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For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 KJ2000)

In the eternal reality of God, Truth is not only what is factual, but much more. Truth is verity. The Encarta Dictionary defines verity as "the quality of being true or real." This is not how we in the western culture use the word. We tend to equate truth as some system of facts that can be held separately in the mind of a person whether their lives represent that truth or not. There are many Christian churches and cults that claim to know "the truth," and most of this "truth" is conflicting. Most of their adherents do not live truth nor do they have hearts filled with truth. Yes, they have a lot of "truth" in their minds, but it has not taken over in their innermost beings. Jesus found this same kind of belief system in the Pharisees of 2000 years ago when He warned, "You do well to do as the Pharisees say, but do as they say and not as they do, for they say one thing and do another."

People by nature like to study truth and like others to think of them as possessors of the truth, but avoid truth's changing power in themselves, because that requires a substantial change of Who is in control of their lives. Our human nature wants to maintain control at all cost. Truth is not just knowledge of what is true, but it is a quality of being which is true and real. Søren Kierkegaard rightfully observed, "Truth has always had many loud proclaimers, but the question is whether a person will in the deepest sense acknowledge the truth, allow it to permeate his whole being, accept all its consequences, and not have an emergency hiding place for himself and a Judas kiss for the consequence."

John declared in the first chapter of his gospel,

And the Word [or, the Expression of {divine} Logic] became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of an only-begotten [or, uniquely-begotten] from [the] Father, full of grace and truth... For the law was given through Moses: grace and truth came to be through Jesus Christ (John 1:14&17 ALT).

Moses gave us the law and it contained truth, but God sent His only begotten Son to us as the embodiment of Truth, not just a shadow of it. (See Colossians 2:16-17, Hebrews 8:1-6, and Hebrews 10:1) Jesus took our understanding of what truth is a step further than the Law of Moses.

Thomas says to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going away. And how are we able to know the way?" Jesus says to him, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me! (John 14:5-6 ALT)

Jesus came not only to teach us truth but to be our Truth! When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus where she should worship God, either at their holy mountain shrine or in Jerusalem He answered,

Woman, trust (believe) me; The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the father. Ye worship ye wot nere (not) what: we know what we worship. For salvation cometh of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the father in spirit, and in truth. For verily such the father requireth to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must honour (worship) him, in spirit and verity. (truth) (John 4:21-24 TRC)

Jesus came to inhabit our very beings and fill us with true verity, the very life of the Son of God that dwells in us and worships the Father in the very Spirit of Truth as only His Spirit can. With His Spirit alive in us worship no longer has to be done in a special building or conducted in a special "worship service." Worship is a product of having His life in our beings and prayer, communion with our Father, is something we do without ceasing. True worship comes from a Life Source within. To the Jews who sought to kill Jesus he said,

You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth... You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:33, 29&40 RSVA)

John the Baptist came preparing the way for Jesus to come and witnessed about Him saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'" Many of the Jews and their leaders did not receive the witness of John, but rather kept searching the scriptures for the truth. In chapters 52 and 53, Isaiah prophesied in great detail about the coming Messiah, his life, suffering, ministry, even what He would look like, yet the Jews were blind to His witness. In their blindness they cut themselves off from God and brought about their own destruction. Jesus prophesied over Jerusalem saying, "If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong unto your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a bank about you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation." (Luke 19:42-44 KJ2000) Will we also miss our hour of Christ's visitation and not yield fully to His abiding presence? If so, we can expect the same consequences to befall us.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." We must come to Him and not just the scriptures to have life. Truth and life are in Jesus Christ. Unless we take up our crosses and let them crucify our flesh, His life and His truth will never be preeminent in us nor will it be manifest in us anymore than it was in the scholarly Jews who sought to kill the Truth. (See John 5:16-18) The more that Jesus' life is manifest in us, the greater the persecution that comes from those who have only a head knowledge of the truth. Paul was persecuted by these same Jews that killed Jesus because he refused to put the Gentile believers under the law. They loved their incomplete knowledge of the true meaning of the Old Testament more than they loved truth in their inward parts.

David knew the truth of the scriptures in his head, but it did not keep him from having an affair with Bathsheba or having her husband killed in battle to cover his sin. It was after he was confronted about his sinful deeds by Nathan the prophet that he prayed in true contrition,

Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful]. Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart... Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me... For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering. My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise. (Psalms 51:4-17 AMP)

Are you proud of your knowledge of the scriptures and your high place in the eyes of other Christians? How about your clerical robes and ecclesiastical titles? Paul wrote that though you have all knowledge and understand all mysteries, without God's love in your heart it profits you nothing. The sacrifice that pleases God is a broken spirit of humility and a broken and contrite heart. David knew that he could offer thousands of rams and goats on the altar for his sins, but he would still be stuck with his sinful heart. He needed a new heart. He needed truth in his innermost being. Only then would he ever walk in the wisdom and knowledge of our Father and be free from the clutches of sin. Yes, the truth can be found in the scriptures and they speak of Jesus from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, but the question is, will we surrender to Him in His death on the cross and be raised in His newness of life? Unless we know the living Jesus in our inward being, we will never know the Truth and we will never be free of the man of sin within.

What If We Sin?

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 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 faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10 KJ2000)

First we must make it clear that there are sins and there is sin as a principle of life within us. If Christ is in our innermost being as a result of our believing into Christ, the principle of sin is dethroned and sin is no longer a way of life, but Christ's life is. Paul wrote in Romans:

If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:16-23 KJ2000) [emphasis added]

Here we have Paul describing his life as a Jew under the law. He knows the law, but because of the life force (or should we say "death force"?) of sin being alive and well within him, he disobeyed the law and sinned constantly. He had not yet known the healing power of the cross and its death to the sin nature found in carnal man.

I, Michael, was raised Catholic. I would sin and go to confession and communion week after week and still go on sinning. It seemed to grow worse as I got older, not better. So with each confession and communion I made a greater resolve to not sin. I would pray more and study my catechism more thoroughly, pray the rosary and take of the sacraments more often, to no avail. I shared my frustrations with the priest and he just gave me more of the same as a solution. I could pray the rosary and do novenas until the cows came home and nothing changed. I was devout and religious, but I still had no power over sin. I had a Romans 7 existence. I concluded that unless I went to confession and communion and was struck dead as soon as the host landed on my tongue, I would never make it to heaven. Leaving the altar rail and making my way back my pew, I would see a pretty girl in the congregation and lust after her (a mortal sin) and once again be on my way to the burner. I could relate to Paul's own confession, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24 KJ2000)

A most remarkable thing happened to me after surrendering my whole life to Jesus, I could opt-out from sinning for the first time. Yes, I could still sin, but I had the power not to and that has made all the difference. This is what John was writing about where we read,

My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:1-3 KJ2000)

When my father-in-law saw me for the first time after this life changing faith came into me, he said, "What happened to Mike? He doesn't swear any more!" Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." I had a new heart and it was His so I was no longer compelled to swear. Now, that was a witness of the power of God to change a life. It was not until I totally surrendered my life over to Jesus and His Spirit came into me and became my new life that I was set free of the sin principle within. Have I sinned since then? Yes, many times, but the principle of sin, that man of sin, no longer has total control in me. I am righteous in the eyes of the Father, because of the righteous Christ that dwells within me as my new Life Source.

David wrote from experience, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with his hand." (Psalms 37:23-24 KJ2000)

So if we sin what do we do? John wrote to the church,

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 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 faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-9 KJ2000)

Notice the if in that last sentence. Some Christians cling to a doctrine that says that they can go on sinning because they are eternally secure and nothing can take away their salvation. How is that any different than the Catholic that intentionally sins and then runs to the confessional, knowing he can be absolved there of whatever he does? I have known both Protestants and Catholics that have had a flippant attitude toward their sin-filled lives. This is the sin of presumption. David wrote, "Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent of great transgression." (Psalms 19:13 KJ2000) To presume on the grace of God and Christ's death on the cross by continuing in sin once you have been given power over sin is a great transgression and no small thing in the eyes of God.

There are also "Christians" that live like hell all their lives and think that in the last moment before they die, they will ask God for forgiveness. In Hebrews we read,

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6 KJ2000)

Presumptuous sin in the life of the Christian is no game with God. This is not the life of Christ or the power of His cross. John went on to write further on this.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:1-3 KJ2000) [emphasis added]

If we truly know Him (have an intimate relationship in Him) and have His life within us, we will keep Jesus' commandments, not by constraint, but by His empowering life within. If we do fall short of His grace (life giving empowerment), we have an Advocate that stands before and in the Father in our behalf. Why? Because the enemy of our souls also stands before God accusing us when we sin (fall short of the glory of God). John wrote in Revelation:

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10 KJ2000)

As Christ has made His domain in our inward parts, so has His salvation. Not only that, but His strength and kingdom has come within us as well as His power over sin. His Life Force within us is what casts down (and out) the accuser of the brethren. There is no greater advocacy with our Father than when he looks upon us and sees His Beloved Son.

Ours is to be holy (free from sin) even as Jesus is holy. Andrew Murray wrote in his book, The Two Covenants:

It is for this the Holy Spirit has been given in our hearts. He is the "Spirit of Holiness." His every working is in the power of holiness. Paul says : "God hath chosen us unto salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." As simple and entire as is our dependence on the word of truth, as the external means, must our confidence be in the hidden power for holiness which the working of the Spirit brings. The connection between God's electing purpose, and the work of the Spirit, with the word we obey, comes out with equal clearness in Peter: "Elect, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience." The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the life of Christ; as we know, and honour, and trust Him, we shall learn and also experience that, in the New Covenant, as the ministration of the Spirit, the sanctification, the holiness of the Holy Spirit is our covenant right. We shall be assured that, as God has promised, so He will work it in us, that we "should serve Him without fear, in righteousness and holiness before Him, all the days of our life." With a treasure of holiness in Christ, and the very Spirit of holiness in our hearts, we can live holy lives. That is, if we believe Him "who worketh in us both to will and to work."

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