SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map

Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : Victory Over Sin : God has made full provision for the immediate practice of holiness.

Open as PDF

God has provided the only true provision and solution for the true ability to practice and to continue in the holiness required by the law. We must have an inclination and tendency in our hearts to walk in holiness. The requirements of the law will never truly be performed while the heart has no good inclination and desire towards the practice of them. The main goal of all the commandments is to love the Lord with our whole heart, might, and soul, to love everything that is in Him. We must love His will, and all his ways and have the true desire and inclination to perform them. All duties must be influenced in their performance by this love. We must delight to do the will of God. You must see the law to be sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalms 19:7-10 ''The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.''

This love, liking, thirsting, delight, longing, must be continued to the end. Sin must be truly hated and despised. The love of God must flow from a clean heart, a heart that is cleansed from evil preferences, desires and inclinations. Lust will never be avoided without a fixed preference of the heart to holiness.

We must be certain of our reconciliation with God and of His sufficient strength both to will and perform all duties according to His will. God has made full provision for the sufficient strength to overcome sin. God will give both the power to will and the power to perform our duty acceptably every day until we go to be with Him. The requirements of the law become truly easy and pleasant to those who receive God's provision. Those who have not yet received God's provision struggle and strive to keep the law and will fail time and time again. They fail because they attempt to perform the outward duty of the law without first receiving the required love that makes the outward acts possible and acceptable to God.

God has made full provision for the IMMEDIATE PRACTICE of holiness and the ability for us to know that we are in Him and He in us. God's method in bringing men from sin to holiness of life is first to make us know that He truly loves us and that He will blot out and set us free from all our sins if we come to Him.

Those methods that allow the fulfillment of the great goal aimed at are first to be revealed, that we may learn how to get them by other methods, expressed in the following instructions. Therefore I have named here several conditions and abilities that are necessary to make up that holy frame and state of the soul by which it is equipped and enabled to practice the law immediately. This ability must not only be in the beginning, but in our continuation of the practice of holiness. These abilities must continue in us during the present life, or else our ability for a holy life will be lost. They must exist before we can walk in godliness as the cause is before the effect. Few understand that any special abilities are required to equip us for a holy practice, more than for other voluntary actions. Our corrupted sinful nature makes obedience more difficult, by reason of the opposition and temptations that it deals with since we have sinned. We are to be imitators of Christ and need to have very best abilities, as Christ had - at least as good. What king, going to make war against another king, does not consider whether he is able, with ten thousand, to fight and win the battle with him that comes against him with twenty thousand? We should not dare to rush into battle against all the powers of darkness, all worldly terrors and attractions, and our own powerful corruptions, without considering whether we have sufficient spiritual weapons, powers and abilities to stand in the evil day. Yet many think that they have all the ability necessary within themselves to will and do their duty. These people are no better enabled for the spiritual battle than others of the world that lie defeated under the wicked one. It is a hard matter to find what this universal ability is, that so many assert so strongly, of what it consists, by what method it is conveyed to us and maintained.

That no one will deceive themselves, and make a mistake in their efforts for holiness, I will show four abilities for which the true ability to walk in holiness are required to contain and by which it must exist and be maintained. They are of such a mysterious nature that some, who own the necessity of abilities to design them for holiness, are prone to think that less than these will serve, and that some of these design us rather for licentiousness than holiness. They are here placed before any actual performance of the moral law, that some things contrary to them would put us into a better frame for holiness. Against all such theories, I will try to show which of these abilities in particular will achieve the assent of right reason, insisting on them in the same order in which I have placed them in this chapter.

In the first place, I assert that an inclination and preference of heart to the duties of the law is required to prepare and enable us for the immediate practice of them. Therefore I have indicated that the three other abilities given below are under this as the chief of all, which are sufficient to make it a logical preference. This is contrary to those that contend so earnestly for free will, as a necessary and sufficient ability to enable us to perform our duty. These think that obedience is easy when once we are certain of our duty, and of our obligation to it. Many even attempt to glorify this ability, as the greatest benefit that we have, even though they realize that this freedom has no actual tendency or inclination to goodness. They cannot but admit that every person has this freedom but it is hindered with an actual tendency and inclination of the heart altogether to sin and evil. Such a free will as this is, can never free us from slavery to sin and Satan, and fit us for the practice of the law. The will is not as free as is necessary for any of holiness, until it is endued with an inclination and preference for it.

The requirements of the law will never truly be performed while the heart has no good inclination and desire towards the practice of them. The duties of the law are of such a nature that they cannot possibly be performed while there is entirely an enmity or just some apathy of the heart to the performance of them, and have no good inclination and preference towards the practice of them. We must love God and our neighbor rightly. Sin must be truly hated and despised. If it were true obedience (as some would have it) to love our duty only as a businessman loves the ways of the business world, or as a sick man loves an unpleasant medicine, or as a captive slave loves his hard work for fear of a greater evil - then it might be performed with reluctance, or lack of inclination. We must love it, as the businessman profit, as the sick man health, as pleasant meat and drink, as the captive liberty. There can be no power in the will for this kind of service without a yielding of our inclination to the will of God. We need a heart that is like His own heart, a heart that loves righteousness and has a hatred of sin. There must be a yielding to the person or thing beloved that includes the character of the lover. Reason will tell us that the first actions of lust that which do not fall under our choice and thoughts cannot be avoided without a fixed propensity of the heart to holiness.
The image of God consists in an actual preference and inclination of the heart to the practice of holiness. This inclination is not in a just the power of the will to choose good or evil. This inclination is in itself neither holy nor unholy, but only a foundation, on which either the image of God or of Satan may be drawn. It does not consist in an apathy of inclination to the choice of sin or duty; for this is a wicked tendency in an intelligent creature that knows his duty. We may be persuaded to do some things contrary to our knowledge, and it is easy to fail of our duty, though great preparation and equipment are required for the performance of it. The Lord Jesus Christ, while living on earth, had a holy temperament of His soul, and had a preference to goodness. Can we reasonably hope to rise to the life of holiness to be imitators of Christ, since duty is made so difficult by our own sin if we are not renewed in a measure according to the image of God, and enabled with such a preference and inclination?
Our sinful corruption (by which we are dead to God and godliness, and made willing slaves to the performance of all actual sins (until the Son of God makes us free) consists in a preference and inclination of the heart to sin, and a hatred for holiness. Without this preference to sin, what can that law of sin in our members be, that wars against the law of our mind, and leads us captive to the service of sin? What is that poison in us, for which men may be called serpents, vipers? What is that spirit of whoredoms in men, by reason of which they will not frame their doings to turn to God? How is the tree first corrupt, and then its fruit corrupt? How can man be said to be abominable and filthy, that drinks iniquity like water? How should the mind of the flesh be continual enmity to the law of God? I know there is also a blindness of understanding and other things belonging to man's sinful corruption which induce to these evil desires of the will. This tendency itself is the great evil, the indwelling sin, which produces all actual sins. It is essential that this tendency be removed or restrained, by restoring that contrary inclination, in which the image of God consists; or else we shall be backward and reprobate to every good work, and whatever freedom the will has, it shall be employed only in the service of sin.
God restores His people to holiness, by offering to give to them a new heart, and a new spirit, and taking away the heart of stone out of their flesh, and giving them a heart of flesh. He offers to circumcise their heart to love Him with their whole heart and soul. He requires that we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is His acceptable will. David prayed for the same thing, that God would create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in him. This new, clean, circumcised heart, this heart of flesh, this new right spirit, is a heart that has the actual inclination and preference to good and the hatred of evil. This is more then just a power to choose good or evil, undeservedly called free will, with a present inclination to evil, or an indifference to holiness. David prayed for a heart that had right motives, when he prayed, ''Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.''
The SECOND ABILITY that is needed to enable us for the immediate practice of holiness, and agreeing with the two other that follow, to work in us a logical preference to this practice, is that we must be well persuaded of our reconciliation with God. We must determine that any break of intimacy, which sin has made between God and us, is made up by a firm reconciliation to His love and favor. In this I include the great benefit of justification, as the method by which we are reconciled to God. This is described in Scripture, either by forgiving our sins, or by the impartation of righteousness to us. Both are contained in one and the same justifying act - as one act of illumination perceives the expulsion of darkness and introduction of light. The one act of repentance contains guilt for our sin and receives a quickening from Christ to righteousness. We must be justified by faith before we can have any true obedience to God. We are reconciled to God and justified for the remission of our sin by faith. We receive the impartation of Christ's righteousness and life by faith, that we may be enabled by Him to walk in all holiness. Our justification and reconciliation with God must be first obtained by faith, without works of the law, that we may be enabled in this way to do them. I will now prove this by several arguments, intending also to show that such a confidence of the love of God as God gives to His people tends only to holiness, though a misconception of it is, in many, an occasion of licentiousness.

When Adam was created, he was highly in the favor of God, and had no sin at all. Adam was righteous in the sight of God, according to his present state, because he was made upright according to God's image. There is no reason to doubt but that these qualifications were to his advantage for a holy practice. The wisdom of God judged them good for that objective and, as soon as he lost them, he became dead in sin. The second Adam also, who came to earth as a human man, was the beloved of the Father, and righteous in the sight of God. Can we reasonably expect to be imitators of Christ, by performing more difficult obedience than the first Adam's was after he sinned, except we receive the like advantages be given to us by reconciliation and remission of sins and impartation of a righteousness given by God to us, when we have none of our own?
Those that know their complete deadness under the power of sin and Satan are fully convinced that, if God left them to their own hearts, they can do nothing but sin. They can do no good work, except it please God, of His great love and mercy, to work it in them. Therefore, before they may be encouraged and logically inclined to holiness, they must hope that God will work mightily in them. Can such a hope be well grounded, without a good confidence of such a reconciliation and saving love of God to us that does not depend on any previous goodness of our works? We need this confidence before any holiness can be produced effectually in us. We know further (if we know ourselves sufficiently) that our death in sin proceeded from the guilt of our own sins, and the sentence denounced against us. It is still maintained in us by the guilt of sin and the curse of the law. Spiritual life is freely offered to us, to free us from that dominion of sin so that this guilt and curse be removed from us. This is done by our faith in God and His provision for our sinful condition. Understanding God's solution and then actually receiving it is our only hope of righteousness. We cannot really have any hope of living to God in holiness while we still believe that we are under the curse and wrath of God, by reason of our transgressions and sins still lying on us.
The nature of our duty to the law requires some understanding of God's provision for our reconciliation with Him. We need knowledge of His hearty love and favor towards us to set us free from our own corrupted condition. The great duty is love to God with our whole heart. This is a practical love, by which we are willing that God should be the absolute Lord and Governor of our entire lives. A love that freely yields to Him to use us according to His will. He should be the only portion and happiness of our lives. We are to love Him and everything in Him as He is our Lord.. With this love we can heartily praise Him for all things, and delight in our obedience to Him, in doing His will, though we suffer that which is ever so grievous to us, even present death.
Consider these things well, and you may easily perceive that our heart does not have any power or ability for the accomplishing any holiness, while we see ourselves under the curse and wrath of God. How can we love God while thinking that He is our total enemy? Slavish fear may extort some slavish hypocritical actions from us, such as that of Pharaoh in letting the Israelites go, sore against his will. The duty of love cannot be demanded and forced by fear. This love must be won, and sweetly allured by a revelation of God's love and goodness towards us, as the merciful, forgiving, loving and beloved Father that He is. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment, and he that fears has not been made perfect in love. We must love Him because He first loved us.

Observe here that we cannot just choose to love God, before we perceive His love to us. Consider your own experience, if you have any true love to God, whether it were not prepared in you by a sense of God's love first towards you? God's holiness and greatness does not describe Him as compassionate toward us, except we perceive Him as very desiring to set us free from our sinful corruption. The demons know the excellence of God's nature, and this just fills them with more tormenting horror and trembling, that is contrary to love. The greater God's excellence and perfection is, the greater evil He seems to us, if He hates and curses us. The principle of self preservation, deeply rooted in our natures, hinders us from loving that which we understand as our destruction. If a man is an enemy to us, we can love him for the sake of our loving reconciled God, because His love will make man's hatred to work for our good, but if God Himself is our enemy, for whose sake can we love Him? Who is there that can free us from the evil of His enmity and turn it to our advantage, until He is pleased to reconcile Himself to us?

Our conscience needs to be first cleansed from dead works, that we may serve the living God. (Heb. 9:14) This is done by actual remission of sin, procured by the blood of Christ, and manifested to our consciences, as appeared by Christ's dying for this goal. That conscience, by which we judge ourselves to be under the guilt of sin and the wrath of God, is considered an evil conscience in Scripture. The conscience performs its office truly, because it is caused by the evil of sin. It will itself be a cause of our committing more sin, until it can judge us to be justified from all sin, and received in the favor of God. Love, which is the end of the law, must proceed from a good conscience, and a cleansed heart. David's mouth could not be opened to show forth the praise of God until he was delivered from blood guiltiness. This evil guilty conscience, by which we judge that God is our enemy and that His justice is against us to our everlasting condemnation by reason of our sins, does strongly maintain and increase the dominion of sin and Satan in us. It works the most mischievous effects in the soul against godliness by bringing the soul to hate God and to wish there were no God, no heaven, no hell, so we might escape the punishment due to us. It so influences people about God that they cannot bear to think, or speak, or hear about Him and His law. They struggle to put Him out of their minds by fleshly pleasures and worldly enjoyments. They are alienated from Him and all true religion. It produces passion in many outward religious performances that have no spiritual value. It also produces a false religion, idolatry and the most inhuman superstitions in the world. I have often wondered how sin affected Adam. I understand now, that when Adam sinned, his guilty conscience condemned him for his sin. He judged that the just God was against him and cursed him for that one sin. This was enough to work a shameful nakedness by unruly lusts, a turning of his love totally from God to the creature. He was afraid of God and had a desire to hide from the presence of God. This was a total destruction of the image of God's holiness. When the guilt of any sin stays on the conscience it will make the soul to wish secretly that God did not exist, or that He were not so just a judge. This is a secret cursing of God that cannot be avoided until our consciences are purged from the guilt of sin, by the offering of Christ for us.
God has abundantly revealed to us in His Word that He loves the sinner and has made full provision to bring men from sin to holiness of life. He makes His great love known to us by freely making available not only forgiveness of sins, but also the preference and inclination of the heart to fully love Him. God first makes it known that He loves us by freely offering a new heart. If we believe God by placing our faith in Him, He will gladly and completely blot out our sins. God's provision is designed for the sinner while he is yet bound in sin, and his heart is totally wicked and rebellious, firmly set against God. When a sinner exercises faith and then actually receives the saving benefits, God justifies him from all past sin.
Romans 5:6'' For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.''

Romans 5:8 ''But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.''

Eph 2:4-5 ''But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved.''

In Old Testament times, God appointed many washings, the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinked for the unclean, to prepare and sanctify them for other parts of His worship in His holy tabernacle and temple. This was then a type of sanctification, that prepared them for the service of God, mainly the remission of sin. God also showed them of their need of purging away their guilt first, that their service might be acceptable, by commanding them to offer the sin offering before the burnt offering. The sin offering came before the burnt offering so the guilt of their sins would not pollute the service of God. God was pleased to establish a general atonement for all their sins one day every year, in which the scapegoat was to bear all their iniquities.

Under the New Testament, God uses the same method, in loving us first and freely offering to set us free from the domain of sin. We can by faith be washed from our sins by the blood of Christ. After our faith receives His cleansing He will make us priests, to offer the sacrifices of praise and all good works to God, even the Father. He feeds and strengthens us for His service by the remission of our sins, given to us in the blood of Christ. He exhorts us to obey Him, because He has already loved us, and freely offers us a complete pardon from all our sin. We are to be kind to others, tender hearted, forgiving others, even as also God forgave us in Christ. We are to be imitators of God, as loved children, and walk in love, even as also Christ loved us. All our sins have been forgiven for His name's sake. We are not to love the world or the things in the world. We may clearly see by all this that God has regarded it a matter of great importance and has taken great care in providing us with a complete salvation. Faith is the required and indispensable condition that we must exercise before we can receive His salvation. Faith was even required to make sinners holy under the Old Testament. We can be first cleansed from guilt and reconciled to Him by our faith. God then will outfit us for the acceptable practice of holiness. We can be purged from our evil conscience from dead works by the blood of Christ, that we might serve the living God.

The THIRD ABILITY that is required to enable us for the practice of holiness is a confidence of our reconciliation with God. Without this confidence we will have little power to walk in holiness. We must be persuaded of our future enjoyment of the everlasting heavenly happiness. This must precede our holy practice, as a cause inclining and alluring us to it. This declaration has several sorts of adversaries to oppose it. Some claim that a certainty of our own future happiness, before we have persevered in sincere obedience, tends to licentiousness; and that the way to do good works is rather to make them a condition necessary for the acquiring of this confidence. Others condemn all works, that we are enticed or stirred up to by the future enjoyment of the heavenly happiness, as legal, mercenary, flowing from self-love, and not from any pure love to God. They figure out sincere godliness by a man bearing fire in one hand, to burn up heaven, and water in the other to quench hell; intimating that the true service of God must not proceed at all from hope of reward, or fear of punishment, but only from love. To establish the truth asserted, against the errors that are so contrary to it and to each other, I shall propose the following considerations.

The nature of the duties of the law is such that they cannot be sincerely and universally practiced without this ability. This ability must be present in us and sufficiently proved already by all that I have said concerning the need of the conviction of our firm reconciliation with God by our justification. This is to prepare us for this practice; because if it does not include a confidence of future happiness, it is of little worth. All that I have to add here is that sincere obedience cannot logically exist, except it is allured, encouraged and supported by this conviction. Let's say that there is a person who believes that there is no happiness after this life, can this person love God with his whole heart, might and soul? Will he not be reasonable; rather to lessen and moderate his love towards God, lest he should be overmuch troubled to part with Him by death? We consider it most reasonable to sit loose in our affections from things that we must part with. Can anyone be satisfied with the enjoyment of God as his happiness? Will he not rather consider that the enjoyment of God and all religious duties are vanities, as well as other things, because in a little time we shall have no more benefit by them than if they had never been? How can anyone be willing to lay down his life for the sake of God when, by his death, he must part with God, as well as with other things? How can he willingly choose difficulties rather than sin, when he shall be more miserable in this life for it, and not at all happy hereafter? I grant, if afflictions come unavoidably on such a person, he may reasonably judge that patience is better for him than impatience, but it will displease him that he is forced to the use of such a virtue. He will be prone to fret and murmur at his Creator, and to wish he had never been, rather than to endure such miseries and to be comforted only with vain short-lived enjoyments. I think I have said enough to show how unequipped such a man is for holiness. He that will burn up heaven, and quench hell, that he may serve God out of love, thereby leaves himself little better equipped than this person. The one denies them; the other will not have them at all to be considered in this case.
The Scripture abundantly shows that the certain hope of the glory of heaven is commonly used by God, since the sin of Adam, as an encouragement to the practice of holiness. Christ, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame. The apostles did not faint under affliction, because they knew that it brought for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The believing Hebrews took joyfully the plundering of your goods - knowing in yourselves that you have better and more enduring riches in Heaven. The apostle Paul considers all his sufferings unprofitable, were it not for a glorious resurrection, and that Christians would be of all men most miserable if the doctrine of the Epicures were rather to be chosen: 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die'. He exhorts the Corinthians to be abundant in the work of the Lord, knowing that their labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.
As worldly hope keeps the world at work in their various employments, so God gives His people the hope of His glory to keep them close to His service. It is such a sure hope as shall never make them ashamed. Those that think it below the excellency of their love to work from a hope of the heavenly reward do in this way advance their love beyond the love of the apostles and primitive saints, and even of Christ Himself.

This confidence of our future enjoyment of everlasting happiness cannot serve any self-indulgence, if we understand well that perfect holiness is a necessary part of that happiness. Even though we have a title to that happiness by free justification and adoption, yet we must go to the possession of it in a way of holiness. It is not legal to be moved by this confidence, seeing the confidence itself is not gotten by the works of the law, but by free grace through faith. If it is a working from self-love, yet, for certain, it is not that carnal self-love which the Scripture condemns as the mother of sinfulness, but a holy self-love, inclining us to prefer God above the flesh and the world. This is the type of love that God directs us to when He exhorts us to save ourselves. It is so far from being contrary to the pure love of God that it brings us to love God more purely and entirely. The more good and beneficial we perceive God to us to all eternity, doubtless the more lovely God will be to us, and our devotions will be the more impassioned towards Him. God will not be loved as a barren wilderness, a land of darkness to us, neither will He be served for nothing. He would think it a dishonor to Him to be owned by us as our God, if He had not prepared for us a heavenly reward. He draws us to love Him, even by His own love to us in laying His benefits before us. The way for us to keep ourselves in the love of God is to look at His mercy in offering to us eternal life
The FOURTH ABILITY, has the same goal as the last. It is that we will be confident of sufficient strength both to will and perform our duty acceptably, until we come to the enjoyment of the heavenly happiness. This is contrary to the error of those that consider it sufficient if we have strength to practice holiness if we will, or to will it if we please. This is the sufficient strength which some earnestly contend for as a great benefit given to all mankind. It is also contrary to the error of those that think the practice of godliness and wickedness to be alike easy, except for outward duty and actions. Some think that God requires men only to do what they can do and it is nonsense to say they cannot do what they can do. According to their judgement, it is not necessary to concern ourselves about the sufficient strength for holy practice. For the confirmation of the assertion against those errors examine these arguments.

We are, by our own sins, dead in trespasses and sins, unable to will or do anything that is spiritually good, regardless the redemption that is by Christ until we are actually quickened by Christ. Those that are sufficiently enlightened and humbled know themselves that this is true. They do not only just lack administrative power to do good, but chiefly a heart to will it and to be pleased with it. They know that if God does not work in them both to will and to do, they will never do anything pleasing to Him. They also know that if God left them to their own corruption, after He has begun the good work, they shall certainly return to their own corruptions, like a dog returning to eat its own vomit.. Their latter end will be worse than their beginning. We may conclude from this that no one can actually walk in holiness, without being very confident of the sufficient power and grace that God so freely offers. It is only by receiving this grace by faith that we may be enabled to have both the will and the power to do God's will acceptably. A sinner is a person who has never yet been truly humbled and brought to know the criminal sinful condition of his own heart. He does not truly believe that his heart is entirely wicked and corrupted by his sin.
Those that think genuine conformity to the law is so very easy, show that they neither know it nor themselves. Is it an easy thing to wrestle, not against flesh only, but against principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in high places? Is it an easy thing not to lust or covet according to the tenth commandment? The apostle Paul found it so difficult to obey this commandment that his lust prevailed the more by occasion of the commandment.

Our work is not only to change hateful practices, but also to crush the corrupt sinful desires and feelings which produced these practices. We must not only avoid the fulfilling of sinful lusts, but we are to be full of holy love and desires. Yet even preventing our corrupt lusts and replacing them by contrary actions is, in many cases, like the cutting off a right hand, and plucking out a right eye. If obedience is so easy, how did it come to pass that sinners generally did those things, for which their own consciences condemned them as worthy of death? How is it that many among us seek to enter into this narrow gate, and are not able? Why do so many break their vows and determinations to obey and then fall back to the practice of their lusts, though, in the meantime, the fears of eternal punishment press hard on their consciences?

I acknowledge that the work of God is easy and pleasant to those who have received God's mighty powers and abilities for it. Those who claim it to be easy for men in their corrupted condition show their folly in disputing the general experience of sinners and Christians. Though many duties do not require much labor of body or mind, and might be done with ease, if we were willing; yet it is easier to remove a mountain than to move and incline the heart to will and affect the doing of them. God requires the actual fulfilling His commands. What, if by our activities we can do nothing in any amount according to the rule, shall the law be put off with no performance? Shall such activities be considered sufficient for holiness? What if we cannot so much as act in a right way, with the right motives? If a man's ability were the measure of acceptable duty, the commands of the law would signify very little.

God has fully designed His provision for an adequate strength that we might be enabled both to will and do our. Adam had no corruptions in him, until he had produced and created them in himself by sinning. When he had lost that strength, he could not recover the practice of holiness, until he was acquainted with a better strength, by which the head of Satan should be bruised. Our Lord Christ, knew the infinite power of His Father and the Holy Spirit to enable Him for all that He was to do and suffer in our nature. He knew that His heavenly Father would help Him, therefore He could not be defeated. The Scripture shows what plentiful assurance of strength God offered when He called people to perform great and mighty deeds. He gave help and aid to the Israelites, when He called them to subdue the land of Canaan. Paul encourages believers to the life of holiness by encouraging them that sin shall not prevail to get the dominion over them, because they are not under the law, but under grace. Paul exhorts them to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, that they might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. John exhorts believers not to love the world, nor the things of the world, because they were strong in Christ, and had overcome the wicked one.
God has fully designed His provision for an adequate strength that we might be enabled both to will and do our. Adam had no corruptions in him, until he had produced and created them in himself by sinning. When he had lost that strength, he could not recover the practice of holiness, until he was acquainted with a better strength, by which the head of Satan should be bruised. Our Lord Christ, knew the infinite power of His Father and the Holy Spirit to enable Him for all that He was to do and suffer in our nature. He knew that His heavenly Father would help Him, therefore He could not be defeated. The Scripture shows what plentiful assurance of strength God offered when He called people to perform great and mighty deeds. He gave help and aid to the Israelites, when He called them to subdue the land of Canaan. Paul encourages believers to the life of holiness by encouraging them that sin shall not prevail to get the dominion over them, because they are not under the law, but under grace. Paul exhorts them to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, that they might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. John exhorts believers not to love the world, nor the things of the world, because they were strong in Christ, and had overcome the wicked one.

They that were called of God to work miracles were first acquainted with the gift of power to work them, and no wise man will attempt to do them without knowledge of the gift. Even so, when men that are dead in sin are called to do the works of a holy life, which are in them great miracles, God reveals the gift of power to them, that He may encourage them in a logical way to such a holy activity.

No man will walk in holiness and fulfill the requirements of the law without first receiving God's provision, gift, power and love to do so. Many attempt to fulfill the law without the knowledge of the gift or the Giver. God calls to men that are dead in trespasses and sin to the works of a holy life by showing them His love and great power that He so freely offers. He encourages them in this way so they may enter this wonderful experience.

Examine this promise that shows how God provides the solution for man's sinful condition and corrupt heart. He freely offers to give us the LOVE that the law demands and requires. He offers to put His love in our heart.

Deut. 30:6 ''And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.''

Now the language of this promise means just as much as the language of the command. Most people understand the command to fully love God continuously, but when it comes to the promise many seem to try to dilute it or make it of less effect. Does not the promise mean just as much as the command? The truth is, the only way this command will ever be fulfilled is by first receiving the results of this promise.

Faith is an indispensable condition of the fulfilment of this promise. It is entirely impossible that we should love God with all the heart, without confidence in him. God births love in man in no other way than by so revealing himself as to inspire confidence, that confidence which works by love. For the interpretation of the promises it is said that where a command and a promise are given we should understand the language of the promise as meaning as exactly as much as the language of the command. This promise has been designed to cover the whole ground of the requirement.

Now change the language in this promise to a command, or change the form of this promise into that of a command. For example, if God said, ''Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul'', who would doubt that God designed this command to require a state of sanctification or consecration to Himself? How then are we to understand it when used in the form of a promise? God's promises of grace must be understood to mean as much as the requirements of His justice. His promises must mean as much as the language of His requirements. It is simple, God designed this promise so that when it is received it will completely satisfy the command to love Him. WHAT THE LAW DEMANDS, GRACE SUPPLIES. GOD FREELY OFFERS THE LOVE THAT THE LAW DEMANDS!!!

Examine these other promises that show His great provision which He freely makes available for us.

Jer. 24:7 ''And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.''

Jer. 32:39-40 ''And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.''

Jer. 31:31-34 ''Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.''

Ezek. 11:19-20 ''And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.''

Ezek. 36:25-27 ''I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances.''

Ezek. 37:23 ''Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.''

Obedience is essential. God's provision does not provide a substitute for obedience, but through faith secures the obedience required by the law. It is simple, the new heart that God so freely offers mankind has the required preference, tendency, and holy inclination within it. This heart contains the love, liking, thirsting, delight, longing, for God and his law. This heart has both the power and the will to perform the law acceptably. The chief blessing of His gift is the power of a holy life, a heart delighting in God's law and a Life in which God causes and enables us, by His indwelling Spirit, to keep all the commandments. The law demanded obedience and man failed to keep it. God's gift is expressly made to provide for obedience. WHAT THE LAW DEMANDS, GRACE SUPPLIES. God's giving depends on our receiving and taking. He never forces spiritual blessings upon us. He gives divine power as our faith accepts the gift and it becomes consciously and experimentally our possession.

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy