GOD's Truth About Sin - A Bible Study

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Baptist Bible Believer, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Baptist Bible Believer

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    If people understood what sin in and how it is an offense to our holy GOD they would know what it is they need to be saved from.

    For the child of GOD, it is necessary to understand that Satan is a defeated foe -- with only as much authority in the believer's life as is freely granted. Sin breaks GOD's heart - and as a result, should also break the heart of the believer.

    These studies are designed to build us up in our most holy faith.

    Lord willing, we will continue this study of the great epistle of First John, a short, five-chapter book of the Bible that is packed full of some of the most extraordinary teaching concerning the Gospel and the doctrines of Christianity.

    I would heartily invite everyone to join me as we begin this journey which will surely bless your heart and your life.

    This study is based on the book, "God's Truth Made Simple" written by Mrs. Paul Friederichsen, written in 1966. The book is now out-of-print and is posted in order to preserve it in an on-line form.
     
  2. Baptist Bible Believer

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    It is only after viewing the complete holiness of God that we begin to see the sinfulness of sin. Men are too prone to compare themselves with other sinners, and, " measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, is not wise " (II Cor. 10:2). It is as if a man deaf in the right ear would consider himself better than the man deaf in the left ear! Both are deaf!

    An accurate comparison can be made only by measuring ourselves against GOD's demands for holiness. Then our sin is shown to be as filthy and black as it is. Have you ever tried to describe the taste of a banana to some one who had never tasted one? By the time you mix the imaginary fruit flavors that might result in a banana flavor, you have a beautiful fruit salad, but he still does not know how a banana tastes!

    The purest thing we can imagine is a snowflake; and yet every flake is formed around a speck of dust. Morally, the purest person we know is a newborn babe; and yet, every babe has a sinful nature. How, then, can we expect to stand before GOD through our own merits? He will not tolerate sin in any degree in His presence. His very nature abhors sin and all who practice it. David said to GOD, " Thou hatest all workers of iniquity " (Ps. 5:5).

    In the book of Revelation, John is impressed by his visions of the glory and light of the holy city of GOD, and he says, " And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of GOD did lighten it, and the LAMB (CHRIST) is the light thereof ... And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie " (Rev. 21:23-27).

    The very hopelessless of our being unable to meet GOD's requirements should cause us to see our need of the SAVIOUR.

    [ April 26, 2003, 10:56 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Bible Believer ]
     
  3. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD UNKNOWN BY LOST SINNERS

    1 JOHN 3:6. " Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him ."

    Sin is disobedience to GOD -- self-will instead of GOD's will. Sin is any speck of imperfection; it is missing the mark of GOD's requirement of holiness; it is failure to glorify GOD. Sin is failure to obey GOD's word. All anger, jealousy, impatience, irritability, pride, selfishness, unkindness, untruth, immorality, brutality, and all the other sins that beset the human race and do not show off the unimpeachable character and glory of GOD, are sin.

    Needless to say, we have all sinned. You know it, and I know it, whether we like to admit it or not.

    GOD says we have sinned. " There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not " (Eccles. 7:20). " The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart " (Jer. 17:9-10a). Now GOD ought to know! The Bible says of Him, " For thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men " (II Chron. 6:30).

    The lost sinner has never understood the character of GOD, and has no contact with Him. He is like a blind man standing in the blazing noonday sun, and arguing, "I see no sun! There is no light!" Not only is the sinner blind to GOD's character but he is also blind to the fact of his own sin. He insists that there is no sin in him, and maintains that he is not a sinner.

    Since the chief end and interest of the man without GOD is his own will and interests, and his own gain and glory, he reaps the fruit of his selfishness -- problems of all kinds. He is hedged in by a thousand fears, and faces eventual damnation. He will find that the devil is a poor paymaster!

    A woman whose husband had fallen into the drink habit wanted desperately to show him what his indulgence had done to him, for he refused to admit that he was not master of his vice. One day, while he was in a drunken stupor, she took his photograph. When the photograph was printed and framed, she set it beside their wedding picture. That evening when the husband came home from work sober, he was shocked when he saw the pictures. What a contrast between how he looked a few years before -- a clean-faced young man with a smiling bride on his arm and how he looked when he was drunk! As he looked at the unshaven, bloated face of the sot he had become, he determined he would never take another drink. And he never did!

    [ April 27, 2003, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Bible Believer ]
     
  4. Baptist Bible Believer

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    Are we blind to our own sin?

    Not only does the unsaved person fail to recognize sin because he is spiritually blinded, but he also fails to recognize true values. He estimates right and wrong according to his own standards, and lowers those standards constantly as he becomes more and more hardened in sin. But God's standards do not change. Sin is disobedience to GOD no matter what its form or intensity. There is the same roundness in a little ball as in a big one; both are perfectly round, no matter what their size.

    "They shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD" (Zeph. 1:17).

    The unsaved are not just sinners, nor double-dyed sinners; they are threefold sinners! They are sinners by birth, by practice, and by responsible choice.l

    All men are sinners from birth. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5). Now this does not mean that to conceive and give birth to children is wrong, for GOD Himself planned that man was to fill the earth with his offspring. But we all receive a sinful nature at birth which we inherit from our sinful parents, who inherited it from their parents, and so on all the way back to Adam.

    But we cannot put all the blame on Adam and Eve; we are sinners also by practice. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of GOD" (Rom. 3:23). So this puts us in the same boat with our forefathers, and we had better not try to jump out of the boat, for there is no other boat around!

    However, infants and those who are not mentally responsible, although they have original sin and do wrong things, are not accountable sinners. They are not lost sinners. It is not murder or immorality or hate that sends a man to hell, it is the one unpardonable sin of rejecting the SAVIOUR. Babies cannot receive or reject. They are covered by the grace of GOD until they come to the age of responsibility. It is not said that they are SAVED but rather that they are SAFE. This might be a different age with each person. It is not possible to lump all children together and count them accountable just because they have come to a certain age. Some are responsible years earlier than others. This is why it is so important to have our children attend a sound, Bible-teaching Sunday School where they will learn how to be saved at an early age.

    The third way we are sinners is by responsible choice. We are old enough to know and responsible to know; but -- and here is a sad fact -- men do not want to know! Men are willingly ignorant of GOD's truth. Like the mule, they have WON'T power!

    Willful ignorance is the sad plight of all who have heard about GOD's way of salvation and refuse to listen to GOD and receive His offer of salvation. They draw down the shades of their mind and shut out the light.
     
  5. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 1:6. "If we say that we have fellowship with him [GOD], and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."

    The lost sinner is not only telling a lie when he says he has contact with GOD but he is acting a lie as well. Sin is self-delusion. Until our sin has been removed by receiving the SAVIOUR, the sinner is saying one thing and acting another. How can anyone say he is in good standing with GOD when he has rejected GOD's SON?

    Trying to bury one's head in the sand of "positive thinking" and refusing to admit spiritual danger is "positively wrong thinking!" The sinner's mind and conscience is so warped that he cannot think straight even if he tries. After all, the only way to think straight is to think GOD's thoughts after Him, and that is to read the Bible and receive the SAVIOUR. That is positive thinking!

    1 JOHN 1:8. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

    We may try to fool our friends and the preacher, and even fool ourselves, but we cannot fool GOD. He sees right down into every crevice of our mind. "Thus saith the LORD; ... I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them" (Ezek. 11:5).

    People try different ways to deny sin. Some just make light of it; they consider the drunkard amusing, the foul-mouthed smart, the immoral as sophisticated, the violent as brave. Others refuse to believe there is any sin at all, and attribute certain behaviour to the weak mind of those who are not able to think positively! Some ignore sin altogether and live as if there were no GOD and no judgment at all. And there are those who encourage sin, saying, "Enjoy yourself! We're all human! Do what comes naturally!"

    The majority of the human race still modify and soft-pedal sin by calling it by such mild names as "human error," "mistakes," and "slips." But deadly poison is just as deadly under any label. GOD says, "Woe to the rebellious children, ... that take counsel, BUT NOT OF ME; and that cover with a covering, BUT NOT OF MY SPIRIT, that they may add sin to sin" (Isa. 30:1). These are those who substitute their own ideas and remedies which God has not given, and they are just adding to their sin.
     
  6. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 1:10. "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

    The self-righteous sinner who maintains he is not a sinner is in effect calling GOD a liar. Now, if GOD says all have sinned, and the sinner says he has not; someone made a mistake! Either the sinner is wrong, or GOD is wrong! Take your choice! "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness" (Prov. 30:12).

    Many respectable people in our day have this viewpoint, and insist that they are "not bad sinners." But to them one might say, "Then you consider yourself a good sinner!"

    Others say, "I'm as good as anyone else!" They are probably right, too. They are as good as anyone else, and even better than some, but ALL ARE GUILTY BEFORE GOD! One man in a death cell might say to another, "I'm better than you are; I only killed one man, and you killed two!" But both are awaiting execution. GOD says of the entire human race, "There are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Ps. 14:3). It is a pretty sad picture.

    Separation from GOD blinds the reason, warps the judgment, dulls the conscience, and damns the soul. JESUS said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin [they were not responsible for rejecting Him]: but now they have no cloak for their sin" (John 15:22).

    Some are willing to admit they are sinners but are trying to do religious deeds to make their peace with GOD; and there are those who believe that keeping the Golden Rule will help their plight, but their efforts to appease GOD are actually repulsive to Him. "The sacrifice [religious deeds] of the wicked [the unrepentant] is an abomination to the LORD: ... The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: ... The LORD is far from the wicked" (Prov. 15:8-9, 29).

    Satan has another trick he uses to keep men from receiving the Saviour. Deceived by Satan, they try to balance their sins with good deeds, and hope that when they come before GOD He will tip the scales a little in their favor and all will be well. So if they have been on a drunken spree, they "go on the wagon" for a while; if they have not been regular in church, they go every day during Lent; if they have been cheating in business, they give a donation to the church. And so it goes -- balancing, balancing. But as far as GOD is concerned, no one can do any good at all until he belongs to GOD. The slate of life must be wiped clean of past sins by the blood of CHRIST.

    It is just as hopeless for a decaying corpse in the cemetery to sit up and announce that he will run for mayor, as for a lost sinner to think he can do anything to please GOD. You cannot please GOD until you first have LIFE.

    And Satan takes the vilest, most dangerous poison of sin, and replaces the label with "Mild human errors".
     
  7. Baptist Bible Believer

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    FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD GAINED BY THE REPENTANT SINNER

    1 JOHN 3:5. "And ye know that he [CHRIST] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."

    Here is hope for the hopeless! GOD is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). The GOD of holiness and justice steps in with His abundant grace and love and provides a remedy for the sin problem.

    Yes, the death penalty is demanded: "It is apointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment," and "sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." And the "wages of sin is death," BUT -- and thank GOD for this BUT -- CHRIST has given Himself to pay that death penalty for all who accept Him. GOD's message is not DO but DONE!

    Self-help is inadequate. We need Someone greater than ourselves! We have earned our damnation, but Someone else has earned our salvation! We cannot change our way of life or take away our soiled and blotted past. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23).

    If it were possible for us to save our souls by works, then why did CHRIST die? A donation of money cannot redeem our soul, "Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliever them in the day of the wrath of the LORD" Ezek.7:19) "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ... but with the precious blood of CHRIST" (I Peter 1:18-19).

    How sad it is that many are trying to reach GOD by knocking at the wrong door! They try works, saints, penance, morality, and their church, and yet all the time the LORD JESUS is saying, as He said so long ago, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved," and "He that ... climbeth up some other way, the same is s thief and a robber" (John 10:9,10).

    CHRIST is adequate; He is completely enough!

    The DOOR is unlocked, so, why try to climb up some other way?

    1 JOHN 3:8. "For this purpose the SON OF GOD was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

    The works of the devil are the ravages of sin in the human heart. CHRIST came to free the rependant sinner from the clutches of Satan. CHRIST "gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of GOD and our FATHER (Gal. 1:4). "This present evil world" is the world system under the rule of Satan. The human race has been captured and enslaved, kept in the prison camp of the enemy; and what is most amazing, they seem quite content to stay there!

    But CHRIST imprisoned Himself in human flesh that He might liberate us to the glorious liberty of the sons of GOD, and buy us back from the slave market of sin.

    In my childhood days, as a daughter of missionaries in China, I often saw tiny little girls with straw bracelets around their wrists walking the streets and looking up into the faces of passers-by to see who wanted to buy. The straw meant that they were sale as slaves.

    CHRIST has indeed bought us -- not to make us slaves and drudges but sons and heirs! Hallelujah!
     
  8. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 1:7. "The blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON cleanseth us from all sin."

    The wages of sin is threefold death: Physcial death, spiritual death, and eternal death. "Death" means separation.

    Physical death takes place when the body and person are separated;

    Spiritual death is the sinner's separation from GOD even while yet alive on the earth;

    Eternal death is everlasting separation from GOD in the lake of fire.

    Now, in order for CHRIST to pay the penalty of sin, He had to experience three kinds of death, and it was for this reason that He took a physical body.

    On the cross of Calvary, He died physically; the blood shed was the blood of the King of kings!

    He also experienced spiritual death -- separation from GOD THE FATHER. GOD's holiness forbade His even looking upon His own SON when your sin and mine was laid on Him when He hung on the cross. This horror of carrying the shame of all the sin of all the world was the "cup" that JESUS dreaded so greatly, which caused Him to pray in the garden, "FATHER, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

    The SON OF GOD was rejected by the Jews, who cried out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Now, the Jewish method of execution was stoning to death. But if they desired to add extra shame and degradation to their victim, they could hand the dead body on a tree for all to see. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal. 3:13). This was their final insult, and so they were glad for the Roman method of crucifixion to accomplish this sadistic purpose.

    CHRIST was rejected by the Romans, for they used the execution reserved for the worst criminals, and even hung JESUS on the center cross as the most accursed of the three.

    But, saddest of all, He was also rejected of GOD THE FATHER, who turned His face away from Him, so that CHRIST cried out, "My GOD, my GOD, why hast thou forsaken me?" This was indeed spiritual death for the sinless SON OF GOD! And for the eternal, holy SON OF GODto spend a few hours as the Sin-bearer for the sin of the world, was equivalent to an eternity in hell for a human being! GOD lives in the eternal present, and as infinite GOD, hours or aeons are the same to Him. He drank the very dregs of the bitter cup of sin -- all for you and for me. He is the all-sufficient Sacrifice, the LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS of all who receive Him. What a wonderful Saviour is JESUS my LORD! One feels humbled and hushed even to speak of these things.

    And yet -- let us bow low as we say it -- this is the GOD Who condescended to be our SAVIOUR. He is the GREAT atonement for our GREAT sin!

    Long ago, when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt, GOD planned to deliver them from the cruelty of Pharoah through Moses. He commanded each Hebrew family to select a perfect lamb and prepare it according to His instructions. The blood of the lamb was to be sprinkled on the two doorposts of the house as well as over the top lintel, as a sign that all who were in the house belonged to GOD's chosen people. During the night of judgment upon Egypt, the angel of death passed through the land and slew the firstborn son in every house, EXCEPT those with the blood over the door; these were passed over. This is why this feast is still called the "Passover." GOD said to Israel, "When I see the blood I will pass over you" (Exod. 12:13).

    Why the blood on the door? Is there some magic power in the blood of a lamb? No! The blood of animals can never take away sin or protect from GOD's judgement. Neither was the blood some sort of fetish to protect the home. Then why?

    All the Old Testament incidents and types were part of GOD's plan to show that the LAMB OF GOD was coming. The message of the Old Testament is "MESSIAH [CHRIST] IS COMING!" He has now come, and John the Baptist heralded His advent by announcing, "Behold the LAMB OF GOD, who taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
     
  9. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 1:9. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

    Just as each Israelite needed to be inside the blood-sprinkled door for safety, so each sinner must personally accept JESUS CHRIST as his covering and protection from the wrath of ALMIGHTY GOD. Our part is to believe on Him, to receive Him, His part is to save.

    Someone asks, "But shouldn't a man repent as well as believe?" The answer is, "No man ever truy believed without sincerely repenting!"

    Each person himself must believe in order to be saved. No parent can believe for his child, and no minister can believe for his people. Salvation is not a blanket covering for everyone regardless of whether they receive CHRIST or not. Only those who believe are saved.

    Some years ago a serious epidemic was raging in a cerain town, and serum was flown in to inoculate the population. Radio and newspapers and telephones notified the area, and everyone heard about the danger and knew about the availability of the serum. Thousands were inoculated, but others were not. And they died. Perhaps they had intended to get an onoculation, but did not get around to it. Maybe some used their favorite remedy from the medicine cabinet, and others tried grandma's "Olde Family Cure," but now they are buried in the local cemetery. The serum was available for all, but only those who accepted it were cured.

    What a shame that some harden their hearts when they hear the warning of GOD! "O LORD, ... thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return" (Jer. 5:3). It is possible to deafen our ears to the convicting voice of the SPIRIT OF GOD. "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Prov. 29:1).

    Neither should sin be recited to GOD as a sort of ritual to ward off trouble. GOD only forgives when there is genuine repentance. Remember, He can see the heart. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13).

    A dear little Christian lady came in great conviction after one of our meetings, and told me that she had lied some twenty years before in such a way as to involve her family in a serious situation but that now she was willing to make everything right. What did se do? She wrote a letter to those involved and confessed her sin. After that, her sweet, wrinkled face literally glowed with joy, for her conscience was clear before GOD and man. Today she had gone to be with the LORD, and how glad I am that she cleared the slate by such confession before she went!

    Instead of confessing sin, sometimes men turn in anger against the one who has pointed out the need for righteousness. They may stay away from church because the preacher makes them squirm with conviction. Such men are like those who rejected the truth in Bible days and said to their prophets, "Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (Isa. 30:10). And the prophets obliged. "The prophets prophesy falsely, ... and my people love to have it so" (Jer. 5:31).

    To be angry with those who preach the truth about sin is as foolish as to be angry with the doctor who tells you that you have a serious illness! Far better to submit to treatment. "Your sins have withholden good things from you" (Jer. 5:25).

    There is no stain so deep but that CHRIST can cleanse. So instead of trying a do-it-yourself job of sponging off spots of sin by just stopping this bad habit or that, why not come to the only cleansing fountain where all sin is completely washed away?

    GOD is faithful and just to forgive because CHRIST make complete atonement for our sins. GOD will never demand double payment. He is faithful to forgive because He has promised to do so. He is just to forgive because CHRIST paid the penalty of our sins.

    A skeptic was making light of Christians, and said, "They will follow anything! Why, I could start a new religion right now and claim to be the Saviour, and some would follow me!"

    A listener remarked, "If you would be a savior, then you would have to die for sin and rise again!"
     
  10. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 2:2. "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

    The word "propitiate" simply means "to conciliate," "to appease." A guilty world deserved the wrath of a holy GOD, but the death of JESUS CHRIST as our SAVIOUR turned away the wrath of GOD, and the justice of GOD was satisfied. But we must receive what CHRIST has done. GOD only rejects those who reject Him.

    When dealing with a young lady one night, she told me, "I am a God-rejected one."

    "Why do you think that?" I asked.

    "Because I used to go to church and was interested in religion, but now for many years I have had nothing to do with the church, and I believe GOD has rejected me."

    "It is not a matter of GOD rejecting you," I continued, "but you are rejecting Him. Will you receive Him right now?" That was the night of decision for her, and she left with the assurance of sins forgiven.

    Dear reader, are you a saved sinner? If not, why not pray right now and tell the LORD that you accept Him as your SAVIOUR? Then this will be your date of decision, your salvation day!

    O happy day that fixed my choice
    On Thee, my SAVIOUR and my GOD!
    Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
    And tell its raptures all abroad!

    'This done; the great transaction's done;
    I am my LORD'S and He is mine;
    He drew me, and I followed on,
    Glad to confess His voice divine.

    Happy day, happy day
    When JESUS washed my sins away!
     
  11. Baptist Bible Believer

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    III. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD CONTINUED FOR THE SAVED SINNER

    1 JOHN 2:1. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.

    Victory over sin is the purpose of salvation. "His name shall be called JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). Remember now, that the "little children" addresed are GOD's spiritual children, the saved ones; and His will for us is that we sin "not at all." If CHRIST can save from hell, He can certainly save us from the love of sin right now. The problem lies with the Christian himself. Do we want victory? It seems easier to get to heaven by the "skin of our teeth" as it were, and not to mind the godly living!

    True, there are no perfect believers here on earth. Sinless perfection will come when we get to glory and see Him and are like Him, but this is no excuse to throw up our hands and say, "Oh, I'm not perfect yet, so I give up!" GOD never commands that which is impossible, and He says to us, "Sin not!"

    We have no license to lie down and roll in sin just because we still have the sinful tendency to do so, any more than we should go out and roll in a mud puddle just because it is possible for us to fall into one! To be saved means that we have been saved from danger to safety, from spiritual sickness to health, from death to life, from Satan to God. All this is put to our account the moment we are converted. Why not claim it all? "Blessed by the GOD and FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in CHRIST" (Eph. 1:3).

    The saved ones in heaven have perfect fellowship with God forever, but even we saved ones here on earth could enjoy continuous fellowship if we would deal with sins as they occur. Sin was cancelled on the cross once for all, but daily sins must be judged and confessed immediately and forsaken. In this way fellowship is maintained.

    We do not HAVE to sin -- not even a little.

    If sin is imperative, then just how much should we indulge every day? Just a few lies, or a little bad temper, or a small theft?

    GOD says, "Sin not!"

    Perhaps someone asks, "But can't I still be Christian, even though I am not victorious over sin?"

    Yes, for being a Christian is not based upon success, but on having received CHRIST as your SAVIOUR. But you will limp along through life in spiritual sickness. You will be alive, but mighty sick spiritually! Is this what you want? Well, it's not what God wants!
     
  12. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 2:1. "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the FATHER, JESUS CHRIST the RIGHTEOUS"

    GOD in His faithfulness has anticipated our imperfection and our failures, and is still making provision to keep us in fellowship. When we do sin -- thank GOD for this gracious provision!-- we still have our beloved SAVIOUR as our MEDIATOR and ADVOCATE, interceding for us! We still have contact with GOD through Him!

    Nothing can ever break the connection with GOD called SALVATION, for this is His gift by grace; but we also have the delicate contact with GOD called FELLOWSHIP, and any sin all will sever this. Now our fellowship, which means GOD's blessing and friendship and approval, is broken, but -- all praise to Him! -- we still have our salvation!

    When the Atlantic cable was being laid at the bottom of the ocean floor, all the equipment was installed and in order, but there was not connection with the other continent. The workmen had to go over the cable inch by inch to find out why the current was not reaching its destination. They found a small nail embedded in the heavy wire, causing a short circuit. Continent to continent communications had been broken by a small nail. The hindrance had to be removed. The cable was there, but no power was passing through.

    In an earthly court, the advocate, or lawyer, can be a friend of the government (the prosecution) or a friend of the criminal (defense). He is a friend of one or the other. But CHRIST our ADVOCATE is a friend of both. He is the friend of the government (of heaven) and the friend of the criminal (the sinning saint). But though CHRIST is our FRIEND, He has no part in the crime. He is qualified as our ADVOCATE on all points. And He offers His services FREE!

    Have you placed your case in His all-powerful hands? Only believers have this ADVOCATE; unbelievers have no representative with GOD at all. For them, the LAWYER will some day be their JUDGE, and He will be righteous in damning those who have rejected His atoning sacrifice.

    1 JOHN 1:7. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowhip one with another, and the blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON cleanseth us from all sin."

    Here the word "cleanseth" has the meaning of "continues to cleanse." This word refers not to just the one cleansing at salvation but to continued action sufficient for past, present, and future sins. The blood of JESUS can cleanse from ALL sin: any amount of sin, any kind of sin, and for any number of people for all time! Hallelujah!

    There is no need for any purgatory after death to purge our sins. GOD has given the only Purgatory: "He ... by himself purged our sin" (Heb. 1:3). And we read in Hebrews 9:14 about the sufficiency of the blood of CHRIST to purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living GOD. Neither do we need water baptism to wash our sins away, for only the blood of CHRIST "cleanseth from all sin."

    We not only have the transfusion we need at conversion, but we also have the first-aid kit for every accident thereafter! He gives us life, and is also the PHYSICIAN to keep us in spiritual health.

    Now, a first-aid kit is mighty fine to carry along in your car; it gives a safe feeling to know you have the remedy -- just in case. But that does not mean you should drive your car into a telephone post so you can use the kit! So, even though we do have the blood of CHRIST as our continual remedy for future sin, that does not mean we are going to live a careless life and be presumptuous about our relationship with GOD.

    A young couple who were out of fellowship with GOD and each other, said to me, "We're not too worried about getting right with GOD. We know we are saved, and can come back to Him anytime we want to. We don't feel like making up with each other yet!"

    Today that couple is divorced. The husband has remarried. The wife has come back to GOD, but is a heartbroken woman. They found the road back to GOD was a long hard road after all. No one gets away with sin. Like the Prodigal son, the saved sinner out of fellowship with God may have to go by way of the pigpen before he comes to himself!

    Fellowship is a partnership in which the same interests and work are shared. Fellowship implies mutual trust and confidence, confessing and forsaking sin moment by moment, and not allowing it to accumulate. Then our blessing is uninterrupted.

    Let us not forget, though, that it is a duty as well as a privilege to maintain this fellowship with our FATHER in heaven. As we maintain this fellowship, sin becomes more and more hateful to us, and the world loses its charm for us. Fellowship is concord of heart with GOD

    Christian, just what books do you read? What do you listen to and see and enjoy? It's time now to get in practice for eternal holiness!
     
  13. Baptist Bible Believer

    Baptist Bible Believer
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    1 JOHN 3:3. "Every man that hath this hope in him [the hope of seeing CHRIST face to face and being like Him] purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

    Never for a moment does this mean that we can wash away our sins or make ourselves pure. All Scripture teaches against this. But is does mean that we want to be pure, and submit to the cleansing that CHRIST proffers. First comes pardon, then purity. In time this purity because a habit of holiness. The very anticipation of the LORD's return is a purifying hope. The grace of GOD that bringeth salvation for all men hath appeared, "teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great GOD and our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar [special] people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:11-14). This hope makes for personal holiness, but sin tolerated in the life can dim this hope.

    Unless consecration begins at conversion, a life of spiritual sickly-living lies ahead. Christ is not just a "fire escape" from hell. Holiness as well as heaven is the purpose of salvation! We do well to nip sin in the bud each moment of our lives. We are not mere machines; we have been given the choice of good or evil, and we are expected to assert it.

    1 JOHN 5:9. "Whosoever is born of GOD doth not commit sin [does not make a practice of sin]."

    Through Adam we are born slaves to sin; through ourselves we have sold out to sin; In CHRIST we are given victory over sin. How then, could we ever wish to continue to practice the kind of living that will not rejoice the heart of our LORD? Adam brought us all into the poorhouse of the debt of sin, and we cooperated right along with him! JESUS CHRIST reached down and paid our debt and set us free. How impossible that we, who have been bought and paid for and set free, could ever want to go back to the poorhouse and eat potato soup when the banquet hall of GOD's bounty awaits us!

    1 JOHN 5:18. "We know that whosoever is born of GOD sinneth not."

    Here again is the same word "sinneth not," which means that we shall not make a practice of the same old sins. Christianity is not a mere code of ethics -- of DO and DON'T -- but rather a living relationship with a loving LORD

    A young man brought up in a Christian home said, "I really don't fit in anywhere. I know too much about GOD to go all the way into the world and sin, and yet I don't want to be a Christian either." Poor chap! If only he would give up to GOD, and see how glad he would be to belong to GOD and fit in with Him! "No one can serve two masters." Such a situation is enough to bring on a nervous breakdown!

    1 JOHN 3:6. "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not."

    This is the key to peace and victory: ABIDE IN HIM! Fellowship with CHRIST day and night! The trouble is that people want the peace and joy of GOD and the world and the flesh and the devil all wrapped up in one bundle! This is as impossible as experiencing life and death at the same time!

    When a Christian backslides because he thinks the grass is greener over on the devil's side of the fence, he soon finds himself among briars or stones or slough, and he sits down and moans about having such an unhappy life! Instead of feeling sorry for himself he ought to get back where he belongs!
     
  14. Baptist Bible Believer

    Baptist Bible Believer
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    1 JOHN 5:16-17. "If a man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. ... there is a sin not unto death."

    All unrighteousness is sin, and GOD does not grade sin when it comes to counting men lost sinners. But in the case of believers, we are doubly responsible that we live a consistent life of obedience and fellowship. Not to do so will bring GOD's discipline. Discipline is not damn*ation or punishment: it is chastening or "child training." But it is possible for a child of God to be such a poor testimony that GOD will have to remove him from the earth in physical death in order to keep him from causing others to stumble. This is called "the sin unto death." The unfaithful Christian may be restored to fellowship, but he will not recover his health, and there is no use to question GOD regarding it: God has ordained that he will die. His opportunity on earth is over. He is saved, yes; for salvation does not depend upon fellowship -- and how glad we should be for that! But he will lose his reward in heaven and will suffer loss for all eternity. (See 1 Cor. 11:29-32).

    Now, usually we think of a Christian who dies as having gone to his reward. But Christians do not always go to a heavenly reward, even though they go to heaven. However, since we do not know men's hearts, and we do not know who will die because of rebelliousness, we are to pray for all Christians that GOD will be glorified in their lives either by health or sickness, and we leave the judging to GOD. This is where the command fits in, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

    So then, to paraphrase the above verse: If a Christian sees another Christian out of fellowship, and sick because of it, then he is to pray that his fellow believer be forgiven and healed. In answer to such prayer, the Christian may be restored and recover and live longer on earth to be a good testimony IF GOD has not already determined that He will take Him away in death. This has nothing to do with so-called mortal or venial sin. All sin is sin to GOD.

    How we can rejoice that the "sin unto death" is the exception rather than the rule!

    The Christian who is living in fellowship with GOD may die early in life, but it is because GOD is saying, "Come home! Your work is done!"

    Praise the LORD, we are saved by faith and grace! Faith is simply the connection between man's helplessness and GOD's omnipotence!

    The cornfield may be full of weeds, but it is still a cornfield! Our passport to heaven is having CHRIST as our SAVIOUR, but our reward in heaven depends on how we live.

    Christian, where do we stand today? Do we really recognize and judge our sin in our own lives? Are we in fellowship with GOD right now? Come and submit to Him, will you? "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O LORD correct me" (Jer. 10:23-24). "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, ... and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin" (Ps. 32:5).
     
  15. Baptist Bible Believer

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    1 JOHN 5:21. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."

    Do we have the idol of rebellion in our lives? If we are not in fellowship, we are literally saying, "GOD, I don't care about what You say or what You want!" This is idolatry -- self-worship. Instead of being victorious, we are defeated Christians.

    To carry on in limited surrender and halting fellowship, this is idolatry.

    Alas, and did my SAVIOUR bleed, and did my SOVEREIGN die?
    Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

    It was for crimes, that I had done He died upon the tree;
    Amazing pity, grace divine, and love beyond degree!

    But tears of grief can ne'er repay the debt of love I own:
    Dear LORD, I give myself today ... 'tis all that I can do!

    At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
    And the burden of my heart rolled away;
    It was there by grace I received my sight,
    And now I am happy all the day!

    QUESTIONS TO PONDER

    1. How do we know all men are sinners? Rom. 3:9-10, 22-23; Psalm 14; Isaiah 53:6.

    2. Who lived on earth and did not sin? 1 Peter 2:22.

    3. What is the result of sin? Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:10; Isa. 59:1,2.

    4. What is repentance? Isa. 55:7; Psalm 38:18; Luke 18:13.

    5. What produces repentance? Rom. 2:4; I Thess. 1:5-10.

    6. What is the way back to GOD? II Chron. 7:14.

    7. Why does GOD allow trouble to Christians? Heb. 12:1-11.

    8. What happens to a backslider? Prov. 14:14.

    9. How does a backslider come back to GOD? Jer. 3:13-14, 22; Luke 15:12-22.

    10. How are we saved from sin? Rom. 3:24-28.
     

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