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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Sin Question
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)
There are three major aspects of sin. The first is guilt. The second is power or compulsion. The third is presence.
Salvation is deliverance from the guilt, power, and presence of sin.
When we Christians think of the future, whether it be residence in Heaven, or life on the new earth in the Holy City, or service with Christ on this earth during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, we assume sin no longer is present with us.
Although we have come to trust in grace (interpreted only as forgiveness) during our life on earth, if we think about it we would not want to live in Paradise, in the new Jerusalem, or on the earth during the Millennium, if we and those around us still are behaving in a sinful manner but were forgiven by grace.
How would you like to live in Paradise or in the new Jerusalem if people still were envious, spiteful, angry, jealous, lustful, slanderous, covetous, as they are today in the Christian churches? Suppose you were told it doesn't matter how people behave because God has forgiven us by grace? How would you feel then?
What if you were given a beautiful, large mansion to live in but the people were angry, spiteful, and treacherous as they are today in the churches? Is this part of your hope for the future?
If you will take a little while to consider this problem seriously you may find you are assuming that not only the guilt but also the urges and presence of sin have been dealt with somehow. You hope that sin can never enter Heaven not even your sin. Am I correct?
If so, then salvation must include deliverance from the guilt, power, and presence of sin if it is to produce the kind of world we desire to live in.
Even if no death or trouble followed sin, the true saint in his or her heart does not wish to live in a sinful environment.
Christians understand that the guilt of our sin was taken care of on the cross of Calvary. The message of forgiveness through the atoning blood of Christ has been preached and taught to the ends of the earth.
However there is a problem with today's preaching concerning the guilt of our sin. It is that the message of deliverance from guilt, if it is to be presented according to the Bible standard, should always be accompanied by a demand for the most sincere, vigorous repentance. Very often the forgiveness is emphasized today but not the vigorous repentance.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
The lack of emphasis on thorough repentance may account at least in part for the moral weakness and confusion so evident in the churches.
The power and presence of sin are another matter. It appears that the Christian preachers and teachers have come to believe that salvation is primarily forgiveness. If such were the case the new covenant would not be any more effective in dealing with the problem of sin than was true of the Law of Moses.
We must always keep in mind, if we would understand the plan of redemption, that it operates primarily for God's benefit. God has a problem. His creation is in rebellion. God's solution is to create sons in the image of Christ who are able, because of their mature character, to sit as judges and rulers over the creation.
If every person on earth were forgiven his sins it still would not solve God's problem in any manner. But one individual who presses forward in Christ until he is in the moral image of Christ and at rest in God's will, is a definite part of the solution to God's problem. (from Eternal Judgment)