain unto a life of perfection. Consider this for it is truth, Jesus died on the cross to destroy the works of the devil and to give us victory over the powers of sin.
Now it may be pointed out that the scriptures says there is none righteous, no not one. In Isaiah 53 we are told, “all we, like sheep have gone astray;… and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of usall.” We know that everyone has sinned but the more we read concerning this subject, the more we find out that those who were spoken of had never known the life of serving God. Listen to Romans 3:10-18, (10) there is none righteous, (11) none that understands, none that seek after God, (12) none that doeth good, (13) deceit and poison on their lips, (14) full of bitterness and cursing, (15) feet swift to shed blood, (16) destruction and misery are in their ways, (17) the ways of peace have not known, (18) no fear of God before their eyes.
Let us strive to be the kind of person Jesus would have us to be. Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;…” (Proverbs 28:13) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (John 5:14) “… sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
Actually, what is sin? Sin is unrighteousness, disobedience. Anything that transgresses God’s word is sin. Unbelief is not only doubt, it is sin. Sin works through the flesh which is God’s constant enemy. Sin is the gods of this world which blinds the mind of those that are lost, hiding from them the gospel of salvation.
Sin will not enter into heaven, only the redeemed shall enter into that holy place. Repent of sin, turn from sin to God, then one can find mercy. In Romans chapter six we find that it is impossible to serve God and continue a life of sin. In chapter seven we see that man does not have the strength to live without sin. In chapter eight the glorious answer to the paradox. The law of the spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the Law of sin and death.
Romans chapter six (God’s Servants must not sin) “-Shall we continue to sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? -our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. -reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God. -Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. -What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. -whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are. -But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (v. 1-18)
Romans chapter seven (Men’s failing Nature) verses 11 to 24. “Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and be it slew me. -For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that do I. -For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me: but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I not, that I do. -I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. -another law in my members. -bringing me into captivity. -O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Now for the wonderful answer to the incompatibility of chapters six and seven. (Power thru the Spirit!) Chapter 8!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. -To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. -the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. -If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is one of his -for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (v. 1-14)
“… It is not in man that walketh (himself) to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). But, “… greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). Thank God for the victory over sin. I assure you: if you find difficulty in controlling your actions: just let the Holy Ghost come in and run your life.
When they called Jesus “good master” he said “… there’s none good but God.” This is true. It is only God that works in us and helps us to come to a state of perfection. We must be striving for this. If you feel that you yet have shortcomings (perhaps you do) then it’s time for you to set your goal high and begin to strive for perfection – grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, “perfect” practice makes perfect.
The Lord is going to have a glorious church. “… without spot.. without wrinkle or any such thing,” (Eph. 5:27). “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than the snow. -Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Ps. 51:7-13).
(The above material was taken from the booklet Treasures of Truth.)
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