Take Up the Challenge – Pt.3

Take Up the Challenge – Pt.3

The Challenge

Lastly, observe the daring hope here cherished.

“Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” That is the upshot of the Divine answer to both the petitions, which have been occupying us in these two successive sermons. It is connected with the former of them by the recurrence of the same word, which in the first petition was rendered “cleanse”–or, more accurately, “clear”– and in this final clause is to be rendered accurately, “I shall be clear from the great transgression.” And it obviously connects in sense with both these petitions, because, in order to be upright and clear, there must, first of all, be the Divine cleansing and then Divine restraint.

So, then, nothing short of absolute deliverance from the power of sin in all its forms should content the servant of God. Nothing short of it contents the Master for the servant. Nothing short of it corresponds to the power which Christ puts in operation in every hears that believes in Him. And nothing else should be our aim in our daily conflict with evil and growth in grace. Ah! I fear me that, for an immense number of professing Christians in this generation, the hope of–and, still more, the aim towards–anything approximating to entire deliverance from sin, have faded from their consciences and their lives. Aim at the stars, brother, and, if you do not hit them, your arrow will go higher than if it were shot along the lower levels.

Note that an indefinite approximation to this condition is possible. I am not going to discuss, at this stage of my discourse, controversial questions which may be involved here. It will be time enough to discuss with you whether you can be absolutely free from sin in this world when you are a great deal freer from it than you are at present. At all events, you can get far nearer to the ideal, and the ideal must always be perfect. And I lay it on your hearts, dear friends, that you have in your possession, if you are Christian people, possibilities in the way of conformity to the Master’s will, and emancipation from all corruption, that you have not yet dreamed of, not to say applied to your lives. “I pray God that He would sanctify you wholly, and that your whole body, soul, and spirit be preserved blameless unto the coming.”

That daring hope will be fulfilled one day; for nothing short of it will exhaust the possibilities of Christ’s work or satisfy the desires of Christ’s heart.

The Gospel knows nothing of irreclaimable outcasts. To it there is but one unpardonable sin, and that is the sin of refusing the cleansing of Christ’s blood and the sanctifying of Christ’s Spirit. Whoever you are, whatever you are, go to God with this prayer of our text, and realize that it is answered in Jesus Christ, and you will not ask in vain. If you will put yourselves into His hands, and let Him cleanse and restrain, He will give you new powers to detect the serpents in the flowers, and new resolution to shake off the vipers into the fire. For there is nothing that God wants half so much as that we, His wandering children, should come back to Him, and He will cleanse us from the filth of the swine trough and the rags of our exile, and clothe us in fine linen clean and white. We may each be sinless and guiltless. We can be so in one way only. If we look to Jesus Christ, and live near Him, He “will be made of God unto us wisdom,” by which we shall detect our secret sins; “righteousness,” whereby we shall be cleansed from guilt; “sanctification,” which shall restrain us from open transgression; “and redemption,” by which we shall be wholly delivered from evil and presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Strahan
    September 18, 2016, 11:07 pm   /  Reply

    As I read all three of these messages I was moved within myself and noted that thngs spoken of in them have grown in magnitude and like a cancer spread more through the body of Christ.

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