Archive for the ‘The Everlasting Gospel’ Category

–From the book “The Saviour of the Word”, by WW Prescott, 1929, pp. 58-62.

I have tried to make it clear that at the place which is called Calvary a work was done which set the human family-you and me-free from the penalty incurred by the sin of Adam; that Jesus of Nazareth assumed all the liabilities which were the result of that sin, and met them; and that no one ever has been or ever will be punished for that sin. I wish now to consider the cross as the way of reconciliation between man and God.

First let us note the wide difference between Christianity and heathenism in this matter of reconciliation. In Christianity it is man who is reconciled to God, and reconciliation is an act of God; but in heathenism it is the gods who are reconciled to man, and an attempted reconciliation is an act of man. In saying this I do not forget that some who profess to represent Christianity have presented the sacrifice of Christ as a means of appeasing the anger of God, but this does not seem to me to be the teaching of the Scriptures.

I do not mean to proclaim a soft gospel. There is such a thing as God’s anger. The wrath of God is a terrible reality, and must be recognized. The willful transgressors of the law of holiness will be punished with “eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His might.” 2 Thess. 1:9. But this wrath is love burning against sin, the result of love rejected and reconciliation refused. It still remains true that “God is love,” and that He has done all that infinite love could suggest and infinite wisdom could devise for saving men.

When a heathen philosophy is deliberately chosen in place of the gospel of God, and when a sinner attempts to do the work of reconciliation himself instead of accepting the work of reconciliation which has already been accomplished, God cannot be held responsible for the failure. The eternal principles of justice and righteousness are not subject to revision by a merely human philosophy, and God cannot imperil the stability of His government by accepting a pseudo-holiness as a satisfactory atonement for the willful transgression of the law of holiness. When God justifies, He Himself must still remain just.

The classic passage which deals with reconciliation presents the matter thus: “All things are of God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses.” 2 Cor. 5:18, 19. A brief analysis of this teaching will show:

1. That reconciliation is an act of God: it was “God who reconciled.”
2. That we are by God’s act reconciled to Him, rather than that He is reconciled to us: “God who reconciled us to Himself.”
3. That this act of reconciliation was accomplished “through Christ.”
4. That it was not God apart from Christ, or Christ apart from God, who accomplished this act, but “God was in Christ reconciling.”
5. That the act which was effective in reconciling “us” who are Christians, was effective for the world: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.”
6. That although the world is still in sin, and may refuse to recognize the fact, it is nevertheless a reconciled world. God has reconciled it to Himself.
7. That in accomplishing this work of reconciliation, the trespasses of the world were not reckoned to them.

Putting it rather briefly, but I hope correctly, I may say that reconciliation is not a process, but an act performed at a definite time; that this act was not performed in order to induce a change of feeling on the part of God toward us, but as an expression of an existing feeling; that as the result of this act God could maintain His righteous character, and yet not reckon their trespasses to a race of sinners. I have here stated what appear to me to be some of the fundamental facts of the gospel-facts which ought to be proclaimed everywhere, and which ought to be more clearly understood than they are at present. In the face of the blasphemous utterances of atheism, in defiance of the evolutionary philosophy of modernism, and regardless of the lack of appreciation of the grace of God on the part of many nominal Christians, the message that God by His own act has reconciled the world to Himself should be proclaimed in every land, heathen and Christian, in the power of the Spirit. Christ came to a world not reconciled in fact; He left it a reconciled world. This is the good news.

But I must now ask, How was this reconciliation effected? The answer is simple and clear: Reconciliation rests upon the atoning sacrifice made upon Calvary. Jesus bore our sins.

“We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” Rom. 5:10. Because sin was reckoned to Christ, although He knew no sin, and was judged upon Him, sin is not reckoned to those who have sinned, but they are reckoned righteous, if they are willing to be identified with Christ, their representative.

And here I must make the distinction between being reconciled and being saved. While I maintain that the world is a reconciled world, I do not maintain that it is a saved world. Universal salvation is not the same as universal reconciliation. The inspired teaching makes this plain: “If, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Rom. 5:10, 11. The death of Christ reconciles; the life of Christ saves; the reconciliation made through the death of Christ must be received through faith in the living Christ who died and rose again and ever liveth. The reconciliation is universal, unlimited; but the salvation is limited to those who personally appropriate the reconciliation.

The great announcement is that God has reconciled the world to Himself; the great exhortation is, “Be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Cor. 5:20. Every reconciled sinner is urged to accept the reconciliation provided by confessing that he is a sinner and in need of reconciliation, by recognizing the fact that through the death of Christ reconciliation has already been made, and by accepting the risen and triumphant Christ as his life. The final result of the whole transaction is thus stated; “Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.
“Guilt rests on God’s charging up sin; reconciliation rests upon God’s non-imputation of sin; God’s non-imputation of sin rests upon Christ’s being made sin for us. . . . God made Christ sin in this sense, that God as it were took Him in the place of sin, rather than of the sinner, and judged the sin upon Him. . . . God made Him to be sin in treatment though not in feeling, so that holiness might be perfected in judgment, and we might become the righteousness of God in Him, so that we might have in God’s sight righteousness by our living union with Christ, righteousness which did not belong to us actually, naturally, and finally. Our righteousness is as little ours individually as the sin on Christ was His.”

I hope that the reality of this good news has not been hidden under too many or too large words. I greatly desire that the simplicity of the gospel should plainly appear, and that all my readers might be moved to accept the reconciliation made through the death of Christ. Again I emphasize the atoning value of the cross. Again I lift up the crucified and risen Jesus as our only and our all sufficient hope. “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31.

“In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life giving atmosphere will live, and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. . . . Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness,-all depend upon our union with Christ.” (SC pp. 68,69)

I testify the gospel of reconciliation. I testify the gospel of reconciliation received and salvation assured. Will you receive my testimony?

–WW Prescott, “The Saviour of the Word”, 1929, pp. 58-62.



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by Ellet J Waggoner

(First published in “The Signs of the Times”,  May 19, 1887)

This petition cannot well be considered apart from that which immediately follows it: “but deliver us from evil.” Both together form a fitting climax to this wonderful prayer, for they indicate, if used understandingly, the soul’s desire for purity of heart.
There are two senses in which the word tempted is used in the Bible. The apostle says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” James 1:2. Again he says: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Verse 14. Now it is evident that the apostle would not exhort men to count it a joyful thing to be drawn away of their own lust, and enticed into sin; therefore the temptation of the second verse is different from that of the fourteenth.

The temptation of the second verse is that which is successfully met, and which leaves the individual stronger than ever. It is the trying of faith. In Eph. 6:16 we learn that faith is the shield by which the darts of the wicked may be quenched. The office of a shield is to protect the person. If a missle is received upon the shield, the person at whom it was aimed receives no injury; he does not feel it. The temptations, then, which work patience, and which strengthen, are those which meet with no response in our own hearts, but which are instantly repelled.

The other temptations are those which are entertained in the heart. The sin presents itself, and the mind goes out towards it, and longs for it. It may be that the overt act is never committed, but since “the thought of foolishness is sin” (Prov. 24:9), the one who only in imagination does the sinful act is in the sight of God accounted guilty. Such temptations as those are natural to every human being, “for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts.”

The petition “lead us not into temptation,” must be understood as meaning, “suffer us not to fall into temptation;” and it must also be understood as referring to the second class of temptations,—those which proceed from within. The reason is (1) that we are not to ask freedom from trials, but rather to count them a blessing, and (2) that God cannot and does not lead people into sin. The prayer, then, is “suffer us not to fall into foolish and hurtful lust, but deliver us (keep us back) from evil.”

This cannot mean that God will not allow a man to act out the evil that is in him, for that would be impossible; if evil is in the heart, it must show itself, and we are expressly told that at one time God left a man to do what his heart prompted him to do. The man was Hezekiah. After he had been healed, the Babylonian ambassadors came to congratulate, and he showed them all the treasures of his kingdom. 2 Kings 20:12, 13. This action was prompted by pride. 2 Chron. 32:24, 25. The historian, speaking of this, says: “Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” 2 Chron. 32:31. We must therefore conclude that the petition “lead us not into temptation” does not mean that God is to interpose his mighty power to miraculously preserve us from the wickedness that is in our own hearts.

There can be, then, but one conclusion, and that is that the prayer implies a renunciation and hatred of sin, and a desire to have the heart cleansed from it, and to be strengthened against allowing it to pass the shield of faith, and gain access to the heart. This is the only way that temptations can be instantly repelled, since, as we have read, evil thoughts are natural to the human heart.
It was to effect this that Christ came into the earth. It is not enough that we be freed from the guilt of sin,—from past transgressions,—but we must be freed from the love of sin. Paul says that Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal. 1:1. This “present evil world” does not mean the physical creation, but “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” 1 John 2:16. Again we read that he “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14.

This is what God wants to do for us; it is what we are to ask him to do for us, for he will not do it against our will. What is there to hinder his doing it? Nothing, if we offer the prayer in all sincerity, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We cannot cleanse ourselves from the defilement of sin, however much we may desire to be freed from it (Prov. 20:9); but if we do earnestly desire to be kept from sin, God will work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2:13), and that will be to make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is good. Heb. 13:21.

But while this is in one sense a passive state, in that it is an entire yielding of self to God, it is by no means a state of inactivity. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” Luke 13:24. There is to be a constant watchfulness against the insidious assaults of the enemy. A reaching out after God implies a drawing away from sin.

This part of the Lord’s prayer cannot be uttered from the heart, except of him who with the psalmist can say, “I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love.” And this cannot be done until the individual realizes that fellowship with God is the only thing to be desired,-that the loving-kindness of God is better than life. Every man in the world will have just what he wants. If he loves the pleasures of sin, he will be left to its lusting enjoyment; but if his heart and his soul cry out after God, the promise is that he shall be filled. W.

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The days of the voice of the 7th angel of revelation are upon us. Revelation 10:7 says that when he “begins to sound”, the Mystery of God “should be be finished”! What is this mystery? When will it be finished? Find out as Paul Chapman presents, “Finishing The Mystery of God”. Genre: Christian. Presented 13 July, 2013 in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


Download: Finishing The Mystery of God by Paul Chapman (mp3 audio)

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Lets Go to Passover

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BIBLE STUDY: Prepared by Paul Chapman

1. What invitation does Jesus give to all?

Matt 11:28

(KJV) Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

2. Who came to Jesus at night with an important question on his mind?

John 3:1

(KJV) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3. According to Jesus, what must a person be before they can see the kingdom of heaven?

John 3:3

(KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. {again: or, from above}

4. How did Jesus explain this truth further to Nicodemus?

John 3:4

(KJV) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

5. The term “flesh”, figuratively speaking, denotes human nature or the natural heart. What is the condition of the natural heart, apart from divine influence, and What did Jesus mean in His words to Nicodemus?

Jere 17:9

(KJV) The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

“Jesus continued: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” By nature the heart is evil, and “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Rom. 8:7; Matt. 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” Desire of Ages, 172.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of beaviour, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

“The Saviour said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”John 3:3, margin.” Steps to Christ, 18.


John 1:14

(KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


6. What is the great object of the gospel message?

Acts 3:25

(KJV) Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.


7. How would we be turned from our iniquities?

Ezek 36:26

(KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]

Ezek 14:3-5

Psal 51:10

(KJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. {right: or, constant}


8. How did God create the worlds?

Gene 1:1

(KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Note: “God”, “the Spirit of God”, and “God said”

God spoke and the Spirit moved. Compare:

Psalm 33:6

(KJV) By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.


9. Who is the Word of God?

John 1:1

(KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14

(KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


10. What parallel is there between the creation of our world and the spiritual re-creation of our souls in God’s image?

2Cor 4:6

(KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {hath: Gr. is he who hath} (compare Gen 1:3.)

God speaks to us through His written word and the Spirit moves upon our hearts.


11. By what are we born again?

1Pet 1:23

(KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Born of the Spirit by the Word.

James 1:18

John 16:13


12. How can these things be?

John 3:7

(KJV) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {again: or, from above} 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

“The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leKJVes and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,–a patient, protracted process.” Desire of Ages, 172.


13. What theme does God use to draw souls to Him?

John 12:32

(KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.

John 3:14

(KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but hKJVe eternal life.


14. What did John the Baptist command his hearers to behold?

John 1:29

(KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. {taketh away: or, beareth}


15. As we behold, what takes place?

2Cor 3:18

(KJV) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. {by the…: or, of the Lord the Spirit}

“As the sinner, drawn by the power of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God Himself is “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”Rom. 3:26. And “whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Rom. 8:30. ” Christ Object Lessons, 163.


16. When we experience such a change in our life in what alone will we glory?

Gala 6:14

(KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. {by whom: or, whereby}


17. When will we find the Lord as our Saviour?

Jere 29:13

(KJV) And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


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By Gerson Robles

I recently read a story of a little boy named Johnny. “He and his sister were visiting their grandparents at their farm one day. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Disappointed, he headed back for dinner.

“As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. Johnny was stunned, shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

“After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” Then she whispered to Johnny, “Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go and play in the park, but Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need them to help make supper.” Sally just smiled and said, “Well it’s okay because Johnny told me he wanted to do it with you by himself”. Then, she whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Sally went to the park and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of Johnny doing both of their chores, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let guilt make a slave of you.”[i]

Guilt or remorse can make us do strange things. However, before we go any further on this subject, we need to know what guilt actually is.

What is Guilt?

The sense of guilt is an emotional warning signal. Its purpose is to warn us that we’ve done something wrong or neglected to do something we should have done. Our concept of right and wrong is predominantly acquired during our childhood years, and develops over our lifetime. These moral convictions make up our conscience. The feeling of guilt results from going against the grain of our convictions.

The word guilt is derived from the Old English noun gylt, which means “crime.”[ii] It is true that not all those who are guilty in the legal sense feel remorse for their crime. But in any earthly government, guilt is not determined by feelings but by the violation of enacted law.

This same principle is seen in God’s government. Paul wrote, “I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” [iii] And he also wrote, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”[iv]

So one thing is for sure – we all suffer from guilt and we can all tell how displeasing it feels. But how do you get rid of it? The Bible tells us of two ways to deal with guilt and their ultimate results. God’s remedy for guilt is called ‘godly sorrow’ and the other is called ‘sorrow of the world’.

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”[v]

Sorrow of the World

Guilt or its associated feelings of grief are here called ‘sorrow of the world’. This, the Bible says, leads to death. Over 100 years ago, Ellen White wrote, “Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death.”[vi]

Today science is catching up with this amazing insight into how the mind affects the body. Numerous studies are now being published in medical journals showing how diseases are related to mental depression. But how do human beings deal with emotions of guilt?

Because feelings of guilt are unpleasant, many try to ignore their ‘conscience prickings’ by attempting to silence guilt in various ways. The first three of these are found in the book of Genesis and show what Adam and Eve did once they sinned.

Self- Correction

“And [the woman]…took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”[vii]

Whenever we sin, we lose something. Here, Adam and Eve lost their innocence. Their shining robes of pure white light – which symbolized their innocence – also disappeared. There they stood, ashamed in each other’s naked presence; ashamed and naked before God! In the Bible nakedness is associated with shame (see Revelation 3:18). With guilty conscience, they try and make up for their loss by practicing self-correction. In desperation, they sow themselves fig leaf garments, but nothing they can do can take away the sting of a violated conscience.

There a many today who are attempting to make up for their nakedness of soul the same way Adam and Eve did. A sense of shame moves them to do some ‘guilty church going’ or perhaps some ‘guilty missionary work’. Others will attempt to counter balance their sin by some ‘guilty Bible study’ or even some ‘guilty praying’. Yet all our greatest endeavors will never make up for the loss sustained.

Hiding from Reality

Adam and Eve soon found their fig leaf garments inadequate. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”[viii]

Hiding from reality will afford a temporary release, but reality never goes away. When Adam and Eve hid themselves from God, they did so because of shame and fear, “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”[ix]

Today, young and old will try to hide from the reality of their guilt or shame by secluding themselves from others. Fear of rebuke or exposure, can move a person to become a hermit, even in their own home.

Another way we attempt to escape reality is by numbing the mind. Since a pricking conscience is felt in the mind, many of us will try and silence the resounding voice of guilt. In the world, some turn to drugs or alcohol for release. Others turn to sex and immorality. It is easy to see that these things worsen the problem, but how are Christians in danger of hiding from reality?

In Christian circles, we use milder measures to achieve similar results. Movies will bring some release, yet the release only lasts as long as the movie. Other things we may do in excess are eating, sleeping or listening to music.

I once knew a lady where I used to work who listened to music all day – literally. In the morning, she woke up to her radio alarm clock. Once up, she switched her stereo on and got ready for work. She then hopped in the car and headed for work listening to her favourite radio station. While at work, she plugged her ears with headphones and listened to her favourite music. The cycle was the same on her way home and was only broken when she fell asleep to the radio playing. Every day was the same – she was living in her own unreal music world.

Passing the Buck

The third thing Adam and Eve did to escape guilt was to shift the blame on each other and God. “The man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate’.”[x]

Because influence is the strongest between those who are the most intimate in their association, all it takes is a moment of weakness to give in to the promptings of the other. It is true that the strong influence of others may have had a bearing on our guilt. We can clearly see however that God does not excuse sin on account of how strong the temptation was. Sin is inexcusable.

The expression, ‘passing the buck’ refers to the action of transferring blame to another person. U.S President, Harry S. Truman kept a sign on his desk with the words, ‘The buck stops here’ showing that he accepted responsibility for all decisions he made in behalf of the country. Likewise, God holds us accountable for the choices we make based on our moral convictions.

Sanctifying Sin

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I did it, but God understands”? or “I’m a Christian, and the motive I have is holy”. Or maybe you’ve heard the expression, “God knows my heart”. All these come in an effort to sanctify sin, or make sin appear holy by bringing God into the picture.  These are all forms of self-deception and although it may appear to lessen guilt, it actually adds deceit to our list of sins.


Comparing ourselves with others is a fanciful way of making us look better. The thought will cross your mind, ‘I did it, but look at everyone else that’s doing it’ or, ‘I’m not as bad as some others’. Jesus spoke of a Pharisee who compared himself with a person whom he thought was guiltier than he. In his own estimation, he appeared quite a good sort, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men…’[xi] he said. Here was his problem; his opinion of himself was formed from looking at others, rather than from comparing himself to Christ.

Minimizing Sin

All of the above mentioned points are attempts to lessen our guilt. It is easy to think of our sin as small by looking at how others view what we’ve done on a scale of 1 to10. But we have to realize that there is no small sin in God’s eyes, only varying degrees of guilt. The more light and understanding we possess – the guiltier we become when we transgress that light.

The sorrow of the world can only lead to one place. Ultimately, all guilty sinners will suffer eternal death. Is there a way of escape? What is God’s remedy for guilt?

Godly Sorrow

The Bible told us that ‘godly sorrow’ produces repentance leading to salvation. We will now take a brief look at the way God would have us deal with guilt.

Identify and Acknowledge Your Guilt

Why do you feel guilty? Is it something you’ve done or didn’t do? Is it something you’ve said? Or maybe, is it something you’ve assumed is wrong or someone else has said is wrong? Whatever the reason, you must be honest with yourself. Identify the cause of your guilt. In the little book Steps to Christ is written this clear-cut statement, “Those who have not humbled their souls before God in acknowledging their guilt, have not yet fulfilled the first condition of acceptance.”[xii]

Accept the Consequences

Once you’ve searched your heart and understand the cause of your guilt, you need to recognize the consequences and accept them. What harm have you done to yourself and others? To every action there are consequences – this is natural law. When we don’t accept the consequences of our actions, we are not dealing truly with our own souls.

Realise the Enormity of Sin

The Bible describes sin as a mystery (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Ellen White wrote regarding sin, “…could excuse for it be found, or cause shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.”[xiii] But while sin is a mystery in the sense that no cause can be shown for its existence, yet we are still counseled to understand its abhorrent nature. Consider this statement, “We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.”[xiv]

So how are we to know the real nature of our sins? Ellen White continued writing, “The exceeding sinfulness of sin can be estimated only in the light of the cross.”[xv] What is it about the cross that reveals the dreadful nature of sin?

At the cross we see God’s hatred for sin, in that He did not spare His only begotten Son from suffering its dreadful curse – and we see the remedy so graciously provided for our guilt.

The Man of Sorrows

God’s remedy for guilt is Jesus. By transferring our guilt on Himself and suffering the punishment due to us, Christ has made us free. This act of Jesus in taking our guilt is worthy of our most solemn consideration.

As Christ was walking towards the garden of Gethsemane with his disciples, He was fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah 53. Notice carefully the following texts:

  • “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.”
  • “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.”
  • “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter”
  • “he hath poured out his soul unto death”
  • “he was numbered with the transgressors”

Jesus was called, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”[xvi] But, “The holy Son of God had no sins or griefs of his own to bear. He was bearing the griefs of others, for on him was laid the iniquities of us all.”[xvii]

“And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”[xviii]Christ was suffering as a result of our sins, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”[xix]

While at garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, “prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”[xx]

Sweating blood is a rare medical condition known as hematidrosis.[xxi] It is caused by intense mental contemplation or agony. What was it that grieved Jesus so much? “Christ was the prince of sufferers; but His suffering was from a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that through familiarity with evil, man had become blinded to its enormity.”[xxii]

This mental suffering was intensified by the separation our sins caused between Him and His Father. “It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.”[xxiii]

Recently, the story of Jesus physical pain was made popular by a Hollywood movie. But when you start to look into the cause of Christ’s death, a different picture begins to emerge. “The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.”[xxiv]

“It was not the spear thrust, it was not the pain of the cross, that caused the death of Jesus. That cry, uttered “with a loud voice” (Matt. 27:50; Luke 23:46), at the moment of death, the stream of blood and water that flowed from His side, declared that He died of a broken heart. His heart was broken by mental anguish. He was slain by the sin of the world.”[xxv]

Here is our remedy. God has given us His Son to take our way our guilt. When, in view of the cross, we acknowledge our guilt – deep sorrow for sin will flood our soul and God will cause us to turn away from it in disgust. Then, our confessions will be specific and to the point, and will acknowledge the very things of which we are guilty.

To all who truly repent and confess – Christ has promised forgiveness. In the story at the beginning of this article, Johnny let guilt make a slave of him. How are you going to deal with your guilt, dear reader?

By Gerson Robles

[i] Author Unknown

[ii] The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

[iii] Romans 7:7, NKJV

[iv] Romans 3:19, NKJV

[v] 2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV

[vi] The Ministry of Healing p.241

[vii] Genesis 3:6, 7, NKJV

[viii] Genesis 3:8, KJV

[ix] Genesis 3:9, 10, KJV

[x] Genesis 3:12, NKJV

[xi] Luke 18:11, NKJV

[xii] Steps to Christ p. 37

[xiii] Great Controversy

[xiv] Steps to Christ, p. 23

[xv] Steps to Christ, p. 31

[xvi] Isaiah 53:3, KJV

[xvii] ST, August 14, 1879 par. 10

[xviii] Matthew 26:37, KJV

[xix] Matthew 8:17

[xx] Luke 22:44, KJV

[xxi] The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

[xxii] Desire of Ages, p. 752

[xxiii] Desire of Ages, p. 753

[xxiv] Desire of Ages, p. 753

[xxv] Desire of Ages, p. 772

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Paul Chapman – Sermon preached Sabbath 15 May, 2010. How can a Christian be assured of their salvation? Part 7 concludes with the song “Blessed Assurance” sung by Damien J. Blewitt. Enjoy!

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