DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
Copyright © 1996 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
There are two kinds of righteousness that come to us as part of the new covenant. The first is imputed (ascribed) righteousness. The second kind of righteousness is actual deliverance from the nature and the effects of sin. Today there is little understanding of the second kind of righteousness.
Yet it is the second kind of righteousness that characterizes the new covenant. There are relatively few verses in the New Testament that speak of imputed righteousness. However there are numerous passages in the New Testament that proclaim the necessity for the practice of righteous behavior on the part of the believer.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
There are two kinds of righteousness that come to us as part of the new covenant:
- Imputed (ascribed) righteousness. God sovereignly forgives our sins through the blood of the Lord Jesus and imputes, or ascribes, Jesus’ own righteousness to us as we put our faith in Him. On the basis of our repentance and profession of faith in Christ, God regards us as acceptable and pleasing in His sight.
- Actual deliverance from the nature and effects of sin. It is the removal of the presence of sin from us so we do not sin any more. We no longer practice the actions, such as fornication, lying, stealing, murder, occult practices, and drunkenness, that are contrary to the law of God. Also we obey God without question in all matters in which He speaks to us.
The first kind of righteousness, imputed righteousness, is the foundation of the new covenant. We customarily refer to receiving imputed righteousness as being “saved by grace.” Imputed righteousness is the foundation of Christian preaching and teaching.
There is little understanding of the second kind of righteousness. Yet it is the second kind that is the primary purpose of the new covenant.
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. (I John 3:5,6)
The above verse states that the Lord Jesus came to remove sin from us; not only or even primarily the guilt of our sin but the actual presence of sin. According to I John 3:3-15, Christians are not to be sinning. When we sin we are to confess that sin, obtaining both forgiveness and cleansing. We then are restored to God’s Presence. The Book of First John does not permit the continued practice of known sin in the life of the believer.
There is no sin in the Kingdom of God. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God while we are practicing sin.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
“Has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)
“Will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
To maintain that the above two verses do not apply to Christians who are “saved by grace” is to persist in the blindness that characterizes present Christian thinking.
There are relatively few verses in the New Testament that speak of imputed (ascribed) righteousness. However there are numerous passages in the New Testament that proclaim the necessity for the practice of righteous behavior on the part of the believer. By the practice of righteous behavior we mean:
- Turning away from the world and all its enticements, the entertainment offered by the world, and the world’s communication systems. We are to lead a wholesome, normal life whenever possible but are not to be caught up in the secular, materialistic patterns of pleasure, competition, and security based on the acquisition of money.
- Shunning moral uncleanness, covetousness, stealing, drunkenness, drugs, and other defilements of the body, gossiping, anger, spite, violence, and all forms of the occult.
- Recognizing that our calling as a saint is the supreme purpose of all we are and do. Our prime energies must be directed toward our personal consecration and service to God. We no longer are free to do as we will, to pursue our own ambitions and desires.
If we are not diligent in serving the Lord in these areas, we are practicing sin.
Worldliness, moral uncleanness, disobedience to Christ, and neglecting our salvation are sin, according to the writings of the New Testament.
There is some agreement among Christians about what sinful behavior is. Who would argue that we should lie and steal, or disobey Christ, or relegate our salvation to some minor place in our life? However, there is not widespread understanding that we are not free to come and go as we desire or to follow our personal ambitions.
Most Christian teachers would agree with Paul that there is no sin in the Kingdom of God. They understand that sometime, somewhere, somehow, the believers in Christ will be delivered from the sins of the flesh, from disobedience, and from disinterest in the Person, ways, will, and purposes of God in Christ.
Perhaps no devout Christian would argue that the inhabitants of the holy city are sinners saved by grace, saved by grace meaning they still are unclean, disobedient, and filled with self-love and self-will but God accepts them and is pleased with them because He keeps ascribing to them the righteousness of the Person of Jesus. If any Christian did maintain that the inhabitants of the holy city are sinners saved by grace in the sense we have just outlined, he would be in disagreement with both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. (Isaiah 60:21)
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14,15)
The massive wall that surrounds the new Jerusalem is a division between righteous and sinful behavior.
The “Good News” of the Kingdom of God is that the Lord Jesus Christ did not come from Heaven just to forgive our sins but also to deliver us from the practice and effects of sin.
Christians are fairly well versed in the forgiveness aspect of the Christian salvation. However there is confusion concerning the deliverance aspect of salvation.
We think we are correct in stating that the average Christian believer is convinced of the following:
- The Christian salvation has to do almost exclusively with the forgiveness of our sins and weaknesses.
- As long as we are alive in the world we are obligated to continue to sin although we “ought to try to do better.”
- Our purpose in receiving Christ is that we may go to Heaven when we die, and once there we no longer will be able to sin. It is not possible to sin in Heaven (it is assumed).
According to the Scriptures, none of the above is true. None of the above represents the plan of God in Christ for the deliverance of us from our sins. None of the above is the answer to Paul’s question, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Current theology in the area of redemption that is of the greatest concern to God, the area of sin and disobedience, is terribly incomplete. The result of such incompleteness can be witnessed in the breakdown of morality in the Christian churches, in the weakness and immaturity of the spiritual character of the believers in Christ, in the ineffectiveness of the Christian witness to the secular world.
Ours is a day of ever-increasing sinfulness and disobedience to God, due to a great extent to the confusion concerning the aspect of the Christian salvation that is concerned with deliverance from sin.
Let us go back and reflect on the three Christian beliefs we are declaring to be unscriptural, and then proceed to the two primary dimensions of deliverance from sin.
The Christian salvation has to do almost exclusively with the forgiveness of our sins and weaknesses. The idea that the Christian salvation has to do almost exclusively with the forgiveness of our sins and weaknesses cannot be supported by any review of the writings of the New Testament, beginning with the Gospels. From Matthew through Revelation the accent is on godly behavior. If one were to study what Christ stated concerning His return, as recorded in the Gospel accounts and in the Book of Revelation, he would understand that Christ will judge each believer sternly according to his or her behavior in the world.
Some Christian teachers, noting this emphasis on works in the Gospel accounts, have maintained that the teachings of Christ do not apply to those who are “saved by grace.” (Can you believe that such error and confusion actually is being taught!) This is to carve up the Word of God according to our desires. Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude were adamant concerning the necessity for good works. “Faith without works is dead.” No one is saved by a dead faith!
As long as we are alive in the world we must continue to sin. The belief that as long as we are alive in the world we must continue to sin comes from ignorance of the provisions of the new covenant. Under the new covenant, the authority of the blood and the power of the Spirit work together with the faith and obedience of the believer to deliver him from sin. There is no sin over which we cannot achieve victory through Christ. We must confess our sins, repent of them thoroughly, and pray unceasingly to God for the determination to resist them through the grace of God.
We are not to strive, become impatient with ourselves, or grow angry or despairing when we find we are bound by some uncleanness. Rather we are to abide in Christ, knowing it is His will that we gain complete victory in every area in which He leads us.
What sin is it that Christ cannot overcome in us? Fornication! Hatred? A vicious anger? Violence! Unforgiveness! Profanity! Lying? Stealing? Drunkenness? Bitterness? Christ is more than conqueror of each of these and of all other sins and disobediences that hinder us.
We shall be delivered from sinful deeds when we seek God’s help in Jesus’ name. A period of time may be required before we gain control of our behavior but the Scripture promises victory. We cannot be forced to sin if we belong to Jesus. We are not obligated to satisfy the cravings of our body and soul. Sin cannot maintain dominion over us if we are determined to serve the Lord Jesus.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
The light of the testimony of the Christian churches has been nearly extinguished because of the sins of the Christians.
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. (I Corinthians 15:34)
But, one may ask, did not the Apostle Paul state that he could not do the things that he wished because of the presence of the law of sin in his flesh?
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (Romans 7:15)
Paul was referring to the moral agony of the righteous person who determines not to sin, not to break God’s laws, and then finds himself or herself doing what he or she despises. However, Paul did not mean by this we Christians should resign ourselves to moral defeat. He meant we cannot keep the Law of Moses, or any other law, by will power alone.
In the eighth chapter of Romans Paul instructs us that we, being under the new covenant, can put sin to death through the power of the Spirit of God.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
If we do so, being diligent with the grace that is available now, God will, at the appearing of the Lord, finish the work of sanctification by giving life to our mortal body by the Spirit of resurrection that even now is abiding in us.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)
Paul urges us to cease our sinning, warning us repeatedly that if we do not we will reap death and not life.
If we continue to live according to the appetites of our body and soul we will succeed in slaying our own resurrection; for our ability to rise from the dead to meet the Lord at His appearing depends on our willingness to keep filled with the Spirit of God. We cannot keep filled with the Spirit of God unless we follow the Spirit in putting to death the deeds of our flesh.
We have a sinful body. Our body is dead, cut off from the resurrection Life of Jesus, because of the sin in it. Under the old covenant there was no provision for deliverance from the law of sin dwelling in our body. Under the new covenant we have the born-again experience, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the body and blood of Christ, and the ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Under the new covenant we can overcome Satan, the world, and our own lusts and self-centeredness. We can go from victory to victory if we are determined to do so, because God has given us of His Divine Nature so we may be able to escape the lustful corruption that is in the world (II Peter 1:4).
When the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin we are to deal with that particular sin through the grace of God. We are to leave the remainder of our sinful, self-centered nature under the guard of the blood of Christ, just as Joshua left the five kings of the Amorites under guard in the Cave of Makkedah.
So Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them. (Joshua 10:18)
The Holy Spirit will bring out those kings when we are ready to deal with them.
Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings to me from the cave.” (Joshua 10:22)
We are to walk without condemnation, meanwhile passing from victory to victory by the grace of God in Christ. It is not the will of the Lord for the saint to live a spiritually chaotic life, continuing in the same sins year after year.
There is victory in Jesus!
The third of the three misconceptions has to do with the goal of the Christian salvation.
The purpose of receiving Christ is that we may go to Heaven when we die, and that going to Heaven is God’s solution to the problem of sin in our life. The belief that the purpose of receiving Christ is that we may go to Heaven when we die, and that going to Heaven is God’s solution to the problem of sin in our life, is not scriptural. It cannot be supported by the Old Testament or the New Testament.
Here we have one of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity; yet it is without foundation in the Scriptures.
The purpose of accepting Christ is not to go to Heaven. This is not to say there is no Heaven, for there surely is a place in the spirit realm where the Father, Jesus, and the saints and angels dwell. But the purpose of receiving and following Christ is not that we may go to live forever in the spirit Paradise. The purpose of accepting Christ is to reconcile us to God so we may be saved to God’s new world of righteousness, to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is the Way to the Father, not the way to Heaven.
One might exclaim, “But there is no difference!”
No difference between desiring to go to the Father and desiring to go to Heaven? Indeed, there is a very great difference between desiring to go to the Father and desiring to go to Paradise!
Multitudes of believers reveal by their actions that they care little for the Father or for His Christ. They may protest that this is not so but their lives show there are any number of things and persons more important to them than being in the Presence of God, than living in fellowship with God.
They cling to the belief that God will bring them to Heaven when they die. Do they desire to go to Heaven in order to be with God? Not at all! They desire to go to Heaven because they fear Hell and because they think they want to enter Paradise. However, they would not be content in the Paradise of God.
They do not enjoy holiness, righteousness, and obedience to God now. They do not enjoy praying or worshiping God now. Why would they enjoy such a life in the spirit realm? They would not enjoy Paradise. What they would enjoy is to continue in the sinful pleasures of the world without punishment. This is why they flock to the modern teaching of “grace.” They actually have no love for God or His Christ.
The Christian ministry talks much about Heaven and Hell as though Jesus came to save sinners from Hell so they could go to Heaven. This is not scriptural. The Lord Jesus referred to Hell, to the fire of Gehenna, and to outer darkness; but never to Heaven as the escape from these places or the alternative to them. The Apostles of the Lamb had little to say about Hell or Heaven.
The Lord Jesus did not come to save sinners from Hell. Sinners belong in Hell. Jesus came to save sinners from sin so they no longer belong in Hell. When we are delivered from sinful behavior we do not belong in Hell but are fit for the Presence of God.
Today we are attempting to make the Gospel a means of bringing sinners into God’s holy Presence. The Scriptures do not teach that sinful, rebellious people can walk with God on the basis of acknowledging the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The Scriptures teach righteousness and holiness of conduct. They present eternal life. The subject of the preaching of Jesus is righteousness and eternal life. It is only as we escape the clutches of sin that we escape Hell.
We always are in Hell and belong in Hell while we are practicing sin and disobedience to God. We do not escape Hell by only believing in Christ but by being delivered from sin and disobedience through the power of Christ.
We gain eternal life by practicing righteousness, the righteousness that is created in us as we place our faith in Jesus. This is the true Gospel of the Kingdom. What is being preached today is a means of avoiding the requirement for righteous and holy living—avoiding righteousness and yet escaping punishment. It is unscriptural. It is of Satan, who hopes to avoid the Lake of Fire.
The doctrine that Gentile believers can have fellowship with God on the basis of “grace” whether or not they are living a righteous and holy life, that the God of Israel will receive morally filthy, rebellious Gentiles into His Presence because they profess belief in Jesus, borders on blasphemy.
“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9)
God is redeeming men. He is transforming them so they can bring the purity of Heaven into the earth. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the Church, the Body of Christ. The Throne of God and of the Lamb dwells eternally in the new Jerusalem. Heaven will come to earth in the new Jerusalem.
Redemption is deliverance from sin, not deliverance from Hell. As long as we sin we are under the authority of the Lake of Fire whether or not we call on the Lord Jesus. All sin belongs in the Lake of Fire and shall remain there throughout eternity. There is no escape from the moral laws of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus did not come to alter the moral laws of the Kingdom. Rather the Lord Jesus came to help us obtain our freedom from sin and rebellion so the Lake of Fire no longer has authority over us (Revelation 2:11; 3:5; 20:6).
Adam and Eve were in Paradise and there was no law of sin in their bodies. But they did not prize fellowship with God highly enough. Therefore they sinned in Paradise.
Wanting to live in fellowship with God, and wanting to live in Paradise (as our natural man thinks of Paradise—as a place where we can do as we please without discomfort), are two different desires. They hardly are related. Most people, whether or not they are believers, wish to enter Paradise (the kind of Paradise they imagine) when they die. They attempt to make their present environment as much like their concept of Paradise as possible.
How many people are enraptured with the idea of being in fellowship with God; so enraptured, in fact, that they spend a great deal of time praying and seeking the Lord?
If we would be scriptural then we must agree that Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father, not to bring us to Heaven. The concept of going to Heaven when we die, or of making our eternal home in Heaven, is not in the Scriptures. The term mansion, in John 14:2, is an indefensible translation leading to an incorrect concept. The meaning of the word translated mansion (in the Authorized Version) is “dwelling place.” We are being made the dwelling place of the Lord. The Lord’s death and resurrection makes this possible for each one of us.
The Apostle Paul sought always to be in perfect fellowship with his Christ whether in the body or out of the body. For Paul, to die was to be present with his Lord. This statement of Paul’s is used to prove we enter Paradise when we die. We miss the point! The point is to be with the Lord.
Now, what about the belief that once we “go to Heaven” we cannot sin; that going to Heaven is God’s solution to the problem of sin in our lives?
Let us recognize that sin is a spiritual phenomenon. Sin originated in the spirit realm. To this day, people sin because of what began in the heavens—the rebellion of the angels against God. As John says, “He who commits sin is of the devil” (I John 3:8).
If this is true, how does dying and passing into the spirit realm prevent us from trusting in our own resources for security, from desiring immoral pleasure, or from seeking our own way rather than God’s will? If self-reliance, lying (Satan is the father of liars), pride, discontent, and self-will began in the heavens, and if our lustful passions are inflamed by demons, how, then, is it true that dying and passing into the spirit realm cleanses us from moral uncleanness, from trust in what we can see and acquire, and from self-seeking?
Is there a single verse of the Scriptures that teaches us Christ came to bring us to Heaven where we no longer can sin? If there is not a single verse that states this clearly, then we ought not to make such a doctrine a fundamental belief of our theology.
Now that we have set forth why we believe these three Christian beliefs are not scriptural, let us proceed to a discussion of the two primary dimensions of deliverance from sin, as provided by the Lord God through Christ. Let us examine what the Scriptures teach concerning deliverance from sin.
The two primary dimensions of deliverance are:
- The provision that Christ will make for us at His return.
- The provision that Christ has made for us during our present life on the earth.
We must restrict our comments on future deliverance to what will take place at the return of Christ. What happens to us after we die physically, before the Lord returns, is not at all clear.
The provision for deliverance from sin at Christ’s return, and the provision for us now, are related in a manner we shall explain later.
The provision that Christ will make for us at his return. The provision for deliverance from sin that Christ will make for us at His return is the total removal of the presence of whatever sin remains in our personality and also the clothing of our resurrected flesh and bones with a body fashioned from the substance of eternal life. This superior body not only will be free from the law of sin, as was true also of the flesh and blood bodies of Adam and Eve, but in addition will be militantly righteous and holy.
The body that the overcomer will be given will be as aggressively righteous and holy as his inner spiritual nature, because the new body is being fashioned as a direct result of his victories over his temptations and tribulations (II Corinthians 4:17). His body will reflect perfectly what has been accomplished in him during his pilgrimage on the earth. He will receive this body as a reward, at the coming of the Lord.
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:8)
Here is God’s answer to our cry for deliverance from the presence of sin. God will remove all of the desire of sin from us, desire that we have put to death through the Holy Spirit, and give us a body that is militantly righteous, a body that will clothe our resurrected flesh and bones. The mortal will put on immortality. Death will be swallowed up by eternal resurrection life.
The reader must understand clearly however that the reward of the removal of the last vestiges of sin and the granting of a body fashioned from eternal life, a body that is militantly righteous and holy, will be issued only to those believers who have followed the Lord diligently. The careless, lukewarm believer is neither authorized by the Scripture nor competent through training and experience to receive such Divine Glory.
Consider: the overcomer has served God on this present earth. He has gained victory over sin. He hates sin and loves righteousness as his Lord hates sin and loves righteousness. He has obeyed God even when the obedience caused him pain and self-denial. Also, he has maintained a single-minded dedication to the things of Christ although surrounded in the present world by many temptations.
His inner spiritual nature is strong in the Lord. He has learned to keep his body under the control of the Spirit and Word of God.
Now God will put on him a clothing of eternal life. Not only is there no sin in his body but now his body is filled with radiant eternal life. His body loves righteousness and totally rejects sin and disobedience. His body loves God and always desires to be in the Presence of God.
He lives and moves and has his being in the Presence of God and Christ. A righteous spirit made perfect, clothed with the Substance of eternal life, and filled with God and Christ—this is God’s answer to the problem of sin. This is the perfect redemption, the total deliverance from sin possible under the new covenant.
Such freedom from sin and glorious fellowship with Christ are possible for us, but there are actions we must take now.
The provision that Christ has made for us during our present life on the earth. We have discussed the provision Christ will make for us at His return. There will be no sin in our resurrected flesh and bones and the white robe of righteousness will cover us completely.
As we have said, we know little of what will be true during the period from our death until the day of resurrection.
What about today? Is it necessary for us to achieve victory today if we hope to be clothed with a white robe? Or will we be given a white robe on the basis of “grace” even though we have continued in worldliness, the lusts of the flesh, and the pursuit of our own ambitions?
This is an important question. How we answer it in our heart may determine how diligently and consistently we serve Christ now, and as a result determine our eternal destiny. The concept that all believers in Christ will die and go to Heaven where they will be free from sin is, as we have stated, without the support of God’s written Word.
God expects us to be cleansing ourselves from sin during our discipleship here. We are to be washing our robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb, making ourselves ready for the marriage of the Lamb. The marriage of the Lamb is the entering of God and Christ into us in full measure and our being clothed with a body of glory. Here is the spiritual fulfillment of the old-covenant feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34).
And everyone who has this hope [of being like Jesus] in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (I John 3:3)
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
There are many passages that command us to wash the robes of our daily conduct.
Being cleansed from sin is not impossible. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin we are to confess that sin clearly and specifically. We are to repent of it thoroughly, determining never to practice it again. We are to beseech the Lord to deliver us from its power and to give us perfect victory over it. Sometimes it helps to have another person pray with us or to have the elders of the church pray for us during the assembly of the saints.
If we go to war against a sin in this manner we will achieve victory over it. The only reason we continue committing the same sins is we are not single-minded concerning victory. First we must make up our mind what we are doing is sinful. We must name our behavior as sin. Then we must desire strongly that the Lord God remove it from our personality.
We cannot deliver ourselves from sin. Only the Lord Jesus can break the bondages of sin. Our part is to keep the commandments of the Scriptures as well as we can, continually praying and asking the Lord’s help. As we keep the Lord’s Word He comes to us and breaks the chains of Satan.
There is no single procedure that always results in deliverance from sin just as there was no one strategy that resulted in victory over the tribes of Canaan. We must keep ourselves open to the Lord, looking to Him for wisdom and power.
It is the Lord’s will that we be delivered spiritually and physically. The path to full deliverance varies with the individual. Deliverance is a reward for obeying the Lord. In addition, there is a reward for gaining deliverance. The believer who seeks the Lord diligently is rewarded doubly: first, by deliverance from sin; second, by the benefits that result from freedom from sin, the primary benefit being eternal life in the Presence of God.
There may be some deliverances that will come after death, at the coming of the Lord, or after the Lord returns—deliverances in addition to freedom from our present sinful body and the gaining of a righteous body. We are not attempting to describe such deliverances because we do not understand them clearly from the Scriptures. We do know that God can deliver anyone at any time from any kind of bondage.
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” (Zechariah 3:4)
It is wise to gain the deliverance available to us each day because we do not understand fully what will be possible in the future. The Kingdom principle is that if we are faithful in the present problems we will be entrusted with a larger sphere of opportunity.
The path to victory over sin is specific confession, thorough repentance, and trust in the Lord Jesus to remove the sin from us. It helps to assemble regularly with fervent believers if possible. It never is God’s will for one of His saints to walk helplessly in known sin. We can be delivered if that is what we desire with all our heart.
The New Testament warns us that if we sow sin we will reap destruction. The New Testament commands us to be perfect. We are to pray to God to perform what He has commanded concerning us. The Lord is willing and able to do this if we will press on toward Him with single-minded determination. The double-minded individual will receive nothing from the Lord. The promises of life and authority are for the conquerors, not for the lukewarm.
God never asks us to do what He will not enable us to do. God has commanded us to purify ourselves through the blood of Jesus. God expects us to do this and always will assist the sincere worshiper. But those who disobey God’s will have no basis on which to hope that when they die God will take them to Paradise and then clothe them with the white robe of the righteous acts of the saints. This hope is not scriptural or reasonable.
We already have mentioned the fact that there exists a relationship between gaining victory over sin now and the receiving of the white robe of militant righteousness and holiness when Christ returns. Let us examine this relationship more closely.
The relationship is that the white robe of righteousness is being formed now by our repentance and godly living. We shall receive precisely what we have sown. If we have lived the victorious life in the Spirit, always striving against sin as God enables us, then we will be clothed with the robe of righteous conduct.
If we have lived in the lusts of the flesh, have disobeyed Christ, and have otherwise neglected our great salvation, we will be naked in the Day of the Lord. It is as simple and straightforward as that.
The fine linen, white and clean, is the righteous acts of the saints. They have woven this robe, and have cleansed it, by their conduct on earth. They have shown themselves worthy of being clothed with the robe of militant righteousness and holiness:
“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:4,5)
Our being clothed with white raiment and keeping our name in the Book of Life depend on our overcoming sin today. This we do through Christ. If we are careless in the matter of consistently cleansing ourselves through the blood of the Lamb we run the risk of not being clothed in white raiment and of having our name blotted out of the Book of Life.
Much Christian teaching is contrary to what we have just stated. Therefore much Christian teaching runs counter to the exhortations and mandates of the written Word of God. Let the reader take heed, for the Book of Revelation is not to be changed in any manner.
The hope of millions of God’s beloved people is misplaced. They are trusting in the traditions of men for their eternal welfare. They are not trusting in the written Word of God.
Christ came to save us from our sins. Through Christ’s blood and the Spirit of God we can wash our robe (our daily conduct) and make it pure and clean by confession and repentance. If we do this throughout our lifetime, repenting and fighting onward again if we should stumble and fall, we will receive that most glorious of rewards—a robe of righteous power that will for eternity keep us in a righteous and holy state before the Lord of Heaven.
If we live a careless, lukewarm “Christian” life, sinning occasionally, not performing with eagerness what we understand to be God’s will for us; if we do not present our body a living sacrifice in order to discern God’s will; if we show more interest in the cares and pleasures of the world than we do in the things concerning our redemption and service to God; then we have no basis for believing we will be revealed in righteousness in the Day of the Lord.
Let us take heed! It is our eternal destiny that is at stake.
(“Deliverance from Sin”, 3929-1)