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    October 1, 1896

    “Bible Studies on the Christian Life. The Power of Sin” The Present Truth 12, 40, p. 629.

    ATJ

    ALL would find the way of salvation easy if they would make the right calculation at the beginning. Jesus says, “My yoke is easy;” and it is so. He says, “My burden is light;” and it is so. But many people who are in the way do not find His yoke easy nor His burden light. And all the difficulty is that they do not make the right calculation as to the contest that is met in the way. Jesus said: “What king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.1

    Many start in the way, and this is the right thing to do. But by not properly estimating the force against them nor their power to meet it, they do not prosper in the way as they should, nor as they expected. They do not rightly estimate the power of sin, nor their power to meet it successfully. In a little while they find themselves failing repeatedly, and then, after many “ups and downs,” they begin to think that that is the way, and then begin to excuse sin, and apologise for it, and try to strike conditions of peace in that sort of experience. But this will never do. Victory can never come that way.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.2

    No; sit down first, and “consult” as to what are the forces against you, and whether you are able to meet them, and if not able to meet them, then what to do in order to meet them successfully; for no apology, no compromise, no peace, must ever be sought or allowed with sin. “Consult” the chart of the field of battle, the Bible. “Consult” the One who knows, as to the power of the enemy. “Consult” the Great Commander in the field, as to what equipment and what power are essential to assure victory, not only “at last” but at first. Time, even much time, spent in this consultation at the beginning, would be always a gain rather than in any sense a loss.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.3

    The difficulty does not lie with any one, in any failure to acknowledge the fact of sin. With every one the whole difficulty lies in failure to acknowledge the power of sin. Everybody is willing to admit that he has done wrong,—that he has aimed to do right, but has missed the mark; and this is only to miss the mark. Many are willing to be specific, and to say that they have actually sinned, and are altogether sinners, and to confess it to the Lord. It is well, it is right, to do all this; and yet all this can be done, and, in fact, is done by many, without their acknowledging or confessing the power of sin.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.4

    Many do all this, and yet depend upon themselves and what is of themselves, to defeat sin. They insist that they could do better if only they had a better chance; but circumstances are unfavourable—the neighbours are bad; the church-members are not all converted, and therefore matters of church or Sabbath-school work are unpleasant and “trying;” their own family relations are not the best. All these things and such as these are counted hindrances to progress in the Christian life; and they themselves could do better and be better Christians if circumstances were only as favourable as they should be. These persons hold that inside they are all right, the good is there; it is outside where the evil lies, and the good that is in them does not have a chance to show itself. If only all the evil influences without, and all opposing circumstances were taken away, then, ah! then, they could easily enough be Christians of just the right kind.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.5

    But this is all a deception. It is but an argument presented by the deceitfulness of sin. It is not anything outside of us nor around us, but only what is in us, that can hinder us form being Christians of just the right kind. It is only the power of sin working in us that can ever hinder us in the least from being straightforward Christians. And until that power is recognised and confessed, we cannot be delivered from it. But when it is recognizsd and confessed, we can be delivered from it; and just as constantly and just as thoroughly as it is recognised and confessed, just so constantly and so thoroughly can we be delivered from it. And deliverance from the power of sin if Christianity. The life that is delivered from the power of sin is a Christian life in truth, and it cannot be anything else.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.6

    The word of God has made this as plain as anything can be made. The whole thought of Scripture is to show that there is power in sin. The Scripture does not want men to entertain any other view of sin than that there is power in it, and that this power is absolute so far as man himself is concerned. The statements of Scripture, and the very terms in which these statements are framed, show this.PTUK October 1, 1896, page 629.7

    A. T. JONES.

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