The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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Freed from Sin
(Part 2)
By Michael Zaucha

 

 

"If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (Jn. 8:36).

 
Jesus Freed us From the Condemning Nature of Sin
 
Brethren, in view of the knowledge of the truth of the decease which Jesus accomplished in Jerusalem – in view of our knowing of the reality that "Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back’ (Isa. 38:17), let us heed the heart cry of our God to us: "return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it" (Isa. 44:22). Let us walk in the newness of life that "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:1-2).
 Through Jesus, A Turning has Occurred.
 It is written: "For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous" – causing all to be without strength. "There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines" (Jer. 30:12-13). But be of good cheer, the beloved of God. Hear the heart of Jesus and the work the Father sent Him to work: "A bruised reed shall He not break" (Mt. 12:20). "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them"(Lk. 9:56).
 In saving our lives, Jesus has pleaded our cause before God, and God heard Him! And just as all the "sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole" (Mk. 6:56), so are all those who are baptized into his death. In our baptism, we have "touched" the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and are made whole.
 And as to the purpose of our turning, the Scripture reveals: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me (Christ)" (Acts 26:18), to reveal our co-laboring together with Jesus: "ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God" (I Th. 1:9).
 
The servitude that the apostle Paul speaks of here now – having been freed from sin – is not like the servitude that we were in when we were the servants of sin. And here is where the language of men falls short in being able to express this truth, for the language of men does not allow one to be free and a servant at the same time, and yet, this is precisely what the apostle declares to be true; "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:18).
 
The servants of righteousness are not "as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle" (Ps. 32:9). They are not the rebellious and stiff-necked people which characterized all those who were far from God. Rather, the servants of righteousness are revealed to be as those spoken of by God in Exod. 21: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever’ (Ex. 21:1-6).
 Willingness is the spirit – the new spirit God has put in His people – of the servants of righteousness; a new spirit that truly characterizes the reign of God’s Christ. The Psalmist was given to see the glory of that reign, after the suffering of the Christ: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power" (Ps. 110:2). His rule would be one that was effective in the very midst of His enemies, all those who are against the Lord and against His Anointed One (Ps. 2:2). And it would be during this current reign – the day of salvation – which would reveal those who are His willing servants and those who are not.
 
The revelation here of willing is not responding to God through a slavish fear, but rather one in which His people would eagerly embrace His word, and with zeal, enter into His calling and work. This is the manner of the effectual reign of Jesus. Willingly is how the people of God respond. The message of the gospel, when believed and embraced, produces this kind of willingness. When the devout Jews heard the preaching of the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, "then they that gladly received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41).
 The Holy Spirit, when He is not quenched, produces this type of willingness. "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; My heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek" (Ps. 27:8). The willing response to God is the revelation of the new spirit God has put in us. --Michael Zaucha
 

(Concluded tomorrow)

 

1

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).