THE ETERNAL REMOVAL OF SIN
THE ETERNAL REMOVAL OF SIN Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
There are three aspects of the sin that distresses the human personality. The first aspect is guilt. The second aspect is inclination. The third aspect is the cause or actual residence or presence of sin that gives rise to the guilt and the inclination. The Divine plan of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ removes the guilt, the inclination, and the cause.
THE ETERNAL REMOVAL OF SIN
"Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy." (Daniel 9:24NIV)
There are three aspects of the sin that distresses the human personality. The first aspect is guilt. The second aspect is inclination. The third aspect is the cause or the actual residence or presence of sin that gives rise to the guilt and the inclination. The Divine plan of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ removes the guilt, the inclination, and the cause.
Notice the expression in the above passage, "to put an end to sin."
Christians are so accustomed to wrestling against the evil powers in the heavenlies that the idea of sin coming to an end is almost more than we can hope for. Yet the Bible says there shall come an end to sin and everlasting righteousness shall takes its place. This Word cannot be changed.
Last night at the Bible study we were discussing the works of the flesh, particularly those that have to do with anger, factionalism, envy, selfish ambition, and so forth.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21NIV)
"Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
There are people in the class who have been trained in the conventional Christian point of view that Christ made an end to sin on the cross and now all we have to do is to believe.
I raised the point that if an end has been made to sin and we are not to be concerned about it, then most of Pauls writings are superfluous, as in Galatians 5:19-21 (above).
This led one lady to say she had been taught that if we as a Christian continued to sin we would not inherit the Kingdom of God, we would not bear the fruit of the Spirit, but we would be saved and go to Heaven anyway. Can you imagine? We will be saved and go to Heaven but not inherit the Kingdom of God?
There being no Bible teaching to the effect that being saved means we will go to Heaven but a great deal of emphasis concerning entering the Kingdom of God, we conclude this lady was taught Christian traditions and not the Scriptures.
Since all of us Christians agree that Christ died on the cross to forgive the sins of mankind, and yet a great part of the New Testament is an exhortation to the believers not to continue in sin, we conclude that further explanation is required.
There are three aspects of sin. First of all, there is the guilt of sin. The guilt of sin arises from our not obeying the moral laws of God. The soul that sins shall die because the soul is guilty of breaking Gods laws. This we understand.
The second aspect of sin is the compulsion to sin that resides in our flesh. There is a law of sin that drives us to break Gods laws. This inclination to sin is not the same as guilt, it is the tendency of our flesh to keep on sinning. It is the desire to sin.
The third aspect of sin is the actual presence of sin in us, the root cause of the desire to sin. Until the root cause is removed, the desire to sin will continue although it may be subdued and overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christian teaching is correct when it claims that Christ has done away with our sin when we receive the atonement by faith. But this statement needs to be qualified. Christ has done away with the first part, that is, with the guilt of our sin. But if we will be honest with ourselves we will recognize that the inclination and the basic cause are still present in us.
It is easy to see that if we say Christ has removed our sin and we can forget about sin, then the Judgment Seat of Christ holds no fear for the Christian. The Judgment Seat is a meaningless exercise as far as we are concerned.
But if it is true that Christ has removed only the guilt of our sin, and the removal of the inclination and the cause are a program that we must follow if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God, then Christian teaching is misleading to the point of being destructive of Gods intention. If this is the case, we indeed, as did the Apostle Paul, have reason to tremble at the thought of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. (II Corinthians 5:11NIV)
The new covenant offers the believer a life without condemnation, without the guilt of sin, if we are willing to reckon that our old nature has been crucified with Christ on the cross, and that our new man has been resurrected with Christ and has ascended with Him to the right hand of the Father,
And if we, holding fast by faith to this state of death and resurrection, then follow the Holy Spirit each day in putting to death the deeds of our sinful nature, we never again will be under condemnation.
If we each day are following the Holy Spirit rather than our sinful nature, then by the one offering of Jesus Christ we always are perfect in Gods sight, the blood cleansing us from all sin. Even though there is much in our personality that is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God, we remain without condemnation.
Thus the guilt has been totally removed.
But now the work of salvation begins. The work of salvation includes the subjugation of the evil inclination in our personality, and finally, at the return of the Lord, the final removal of the cause of sin from us. The final removal from us of the cause of sin is the salvation reserved for the conclusion of the Church Age.
Who through faith are shielded by Gods power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5NIV)
Now that we have set aside the guilt of our sins as being an issue, let us consider our inclination to sin and the cause of the inclination.
The first area of sin in our personality (by sin I mean the inclination and the cause, not the guilt) is that of trust in the world for survival and security. Each of us must choose to trust in God for our survival and security rather than in the strength of the things and spirit of the world. This is a choice we are to make continually.
The natural inclination of our adamic nature is to look to that which is visible for our support. God is invisible, so our choice to look away from the world and toward the Lord at each moment is an act of will and faith on our part.
When we are baptized in water we are to assign our adamic nature to the cross and set our mind and heart on Christ at the right hand of the Father. We are to maintain this viewpoint at all times, looking always to God to provide for us whatever we need.
The inclination to trust the things and spirit of the world is part of our old nature. The cause, the root of this area of sin, is our original adamic personality. Therefore we must keep looking to the Throne of Grace to receive the help we need to overcome, to subjugate, to put to death our natural desire to find our survival and security in the world.
To finally remove from us trust in the world, God brings us through much suffering, helps us with the Power of His Spirit, and forms Christ in us. At the coming of the Lord we will be given a new body that itself trusts in the Lord.
The salvation that will be brought to us at the return of Christ is marvelous beyond words, if we desire to please God and live righteously. But we emphasize that a casual believer will not be given a body that seeks righteousness.
The Kingdom principle is, those who have been faithful in the least will be entrusted with the greater. If we have conscientiously followed the Spirit of God in subjugating our natural desire to trust in the world, then, when the Lord comes, we will be delivered from all inclination to trust in the world. But such wonderful deliverance will not be ours if we have neglected the program of deliverance from sin.
The Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal the decisions we have made. If we have not chosen to follow Christ in the program of deliverance from the inclinations and cause of sin, we will receive back what we have sown in our body. We have walked in sin as a Christian and we shall reap corruption and destruction in that Day, not a new righteous personality and body.
The second area of sin concerns the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul. We are inclined toward sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, trust in the world, drunkenness, and orgies.
All of these are the actions of demons. Since many of these behaviors are prominent in the Christian churches, we can see that the churches have become cages of unclean spirits. This is true, although our sins have been forgiven.
Sometimes there actually are evil spirits dwelling in our flesh. Christians may object that if we are washed in the blood and have Gods Spirit in us we could not possibly have evil spirits dwelling in our flesh or doors in our soul through which Satan gains entrance at his will.
If you believe you are invulnerable, fine. But how about your conduct? Are any of the following true of you: sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, trust in the world, drunkenness, or orgies? If they are, then you need deliverance. The question is not whether a Christian can have a demon, the question is one of your behavior. Are you given to fits of lust, rage, or selfish ambition? These are demonic behaviors.
The above are evil inclinations that are in our flesh and soul, whether or not we wish to regard them as spirits. It is absolutely true that the Lord Jesus Christ became a sin-offering to forgive the guilt of our sin. We know this from the Scripture. We know also from the same Scripture that if we practice the satanic mannerisms quoted above we shall not inherit the Kingdom. If this is not true we have no basis for claiming our sins are forgiven through the blood atonement, for each fact proceeds from the same authoritative sourcethe written Word of God..
Forgiveness and deliverance from sin are part of the same salvation. If we accept the forgiveness but not the deliverance, we have disobeyed the Lord and will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
We can see instantly that when we say Jesus has taken away our sins we must determine whether He has taken away the guilt of our sins or whether He has taken away the compulsions to sin of our flesh and soul.
The first area of sin we discussed is that of our tendency to find our life in the spirit and things of the present world. The source is in our adamic nature. We must choose to set our heart and mind on Christ who is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. This is where our life is if we are a sincere disciple of the Lord. The adamic nature is overcome as we keep following the Lord, and Christ is formed in us. The last vestiges of worldliness will be removed when the Lord appears and we are clothed upon with our body from Heaven.
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28NIV)
The second area of sin has to do with the compulsions to sin that are found in our flesh and soul. Paul says that sin dwells in our flesh.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:20NIV)
I do not see any value in arguing about whether a Christian can have a demon. The only significant fact is how we are behaving. If we are showing in ourselves the works of the devil then it is quite likely Satan is closer to us than he should be.
Our body is an assortment of elements. All of these elements are neutral morally. There is no sin dwelling in our lungs or liver, obviously.
As far as our soul is concerned, it has inherited an adamic fondness for sin.
Somewhere in this complicated organism we term the human personality, sin is alive, according to the Apostle Paul. Some spirit or force drives our personality to practice destructive behaviors, such as drunkenness, lying, immorality, covetous, rage, and so forth. The compulsion is coming from somewhere other than us because the sincere Christian does not want to do these things.
We are not talking about the guilt of our sin. The guilt was taken care of completely on the cross of Calvary. Rather we are referring to inclinations and practices that are not permitted in the Kingdom of God.
What or where is the source of these inclinations? The Apostle John claims that he who commits sin is of the devil. This does not mean we are demon possessed. It means there are weaknesses in our personality that Satan can influence at his will.
I personally believe, based on many years of experience as a Christian and pastor, that the sin that lives in us has, in many instances, a personality of its own. In some cases the sin can be addressed by name ("You spirit of lying") and cast from the person, with a noticeable release being experienced. This is not always the indicated procedure, but in certain instances it is effective.
Jesus Christ is waiting until His enemies have been brought under His feet. The subjugation of evil must begin with His Church, for the Church cannot serve as the light of the world when it is as bound with sin as the world is.
The Holy Spirit is ready to give us the wisdom and power to bring under control, to overcome, to subjugate, to put to death, the evil deeds of our sinful nature.
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Romans 8:13NIV)
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16NIV)
The source of the sin may remain in us but it can be put to death by the Spirit. I think in some instances, even the source itself is driven from us as we vigorously denounce and renounce the behaviors that are contrary to Gods moral law.
If, and only if, we have been utterly faithful in following the Holy Spirit in gaining control over our sinful deeds, what remains of the source of sin in us will be removed by the power of Jesus Christ at His appearing.
Have you ever noticed that our body has a life of its own? We want to do one thing and the body wants to do another.
One of the tremendous blessings we will receive at the coming of the Lord is a body that does not have in it a desire to sin. We shall receive this blessing if we have been faithful in keeping our robe clean by confessing and turning from our sins when they are pointed out to us.
Can you imagine being clothed with a body that has no sin nature? Today we are struggling with a body of sin and death. In that Day, if we have been faithful in following the Spirit of God, our old sinful nature will be gone and we will have a new body that will not resist us as we seek to live a godly life. If you can think of a greater blessing than that, I would like to know what it would be! It is the answer to Paul's prayer in the seventh chapter of the Book of Romans.
The third area of sin is that of our self-will, our determination to maintain control over our own life and destiny. Self-will is not quite the same characteristic as trust in the world for our life, or the lusts and passions of the flesh and soul.
When we start off in the Lord we are holding Gods hand. If we diligently follow the Lord, God works things around until He is holding our hand. This is far, far preferablethat God hold our hand rather than our attempting to hold Gods hand.
To let go and let God is a very simple way of expressing a profound thought. It sounds easy. It is extremely difficult because of our determination to maintain control of our own life and destiny.
What is the source of this mistrust of God? I guess it comes from the Garden of Eden where Satan advised Eve that God is not to be trusted. If we are to get what we want, the serpent suggested, we have to turn away from God and do what we feel is best.
I think the Charismatic church is at this crossroads today. Should we let go and believe God will guide us into His will for our life, or should we develop endless programs for doing "Gods work"?
In any case, there is a root in the human being that is determined to have its own way. This is the source of our unwillingness to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding.
An unwillingness to follow the Lord is about as prevalent in the Christian churches as it is in the world. We bring our scheming and manipulating into our Christian walk and our ministry.
Self-will among Christians results in churches and denominations filled with politics and scheming for personal advancement. This appears to have been true from the first century.
For I am afraid when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. (II Corinthians 12:20NIV)
It is true today. Satan manages to destroy Christian assemblies by playing on the willingness of the believers to pursue their personal ambitions. You say this is not true in your assembly? I would like to become a member!
We of the churches rail against abortion, drugs, homosexuality, and other destructive practices. Actually our greatest danger comes from outbursts of anger, divisiveness, slander, gossip, and arrogance within our own assembly.
Gods answer to our self-will is fiery sufferingprolonged periods of denial of our most intense desires. Are you in this condition at the present time? Dont quit. Remain faithful until God releases you and you will receive the crown of life.
We must be crucified with Christ and then filled with His resurrection life if we ever are to escape the curse of personal ambition. What peace comes to us when we have been chastened severelychastened to the point that we no longer are enthusiastic about continually promoting our own interests; we no longer are ceaselessly manipulating people and circumstances that we may force our will on everyone!
It does not matter whether we ride in the front chariot or clean up behind the horses in the royal parade. It simply does not matter at all! God is not impressed with our prominence in the Kingdom, only with our faithfulness to Him.
It is not a pleasant sight to see God bringing a Christian through the death of his or her own will. But there is no other path to the fullness of deliverance from sin that God is seeking for us.
Our guilt has been forgiven. We now are without condemnation in Jesus Christ. But have we been delivered from our love of the world, the lusts and passions of our flesh and soul, and our determination to grasp what we desire without regard for the consequences or Gods pleasure?
Salvation is such deliverance. This is what salvation is. It is ignorance and folly to debate whether we can keep on sinning and still "be saved." Not only is such a notion contrary to the New Testament, it also is highly illogical. How can we keep on sinning and yet be saved, when salvation is deliverance from sin?
The spiritual experience we have had has brought us to the present hour. It has served its purpose if we have followed Christ faithfully.
That day is past. It is history. We are entering a new phase of the development of the Christian Church.
One of our problems as Christians occurs when God is moving forward. Perhaps we have been at a certain level for many years. We have borne much fruit. We may have a considerable financial or ego investment in our present circumstances. Moving on with God may cause us to lose much of what we are enjoying.
We have borne fruit and now God wants to prune us that we may bear more fruit.
In the case of a pastor it may mean leaving his church if the people are unwilling to leave their comfortable situation, their state of contentedness.
God does not have too many believers, it seems, who are ready to move forward with God when it costs them dearly.
I read of one older pastor who was confronted with the fact that the pre-tribulation rapture is an unscriptural doctrine. His response was not that of a seeker of truth. It was to the effect: "Why cant you just leave me in peace?"
Once we settle down on our laurels in this manner we become as the older prophet in the Bible who led the younger prophet to his death.
How many believers of today have enough iron and fire to follow Christ as He moves forward in our time? If people follow you, fine. If they do not, will you go ahead regardless? I am not speaking of crazy, radical antics that are unscriptural and unprofitable. I am referring to sober, scriptural, prayerful advancement in the Kingdom. Such is being required in our day.
The tares of ungodliness are coming to maturity in our day. The wheat also must come to maturity, and the heavenly Farmer is working in the field. We must accept His cultivating and pruning if we are going to become the kind of witness the world needs now and shall need even more in the future, as we enter the age of moral horrors.
A friend whose prophetic gift we trust had a vision lately. She saw the Christian churches as people in wheelchairs playing basketball.
The Lord said to her: "The game is over. I am going to knock over the wheelchairs. People can either lie there paralyzed or get up and move on with Me."
The church games are over. God has put up with our immaturity, our slandering of one another, our gossiping and criticizing, our flirtations and adultery, our worship of the American gods of money, entertainment, lust, violence, and drunkenness, our unforgiving spirit and hatred, our sowing of discord, our jealousy and envy, our selfish ambitions and striving for preeminence, our willingness to take sides when there is discord in the assembly. These things we have done and thought it all was acceptable. We have pictured ourselves flying up to Heaven in a rapture without ever having to face the way we have behaved in our churches.
As Paul says, we need to awake to righteousness. Our nation is sliding down into a cesspool of murder and immorality. America is filled with practices that a hundred years ago would have been cause for hanging.
What has been has been. We cannot remake the past. But we can seek God until we hear His voice and understand clearly what He is demanding of us as individuals.
The Lord Jesus is nearer to us, it seems, than ever before. That is the sense I am getting. He is ready to meet every believer who will take the time and trouble to turn away for a moment from the mad technological rush that is America and find out what his Creator wants of Him.
God is warning us to prepare for the judgment that is to fall on our country. It seems probable that some of the smaller nations who despise the United States will abandon the systems of conventional warfare and rely on acts of sabotage and terrorism, such as poisoning our major water supplies, smuggling in powerful bombs and blowing up our atomic installations, or assassinating our leaders on a large scale.
They cannot match us plane for plane, bomb for bomb. They would be stupid to attempt to do so. Rather they will invent new ways of penetrating our society and working their acts of destruction. We may not be able to respond because we may not know who or what country is responsible. Meanwhile large segments of our population will have been eliminated.
On top of this will be the natural catastrophes, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.
God is not pleased with some of our practices, such as late-term abortions and lustful perversions. He will act in His time.
God does not want any believer to be caught unprepared. The present hour is a window of opportunity during which we can prepare ourselves and our loved ones for every eventuality. We are foolish children indeed if we do not respond to the Lords warnings.
Numerous Christians in America are not in touch with Jesus. They are believing what their pastors and evangelists are teaching them, without looking to Jesus for themselves. Because of this they have accepted uncritically the idea that Gods grace is a substitute for righteous behavior; that all believers will be carried to Heaven in a pre-tribulation "rapture"; that if we will use our soulish faith we can be rich and healthy and get whatever we want; that we now are in the Year of Jubilee and do not have to pay our bills; that it is Gods will for us to neigh like horses and lay on the floor during the service pretending we are delivering a baby. What unscriptural wildness is next?
We are extremely busy, we American Christians. We are not taking the time to hear from Jesus each day. We rush to work, and then to home to watch the television. We do not know what Gods will is for us or our family. We go to church hoping to have our needs met, not understanding that every member of the Body of Christ is to be prayed up and bring a blessing of some kind to the gathering. No member of the Body is to appear before the Lord empty-handed!
Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 16:16,17)
It is time now for God to begin to make an end of sin in His creation, beginning with His Church. But if we are not coming before the Lord each day in order to determine His will for us as individuals, the move of God will pass us by and we will be caught unprepared for the calamitous days ahead of us in America.
God is ready to make an end of sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness. We may have believed that God is not able to deliver us from sin to this extent. He said He will, and we know He has the wisdom and power to fulfill His Word.
It remains only for you and me to respond in faith.