The Sinner

One is not a sinner because he sins. He sins because he is a sinner. 

Author Unknown

The real trouble with the unregenerate is that they do not know and understand the truth about sin…..The moment a man understands the true nature and character of sin he becomes troubled about his soul and seeks for a Saviour.  It is the peculiar function of the law to bring such an understanding to a man’s mind and conscience.*

*D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Romans 7:1 – 8:4 (Banner of Truth, 1973),     p. 114, as cited by Christopher Ash, Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience (P&R Publishing, 2014), p. 92.

What Lack I Yet?

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

And, behold, one (rich young ruler) came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master, what good thing (righteous deed) shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he (Jesus) said unto him, why callest thou me good?  There is none good but one, that is, God: 

(Two things from Christ: Are you calling me God?  Are you calling yourself a sinner?)

Jesus continues, but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.  He (the rich young ruler) saith unto him, which?  Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

(As we learned in an earlier article, the Law is God’s standard to show us that we fall short, that we are all, at best, sinners alienated from God by our sin.)

The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (The young ruler was not being honest with himself or with the Lord).

Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect (the Law demands perfection, so if you are going to achieve eternal life by your righteous deeds, do this…), go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow     me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away                                                      sorrowful: for he had great possessions.                                                  Matthew 19:16-22 and Luke 18:9-14

Jesus was looking for a humble admission from the rich young ruler that he could not keep the law and therefore needed God’s mercy. but the rich young ruler held fast to his own merit.

And he (Jesus) spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I (Jesus) tell you, this man (the publican) went down to his house justified (acquitted) rather than the other:                                        Luke 18:9-14a

Note: The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, but they elevated tradition and ceremony to a level which overshadowed the Scripture, and promoted their self-righteousness.  Jesus challenged them at every opportunity and condemned them for their hypocrisy.

The publican was a hated and despised tax collector who worked for the Roman government and was considered a traitor by his fellow countrymen.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

The Righteous Man and An Evil Man

…see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Proverbs 139:24

An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. Proverbs 17:11

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly… 

Unanswered Prayer

There are only a couple of reasons that a person may be experiencing unanswered prayer. If you are a Christian, the reason you maybe experiencing unanswered prayer is because of unconfessed sin.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: Psalm 66:18.

As believers we are to keep short accounts with God.  As soon as we realize a thought, a word, or an action is sin, we are to confess it directly to the Lord.  Confessing one’s sin is to say the same thing about that sin that God says about it.  We are to agree with God against ourselves.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                     I John 1:9

The remedy for the believer to overcome sin is by hiding God’s Word in his/her heart.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11

Another reason for unanswered prayer that should be considered is the fact that one may not truly be a Christian.

Christ Himself warned us: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22&23

Jesus told Nicodemus: Ye must be born again.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot (practice) sin, because he is born of God.                  I John 3:9

A true believer can sin, he just can’t practice sin and/or enjoy it anymore because the Holy Spirit indwells him/her, beginning at salvation.  If your life style is that of practicing sin and God does not discipline you for it, then you have no evidence of having been saved.

Saving faith involves repentance.  Repentance is a changing of the mind about sin and about Jesus.  Saving faith is trust that is placed in Jesus Christ alone.  Nothing that you have done or that the church has done to you can save you.  Salvation is of the Lord!

But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12&13

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…


Praise My Soul the King of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Evermore His praises sing:
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father like He tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Widely yet His mercy flows.

Frail as summer’s flow’r we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone;
But while mortals rise and perish,
Our God lives unchanging on.
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Praise the high Eternal One!

Angels, help us to adore Him,
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him;
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise Him, praise Him, alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

Henry F. Lyte 1834

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