Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How To Deal With Sin ... Rest!

Many today struggle with sin in their lives because of bad doctrine which has made its way into pulpits and into messages.  How much should we remember the "true" history of the church, Body of Christ.  Recently, I have become extremely interested in the history of the church, not the false, institutionalized version, but rather the true version.  The true version is hid by those who perpetrate the institutionalized verson.  One of the great pioneers of the pure doctrine of how sin has been dealt with is C. H. Mackintosh. 

In an article he had written, "The All-Sufficiency of Christ", he was able to put into words what Christ was able to accomplish on the cross of calvary the way I read and have taught for years.  He uses more elequent wording than I can and yet he explains things clearly and concisely, so much so, that any novice reader will be able to come to a fuller understanding and appreciation for the cross work.  Not only will the understanding be clear, but the application of the truth will revolutionize the readers life.  I have some excerpts which I find fascinating and quite refreshing.

"If God has satisfied Himself about my sins, I may well be satisfied also."

WOW!  How many denominations would no longer exist if we all could rest in this truth?  If God has settled the sin issue in His way, then who are we to say that we still need to deal with sin in our lives?  God has declared us righteous and we are no longer under the power of sin, nor the penalty of sin.  How wonderful the Grace of God?

"We cannot possibly behold by faith the Man who was nailed to the tree, now crowned on the throne, and not have peace with God. The Lord Jesus Christ, having taken upon Himself our sins, and the judgment due to them, He could not be where He now is if a single one of those sins remained unatoned for. To see the sin-bearer crowned with glory is to see our sins gone for ever from the divine presence. Where are our sins? They are all obliterated. How do we know this? The One who took them all upon Himself has passed through the heavens to the very highest pinnacle of glory. Eternal justice has wreathed His blessed brow with a diadem of glory, as the Accomplisher of our redemption — the Bearer of our sins; thus proving, beyond all question, or possibility of a question, that our sins are all put away out of God's sight for ever. A crowned Christ, and a clear conscience, are, in the blessed economy of grace, inseparably linked together. Wondrous fact! Well may we chant with all our ransomed powers the praises of redeeming love."

There really is nothing I can add to this passage.  How elegantly does Mackintosh relay the wonderful message of our sins forgiven through the cross work of Christ and the resurrection afterward? 

"But we have farther testimony on this grand fundamental truth. In Hebrews 1 we read such soul-stirring words as these: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners [or in divers measures and modes] spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by [His] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Our Lord Christ, blessed be His name, would not take His seat on the throne of God, until he had, by the offering of Himself on the cross, purged our sins. Hence a risen Christ at God's right hand is the glorious and unanswerable proof that our sins are all gone, for He could not be where He now is if a single one of those sins remained. God raised from the dead the selfsame Man on whom He Himself had laid the full weight of our sins. Thus all is settled — divinely, eternally settled. It is as impossible that a single sin can be found on the very weakest believer in Jesus, as on Jesus Himself. This is a wonderful thing to be able to say, but it is the solid truth of God, established in manifold places in holy scripture; and the soul that believes it must possess a peace which the world can neither give nor take away."

Once again, not much I can add.

"This is the proper breathing of a Christian. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." This is Christianity. The old "I "crucified, and Christ living in me. The Christian is a new creation. Old things are passed away. The death of Christ has closed for ever the history of the old "I;" and hence, though sin dwells in the believer, its power is broken and gone for ever. Not only is its guilt cancelled, but its terrible dominion completely overthrown.
This is the glorious doctrine of Romans 6-8. The thoughtful student of this most magnificent epistle will observe that, from Rom. 3: 21 to Rom. 5: 11, we have the work of Christ applied to the question of sins. And, from chapter 5: 12 to the end of chapter 8. we have another aspect of that work, namely, its application to the question of sin — "our old man" — "the body of sin" — "sin in the flesh." There is no such thing in scripture as the forgiveness of sin. God has condemned sin, not forgiven it — an immensely important distinction. God has set forth His eternal abhorrence of sin, in the cross of Christ. He has expressed and executed His judgment upon it; and now the believer can see himself as linked and identified with the One who died on the cross, and is raised from the dead. He has passed out of the sphere of sin's dominion into that new and blessed sphere where grace reigns through righteousness. "God be thanked," says the apostle, "that ye were [once, but now no longer are to be] the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that type of doctrine to which ye were delivered. (Margin.) Being then made free from sin [not merely sins forgiven], ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Romans 6: 17-22.
Here lies the precious secret of holy living. We are dead to sin; alive to God. The reign of sin is over. What has sin to do with a dead man? Nothing. Well, then, the believer has died with Christ; he was buried with Christ; he is risen with Christ, to walk in newness of life. He lives under the precious reign of grace, and he has his fruit unto holiness. The man who draws a plea from the abundance of divine grace to live in sin, denies the very foundation of Christianity. "How shall we that have died to sin, live any longer therein?" Impossible. It would be a denial of the whole Christian standing. To imagine the Christian as one who is to go on, from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year, sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting, is to degrade Christianity and falsify the whole Christian position. To say that a Christian must go on sinning because he has the flesh in him is to ignore the death of Christ in one of its grand aspects, and to give the lie to the whole of the apostle's teaching in Romans 6-8. Thank God, there is no necessity whatever why the believer should commit sin. "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not." We should not justify ourselves in a single sinful thought. It is our sweet privilege to walk in the light, as God is in the light; and, most surely, when we are walking in the light, we are not committing sin. Alas! we get out of the light and commit sin; but the normal, the true, the divine idea of a Christian is, walking in the light, and not committing sin. A sinful thought is foreign to the true genius of Christianity. We have sin in us, and shall have it so long as we are in the body: but if we walk in the Spirit, the sin in our nature will not show itself in the life. To say that we need not sin, is to state a Christian privilege; to say that we cannot sin is a deceit and a delusion."

This man was able to put into words what many before him, many after him, and very few now understand from Scripture what it means to live the Christian life.  If you would like to read the article in its entirety, you may follow this link.  "The All-Sufficiency of Christ"

Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Looking For That Blessed Hope

As we sit here today, seeing all of the things going on around us, we should take note of the truth that this is not all we have to look forward to.  Many times we get caught up in the things of this world all too easily.  Whether it is something as small as a dent in our car door, or as large as the death of a loved one, we should be able to comfort one another with verses of scripture like the one found in Titus 2.

Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

We have something in our future that is not worthy to be compared with the things of this world, as Paul tells us in Romans chapter 8.  We must be constantly looking toward that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.  Notice the underlined word in the previous statement, and.  Did you realize that the blessed hope is something different than the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ?  The glorious appearing is something added to the blessed hope.  The blessed hope we are looking for is that of eternal life.  How are we able to look for it?  We know that we have eternal life as a present possession, as a positional truth.  However, the actual transaction of the putting on of our eternal bodies at the catching away of the church does coincide with the glorious appearing.  In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, we shall all be changed.  We shall put on incorruption and immortality.  We shall then go to the judgment seat of Christ and then on to our places of governmental authority.  

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see.  
When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand, and leads me to my home in Heav'n
What a day, glorious day, that will be.

The appearing of Jesus Christ on that day will be a glory unlike anything ever witnessed before, except for the unprophesied return of Christ in the air to speak to Saul of Tarsus.  The Dispensation of the Grace of God will end in the same fashion as it began.  An unprophesied return of Christ in the air, where only those with which He has to do will notice.  There are many today who have the physical return of Christ to the earth and the return of Christ in the air to catch up the Body of Christ to be the exact same event, when they are not.  Christ will return twice.  The first, He will stop in the air to catch away the Church, the Body of Christ.  The second, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives to bring the Tribulation period to a close.  The return of Christ for the Body of Christ will not be the spectacular event that most of Christendom expects it to be.  There will not be millions of people disappearing on that day.  There will be a much smaller number as there are many who have not trusted the correct Gospel for their salvation.  Asking Jesus to take away your sins and live in your heart does not save anyone; yesterday, today, or ever.  There is only one Gospel that you can trust in to know you have sins forgiven and life eternal.  That Gospel is found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. 

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

It is simply by placing your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  That is all you have to do.  You do not have to walk an aisle, pray a prayer, or twiddle your thumbs.  Simply rest in what Christ accomplished for you.  

Greg Resor
Complete in Him

Monday, July 2, 2012

Earthly Minded Much?

Recently, I have received a large number of updates from many of my Facebook "friends" suggesting that America is no longer a "Christian" country.  Many have become noticeably upset to the point of posting many things on their Facebook page that I find questionable and saddening.  They use language that I abhor and they are constantly worried about what this means for the country and the world.  I am not a proponent of speaking about government issues from pulpits because religion and government should be kept separate.  The only governmental authority we should be concerned with is that of the heavenly government we will rule and reign in with Christ in the future.

You have heard of the saying, "You are so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good."  Amen, praise God.  That is how we should be.  However, there are many today who are so earthly minded, they are of no heavenly good.

I know where this comes from for many of "Christendom", but grace believers should know better.  The reason most "Christians" are so upset with the recent Supreme Court ruling is because they have been taught that they will reign on earth with the Twelve Apostles in New Jerusalem, which is not so.  Grace believers know this and should not be so flustered when fallen men make fallen decisions.

Rather, we should look at this, shake our heads and move on.  God has a plan and in that plan He is using the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to reconcile the universe unto Himself.  That does not mean everyone, including Satan, will be saved.  No!  That means God planned before the foundation of the world, that He would gather all things together in Christ, things above, and things below, things in heaven and things on earth, things invisible and things visible.  God has a plan and many today are so earthly minded, that they will be of no heavenly good.

Greg Resor
Complete in Him