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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour, we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Good evening friends, again. Welcome back. Thank you for staying by. We, again, ran out of time, and so we’re going to need to do a part two for this study entitled “The Lord Our Righteousness.” {Jer 23:6} I can’t bring myself to pass by the material that remains uncovered. So please bear with me, and let’s continue to focus on vital truth, protective truth that will keep us out of this deadly trap of legalism, self-righteousness, that we are oh, so prone to fall into as a people. The truth shall set you free. {Jn 8:32} But my dear friends, we cannot experience the liberating power of the truth unless we study and receive it under the influence of the Spirit of Truth. Please know that. Nor can I rightly present the truth unless I have the help of the Spirit of Truth. So we need, as is our practice, to begin this study on our knees, praying for ourselves and for each other. Shall we do that?

Father in Heaven, once again in the name of Jesus, the Lord our Righteousness, we come into Your presence so grateful for the Intercessor. As we have just learned, our prayers – even our spirit-indited, love-motivated, prayers – passing through this corrupt channel of humanity are so defiled that unless purified by blood they can never be accepted by You. We are so grateful, recognizing this, that You have provided the intercessory role and ministry of our Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus we thank You that You take our prayers and You cleanse them with Your blood, and You add Your righteousness to them. And they come up before God holy and entirely acceptable. And He can grant our requests by virtue of Your virtue, not ours. By virtue of Your righteousness, not ours. And Father with the confidence that You see us as we are in Christ, and You can treat us as He deserves, we ask that You would bless us once again with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Please Lord God, You know how desperately I need that Spirit. I cannot possibly proclaim the truth with clarity, with accuracy, with power or with beauty, unless You work a miracle, and condescend to use me, earthen vessel though I am. Please take full possession of me: body, mind, and spirit. I’m Yours by creation, by redemption, and by my choice. You have every right to use me; I just pray that You would see fit to do so. And let me be Your messenger boy, I pray. Let me speak the truth in Your behalf, and only the truth. And what You’re able to say through me, may it find receptive hearts and minds, submissive wills, that it might transform lives. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name, amen.

We made it to the top of page 33 anyway, in our last study. We shared a remarkable statement regarding the defilement of even our Spirit-empowered, love-motivated, acts of obedience and worship as true believers. And what is it that, alone, makes our offering acceptable? It’s the laundering of the Intercessor. He cleanses it with His blood and He adds His righteousness to it. Then, and only then does it come before God acceptable. But please know that the laundering is not done so that it can thereby become meritorious. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} The laundering is done so that it can thereby become acceptable as a thank offering. And that we, I hope, established, though we had to rush through it by reading the Biblical parallel of that truth in Exodus 28. Look at verse 38.

After speaking of this, this signet, that has what engraved on it? HOLINESS TO THE LORD And where is it to be worn? On the forehead. What’s the symbolism and significance of that? This is a symbol of the infinitely perfect character of the High Priest, Jesus Christ. Are you following this? And wearing that, what is he able to do? Verse 38: “So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts.” In other words, there is a sin factor in even our sanctified offerings that must be dealt with. And only as it’s dealt with by the High Priest is it accepted. That is why it goes on to say, “and it shall always be on his forehead that they may be accepted before the LORD.” What accepted? The holy gifts. But they’re made acceptable by virtue of the holiness of our High Priest. Is that clear, my friends? I pray that that’s clear.

Again the statement that we noted earlier, but I want to note it in this context: Review and Herald June 16, 1896: “Through the mysterious plan of redemption, grace has been provided, so that the imperfect work of the human agent may be accepted in the name of Jesus our Advocate.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Praise God for that brother, sister. That does this man’s heart a lot of good because I am acutely aware that my best, my spirit-empowered, love-motivated best, is imperfect and comes far short. Are you with me on that? And if I didn’t know that Jesus was there, cleansing it with His blood and adding His righteousness to it, I would have no hope that it would be accepted by God as a love offering, as a thank offering. But I am so grateful that He is there to make it acceptable. But my dear friends, that truth, and constantly keeping it in mind, will certainly keep us out of this ditch of legalism, won’t it?

But there’s another truth that is equally important to constantly keep in mind, in order to keep us out of this ditch, cheap grace, antinomianism… and what is that? Review and Herald, September 3, 1901: “God will not accept a willfully imperfect service.” Oh, did you hear that? When we do our best, it’s what? Still imperfect, but God accepts that. But will He accept it if we haven’t done our best? If it’s willfully imperfect, can He accept it? No, He cannot. Do you see how that keeps us out of this ditch? Is that clear? God will not accept a willfully imperfect service.

And then, back to the vitally important truth. Again, Review and Herald September 3, 1901: “…righteousness without a blemish can be obtained only through the,” what? “Imputed righteousness of Christ.” The imparted righteousness of Christ is blemished, passing through the corrupt channel of humanity, it comes short. So where alone do we have a righteousness that is without blemish? Through the what? Imputed righteousness of Christ. The imputed righteousness of Christ.

Or lets go back to our sun and moon illustration. When we, by God’s grace, for the love of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, become full moons, when we, in other words, are living up to all the light we have, and reflecting it to the fullness of our ability, are we accepted in the sight of God on the basis of that faint reflection? No. Upon what basis are we accepted then? On the basis of being eclipsed by the Sun of Righteousness. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} On the basis of being what? Eclipsed by the Sun of Righteousness. Praise God, He chooses to look not upon the faint reflection of even full moons. He chooses to look upon His own SON, who represents us to Him. Amen? And what does He see? Does He see our faint reflection? No. What does He see? He sees the brightness of His own glory as shining in Jesus, our Representative before Him. Praise God, for our Representative. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Praise God brother, sister, that we have an infinitely righteous and glorious Representative before the Father.

2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we become the righteousness of God,” where? “in Him.” In Him, that’s the only place you have infinite righteousness, the righteousness of God. I love this statement, Desire of Ages, page 357: Jesus talking to us: “As you confess Me before men, I will confess you before God… I will be your Representative in heaven. The Father beholds not your faulty character, but He sees you as clothed in My perfection.” My dear friends, that ought to just thrill us. I pray that it thrills your heart. I love that. “As you confess Me before men, I will confess you before the Father. I will be your Representative in heaven. The Father beholds not your faulty character, but He sees you as clothed in My perfection.” But please notice, please notice that if Jesus is going to represent us before the Father, we need to represent Him before men. Did I hear an “amen”? If Jesus is going to confess us before the Father, we need to confess Him before men, that’s the deal. Hear Him: “As you, as you confess Me before men, so I will confess you before the Father.” {Mat 10:32}

Friends, I’m impressed to share something with you here that I hadn’t originally planned on sharing. Turn with me to Revelation, chapter 3. And I want you to note something very significant. Revelation, chapter 3, the message to Laodicea, verse 14 is where it begins. “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, these things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are,” what? “Lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will,” what? “I will spue you out of My mouth.” I will what? “I will spue you out of My mouth.” What is He saying there? My dear friends, He’s saying that if we continue to misrepresent Him, and fail to confess Him before men, He will no longer be able to represent and confess us before the Father. That’s how He will spue us out of His mouth. Please notice, in chapter 3:5, when He is speaking to the Church of Sardis, what does He say? “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will,” what? “confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Why can He confess the Church of Sardis? Because they are confessing Him. They are representing Him, therefore He can represent them. But my dear friends, the thing that must sober us is to realize that we are failing to rightly represent Him and confess Him as we should. And unless we change, what will He have to do? Spue us of His mouth. He will have to cease to confess us before the Father, and then we are without hope. Do you hear what we’re saying? Please, please, take that very seriously and think about that.

Back to our study. As we confess Him, He confesses us. As we represent Him, He represents us. And the Father chooses to see us, not as we are in ourselves, but as we are in Him. And we, as full moons, are fully eclipsed by the “Sun.” Psalms 84:11, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory.” Grace and glory. He imputes His glory to us before the Father, and He imparts His glory in us by the Spirit. Review and Herald, July 4, 1912: “In Him are found all the excellencies necessary to absolute perfection of character.” Do we need absolute perfection of character? …to meet the absolute standard of righteousness? Yes, we do. Where do we find it? In Him. Colossians 2:9 and following: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead,” how? “bodily…” This is why He has the righteousness of God. “…in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;…” Verse 10: “And you are complete,” where? “…in Him… who is head of all principality and power.” But please notice, if we are complete in Him, then He will be working in us. And what He will be doing in us? Verse 11: “In Him you were also,” what? “circumcised… with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.”

Work with me on this, my dear friends. Please understand that this is what the Bible calls the circumcision of the what? Heart. That is the spiritual circumcision. The ancient circumcision that was practiced by God’s chosen people is only a type of this. We must now experience the anti-typical circumcision, which is the circumcision of the what? The heart. And what is the circumcision of the heart? It is cutting away at the realm of our thoughts and feelings even, and especially… all of our attachments to the lusts of the flesh. Did you understand that? That’s the circumcision of the heart. You see, if we are cherishing… If we are what? Cherishing sin… even if it’s only in the realm of our thought life, our imagination, our fantasy, we are clinging to sin. And if we are clinging to, or cherishing sin, my dear friends, we have no legitimate claim – hear me – to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Now, this is a crucial concept to understand. If we are cherishing known sin, clinging to known sin, we are not under the Lordship of Christ. And if we are not under the Lordship of Christ, we are not clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Now, I must make this clear. And this is why I could not cut this study short. Please work with me on this.

The circumcision of the heart is done by the Holy Spirit using the scalpel of the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. {Heb 4:12} And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled, for the love of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to choose to refuse to indulge sinful desires, appetites, and passions even in the realm of our what? Our thoughts. This is character development. Because what is character? It is our thoughts and feelings combined. {5T 310.1} My dear friends, please understand that this is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. {Rom 12:2} We need to stop, even in the realm of our thought life, indulging wrong desires, and wrong thoughts, and wrong feelings. This is the circumcision of the heart. And those who are complete in Christ will be in the process of being circumcised in their hearts. And it is imperative, my dear friends, please hear me… It is imperative that this process be completed, because you see, if we cling to any sin, if we cling to any sin, it can and will neutralize the power of the gospel in our lives. Please, I’ve got to talk to you straight on this. You cannot cherish sin and be in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m telling you this because I love you. You cannot cherish sin and be in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, my dear friends. You must, for the love of Christ, allow Him to, to cut your attachments away from all known sin, please… please.

Selected Messages, Volume 1, page 213: “There is no safety nor repose nor justification in transgression of the law. Man cannot hope to stand innocent before God, and at peace with Him through the merits of Christ, while he continues in sin. He must cease to transgress, and become loyal and true.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen}

You see, let’s go to Scripture on this, 1 John, chapter 3. And write it there in your printout, in spite of the fact it’s not there. 1 John, chapter 3, and let’s take a look at verse 6. “Whoever abides in Him…” Pause. If we are to be justified, we must be where? In Christ, okay? And if we are to be continually justified, we must what? Abide in Christ; we must stay in Christ. Are you following this? Now listen to what that involves, though. “Whoever abides in Him does not,” what? “sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.” Now, bless your hearts, this is something that is very important to rightly understand. Please, please, hear me on this. This is imperative to understand. Does this mean that if we stumble and fall and get caught off guard and commit a sin, we aren’t abiding in Christ? Please understand that in the Greek, the verb “sin” here is in the present active tense. Did you hear what I just told you? That’s a very important insight. In the Greek, the verb here, “sin,” is in the what? Present active tense. In other words, what the Apostle John is saying is that whoever abides in Christ does not go on sinning. Does not go on willfully cherishing any known sin. Are you following this?

But does that mean that we will never get caught off-guard, and stumble and fall? No, it doesn’t. Is there provision for that? Yes, there is. Turn back to 1 John, chapter 1. 1 John chapter 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is,” what? “Faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And chapter 2:1: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.” Now, in the Greek, this is in what we call the aorist tense. And the aorist tense is punctilliar; it happens at a point in time. This is not the ongoing, continuous sinning like the present active is. This is getting caught off guard and stumbling and falling because of want of watchfulness and prayer.

Praise God that if we sin, if we get caught off-guard and fall, we have what? “…we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Amen? “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world”. But I want you to see the distinction there and unfortunately in the English language, that distinction is obscured, because both the aorist tense for sin and the present active tense for sin is translated what? Sin… sin. But please know that what we do not do, back to chapter 3:6… If we are in Christ, if we are abiding in Christ, what we do not do is go on what? Sinning. Is that clear? “Whoever abides in Him does not go on sinning. Whoever goes on sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.” That, as well, is in the present active tense there. That’s called a present active participle, actually. But it is clearly indicating the ongoing, continual nature of transgression. A true Christian does not do that. You see, if we go on cherishing even one known sin, then we are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and sin still reigns. And my friends, no man can serve, what? Two masters. {Mat 6:24} Therefore, if we’re choosing to let sin reign, who are we refusing to let reign? Jesus Christ. He’s not our Lord, and if He is not our Lord, please know, that He cannot be our righteousness. Why? That brings us to the title of our study.

What is His name? “The Lord our Righteousness.” Amen? {Amen} Think about that name with me. It’s found in Jeremiah 23:6… Jeremiah 23:6: “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called:” What is it, class? “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Oh, please, please understand the profound significance of that name. Please recognize the two components of that name, and most importantly, understand that they are inseparable. What are the two components? He is Lord and He is our righteousness. As our righteousness, He justifies us. As our Lord, He what? Sanctifies us. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen}

As we allow Him to reign in our hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit, He gives us His power to overcome sin. Amen? {Amen} He circumcises our hearts, and even in the realm of our thought life, we gain victory over temptation. And that, by the way, is where victory is… …must be gained. It’s between the right and the left ear… more on that later. But under the Lordship of Christ, He is able to sanctify us and to give us victory over sin. And for those who know Him as Lord, they can claim Him as their righteousness. Are you following this?

But I ask you, and dear friends, over here in the ditch of cheap grace… Okay… You see, this is what the antinomians want to do. They want to claim Him as their righteousness, but not be bothered to submit to His Lordship. That’s called cheap grace. They want to go on letting sin reign, but still convince themselves that they are what? Righteous in the sight of God. Can you do that? Can you divide Christ? Can you say, “Hey listen, I’m interested in You being my righteousness, but don’t bother me with Your Lordship, don’t make me obey you.” Can you do that? No you can’t; it’s a package deal. Do I hear an “amen”? Are you all understanding this? You’re a little quiet tonight, bless your hearts, I need a little feedback. If Jesus is going to be our righteousness, He must also be our what? Our Lord; don’t fool yourselves on this one. Please don’t play games with yourself on this one. And bless your hearts, there are a whole lot of Seventh-day Adventists that are off into the ditch of self-righteousness, but there are also a whole lot of Seventh-day Adventists that are off into the ditch of cheap grace. And they have a perverted understanding of the gospel that has them fooled into thinking that they can go on sinning and be righteous in the sight of God. My dear friends, it doesn’t work that way. I’m here to insist it does not work that way. If Jesus is going to be our righteousness, He will be our Lord.

Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 931: “Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him in faith. He will cleanse them from all defilement if they will let Him.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} He will cleanse us from what? All defilement, if we will let Him. Reading on: “But if they cling to their sins, they cannot possibly be saved; for Christ’s righteousness covers no sin unrepented of.” Solemn, sober truth, but before God, I am bound to share it with you, my dear friends. Please don’t resent me for doing it. I love you too much to leave you in the dark on this one. If we cling to our sins, we cannot possibly be saved, for Christ’s righteousness covers what? No sin unrepented of and unforsaken. Are we all together on this?

Christ’s Object Lessons, page 316: “The righteousness of Christ will not cover one cherished sin.” Are we clear? “It will not cover not one,” what kind of sin? “cherished sin.” The one that you know about, but are choosing to cling to and refuse to give up. Praise God for the promise of Jude 24 and 25. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling…” King James says “falling.” You see, the beautiful thing about the Lordship of Christ by His indwelling, empowering, ennobling, energizing spirit is that He will not only enable us to stop sinning, as in continually, but He is even able to keep us from what? Falling, and stumbling, and getting caught off-guard. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Praise God for that kind of help, brother, sister. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Who is able to present us faultless? Jesus Christ. “…to God our Savior, who alone is wise, to be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” I love that prayer… I love that prayer.

I want to take you to one more text that protects us, just as the name “the Lord our Righteousness” does, and keeps out of both ditches and on the straight and narrow. There’s another text; you’ll see it at the top of page 34. It’s Hebrews chapter 10:14. And I would encourage you to turn in your Bibles to that verse, and underline it if it’s not already underlined. It is a profoundly significant and protective truth. Hebrews chapter 10:14: From the New King James it sounds like this: “For by one offering,” Pause. Who are we talking about? Jesus Christ, His blood, His substitutionary life culminated by His sacrificial death. That is the one offering. Are you all with me? “For by one offering He has perfected for,” how long? “forever…” Think about that with me now. “For by one offering, He has perfected for,” how long? “forever.” What is it that perfects us in the eyes of God… through the ceaseless ages of eternity, in the absolute sense of perfection? It’s the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

You see, how perfect is the character perfection of Jesus that is imputed to us? How perfect is it? It’s infinitely perfect. It’s what? It’s infinitely perfect. How long will we be growing into that infinitely perfect character perfection? How long? Forever. And yet throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity, God will count us, by virtue of the imputed righteousness of Christ, to be what? Infinitely perfect. Not just perfect, but how perfect? Infinitely perfect. Please understand this. You see, it is the imputed righteousness of Christ that elevates us in the value of moral worth with God, brother, sister! Did you hear what I told you? {Amen} This is what makes us kings and priests, sons and daughters with God before the whole universe through the ceaseless ages of eternity. It’s the imputed, infinite perfection, righteousness of God which we received when we came to the foot of the cross, and accepted Him as our personal Savior.

Listen. In Heavenly Places, morning watch book, page 39. “He who knew no sin became sin for the race that His righteousness might be,” what? “imputed to man.” “Through the perfection of Christ’s character, man was elevated in the scale of moral value,” with whom? “…with God; and through the merits of Christ, finite man was linked to the Infinite.” Think about that. That ought to thrill you to the core of your being. And my dear friends that character perfection will cover us for how long? For eternity… for eternity… wow! It’s that infinite character perfection that raises us in the value of moral worth with God, before the whole universe through the ceaseless ages of eternity. That is an infinitely valuable and everlasting righteousness.

How long will we be able to grow into that character likeness? Listen. Sons and Daughters of God, page 327: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” That’s the requirement of the law, remember? Reading on: “It should be our life work to be constantly reaching forward to the perfection of Christian character, ever striving for conformity to the will of God.” Now listen to this next amazing sentence. “The efforts begun here will continue through eternity.” Did you hear that? “The efforts begun here will continue,” how long? “through eternity.” “The advancement made here will be ours when we enter upon the future life.” Oh, think about that!

You see, my friends, again, how long can you approach infinity before you arrive? How long? Forever… forever. And yet, all the while God will count us to be what? Infinitely perfect, as perfect as His own Son. In a very real sense then, we will be growing into what God counts us to be through the ceaseless ages of eternity. Do you understand what I’m trying to communicate to you?

Can I get feedback? Heads nod, something. Some of you are giving me that TV stare, and it scares me. You know what the TV stare is, don’t you? It’s just… You’re looking right at me but there’s not a lot of evidence of cognitive activity, and it worries me… it worries me.

These are exciting truths, my brother, my sister. These are thrilling truths, and they ought to thrill us to the core of our being. But please notice that last sentence before we move on here. “The advancement made here will be ours when we enter upon the future life.” Will we have different starting points then, when we… when we’re glorified and get to heaven? Will we each have different starting points? Yes, we will. Who will have determined the starting point that we have? Ourselves… ourselves. We take to heaven our what? Our character; that’s the only thing we take. And the more mature and developed and Christ-like that character is, we will be advantaged to that degree and be able to soar from that point through eternity into the infinitely glorious character of God. That’s another reason to press on towards the mark here and now, amen?

You see, the Apostle Paul and the thief on the cross will both be in heaven, right? But the Apostle Paul’s starting point is going to be different than the thief’s on the cross starting point, right? The thief’s starting point… big difference. Will the thief on the cross be in heaven? Yes. Really? Yes, he will be. Jesus said: “I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise.” {Lk 23:43}

Now, wait a minute. To be in paradise, we’ve not only got to have a title, we’ve got to have a fitness. Did the thief have a fitness? Absolutely, he did. What was his fitness? He was living up to all the light he had, and to the fullness of his ability, he was reflecting that light. Right? For the love of Christ. That’s our fitness… that’s our fitness. And because his life was terminated at that point, he couldn’t grow beyond that. But I promise you, if he’d been able to come down from the cross he, for the love of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit would have grown from what? Glory to glory. And he would have made restitution for the things that he’d stolen, and he would have changed his character. But I promise you he had a fitness. No man will be in heaven without a fitness.

“Without holiness,” what? “no man shall see God.” {Heb 12:14} And what is holiness? Holiness in wholeness for God. It’s being entirely, for the love of Christ, submitted to His Lordship. And the thief was. In fact he is the only one that called Jesus “Lord” on the cross. Nobody, not even His disciples, called Him “Lord.” But the thief called Him “Lord.” What did he say? “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” {Lk 23:42} He acknowledged Jesus as his what? Lord. And that’s why Jesus is his righteousness. And that’s why he had both a fitness and a title to heaven. Are we clear on that?

Now the thief, though, when he gets to heaven, will have a very, very immature character, won’t he? And for eternity he will be behind, significantly, the Apostle Paul. But I assure you, they’ll both be happy campers there. Do you understand what we’re trying to explain here? And they will each grow from that point, for how long? For eternity… into the infinitely glorious character perfection of God which was imputed to them by faith in Jesus Christ. Oh, I pray that that’s clear.

Now, back to our text though: Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:14; I want to really, really bring home this key point. Please don’t miss it. Who is it, my dear friends, that is perfected forever by one offering? Who is it? Those who are BEING sanctified, and bless your hearts, if you have the King James, get it out and do yourself a favor, okay? The King James says, “those who are sanctified.” And unfortunately that does not do justice to the original language. What verb tense do you suppose the Greek verb “sanctified” is in? The present active. And you’re familiar with the present active tense by now, aren’t you? What does the present active tense in the Greek mean? Ongoing, continuous action, whatever that is. That’s why it is much closer to the Greek to say, “being sanctified.” That implies, at least, that it’s an ongoing process, right? The Greek is even stronger than that. The Greek literally is saying, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are continually in the process of being sanctified.” {Heb 10:14} That’s what the Greek implies. Does that make sense to you? Now please, please see how sanctification then, and justification are absolutely what? Inseparable, they’re locked together. Do you see how that works? Who is it that is perfected forever by one offering? Just anyone? No. Who? Those who are what? Being sanctified. Those who are continually in the process of what? Sanctification.

You see, this is why, my dear friends, we as a people don’t believe in once saved, always saved. We don’t believe in it because it’s not Biblical. It is most emphatically not Biblical. When we come to the cross and accept the Lordship of Christ, by faith, we accept Him as our Savior, and submit our will to Him without reservation, He becomes our righteousness, right? He becomes our righteousness. And He will remain our righteousness as long as we choose to remain under His Lordship. But do we have the option at any point to reject His Lordship? Do we? Are we free to do that? Absolutely. And tragically, a whole lot of people do. You know, they have that first love and they want to please Christ, you know… they’re making progress, and then they discover some cherished sin that Christ wants them to let go of. And what do they decide to do? Hold on to it. And they say, “Lord, You know, don’t make me give this one up. Please… I want this one.” And what choice have they made, my friends, what choice have they made? They’ve chosen to let sin reign. And in choosing to let sin reign, they have chosen to dethrone who? Jesus Christ. No man can serve two masters. {Mat 6:24} And my dear friends, if you and I absolutely persist and insist on letting sin reign, we will eventually forfeit the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He’s the first to come and the last to leave. And He’s longsuffering and patient. But if we absolutely insist on clinging to sin, then we lose our saving relationship with Him. Please know that. Are we all clear on this? Please know that. And because we are free to do this at any point in our pilgrimage, as we press on towards the mark, at any point we can say: “No, don’t want to let go of that one, don’t want to give that up.” At any point, we can forfeit the righteousness of Christ by rejecting the Lordship of Christ. We can choose not to go on being sanctified, and if we refuse to be in the process of being sanctified, what do we forfeit? Being perfected forever by one offering. Is that clear to you? For by one offering He has perfected forever. Who? Who? Those who are being sanctified… being sanctified.

Oh, my dear friends, I want to encourage you with all of my heart, for the love of Christ, to determine to stay under His Lordship, and thereby be sanctified. And I want to assure you, please hear me… please hear me. I want to assure you that as you do, you will experience greater health and happiness, and well being, and peace, and joy than you ever dreamed possible. You see my friends, it is precisely because Jesus loves us that He is not willing to just account us righteous, but determined to make us holy as well. Because our happiness, remember, is found in holiness.

I am so grateful for a Lord who loves me enough not only to set me free from the condemnation of sin, but to set me free from the control of sin as well. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} I am so thankful that the plan of salvation makes it possible, not only for me to be freed from the penalty of sin, but freed from the power of sin as well. Amen? {Amen} It’s a two-fold provision, the blood and the water. The blood sets you free from the condemnation and the penalty, the water sets you free from the control and the power. Amen?

And praise God that He loves us enough to make us holy… because He wants us to be happy. And I promise you, my dear friends, if we cling to sin, we will not only suffer here and now, but we will have to suffer terribly on the day of retribution and final judgment. Please don’t make that choice. Why are we so prone to cling to sin? Because of its pleasures. Does sin have pleasure? Of course it does; the Bible speaks of the pleasures of sin. {Heb 11:25} But you better believe they’re for a season only… Do you hear me, my dear friends? …and it’s a very short one, especially when compared to eternity.

But the trouble with the pleasures of sin is that they’re not only short, but they’re terribly debilitating. You get your buzz, but you’re always worse off for having had it. Do you hear what I’m telling you? I’m talking straight to you, my dear friends. Please do not cherish sin. Please know that the pleasures for evermore {Ps 16:11} at the right hand of the throne of God are infinitely, infinitely more pleasurable than the pleasures of sin for a season. Don’t, don’t sell your birthright for a bowl of pottage, please. {Heb 12:16} Please don’t!

For the love of Christ, allow Him to come into your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and circumcise it, cut it away from all of those attachments to any known sin. That’s what we’re going to be studying as we continue in this seminar. How to do… How to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the circumcision of the heart. You’re going to be back, aren’t you? Aren’t you? {Yes} Praise God. Let’s stand for closing prayer.

My Father in heaven, I thank You so much for the precious, protective, and balanced truth. I thank You that by the power of the Spirit of Truth we can come to understand it and be kept on the straight and narrow, and protected from falling into either ditch. And Lord, You know where each one of us are tonight. You know whether we’re on the straight and narrow or whether we’re off in one ditch or the other. Father, we have a tendency to fool ourselves in these matters. Indeed the heart is deceitful above all things. And its favorite deception is to fool us into thinking we’re all right in our Christian experience when we may not be at all. Maybe we’re off in the ditch of self-righteousness, or maybe we’re off in the ditch of cheap grace. But tonight the truth has, I hope, helped us recognize that fact – if indeed it is a fact. And I just pray, Father, that we would rejoice in being helped to see the problem, because we can’t ever hope to experience the solution until we recognize our problem. So help us not to resent having the laser light of truth expose to us whatever needs to be exposed… because we’re now in a position to flee to Christ and receive His forgiveness and His victory. Oh Father, I thank You that at the cross we find what we need, not only to have the condemnation removed, but we find what we need to be set free from the control of sin as well in our lives. Thank You for the blood that takes care of the penalty, and thank You for the water that helps us overcome the power of sin. And Father, I pray that You would help us to be among those who by one offering are perfected forever because we, for the love of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, are determined to be continually in the process of being made holy, being sanctified. Help us Father, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Help us not to get discouraged as we see that even our best is imperfect and it comes short. Help us to trust Him and to realize that You choose to see us not in ourselves, but as we are in Him. And thank You that even if we by grace become full moons, shining to the fullness of our sin-damaged capacity, we are not seen as just a faint reflection, which is what we are in ourselves, but we are seen by You as hidden behind the “Sun” – infinitely, infinitely bright and righteous in Your sight. Oh Father, with that kind of arrangement, with that kind of provision, we have no reason to be discouraged. We can rejoice in the acceptance that is ours and grow in the holiness, in the likeness of Christ, for the love of Christ and by His Spirit. Teach us, please, teach us to do this is our prayer in Jesus’ name and for His sake, amen.



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