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THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE SOUL, PROVING

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect…” Phil 3:12

 

In continuing to examine the experience of the children of Israel, and that what they went through pictures our experience as the children of God, we quickly see that their troubles and trials did not end upon entering the Promised Land, and neither do ours. If we could say that once they reached the Land of Promise the battles against their enemies were over, well might we have hope that our struggles also will cease when once we see Christ as our life. To many Christians, this false idea is what might be called complete sanctification; whereby a believer now lives sinlessly in this world having overcome all his enemies and temptations, albeit through the Spirit of Christ.

As a young believer, I once came across an older saint while doing visitation on a bus route of my church. Engaging in a conversation with him, I soon discovered that he indeed believed in this doctrine. Although I did not agree with him, I had not the depth of ground to be able to stand against his reasoning. He attempted to convince me of his viewpoint by asking me a series of questions. He first asked me, ‘Do you believe that a Christian can live without sinning for one minute?’ In my ignorance I replied that I thought it might be possible. ‘Well,’ he asked, ‘then do you believe a Christian might live without sinning for one hour?’ To this question I again replied that conceivably it might be possible. ‘Why then,’ asked he, ‘does it seem unreasonable that a Christian, who has been totally sanctified by the Spirit of God, could continue on living without sin on a day to day basis?’ Again, although I was not persuaded by him of his viewpoint, I had no response to his argument.

Now, if I were to engage this person again, with the knowledge that God has now given me of His Word, I could immediately challenge his reasoning. In answer to his first question, ‘Is it possible for a Christian to live without sinning for one minute?’ I would emphatically say no, it is not possible. Sin is not always an overt act that is perceivable, such as committing adultery, stealing, or lying. Sin is, in its most basic form, falling short of the glory of God. Now, we may live a so-called good life as a child of God, without committing some of these obvious acts of sin. However, we will never be in a state of perfection while we live in this body of sin, and are influenced every day and in every way by its thoughts, lusts, and rebellion against God.

To be perfectly sinless, we must live in obedience to God’s law with every thought, word, and deed that we think, say, or do. We must not only live above sin in what we don’t do, we must also do everything the law demands as part of our perfect obedience; and we must do so all of the time, in every way, and with the right attitude and motive for doing it. We must love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength, and also love our neighbor as ourselves. When Adam fell, it was not because he had engaged in some terrible deed, as we think sin is; but when he came under the law, everything he now did was judged as sin, because he fell short of the law in everyway. How could any saint, who has not been totally deceived by his own vanities, say, that at any moment of time, he has lived in such a sinless state? The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, and had an understanding of spiritual things beyond any mortal man said, “O wretched man that I am,” and, “I count not myself to have apprehended”—meaning that he still had trouble with his flesh, and he had in no way reached a state of perfection in his body. If Paul had not reached a state of total sanctification, being the one through whom God gave most of the New Testament doctrines, what hope have we?

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Phil 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

When finally entering their Promised Land through faith, the children of Israel had come to experience rest from their wilderness journey, and a realization of many of God’s blessings. They also enjoyed many victories over their enemies as they were lead by Joshua, and obeyed God’s leadership through him. By faith they conquered the great walled city of Jericho, which was a picture of the world; but days later they were defeated by the little city of Ai, which represents the flesh. They were constantly at war with the Philistines, who to us are the spiritual forces of Satan—sometimes conquering them, sometimes being conquered by them. While Joshua lived, and the children of Israel obeyed God through him, they conquered much of the Land of Promise; but they did not overcome, nor did they destroy all of the previous inhabitants of the land. Many of these people remained among them, and would soon prove to be thorns in their side; as God used them time and again to bring His people back to faith and obedience to Him. When Joshua died, along with the generation who had crossed Jordan with him, Israel again began to do that which was right in their own eyes, and ceased to follow the Lord. The history of Israel is one of obeying the Lord, and then falling away from the Lord, victory and defeat, captivity and deliverance; and so it is also with the Christian life. When at first we come to the realization of what we have in Christ, it is glorious; but soon this clear understanding begins to die out, as the world, the flesh, and the devil attack our faith in Christ and the life we have in Him.

Josh 6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

Josh 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.
4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men:
for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

Josh 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12
Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

Josh 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
41 And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

Josh 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.
19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes.
And the land rested from war.

Josh 23:1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:
3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.
4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.
6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;
7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you;
but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

Judg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them
, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

Judg 3:1 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

Judg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

These continuing battles might be called the proving, or trying phase of sanctification. Whereas God allowed a few of Israel’s enemies to remain, to try them and discipline them when they began to wander from Him; so we still have the enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil to battle with on a regular basis for these same purposes. The Apostle Paul said, “I die daily,” meaning that everyday, in some way, his old man was being put to death, crucified by God. He was given “a thorn in the flesh” to test him and to keep him from being overtaken by self-reliance and self-exaltation. No matter to what level of Christian experience we may have come, we will never get to the place, while we are still in this old sinful body, that we will live entirely beyond the reach of temptation and sin. The best Christian can become another Devil, and it is only “the grace of God” that sustains us. It is only when we abide in Christ, and are lead by the Spirit of Christ, that we can stand and have any victory while living in this flesh. We are “Prone to wander,” as the songwriter said, “Prone to leave the God I love,” because of the weakness of the flesh.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above
.[1]

1 Cor 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily

2 Cor 12;7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die
: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

So we must be brought again and again back to Christ as our only hope, forsaking the flesh and all of the vanities that are a part of its life. We will have times of triumph and defeat, of joyous union with our Lord and times of pinning away in the flesh, days of fruitfulness and days of shamefulness; but through all of these it is God who will be in control of every situation. He will never allow more testing than we can bear, but He will never yield to our complaining and whimpering. God cannot, and will not be toyed with, manipulated, tricked, or motivated by any of our childish methods that we use to get other human beings to see things our way, or to get them to do what we want them to do. We try to make God feel sorry for us with our whimpering and pity parties, and try to play upon His mercy so that He will take away our problems and arrange things the way we think they should be. What we fail to see is that we are the problem that God is dealing with, and our troubles are what He uses to correct us. God is all-knowing and all-wise, and knows just what we need to accomplish His purpose. These trials may not be as intense as those which it took to bring us into the awareness of Christ, but we will never be without them or live beyond the need for them in this life.

1 Pet 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Isa 28:23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and rie in their place?
26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.
27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.
29
This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

When once the light of the gospel has shined into man’s heart, and his conscience has been cleared, his spirit lives in joyous fellowship with his Saviour God. Then, as man is led through that “great and terrible wilderness” of sin and self, he comes to see the Promised Land of abiding in Christ. However, this state of bliss is soon and often interrupted by many trials and temptations, which cause man to doubt God’s grace, and turn him again to the “weak and beggarly elements” of this world. Our spiritual enemies will use everything in their power to discourage us, and cause us to doubt that what we have in Christ is real. It is these intruders, which seek to destroy our bond with Christ, that must be fought against, and put to death again and again. The battle ground for most believers will consist of an area of about six inches between ones ears. Most of us will never know the experiences of those who have “resisted unto blood,” and “loved not their lives unto the death.” However, all of us must “be renewed in the spirit” of our minds if we are to live in victory over these forces.

Deu 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

These spiritual enemies, which were once our taskmasters while in the flesh, still come to frighten us and tear down our faith; and to them and their terrors, we must die. Everything that is not of Christ must die, and this dying is a life-long process for the child of God. This is a process that exactly patterns itself after the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The message of the Gospel is that Christ suffered and died for our sins, and was buried. That everything that He was as a man was crucified, put to death, and then was buried—gone forever. Yet out of this grave He arose to a new life; He is the First Born of a new creation, one in which His redeemed ones would share in His new life also. Together with Him they will live forever in a new heaven and a new earth, nevermore subject to sin or death. This process of death, burial, and resurrection is pictured in baptism. The water baptism of the believer is the means by which we testify to the world that we have identified ourselves with Christ and the literal baptism He went through. It is also symbolic of the baptism that we as believers shall experience in a spiritual way; as our old lives are put to death, and we are raised to our new life in Christ. Somewhat to our dismay however, this death we go through as believers is not a one-time experience, but as Paul said “I die daily.” We must therefore arm ourselves with the knowledge of what we are going to experience as children of God. Those who blindly refuse to accept this plain scriptural teaching, but view the Christian life as a flowery bed of ease, are doomed to defeat. “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect”—mature in Christ—“be thus minded,” and God’s grace will see us through to the end of our course in this world.

2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Matt 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

1 Cor 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

1 Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Phil 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

2 Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Tim 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

One of the meanings of the river Jordan is judgment. When once we cross through the waters of Jordan, and we begin to see the flesh—the old man of sin—as our enemy, we are able to judge for ourselves the things of the flesh and the things of the Spirit. God opens our eyes to this battle against the flesh, so that He does not always have to chasten us to bring us back into the fold. As believers, we will sense when all is not well between us and the Lord; and we need to make a diligent searching of our hearts to discern where we have gone astray. Although we may not always find the answer, many times, particularly if we are troubled by something that has already been revealed to us before, we may find a speedy relief of our troubled state.

1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Psa 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Lam 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


 

[1]“Come, Thou Fount of every blessing”, Robert Robinson, 1735-1790.

 

 

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