This topic has really been on my heart lately; and I am seeing more and more about this in the New Testament. I’m amazed as to how much the New Testament writers actually had to say about this subject. It is not my aim in this article to discuss the legal aspects of the atonement and all of its inherent truths concerning sin. This can be found by a careful study of Romans chapters 5, 6, and 7, and Hebrews chapters 5-10. A few verses to be listed here and we’ll get started with the teaching:
“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Romans 6:1
“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26
I’m afraid that many among our ranks are “continuing in sin”. This is a sad state of affairs indeed. I minister to people on a continual basis along these lines. And I have found several reasons for this phenomenon: one being that people actually love their sin and they love living in it. And I can’t help these poor deluded ones at all. The second reason being that people are just human and we are beset with many weaknesses and fall prey to temptation easily; and then when this is left unchecked, it turns into a snare of the soul. The third reason being that folks are just plain ignorant of what the atonement has actually purchased for them…and how can a man inherit something if he doesn’t even know that there was a will and that he was the beneficiary of that will?
The word tells us, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” Folks are perishing because they won’t avail themselves to the knowledge that is available to them from God’s word. His word drives out all darkness, all death, and all ignorance. I’ve said it again and again that satan has one objective in mind towards the Christian, and that is to keep you out of God’s word. If he can just keep you from the word, from speaking the word, from believing the word…then he has you right where he wants you.
Friends, satan is alive and well and has had 6,000 years to perfect his craft. He is very good at what he does. But Christ has crushed him, shamed him, spoiled him, and totally defeated him. The word says, “he who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” Most people attribute this to God. But who is really sitting in the heavens? The last time I read Ephesians 2:6 it said that “we are seated with Christ in the heavens.” Friends, we are the ones doing the laughing. Satan has lost it all. He has been stripped of all authority, all power…everything. He has nothing left except what he had in the very beginning: lies and deception. How much longer will you believe his lies and fall for his tactics? The choice is totally yours.
Jesus is coming back for a holy people. It is written in Hebrews 9:28 that when He comes back again He is not coming to deal with sin. Why isn’t He? Because sin has been “put away with” (Heb. 9:26) in God’s mind. Sin has been dealt with once and for all. Sin was once a curse that we had to live under. Sin was once something we had to do, for we had the sin nature. But not anymore. The very nature of sin was nailed to the tree. If you are a believer, then you no longer have the nature of sin in you. In other words…you can help it. Sin is now a choice. All of the New Testament writers bear this out. [For a detailed analysis of the difference between the sin-nature and indwelling sin, please see the book that I list later on in this article]. The word of God teaches us that we have become partakers of the divine nature.
1 John 2:1 doesn’t say, “When any man sin” but it says, “IF any many sin…” Did you catch that? In other words John is not expecting any man to sin. It’s not a matter of “When” anymore but a matter of “If”. “If” signifies what? A CHOICE!! Before the cross, it was a matter of “when” because we had to do what our nature dictated. A sinner sins because he can’t help it; it’s who he is. He has no more control over his sin nature than a lion has control over whether he’s going to be a vegetarian or not.
Jesus came to “put away sin” – “die for our sin(s)” – “take away our sins” – and “save His people from their sins” once and for all. The sin-nature has been done away with!! It has been judged and found guilty and was sentenced to death. SIN WAS CRUCIFIED!! The word tells us that Jesus “became sin”. Think of it…He became sin itself. God judged sin by judging Christ. This is the most serious issue in the universe.
If we continue to sin…then by default we are saying that the cross was not necessary, nor was it enough. And this is what offends the Father…that by our actions (sinning) we tell Him that the cross, the blood, and the death of His Son was in vain and it was not enough. Really think of this for just a moment.
I look back on my own life and ask, “What were you thinking?” Thank God for His mercy. As I reflect back on my Christian walk, I’m amazed that He even allowed me to live. I was a Christian living in darkness to this truth. Some very serious things had to happen to me to get me to see the Father. John said, “If any man sins, he has not seen the Father.” Friend, it is my prayer that you see the Father (in His word, and in Christ in you). Because when you do “see” Him…it’s a whole new ballgame so-to-speak. All the rules change. And for each man this is different as to how he comes to this place. But mark my words, “whom the Father loveth, he chastises.” Yeah, it’s spanking time. I got spanked. I got my little bottom paddled until I wept for weeks on end. I know what it is like to be disciplined by the Lord. I pray that many of you reading this today will get a spanking. Because we need it. We’ve been disobeying Him, thumbing our noses at Him, wasting our spiritual inheritance on worldly things and eating with the pigs, and living our own lives unto ourselves. Not any more. By the Lord I say, the paddle is coming out. For the time has come that judgment must first begin at the house of God. He is going to do it because he loves you deeply and has your eternal well being in mind. Recognize it for what it is when it comes. It will come to each man differently. But make no mistake about it…it will come. He said in His word, “He chastises EVERY son, and if you are without chastisement, then you are NOT His child.”
Why does God do this? Because He has our eternal perspective in mind. Men of the flesh or of the mind can only see this life and they live only for the moment. God sees so much further. He has our eternal home in mind. Lately I have been able to see HIs mercy and how far reaching it really is. He is not angry anymore; He has pity and patience on the froward and ignorant. He is bearing with us even more then he did with the children of Israel in the wilderness. As a friend of mine likes to say, “He wants us to pass the final exams, and everything up to this point has just been tests.” In school you’ll be tested in four main areas: Math, English, Science, and History. But with the Lord it’s: Holiness, Character, Faith, and Works (“works” in the sense of doing what God has asked and entrusted you with. See Matthew 25:14-30 & James 2:14-20).
For those of you who are struggling today in this area of sin, sins, or sinning, and you desire more understanding; I encourage you to buy Watchman Nee’s book entitled The Normal Christian Life. This book did so much for me I can’t even describe it. It is hands down the most powerful book I have read out of the over 2,000 + spiritual books in my 25 years of walking with the Lord.
I wish to leave with a quote from our good brother A.W. Pink who wrote, “The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day “evangelist.” He announces a Savior (that can save) from hell rather than a Savior (who can save) from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness. The very first thing said of Him in the New Testament is, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people (not “from the wrath to come,” but) from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21) Christ is a Savior for those realizing something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, who feel the awful burden of it on their conscience, who loathe themselves for it, who long to be freed from its terrible dominion; and a Savior for no others. Were He to “save from hell” those still in love with sin, He would be a Minister of sin, condoning their wickedness and siding with them against God. What an unspeakably horrible and blasphemous thing with which to charge the Holy One!” [words in parenthesis mine for clarity].
Bottom line friends: satan is a sinner (1 John 3:8), God hates sin, and any Christian who is in sin or committing sins is going to get a spanking. And oh man, take it from someone who knows…His spankings hurt something awful.
See you on the front lines.