Restoration: The Guilty Sinner

Restoration: The Guilty Sinner

There are two basic premises in professed Christian churches today.  Two premises of how God saves a man or woman from sin, and what actually constitutes sin and guilt in the life of the individual.  Depending on which premise we base our beliefs on, the outcome will be very different.  The Bible says there is only one way of Salvation. (Psalm 77:13; Acts 4:11, 12; Eph 4:5; John 14:6) This study is a basic introduction to these two premises, and shows from the Bible which is correct.   In part two of this study, which is to follow, we will discuss what actually happens in and to the guilty sinner when he or she comes in penitence to the foot of the cross.  Stay tuned!

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0 thoughts on “Restoration: The Guilty Sinner

  1. It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.
    Steps To Christ

    1. Thank you, Fred, and here is the next paragraph from the same book that gives the balance:

      “More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to him; and so long as you do this, he will work in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. So you may say, ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ So Jesus said to his disciples, ‘It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same works,–works of righteousness, obedience.“–“Steps to Christ,” pages 62.3.

      1. Here is another one, “Fred”:

        Enoch was a public teacher of the truth in the age in which he lived. He taught the truth; he lived the truth; and the character of the teacher who walked with God was in every way harmonious with the greatness and sacredness of his mission. Enoch was a prophet who spake as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. He was a light amid the moral darkness, a pattern man, a man who walked with God, being obedient to God’s law,–that law which Satan had refused to obey, which Adam had transgressed, which Abel obeyed, and because of his obedience was murdered. And now God would demonstrate to the universe the falsity of Satan’s charge that man cannot keep God’s law. He would demonstrate that though man had sinned, he could so relate himself to God that he would have the mind and spirit of God and would be a representative symbol of Christ. This holy man was selected of God to denounce the wickedness of the world, and to evidence to the world that it is possible for man to keep all the law of God. {6MR 146.1}

  2. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. If a man could save himself by his own works, he might have something in himself in which to rejoice. The effort that man makes in his own strength to obtain salvation is represented by the offering of Cain. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation. FW 94.1

    1. Amen, ‘Fred’, with Christ living IN me, and “me” dead, Christ will live THROUGH me the same kind of life He lived when He walked this sod 2000 years ago, since He changes not. This is the core of all of the passages you have shared. Please feel free to watch the most recent video, “Restoration: The Justified”. If I try to keep the law in my own strength it is not possible, but with Christ, “all things are possible.” Perhaps in your own words you should state your convictions.

  3. Blessed is the soul who can say, “I am guilty before God: but Jesus is my Advocate. I have transgressed His law. I cannot save myself; but I make the precious blood that was shed on Calvary all my plea. I am lost in Adam, but restored in Christ. God, who so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son to die, will not leave me to perish while repentant and in contrition of soul. He will not look upon me, for I am all unworthy; but He will look upon the face of His Anointed, He will look upon my Substitute and Surety, and listen to the plea of my Advocate, who died for my sin, that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. By beholding Him I shall be changed into His image. I cannot change my own character, save by partaking of the grace of Him who is all goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. But by beholding Him, I shall catch His spirit, and be transformed into His likeness. . . .” The heart that is filled with the grace of Christ will be made manifest by its peace and joy; and where Christ abides, the character will become purified, elevated, ennobled, and glorified. {SD 120.2}

  4. The core of all these passages is JESUS. “Lost in Adam restored in Christ”. “Cannot perfectly obey the law of God. Christ has made a way of escape.” “Guilty before God, but Jesus is my Advocate.” By beholding Him (not the law) I shall be changed into His image.

    1. Inasmuch as the presentations on the web page clarify my convictions, I shall only add this:

      “Repentance is associated with faith, and is urged in the gospel as essential to salvation. Paul preached repentance. He said, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20, 21). There is no salvation without repentance. No impenitent sinner can believe with his heart unto righteousness. Repentance is described by Paul as a godly sorrow for sin, that “worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This repentance has in it nothing of the nature of merit, but it prepares the heart for the acceptance of Christ as the only Saviour, the only hope of the lost sinner.
      “As the sinner looks to the law, his guilt is made plain to him, and pressed home to his conscience, and he is condemned. His only comfort and hope is found in looking to the cross of Calvary. As he ventures upon the promises, taking God at His word, relief and peace come to his soul. He cries, “Lord, Thou hast promised to save all who come unto Thee in the name of Thy Son. I am a lost, helpless, hopeless soul. Lord, save, or I perish.” His faith lays hold on Christ, and he is justified before God.
      But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that works by love and purifies the soul.” {1SM 365-366}

  5. I think this explains it very well,

    The final demonstration of what the gospel can do in and for humanity is still in the future. Christ showed the way. He took a human body, and in that body demonstrated the power of God. Men are to follow His example and prove that what God did in Christ, He can do in every human being who submits to Him. The world is awaiting this demonstration (Romans 8:19). When it has been accomplished, the end will come. God will have fulfilled His plan. He will have shown Himself true and Satan a liar. His government will stand vindicated.

    There is much spurious doctrine concerning holiness taught in the world today. On the one hand are those who deny the power of God to save from sin. On the other hand are those who flaunt their sanctity before men and would have us believe that they are without sin. Among the first class are not only unbelievers and skeptics but church members whose vision does not include victory over sin, but who accept a kind of compromise with sin. In the other class are such as have no just conception either of sin or of God’s holiness, whose spiritual vision is so impaired that they cannot see their own shortcomings, and hence believe themselves perfect, and whose conception of religion is such that their own understanding of truth and righteousness is superior to that revealed in the Word. It is not easy to decide which is the greater error.

    That the Bible inculcates holiness is indisputable. “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The Greek word hagios in its various forms is translated “sanctify,” “holy,” “holiness,” “sanctified,” “sanctification.” It is the same word which is used for the two apartments of the sanctuary, and means that which is set apart for God. A sanctified person is one who is set apart for God, whose whole life is dedicated to Him.

    M.L. Andreasen The Last Generation

  6. The next paragraph from the same book gives the balance.
    Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ’s perfect obedience instead of the sinner’s transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then, according to His unfailing promises, God pardons his sin, and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his substitute and surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness. {1SM 366.3}
    “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:3-5). Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. He can say with rejoicing, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7). {1SM 367.1}

  7. AMEN! I love that last paragraph in the 1SM quote.

    The righteousness of Christ is not designed to cover sin—it replaces sin. After accepting Christ we still have a carnal nature but this nature is replaced…sin is a CHOICE! Righteousness by faith is no more than “right doing”by faith.

  8. Dear Fred”

    Could you please explain to me how you could behold Him and not His law?? And if you are changed into His image, which is perfect and without sin, how can you just disregard His law and say It doesn’t matter and that God doesn’t care or expect us to be anything but sinners?

  9. Came across this this morning… thought it may apply to this conversation here.

    If ministers who preach the gospel would do their duty, and would also be ensamples to the flock of God, their voices would be lifted up like a trumpet to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. Ministers who exhort sinners to be converted should distinctly define what sin is and what conversion from sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law. The convicted sinner must exercise repentance toward God for the transgression of His law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The apostle gives us the true definition of sin. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” The largest class of Christ’s professed ambassadors are blind guides. They lead the people away from the path of safety by representing the requirements and prohibitions of the ancient law of Jehovah as arbitrary and severe. They give the sinner license to overstep the limits of God’s law. In this they are like the great adversary of souls, opening before them a life of freedom in violation of God’s commandments. With this lawless freedom the basis of moral responsibility is gone.

    Those who follow these blind leaders close the avenues of their souls to the reception of truth. They will not allow the truth with its practical bearings to affect their hearts. The largest number brace their souls with prejudice against new truths, and also against the clearest light which shows the correct application of an old truth, the law of God, which is as old as the world. The intemperate and licentious delight in the oft-repeated assertion that the law of the ten commandments is not binding in this dispensation. Avarice, thefts, perjuries, and crimes of every description are carried on under the cloak of Christianity. {Con 75.3}

    God’s Blessing 🙂

  10. Pam,
    Those were not my words, but the words of Ellen White Commenting on Romans and Titus. No where did I say that we need to disregard the law.

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7)

  11. Maybe the question should be, what is the law?

    The learned lawyer approached Jesus with a direct question: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” The answer of Jesus is as direct and forcible: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” {3SP 51.3}

    It appears that the true follower of the law loves God and man.

    1. “Fred”, did Jesus love the Pharisees when He turned over their tables and told them they were whited sepulchers? Was Elijah unloving when he sternly called for a decision? Or Moses when he ground up the golden calf, put it in water and made the children of Israel drink it for their disobedience? Didn’t they have to “work” by obeying the law?
      Doesn’t Jesus say, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”? What most people fail to realize and certainly then don’t experience, is that deep love for Him that says, “Oh, my Lord! What more can I do to please You?” It IS possible!!! Obedience is not a dirty word, neither is “works”. In the true gospel, in the true experience, there is willing, joyful obedience (works) springing from the presence of Jesus in the heart. Simply put, faith works.
      Brother, perhaps, since you live in, or at least visit this area, we can study the Word of God together to learn from Him how to not only love Him, but to obey Him. We need both oars, faith AND works, in order for our boat to move forward.

  12. We should promote purity as God’s children. We are living in earths final hours and should allow the refining necessary for translation.
    Since “the law of the Lord is perfect,” every variation from it must be evil. Those who disobey the commandments of God, and teach others to do so, are condemned by Christ. The Saviour’s life of obedience maintained the claims of the law; it proved that the law could be kept in humanity, and showed the excellence of character that obedience would develop. All who obey as He did are likewise declaring that the law is “holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12. On the other hand, all who break God’s commandments are sustaining Satan’s claim that the law is unjust, and cannot be obeyed. Thus they second the deceptions of the great adversary, and cast dishonor upon God. They are the children of the wicked one, who was the first rebel against God’s law. To admit them into heaven would again bring in the elements of discord and rebellion, and imperil the well-being of the universe. No man who willfully disregards one principle of the law shall enter the kingdom of heaven. {DA 308.4}
    Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to cry earnestly to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained. {CCh 51.2}
    The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them, they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation. A great work is required of the Christian. We are exhorted to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Here we see where the great labor rests. There is a constant work for the Christian. Every branch in the parent vine must derive life and strength from that vine, in order to yield fruit. 15 {CCh 51.3}
    Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him. 16 {CCh 51.4}

  13. Thank you all so much for this discussion. I love all the food for thought and the “it is written.”
    I am not going to quote or misquote anything here today, but I would like to add my “for what it’s worth” common sense.

    It seems so clear to me that if you love someone you WANT to do everything you can to show that love, and you STRIVE to be perfect (like newlyweds in the honeymoon phase). Not because you HAVE to but because you WANT to and can’t imagine any other way. A relationship will go nowhere without showing the one you love how much you love them. You can say it all you want but it means nothing if your “works” don’t show it. When we obey God’s law it’s because we love Him, not because we are trying to “work” our way into heaven.

  14. Did Jesus love the Pharisees? Yes! He also loved the Children of Israel and the Gentiles.

    There is no possible way in which, of himself, man may recover his purity. The natural powers are perverted. Jesus, the good Shepherd, says, “I know my sheep, and am known of mine.” The Pharisees were ready to accuse and condemn Jesus, because he did not, like themselves, repulse and condemn the publicans and sinners. The Pharisees put their trust in the law, and yet Jesus declared they did not keep the law. They thought that the law would justify them, and they would not consider the compassion and mercy that Jesus presented in his lessons as necessary to be brought into their practical life. Jesus came to the world to erect the cross, and beneath it all publicans and sinners may find refuge, and the Pharisees also may find peace, but only on the same terms by which those thought to be the greatest sinners may come to Christ. {ST, January 22, 1894 par. 2}

    1. “Fred” your passages do not prove your point, which you have declared to be essentially that nothing we do has anything to do with our salvation–that obedience is not essential. The passages you share are not supporting you. Hence, I shall take leave of this conversation, for you are not being honest with the Scriptures nor the Spirit of Prophecy. Any further comments by you will not be approved by the administrator.

  15. It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law
    so what was his character before the fall if he needed to work at it to make it righteous?
    God said what ever He made was good and perfect . before the fall.

  16. What I understand the author to be saying is this:
    1) That Adam and Eve were created perfect. It was easy for them to love and obey God.
    2) But they sinned and became fallen and therefore unable of themselves to love and obey God.
    3) But God sent Jesus after 4,000 years of sin, and so in the same nature Adam had after he sinned.
    4) That Jesus, in the same nature we have, maintained His connection with God from birth to death and therefore never sinned.
    5) Because of this, when we are born again, and Jesus lives in our hearts, we can do likewise. We can maintain our connection with God from the new birth to death and live just as Jesus did.
    6) And that if there are things we don’t know are wrong, God winks, but when we know, we must repent.

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