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We must first receive the benefits of the gospel, that we may be able to obey His requirements. Many people place duty of the law before the benefits of salvation. If they cannot make salvation itself a duty, they will make all the benefits of salvation depend upon their own works and efforts. They think it is unreasonable to expect any benefit before duty, as wages before work.
We must first, comfort our hearts, and in this way to establish us in every good word and work (2 Thess. 2:17). The benefits of the gospel of grace first must be believed and received BEFORE we can practice any true obedience or holiness. We are exhorted to practice holy duties because we are dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sin shall not have any dominion over us. We are not under the law but under grace. We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. God quickens our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us. Our bodies are the members of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit.
This is the way by which God brings His people from sin to holiness. Though some people may be alarmed and fearful for a while, that sin may be the more hateful, and the salvation of Christ may be portrayed more precious and acceptable to them,. They are again delivered from their fears by the benefits of God's salvation, that they may be fitted for holiness. A holy life only begins with receiving these benefits and then is maintained by it.
If you now truly obey God out of hearty love think back to how you came to this love. When you examine yourself and consider your state you will find that you were not able to give up yourself to serve God in love without first receiving of the benefits or without some knowledge of the love of God towards you. It is IMPOSSIBLE to practice true holiness without first receiving the benefits that God freely offers!
Lets review a few scriptures concerning His benefits.
2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Cor. 5:21, "For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
Col. 1:12-14, "Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
Col. 1: 21-22, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight."
Col 2: 9-15, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom you also are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Eph 1: 3-5, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."
Eph 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
Eph 2:1-7, "And you He has quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, He has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Eph 2:13-14, "But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace."
Gal. 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Romans 5:5-11, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
Romans 6:3-7, "Don't you know, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin."
Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace."
Romans 6:18, "Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness."
Romans 6:22, "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
Romans 8:1-4, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:9-11, "But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
Eph. 1:16-23 "I Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that youe may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all."
It is impossible to enjoy any true freedom from sin without FIRST receiving Christ. We must take from Him His strength and power every day. It is impossible to walk in victory over sin without HIM.