Page 5 - November 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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if someone genuinely trusted Christ, but   world [of people], and death by sin; and
        God refused to justify him, God would be   so death passed upon all men, for that all
        acting unjustly. God’s one requirement of   have sinned” (Rom 5:12).
        us is that we acknowledge our guilt and   When Adam and Eve sinned, they
        receive Christ, by faith, as our Saviour.  became sinners. Consequently, when
          Verse 21 indicates that “the law and the   Cain and Abel were born, they inherited
        prophets” bear witness to the fact that   the same nature as their father Adam.
        justification of the guilty has always been   The very first man who was born, Cain,
        on the ground of faith. The expression   murdered his brother, Abel (Gen 4:8). Our
        “the law and the prophets” is the simplest   mortality is proof that when we trusted
        division of the OT, “the law” referring to   Christ, even though our spirits were made
        the five books of Moses (Genesis to Deu-  alive (Eph 2:4,5), our nature, described in
        teronomy), and “the prophets” referring   the NT as “the flesh,” was left unchanged.
        to the rest of the OT (see Joh 1:45). Paul   This we will see when we look at Romans
        elaborates on this in chapter 4 of Romans,   8:10.
        where he gives two examples of men in OT   Some teach that once we are saved we
        times who were justified by faith. The first   can no longer sin. They are living in a
        example is Abraham (4:1-5), an example   dream land. The Scriptures do not teach
        from the books of Moses. In relation to   this, nor does experience confirm it. In 1
        Abraham we read, “And he [God] brought   John we have a number of tests to see if a
        him [Abraham] forth abroad, and said,   person is genuinely saved or is apostate.
        Look now toward heaven, and tell the   One of those tests is found in 1 John 1:8:
        stars, if thou be able to number them: and   “If we say that we have no [not] sin, we
        he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And   deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in
        he believed in the Lord; and he counted   us.” To say that we have not sin is to deny
        it to him for righteousness” (Gen 15:5,6).   that we have a fallen, sinful nature. In Ga-
          The second example is David (Rom 4:6-  latians 2:11 we read, “But when Peter was
        8), an example from the Prophets (the rest   come to Antioch, I withstood him to the
        of the OT). Both Abraham (v3) and David   face, because he was to be blamed.” Peter
        (vv7,8) were justified by faith. No one has   had been acting in a hypocritical manner.
        ever been justified by seeking to obey the   Hypocrisy is sin. If one of the most promi-
        Law of Moses. On the other hand, “all   nent apostles can sin, then others who are
        that believe [in Christ] are justified from   saved can sin also.
        all things, from which ye could not be   What, then, makes us any different from
        justified by the law of Moses” (Act 13:39).   unbelievers? A young believer once said to
        To be justified, in New Testament terms,   me, “Dave, I feel worse now than before I
        means to have God’s own righteousness   was saved.” I replied to her, “Good! Now
        accredited to us, because our sins were   you have a conscience!” There were things
        accredited to the Lord Jesus Christ when   that she used to do that never bothered
        He suffered for us on the cross.      her. But now doing those things made
          This does not mean that we are no lon-  her feel guilty. How, then, can we live life
        ger capable of sinning. We still possess the   as “more than conquerors”? This we will
        nature we were born with. Paul states, “As   see in future articles. In our next article we
        by one man [Adam] sin entered into the   will look at Two Great Questions.

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