Deliverance From Sin (PART 2)
by David Leach
He never thought for a moment that the sinful nature had been eradicated. He never professed that he had been perfectly free from sinful acts. But what he did know and confess was that his entire life in its relation to sin had been changed-that he had entered upon a walk in the light and liberty of Christ which he had never known before. And when for a moment, because of a lack of perfect trust, there was a fall, the presence of Christ was there for immediate restoration to the life of peace and power. The whole tenor of his life was in the freedom from known sin in a degree entirely unknown in his previous experience.
This is nothing else but what George Muller means when he so frequently speaks of being enabled by the grace of God to have a good conscience-not knowingly doing anything against the will of God. I cannot insist too strongly that the reason so many seek in vain so earnestly for the mighty strengthening of the Spirit in the inner man, and the promised manifestation of Christ which comes through the Spirit, is due to this: they do not seek Christ for what He is, first and last-a Savior from sin. It is the deep longing, the humble expectation, the determined purpose to be saved from the common daily sins that is the only true preparation for the revelation of the Lord Jesus in the soul.
3. In connection with this there comes another truth so much emphasized at Keswick: the need of a new and entire surrender to Christ. Christ's work as our sanctification and His keeping us from sin rests on the fact of His being our life and His having entire possession and control of our being. It depends on our being entirely given up to Him and following Him with such wholeheartedness that we leave Him free to do with us and to work in us what He pleases. A defective insight into the importance of this is the cause of much unavailing prayer and effort.
People long to be delivered from some particular form of sin. They come and confess and surrender it, or that portion of their nature in which it roots. And yet they forget that it avails little to take away an ugly branch of a tree if the root and stem still remain. It is no good and often great harm to deal with the symptoms of a disease itself. When Christ asks that the offending member shall be cut off, this is only as a part of the large requirement-to forsake all and follow Him. His demand of those who would know His power to save and keep from sinning is that, in a sense, and to an extent they never thought needful or possible, they shall live with Him, and for Him, and in Him.
He wants their whole life actually under His management and inspiration, wholly dependent on and subjected to Him. It is nothing less than this complete dependence on Him that abiding in Him means. "ln him is no sin. . He that abideth in him sinneth not." The abiding in Him, the sinless one, in which is implied the giving up of all self and its life to wait and dwell in His will and strength is what brings the power that does not commit sin. Through the revelation and fellowship of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ becomes a divine reality. He dwells in the heart to root it in love and fill it with the fullness of God. The one condition is a life entirely surrendered to Christ, a heart wholly occupied with Him, seeking nothing for itself except as a means of honoring and serving Him.
Of this surrender one thing more must be said. Though it must be a disposition, a lifelong habit and state of the heart, maintained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the entrance to it may very often be the work of a moment. As with so many who came to Christ with their petitions on earth when the need becomes urgent, and the power and will of Christ are understood, and the sinner is ready at Christ's word to obey and accept, the conscious deliverance may be immediate. One step is enough to turn from the path where we have stumbled along in our own strength onto the highway of holiness where Jesus keeps the feet of His saints.
4. The last truth of Keswick teaching that must not be omitted is that of the power of faith. The whole evangelical church is one in the confession that salvation is by faith alone. But that every part of that salvation, sanctification equally with justification by faith, has been too much overlooked. All that has been said so far about freedom from sinning, of the entire surrender to Christ and abiding in Him, of His indwelling and keeping, and the continuous life of His Holy Spirit, with all the power these truths have exercised in thousands of lives, is dependent upon the one great truth all things are possible to him that believeth.
When the first call comes to the believer to make a new and entire surrender as the condition of knowing the saving power of Jesus fully, he generally feels how formidable it is to make such a surrender with any hope of, its being true or lasting. He stands baffled at the thought of an impossible demand until he sees that Christ can be trusted even for the ability to make the surrender. When he is taught that the new life he is to enter is to be one of faith that moment by moment rests in the Lord, he again is all fear, But he will not have such continual faith until he sees how he can trust Christ to keep his very faith from failing.
'When the thought comes of daily temptation to sin, he has to learn that each difficulty will vanish in the presence of faith, because faith is the committal of our need to a faithful Savior. And so with every promise of the Spirit's fullness, or the Savior's indwelling, or the life of fruitfulness and blessing, he learns that because God is to work all, faith is the one disposition that secures every blessing. Saved by faith becomes, moment by moment, the watchword of his life. But how is it that men who bear the name of believers find it so hard, and so often fail, to be believers indeed? Why were those who first came to Christ on earth so soon brought to believe in His word of healing? And why do we, with our greater light, the power of the Holy Spirit, the beginnings of faith in our heart, lose so much by our unbelief?
The answer is simple, but very significant. Those men felt their need and longed with their whole heart to be freed from their disease. The disease was the one burden of their life; deliverance from it their one desire. They were ready to believe. When daily sinning becomes the burden of our life, and deliverance from it our one desire, the message "he that abideth in him sinneth not”, will get a new attraction . And the testimony of those who can say that they once knew what is was to carry that burden, but that they have found a deliverance beyond what they dared, hope for, will waken a longing that will leave no rest. As we pray for revival, let us pray much for a conviction of sin, through the Spirit, in believers that will make the daily sins unbearable. That will prepare for a revelation of Christ, through the Spirit, That will call out a surrender and a faith to which he can give himself and his life in full measure.
The four core gospel truths of the Keswick deeper life in Christ movement
#1 I must want to be free from sin. from disobeyinq God , and I must be to inherit heaven:
Rom 7:20-24 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that lives in me...O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of (sin and) death?
Rom 6:13 Do not present. your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness: AMP
1 Cor6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
#2 I must see in my Bible that God has made a way for me to be freed from sin's power:
Rom 6:18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (and conformed to God's will in thought, purpose, and action). AMP
John 8:31-32 (Jesus) ...|f you continue in My word...you shall know the truth (My word), and the truth (My word in you) will make you free (from sin, from disobeying Me).
#3 I must surrender my life to God so that He by His word and Spirit can free me from sin:
2 Cor 5:15 ...Those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him (Jesus) who died for them and rose again.
Luke 14:33 (Jesus) Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple
Rom 6:13 ...Offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to perpetual life, and your bodily members and faculties to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness. AMP
Acts 5:32 ...The Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who are willing to obey Him
#4 I must simply believe that I died with Christ to sin and my sin nature and I remain dead:
Rom 6:11 You reckon (believe) yourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ
Gal 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its desires;
Phil 3:10 That l may know Him (Christ)...being conformed (by His words)to His death
1 Pet 1 :5 Who are kept (from sin) by the power of God through faith for salvation...
Rom 8:9 (To Christians) ...if anyone does not possess the Holy Spirit of Christ, he is none of His, he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God. AMP
1 Jo 3:5-6 He (Jesus) was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has not seen Him nor known Him (for by their uncovered sin they've died to Him - so we must let Him free us from sin).
By these four original gospel truths, brought again to light at Keswick 140 years ago, God blessed the worldwide evangelical Church and freed multitudes from sin to inherit eternity.