fbpx
Articles
Articles | Tips & Help for the Daily Christian Life |

Grow in Christ

A Message to Defeated Christians

By Charles G Trumbull

AS I LOOK over this great audience of God's people and see the work of the Holy Spirit manifested in faces and in voices as we have been singing together, I would ask whether any of us has ever presumed on God's grace to enable us to go on in sin? Because "where sin abounds, grace does much more abound," have we consciously or unconsciously at times said to ourselves, "Yes, even if I do slip into this sin, God's grace will take care of it?"

I am afraid we must all of us confess that we have done just that. After we have come to the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and yielded ourselves to Him as Lord, and then in one way or another have been tempted and have slipped into sin, the thought has come to us that after all, His grace will take care of it. Is it not a real peril in the Christian life that we may presume on God's grace thus to go on sinning? May we be honest this afternoon and ask the Holy Spirit to speak plainly, and show us whether we have thus presumed on the grace of God. It Is Not a New Question

At the beginning of the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul asked, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" And instantly he answered it, "God forbid"! This is the gospel to Christians. It is the same gospel as to the unsaved, for just as God says to the unsaved that the death of His Son paid the penalty of their sins and they may be saved by faith in Him, so He says to us in the fifth of Romans, "If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." That is the gospel to Christians -- that the grace of God is offered to us, not to go on sinning, but to be kept from sinning.

And yet may we be clear as to this that God's grace is not available for deliverance from the power of sin in those who are holding back something from God. We prayed in that hymn of Wesleys, that God might let the fire fall on us. But God never can set on fire the heart of any child of His if there is in that heart something held back. God does not set on fire unsurrendered Christians. I noticed in the prayer in which we were led a few moments ago, a request that we might glorify God in our bodies. O dear friends, we cannot glorify God in an unsurrendered body, and so it might be well to ask God to search and show us whether in our bodies, our lives, our hearts, there is anything withheld from Him.

What about that subtle sin of unbelief or of distrust? The sin of worry, the sin of anxiety? I wonder if anyone here, since he has been a Christian, has ever worried? If we have, we have sinned. "In nothing be careful but in everything ... with thanksgiving ...." You can't worry and give thanks at the same moment in the way God wants to be thanked. We can be kept from the sin of anxiety, the sin of irritability, of unthankfulness, of a harsh, unloving, critical spirit, as we yield our lives, our bodies, a living sacrifice to God.

Are any of us saying to ourselves just now, or even to the Lord, "Yes, I need to give up this sin. I have tried to, I have even given it up at times, but somehow I can't seem to stop that failing." Paul knew about that, too. In the seventh of Romans, he said, "For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do." But then he came forever out of the seventh into the eighth chapter with the words, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

A Stowaway in Chains

I saw a newspaper item a while ago which told of a rather remarkable experience. A negro stowaway from West Africa got on a steamer to come to the United States, and after he was discovered he was put in irons. When the boat neared Brooklyn, he jumped overboard and swam to shore under water. Still in irons, he crawled up on the shore, and there was rearrested. Why? Because he was still chained!

I could not help thinking of experiences of my own and many other Christians, who think they have made their escape and find they are still in the same old bondage. That is not the sort of gospel God has for us, but I am afraid it is the sort of experience that some of us have had. Of course there are some who have never come to the Lord Jesus Christ and who think they have made their escape, but sooner or later they find they are still chained.

My message today is to sinning Christians, defeated Christians, those who are saved by the death of Christ but have not realized the deeper experience in which they are kept safe moment by moment in His life.

John, in his first epistle, says toward the end of the first chapter: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Then at the beginning of the second chapter, he goes on: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not."

A Bible teacher once said he was afraid a good many Christians read that last verse, "That ye sin less." But John did not say that. He said practically what the angel said in announcing the birth of the Saviour to his legal father, Joseph, "And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Sins here is in the plural, actual sins. There is the message of the victorious life in Christ -- not after we get to heaven, but now and here in this present world, while we are on our way to the presence of the Lord.

Let us realize that it is just normal New Testament Christianity; not any unbalanced or fanatical or unscriptural teaching of sinless perfectionism or eradication, dear friends, but the blessed fact of which Colossians 2:6 speaks, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." Just step by step -- really trusting Him.

There are two simple but very definite conditions of this life of victory. One is that we shall surrender our lives to the Lord, the other that we shall trust the Lord.

Dr Scofield's Instruction

I had a blessed Bible lesson on the subject of surrender one time from Dr C.I. Scofield. He had asked me to come to the Crescent City Conference in Florida and speak on the victorious life, and one day, when in his bungalow, he said to me, "Charles, I want to tell you what surrender is. Sit down there and take your Bible." I did.

"Now," he said, "open to the eighth chapter of Numbers."

Then we read together a few verses beginning at the fifth. The Lord said to Moses, take the Levites and cleanse them, and pour the water of purifying upon them, and have them wash their clothes, and make themselves clean, and take a young bullock for a meat offering and another for a sin offering -- and then,"Thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together. . . . And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the Lord."

They did not serve in the tabernacle until this had been done, until they had been cleansed by water and by blood, and definitely offered to the Lord.

Then Dr Scofield said, "Now turn over to the second chapter of Luke." I did so and there, from the twenty-first verse on, we read what occurred to the infant Jesus:

"And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord."

The word in Numbers is "offer," here it is "present." Even the Son of God Himself could not enter upon His earthly ministry until He had been presented to the Lord.

"Now," said Dr Scofield, "turn over to the twelfth of Romans." I did, and we read that first verse:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

This is addressed to Christians, not to the unsaved -- you who have received the mercy of God. "That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

"And that," said Dr Scofield, that morning in Florida, "that is surrender."

The Levites had to be offered to God before going on with their earthly service after being cleansed with water and with blood. The infant Jesus was presented to God even though He had been with God from all eternity before He entered upon His earthly service. You and I cannot render reasonable service to the Lord until we have presented our bodies as living sacrifices.

The Young Men Who Did Not Worry

I was impressed a few years ago as I found almost verbatim the twelfth chapter of Romans in the third of Daniel. That third chapter of Daniel is the story of the three young Hebrews and the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar had set up the golden image and commanded everyone in his empire to fall down and worship it, and these young men refused to do so. You remember he had established an edict that anyone who would not bow down and worship the image would be cast into a fiery furnace, and these three refused to do so. Then he sent for them in anger and said, "I will give you a second chance." But they did not need a second chance.

I like their quiet reply, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter" -- we are not worried -- the word that occurs in the fourth of Philippians, the old English for "anxious." "If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, 0 king. But if not" (if God does not want), "be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Then the wonderful story goes on, how they were cast into the furnace and the men who cast them in were consumed, how the king looked in and saw four men walking about in the midst of the fire, and the form of the fourth was like unto the Son of God. And you remember he called to them, "Come forth," and they did! "Nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed 0n them."

I tell you, dear friends when God undertakes to do a thing, He does it. Then comes this remarkable statement by Nebuchadnezzar:

"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."

There is Romans 12:1 in Daniel 3:28 -- "yielded their bodies" that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God. And it is not possible for us to serve and worship our God with the reasonable service which He asks unless we have yielded our bodies. And that means yielding to Him, presenting to Him, all that we are and all that we have.

At the victorious life conferences in America -- Keswick and elsewhere -- I have taken occasion to ask one and another attending whether they have settled the surrender question, and often they have answered: "I have tried to," "I think I have," "I am doing the best I know how."

Dear friends, if someone should ask you this question, "Did you give a present last Christmas to the one you love most?" do you think you would say, "I tried to," "Yes, I think I did," "I did it the best I knew how" ; or would you say, "I certainly did"?

Surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ, as Dr Scofield showed me, is just making a present of ourselves to God. You do not have to try it. You either do it or you don't do it. You may have been on the other side of the world last Christmas, but you know whether or not you gave that present. Surrender is just as simple as that.

Why Your Body?

Why the emphasis on body? Because it is God's home. Know ye not that Christ dwelleth in you -- Christ liveth in you, "except ye be reprobate"? Unless we have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, He is saying to us, "My Father will come and abide ... I and my Father are one." We know the Holy Spirit makes the physical bodies of Christians His temple. And so the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit, are dwelling within every child of God. Think what a sorrow it must be to the Lord Jesus Christ to have to live in an unclean home, to have to dwell in a sinning Christian.

I remember Thomas E. Stephens, founder and director of the Great Commission Prayer League, after he had sent out appeal after appeal to pray for a revival in the whole body of Christ, one time said, "The Lord Jesus Christ is living in a half paralytic body today on earth."

It was a shocking expression when I first heard it, but it is true. Speaking of the Church of Christ as His home, He longs to have that body thrilling, tingling with His own life, filled with all the fulness of God.

Oh, dear friends, if we are praying for a revival, let us remember the prayer, "Begin it, Lord, in me," and let us present our bodies to Him. And as I said a few minutes ago, to surrender means all. It means our worst and our best.

I never noticed until last month when reading again the early chapters of Genesis, how there are two great surrenders of Abraham which in a sense should typify the two things included in the single surrender of ourselves to God. In Genesis 21, God tells Abraham to do what Sarah demands and send away Hagar and Ishmael. Now Ishmael was Abraham's own son and he loved the boy. But he was a son that was born in sin and in violation of God's will and in utter distrust of God, so we might say Ishmael was the worst thing in Abraham's life; and God asked Abraham to surrender the worst thing, and he did. There is no record of his ever having seen Ishmael again. He surrendered his worst and it never came back. Then in chapter 22, God asked Abraham to surrender the best thing in his life -- Isaac. And Abraham did, and God gave Isaac back.

Are we including in our surrender our worst and our best? Our worst, that God may take it and never have it come back; our best, that God may take it and give it back to us sanctified and cleansed and to be used as would never be possible until we surrender that to God.

I know a Presbyterian elder of Florida, who was kneeling in prayer with many others, hungry for new victories in his life, and who that day surrendered his good judgment to the Lord. He had the best judgment of any man I have ever known, but on his knees he told God his good judgment had been a source of pride, and so he surrendered it. Did he lose his good judgment? No, but it is no longer standing between him and his Lord as it was before. And he made a surrender of his worst too, and told me a few days after of an experience he had which he never expected to have this side of heaven as he found the thought of "I," of "mine," that had come in and held him in shackles, was gone; that by a miracle of God's grace he was free from the down pull of that form of bondage. So let us surrender our worst and our best. Let us present our bodies a living sacrifice.

Pride in Christian Service

A missionary in China asked when I was there about twelve years ago, how she could be rid of a certain sin, and what do you suppose it was? She said that when she was doing personal work among the Chinese women and talking to them about accepting Christ, and a fellow missionary came along, she was glad to be seen. She said,

"How can I get rid of the sin of pride in my Christian service?"

That is cutting rather deep, isn't it? If you are a Sunday School teacher, just holding your class spellbound, and the pastor or superintendent comes by, are you glad to be seen by him? Have we surrendered our love of praise, the love to be noticed in the best thing we are doing in the Lord's work? She surrendered that day and stepped out into new victories. God can deal with the subtlest, most refined forms of our sinning, and with the grossest, most impossible things in our lives. But there is only one way by which He can do it, and that is for us to say, "Take it all from me, Lord. I present my body a living sacrifice."

And may we do it, that He may set us on fire, that we may glorify God in our bodies.

Related Articles | Verwante Artikels

Questions Answered

Here are some articles on different topics, see what the Bible says.

/Eienskappe%20van%20God
DIE NATUURLIKE EIENSKAPPE VAN GOD WAT VERBAND HOU MET GOD SE WESE SOOS HY IN HOMSELF IS. Alwetend – God weet alles. Hy het volledige kennis van alles in die verlede, hede en die toekoms. (Job 37:16; Ps. 139:1-6). Almagtig – God…
One has only to examine the Bible to find abundant references condemning the use of alcoholic beverages. In fact, if the preacher is to stick to his Bible, preach the whole truth, and be…
Twee van die sondes waarteen mense ‘n baie verdraagsame houding inneem, is drink en rook. Wat sê die Bybel hiervan, en wat is die gevare wat daaraan verbonde is? Drankgebruik Een van die algemeenste argumente waardeur mense drankgebruik wil regverdig,…
Hell:%20What%20the%20Bible%20Says
An exposition of the doctrine of eternal punishment in a burning hell for all the unsaved people of all ages. 1. How Can We Know About Hell? “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine…
It is important that one understands the phenomenon of apostatising, or backsliding, as every believer should be able to identify and counter this backward course in his or her spiritual life whenever it occurs. If you wish to determine the…
Die onderwerp van die doop is baie kontroversieel met baie misverstande. Baie mense dweep met die doop en dit raak 'n obsessie by hulle. Dit veroorsaak baie keer ongebalanseerde en dwase strydvrae met die gevolg dat Christene twis oor die…
Vergifnis
Vergifnis is ‘n opdrag in die Woord van God (Matt 6:14, 15; Mark 11:25, 26; Luk 6:37; Efes 4:32 en Kol 3:13). Sonder vergifnis is daar geen bevryding van die seer en pyn wat ander jou aangedoen het nie. Die…

Lees meer

Loose Lips Sink Ships
I know this has been used as a catchphrase by the military in referring to ships. However, I believe it could be applied to each one of us today. Loose lips can sink more than naval ships. They can…

Read more

Questions Answered

Questions Answered

Being a Christian and drinking alcohol, what does the Bible say?
The Dangers of Moderate Drinking
John B. Gough (1817-1886) Born in Sandgate, Kent, England in 1817, Gough immigrated to the United States when he was only twelve years old. His mother and sister also came to America. His mother died of a stroke and Gough,…

Read more

Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel
Doesn't the Bible refer in a number of places to wine and strong drink? Don't we quite often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible? Can't we assume, then, that Scripture generally does not condemn drinking alcoholic beverages? It's true that…

Read more

A collection of articles written by FB Meyer. Practical advice for the daily Christian life.

A NEW YEAR is opening before us, and there is some satisfaction in feeling that an opportunity will be afforded of making a really new start. Each true heart in which there is a spark of the Divine life turns eagerly towards the unblemished page, the untrodden way, of the…
BENEATH all exaggeration there is a basis of truth. When an American said that the whey which flowed from the making of a large cheese in his country was sufficient to run three sawmills; and when another affirmed that the soil of his farm was so prolific that the tendrils…
To be straight is to be true. There is no more important exhortation on the page of Scripture, than where the Apostle says, "Whatsoever things are true . . . think on these things." A friend of mine, educated in one of our great English schools, says that the most formative words of…
WHAT a shadow is cast over lives and homes by bad tempers! It is Sunday morning, God's day of rest and peace, when the worry and rush of the world should be quiet, and the voices of newspaper boys and hawkers of small wares should be still. A family of…
No flirting, young people, please! You cannot flit around the flame without the risk of burning your wings; and remember, if these are lost, you cannot get another pair; you may be able to crawl or limp, but you will never again bask in the sunbeams or dance with merry-hearted…
LONGFELLOW'S village blacksmith felt that "something accomplished, something done," had earned a night's repose; and I suppose that he did little else than shoe the farmers' horses, or put new shares to their ploughs; yet he had the perpetual consciousness that he was doing something in the world, contributing to…
No wonder that the common people hung on Christ's words. He was a Master of the Art of Illustration, because he sought his emblems, not from remote corners of creation, or its recondite processes, but from the common incidents of ordinary human experience. Salt and light, birds and lilies, gates…
Everyone needs some guidance on where to start reading and how to read their Bible. Below are Afrikaans & English printables - give it to every young believer that you give a Bible to.
Tips on reading your Bible

Where should I start?

Start by reading a chapter in the morning and evening. Mark in your Bible and write in a notebook everything that stands out in the chapter you read.

Read more

Wenke om jou Bybel te lees

Waar moet ek begin?

Lees jou Bybel in orde, moet nooit rondspring tussen boeke en hoofstukke nie. Hou by jou lees skedule, as jy laas Markus 1 gelees het lees jou nou Markus 2.

Lees meer

Heiligmaking

'n Rein hart gevul met die Heilige Gees

/Volkome%20Heiligmaking
Met die ondervinding van wedergeboorte (Joh. 3:3) én die bevestiging daarvan deur die getuienis van die Heilige Gees (Rom. 8:16), vind ‘n radikale verandering van lewenswyse plaas (2 Kor. 5:17). Hierna volg ‘n proses van selfontdekking wat lei tot die behoefte aan ‘n dieper innerlike verlossing (vrymaking) en reiniging van die inwonende sonde asook die vervulling met die Heilige Gees.
/Gaan
aan%20na%20Volwassenheid
In Heb 3 & 4 wys die skrywer vir ons die wonderlike belofte van God se rus, wat ‘n rein en oorwinnende lewe in Christus is. Hy vertel van hierdie belofte, en dan vermaan hy die Hebreërs in hoofstuk 5:12-14 dat hulle moet voortgaan na volwassenheid want hulle is nog kinders in die geloof.
/Die%20pad%20na%20Heiligmaking
Hier besef die weergebore Christen dat ‘n dieper werk in sy hart benodig word. Dat daar dinge is waaraan hy dalk nog vasklou of sonde wat hy nie wil laat staan nie of hy twyfel en vertrou God nie volkome nie. Hier gaan ons kyk na wat die stryd in ons binneste is en hoe om die pad na heiligmaking te begin.
deur Marius Wolfaardt Christen Leefstyl
Kol 2:6: Soos julle dan Christus Jesus, die Here, aangeneem het, wandel so in Hom, 1. Watookal die Here vir jou sê, doen dit. Joh 2:5 “Sy moeder sê vir die dienaars: Net wat Hy vir julle sê, moet julle doen.” - Moenie meer of minder doen nie, doen net dit wat Hy gesê het. Matt 28:20 “En kyk, Ek is met julle al die dae tot aan die voleinding van die wêreld. Amen.” – As ek doen wat Hy sê sal Hy met my wees. Doen wat Jesus sou gedoen het. Meet alles altyd hieraan.
by Marius Wolfaardt Christian Lifestyle
Col 2:6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 1. Whatever the Lord tells you to do, do it. Joh 2:5 “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Don't do more or less, but, just that which He tells you to do. Mat 28:20 “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” If you do what He tells you to do, He will be with you unto the end of the world. Always do what Jesus would do, measure everything according to this rule.
deur Marius Wolfaardt Christen Leefstyl
Hoe hanteer ek dit?

Mat 5:4 Salig is die wat treur, want hulle sal vertroos word.
Binne in die moeilike tye is die Here reeds besig om iets nuuts te maak, al sien jy dit nie raak terwyl jy in die vuur is of deur die rivier gaan nie. God het ‘n plan. Rou is natuurlik en is iets wat moet gebeur, dit is ‘n proses om deur te werk, maar daarna moet jy ook aan beweeg en nie hier vasval nie.

Assurance of Salvation

Seker</p>heid
Is jy weergebore?

Seker

heid

Om te WEET DAT JOU SONDE VERGEWE IS en dat Jesus nou in jou hart woon.
Lees meer
Rebirth
What Why How..?

Rebirth

What the Bible teaches us about being born again.
Read More
 Weer</p>gebore
Wat Hoekom Hoe..?

Weer

gebore

Wat die Bybel ons leer van wedergeboorte.
Lees meer
English Sermons

English Sermons

Here is a link if you would like to listen to audio sermons by various preachers. Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.

Go to website