Genuine Christianity Rare 26

Though the Lord will never remember the sins of a believer, to his condemnation, yet the believer himself will always remember them to his humiliation. Sir Richard Hill

The reason that this statement just above (by Sir Richard Hill) reflects on how genuine Christianity is rare is because of both the comment about the sins of a believer and the comment about how the believer will remember his sins to his humiliation. Those two statements reflect the weakness of modern professing Christianity because of the different groups within professing Christianity. The weak believer or the believer in a state of great trial and weakness is harmed and those who are not believers but moralists are strengthened in their unbelief. This requires a lot of prayer and seeking of the Lord from the heart.

The moralists, whether they think of themselves as that or not, are those that tend to believe that a true believer never sins and becomes almost perfect if not actually perfect in some way. It is correct that true believers have an outward life that may appear to be virtually spotless, but that is not the case with all believers especially new ones and weak ones. It is also true that not all believers start at the same level of outward actions and of inward habits and ways of thinking. C.S. Lewis pointed out that a refined unbeliever may appear in the outward person and in terms of culture and habits as better than or morally superior to a young believer or even one that has been a believer for a while when they have started deep in outward sin.

True Christianity starts with sinners, that is very true, but it is always dealing with the sins of sinners. The worst of sins are in the heart and mind and are with true believers every day. The battle of true believers is not with flesh and blood even when there are differences with others, but it is always a spiritual battle and that battle includes out own hearts, motives, and intents. The teaching of these things is what seems to be absent the modern professing Church. A person can hear the creeds, confessions, and catechisms taught and yet the true inward battle of the believer with self, sin, and the devil is rarely mentioned if at all. The Gospel of grace alone seems to be rarely applied to the believer when the believer is in a mighty battle with inward sin. A true believer can be tormented by the sin of his own heart and be under assault by that sin and by the darts of the evil one, yet where is this taught today? It is not Antinomianism and it is not against biblical holiness, but is the reality of what a believer will fight against and how that believer needs to hear the Gospel of grace alone and the Spirit must apply it to the heart.

The true believer must come to realize and have comfort in that while s/he does battle with horrid thoughts, desires, intents, and motives day in and day out “the Lord will never remember the sins of a believer, to his condemnation.” It is the blood of Christ that will cleanse the conscience of the believer on a daily basis and not just a once and done situation. It is the blood of Christ that a believer can look to in answer to the fiery darts of the evil one. It is the blood of Christ that the believer can look to for strength and courage for the battle. The blood of Christ cleanses us from the guilt of our sins and the blood of Christ gives us strength against the power of sin. The Gospel of grace alone is what sinners need to hear. God does not deal with His people as their sins deserve, but in accordance with His grace that is in Christ Jesus. It is to His glory to show grace and mercy to poor sinners who hate their sins and battle against them. When these things are not dealt with in the teaching and preaching ministry of the professing churches, true believers are wounded and think that they are the only ones.

The second part of the statement is also a very, very neglected part of the modern professing Church. Sinning believers need to understand that God has permitted this sin and then has forgiven it and yet part of the reason for that is so that the sinner will remember them to his or her humiliation. God does not forgive sinners to help their self-esteem, but He does this to humble them and to drive them from any hope in self. Sinners who are truly awakened begin to see that their self-esteem and self-love is the very heart of their sin. God does not grant forgiveness in order to strengthen the self of sinners, but to humble them and drive them from self which is the very essence of sin. Believers need more Christ-esteem and Christ-love rather than self. Paul taught us that in the last days (however one interprets that) men will be lovers of self rather than lovers of God. That is precisely what is going on in the world and in the modern professing Church today. Self and pride must be died to if the sinner is to be truly humbled and it is only the humble who receive grace. The proud are hardened in their moralism and in their religious pride which is a horrid sin in the eyes of God.

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