We have read how “it is never too late” to receive the gift of Salvation. Let’s address the other disabling condition that plagues the souls of men. I am unworthy. My sin is of immense proportion. I have sinned beyond measure, sometimes secretly and sometimes openly. I am stained beyond repair. It is as if my heart was tattooed with evil, so indelibly inscribed that the stains can not be removed. The feeling that you have this moment, if you are as that person described here, is perhaps Satan’s greatest device in preventing your salvation.
One of the reasons I love to read about King David is that God’s Word presents David exactly as he was. A man, whose heart sought God, but whose flesh was weak. David’s sins are well chronicled as well as his servant’s heart. David is clearly God’s man, chosen before the beginning of time to be a righteous leader and servant. But isn’t it useful, for we who have sinned, to know that King David, a man after God’s Heart, sinned also? David’s position in the Kingdom of God is assured and God’s love and mercy made it so, not David’s perfect record.
What joy it must have brought to God’s Heart that David’s heart sought God. The stories of David’s love and mercy toward God’s anointed and towards those whose loyalty to David and to God’s will, abound. Thank God we are able to see both sides. The flesh, in which David’s sin resided and the spirit, in which God’s Spirit resided. The Spirit led David because David sought God with all of his strength. God greatly blessed David, even though he was a sinner. Why? God’s mercy triumphs over judgment by the Law. The Law is much too straight an edge by which to be judged. David truly loved God, but God first loved David. David responded to God’s love.
Psalm 32:1-11 (NKJ)
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.
7 You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
David knew the Messiah, the unblemished Lamb of God, was coming to redeem his soul and to establish the Kingdom. So did the woman who talked to Jesus at Jacob’s well. Listen.
John 4:25 (NKJ)
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
How did she know the Messiah is coming? The only time in the Old Testament that the word “Messiah” is used, although He is referred to in other ways, is in Daniel’s prophecy. Listen
Daniel 9:25-26 (NKJ)
25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…
Listen to the Psalm David wrote in which he knew “atonement” would be provided. Since David had participated in many sacrifices before, to what atonement did he refer?
Psalm 65:2-3 (NKJ)
2 O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, you will provide atonement for them.
It is Satan who wants you to believe that your soul is beyond redemption, that no atonement is available to you. It is Satan who wants you to believe that you are destined to die, anyway, and that death is not all that bad. You may have had a “good life,” accomplished a lot of things and so on, but listen. Death is only pleasant if your “spirit” was to die, not live on. If death was a sort of “permanent silence,” one might say, that is an improvement.
There is only one force on the earth that is more powerful than the power of Satan. That Force is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you, in your own strength believe that you can reverse the power of sin in your life, you under estimate the power of the flesh and the power of Satan. This prince of the power of the air, the evil spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience is not anything like the cartoon character portrayed with a red cape, horns and a spear. This is a powerful spirit, one that neither you nor I can combat. If you do not think Satan is the ruler of this world, look around. Are those you observe from up close and from afar serving God?
How powerful is Satan? Listen to the truth about Satan’s power. This is the one with whom you do battle, every day.
Ephesians 6:11-17 (NKJ)
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJ)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
The devil is your adversary, the one with whom you do battle. Your flesh seeks to serve him by sinning. Let’s not bother to categorize your sins and mine but let’s simply acknowledge that our flesh “defaults” to sin unless the Holy Spirit communes with your spirit and mine to rescue us from temptation. We have more than “a tendency” to sin. It is much more like a compulsion. Remember sin is sin, no matter how subtle or invisible to others, it appears. Pride, lust and all sorts of more obvious sins abound in the life of every person and the only victory is to wrap ones self in the Righteousness of Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord will fight the battle with Satan, not you and not me. If we say we are without sin or beyond sin, we simply delude ourselves and unwittingly, at times, serve Satan by asserting that we have the personal power not to sin.
The battle, again, is not ours. Listen.
Revelation 12:9-11 (NKJ)
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Does it surprise you to hear Satan characterized as the deceiver and accuser of the whole world? He is also the “ruler of this world?” Listen.
John 12:31 (NKJ)
31 “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
John 14:30 (NKJ)
30 “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
John 16:7-8 (NKJ)
7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
John 16:11 (NKJ)
11 “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Jesus, the Messiah, has defeated the power of death. The Messiah rules, but only where you have His power within you. Satan, on his best day, can not overcome the power of the Holy Spirit. In the following verses, the “evil one” is referred to as a prince. Let’s put his identity in context as you learn how to overcome the prince. Listen.
Ephesians 2:1-9 (NKJ)
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
No, Satan does not “own” you because of the depth of your sin. Your sin needs to cease and you need permanent relief from being its captive and slave but understand this. You are the reason the Messiah came. You are the one whom God created in His image. God loves every person that He created and it is His will that none perish, including you.
If you had no sin, if you were righteous in your own strength, none of this would make sense. God’s plan for the eternal redemption of your soul pivots on the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus, being shed to cover your sins and mine. Once you grasp that fact, a new heart, a new perspective, a new form of empowerment, is yours.
Psalm 62:11-12 (NKJ)
11 God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.
12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work.
Psalm 63:1-8 (NKJ)
1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You; your right hand upholds me.
No, your sins are not such that the shed blood of Jesus Christ cannot redeem you. If you are not forgiven and not cleansed, you simply have not acknowledged your Redeemer, the One who atoned for your sins and mine or you have not been enveloped by His Spirit. You can “resolve” to sin no more, but in and of your own strength you will fail. We delude ourselves if we think that our flesh can overcome Satan. We need the constancy of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Not just when we go to synagogue or church, not just when we are reading the Word or praying, but constantly. The enemy is simply more powerful that we fully understand.
Life is not about this physical experience. It is a testing ground of very short duration in which you either serve your Creator, our Lord, or you serve yourself and the inclinations of your flesh. This reality is so pivotal that God sent a form of Himself, His only begotten Son, Jesus to tell us of His love and to redeem us from our sin. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One and if you can’t accept that fact, then your sins are still with you because the Redeemer, at least in the case of an unbeliever, may as well have not come.
What would be worse, in my opinion, is to acknowledge that the Messiah came and to not appropriate His Spirit. This is not an intellectual exercise. We are talking about a “new heart,” a new will to serve Him with the hours or days you have left. Our lives can not be about seeking our interests. What we must seek is His will for our life. What does the Lord want you to do with the days of your life? The answer is clear enough. Serve Him, respond to His love and be directed by His Spirit. Worship Him and glorify Him. Turn and live!
Ezekiel 18:31-32 (NKJ)
31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”