Original Text By Herbert W. Armstrong
WHY are we not more successful in living up to God’s standard? Why do we slip and fall occasionally? Here is how YOU can overcome where you are weakest and hardest tempted!
Do YOU have some “besetting sin” – some point of weakness? perhaps secret, you have been unable to overcome? Have YOU ever met temptation, struggled with it, only to wake up a little later to the remorseful fact that you had slipped, and failed to overcome? Or perhaps you are struggling with some habit that holds you as its slave – struggling, wrestling, always fighting it, yet somehow never able to conquer it.
Only the Overcomers
These things are serious. We MUST overcome these sins, these habits, these sudden temptations – be cleansed of them thoroughly – if we expect to inherit eternal life. To him that OVERCOMETH, says Jesus, “will I grant to sit with me in my throne.”He that OVERCOMETH, and keepeth my works unto the end, TO HIM will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.” (Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21.) Not all are even called, now. Many, tho they may have HEARD the trmessage, have never received a conscious convicting KNOWLEDGE of the truth. This is not the time when God is calling them. But God is now calling SOME to a life of separation – to a new and different and Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life – in order that they may be wholly CLEANSED of sin, and that they may GROW in grace and knowledge, thus being prepared, trained, fitted for a position of solemn responsibility – that of king or priest – in God’s KINGDOM! And it is ONLY those who qualify by the training, the overcoming, the spiritual development and growth, DURING THIS PRESENT LIFE, who shall thus reign with Christ. Study the parable of the pounds, in Luke 19:11-27. So the Christian life is a new and a different life – an OVERCOMING life. Sin must be torn out, root and branch. We must be made righteous, holy.
Why We Stumble and Fall
Why, then, do so many of us continually stumble and fall? Yes, even those who do strive, struggle, and even PRAY, and PRAY for help, for victory, over some vicious habit? WHY? First, notice a portion of Paul’s instruction to the Philippians. “And be found in Him, not having mine OWN righteousness, which is of the law, but THAT WHICH IS THROUGH THE FAITH OF CHRIST, the righteousness WHICH IS OF GOD BY FAITH.” (Phil. 3:9.) Notice, it is not OUR righteousness, but GOD’S. David was inspired to write: “All thy Commandments are righteousness.” (Ps. 119:172.) Yes, and LOVE is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom. 13:10.)
The Kind Of Love Required
Right here is one trouble. Too many Commandment-keepers are struggling along, trying to keep the Commandments in their own power and strength – thinking it is THEIR own personal human love that fulfills the Law! Too many “Commandment-keepers” have only been converted to the ARGUMENT of keeping God’s Commandments, and have never really EXPERIENCED definite salvation – for a real conversion is a DEFINITE EXPERIENCE! Such people need to go to a private place, alone with God, and get to their knees, and pour out their hearts to God, and stay with it until they really KNOW they are converted by GOD’S POWER, and have received His blessed Holy Spirit! No wonder so many become continually discouraged, and feel like giving up! We do not even HAVE the kind of love that fulfills God’s law and makes us righteous! LOVE is of God, for God IS love! And it takes “the love OF GOD, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5), to fulfill the law, make us Commandment- keepers, and give us GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS. The law is SPIRITUAL (Rom. 7:14). We are carnal. It takes a SPIRITUAL love to fulfill a spiritual law. The Holy Spirit within us is merely GOD’S LAW IN ACTION! And since God alone can supply the LOVE that makes us righteous, it becomes GOD’S righteousness, not ours.