Sin Or Holiness?

God has built surrender into your bones. You will always give up to something or somebody. The secret of inner strength is to give up to the Lord Jesus.

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:5-6, Galatians 5:22-23, Romans 6:19


Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook. And we’re back together again, you and I, looking at the Word of God.

“Add to your faith,” says Peter, there are some things that you do by faith. “Now, God has given to us,” he says “All things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him, that hath called us to glory and virtue.” “Everything is given to you already.”

And then the second thing that he says is given, “Our great and precious promises. The Word of God applied to your life makes a difference that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” And then he said “Beside this giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge” — what’s the next thing? Temperance I believe, isn’t it? Yeah, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and so on.

Now, what we’re looking at now — then is the process of adding to your own life and character and your own set of attitudes something that you didn’t have before. You got your faith. The Lord Jesus said to Peter, “Satan hath desired thee, that he might sift thee as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Peter had very little else to depend upon because he failed miserably, he didn’t have a track record.

He wasn’t able to keep the promises he made to his Lord. He caved in instead. Went out and wept bitterly. Oh, the sorrow that he must have felt in those dark hours when he realized that he denied his best friend. But Jesus in speaking prophetically of what was going to happen; he said “The devil wants to sift you.” Like a person sifts the chaff from the wheat. But he said “I have prayed for you that your faith won’t fail.” God doesn’t look for your track record, he looks for whether or not you really trust Him.

Job, covered with boils and surrounded by critics said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” And the three Hebrew young men faced with an angry King said, “We’re not careful, we’re care-filled that bid’st worried to answer you in this manner, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us. But if not, be it known unto thee, we will not bow down or serve this image that you have setup. We’re not going to engage in idolatry just to save our lives, that we trust God.”

So, and there’s Paul on his way to Rome, a prisoner standing there on the deck of the ship, and the unofficial captain of the group, everybody else was scared to death because they’d had nearly two weeks of a tremendous time of storm, and nobody had eaten much or anything. They were just as scared as they could be. And this prisoner standing there among them and he says “Sir,” he said “There stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” And he said “There would be no loss of life for any of you but just of the ship.” “Wherefore,” he said “Take something to eat.” And he gave thanks and started to eat himself and said “Then they we’re all encouraged, and they had breakfast.”

Faith in God, see. Now, you got that. God has given you that blessed relationship. Paul says, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” The ability to believe God and to trust Him is something that He has made possible in His infinite mercy. So with that in mind, and you do have that, and Peter said “Now, you get to add something by using that relationship constructively.” “Add to your faith.”

Now, make a difference then in your own thinking between what you have by God’s grace given to you and what you can achieve by that same grace as you apply the dynamics of the Christian faith to your life, “Add to your faith virtue.” How do you do that? By committing yourself in faith to your blessed Lord at every point where you face a choice. Virtue is a choice for good, isn’t it? Virtue is a choice for good. Ambrose Bierce, I think it was who said bitterly, “Virtue is the absence of temptation.” No, that isn’t true.

Virtue is a personal deliberate choice for good. And he said “When you’re faced with a choice, you trust your blessed Lord to enable you to make that choice.” All right, then the virtue add knowledge in. We talked about that the last time we got together which means a personal experience of your blessed Lord so that you know that you know, that you know.

My good friend Clinton Utterbach has a song that he wrote. When he said, “There is a quiet place where I hear God, say to me I love you.” “I have always loved you. I loved you before you were born and I love you now and I will always love you.” It seems he says in that song that sometimes that he just puts His arms around me and holds me. And he said “It’s in those quiet times that you know, that you know, that He cares.” A beautiful sentiment and I love to — I got a tape of that song. I love to play it in the car when I’m driving. It’s in those quiet times that you know, that you know, that He cares. Oh, yes.

Well, he says “Knowledge and to knowledge you add temperance.” Now, here we have that same word again. We talked about that, the verse before when we were doing a profile of what we understand to be the divine nature, some of it anyway, you can’t encompass it all. But the evidence that God is doing something in your life and actually working as God only can work. The divine nature showing up in your life, “partakers,” that means a sharer — a partaker means a sharer of the divine nature.

God’s attributes showing up in your life, and remember we took Galatians 5:22-23 as an illustration of what that might mean, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Now, here’s that same word “temperance,” “enkrateia” which is a form of two little words meaning strength within. Strength within, inside strength. Now, how do you add inside strength? Well, he says “You do it by faith.” You do it by faith. Every person has his collapse point.

Those of you who’ve been in business, for instance in fabricating steel. You know that when they build a steel girder of some sort whether it’s the lightweight lattice, the crisscrossed kind of a lacework steel beam where the strength of it that comes from many pieces welded in an angular fashion across the width of it or whether it’s one of those heavy, heavy steel beams that is solid and weighs many, many tons. But any of you who’ve been in that work, you know that they test regularly, the strength of what they’re producing. And they’ll subject that steel beam — let us say to a certain amount of weight or if it’s supposed to resist torsional stress they’ll put it in a jig and subject it to torsional twisting stress. And then there would be a point then at which that steel beam will give up. It won’t be able to stand anymore and it will either bend under the weight that’s applied, or it will collapse under the torsional stress, the twisting stress that is applied.

Now, that’s old stuff to you men who are in manufacturing. But I have to explain it for people like me. Well, everything has its collapse point whether you’re a steel beam or a human being. The Bible calls these our besetting sins. The kind of thing that so often gets you down, you know. You might never be tempted to rob a bank but you could be tempted to tell a lie. See, the difference? Besetting sins, the point at which you collapse, everybody has his collapse point. The cynic of course says every man has his price.

Well, maybe that’s true. But a deeper truth than that is every man or woman, or boy, or girl finds out sooner or later that there are certain points at which they tend to collapse, to give in, to cave in, to give up. Now, Paul recognizes that in Romans 6, doesn’t he? He says, “As ye have yielded the members of your body, slaves to unrighteousness, and the result was more sin.” Let me read that for you. I just turned the pages of my big Bible here so I can read it rather than try to quote it. He says, “As ye have yielded the members of your body, slaves to uncleanness and slaves to iniquity.” And then he says, “Slaves to iniquity unto iniquity.” What does he mean? He says “When you give up to sin, that just produces more sin.” That’s what he’s saying.

As you have yielded, you gave up, you collapsed. And what did it produce? Just more sin. Even so now, this is Roman 6:19, even so now, same process, give up all right, but give up to the Lord Jesus. “Even so now, yield your members slaves to righteousness.” And Christ is called in the Bible “Christ our righteousness.” So you could put His name in there. Yield the members of your body slaves to Christ, and the result will be Holiness.

So, how do you achieve this inner strength? Number one, you realize that by yourself you’re going to collapse, that’s the first thing. Second, you realize that the process of that collapse is a kind of soul surrender when you get tired of trying and you give up. Third, you follow God’s clear direction, and do the same thing but give up to somebody else instead of giving up to yourself, and your desires, and your sin, and temptations, you give up to Jesus.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, dear friend. I have to tell you it works. Anything I tell you, I have been there. And there are situations in life where you just don’t — you don’t manage them yourself, you can’t handle them yourself. And I need not to tick them off you know, in your own life, the areas where you’re prone to collapse. Now, the process of collapsing is not changed. God has built surrender into your bones. You will always give up to something or somebody. The secret of inner strength is to give up to the Lord Jesus. “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world,” the Bible says.

He is greater. Greater than your temptations, greater than your personal drives and needs, greater than the loneliness that sweeps over you if you’re living alone, greater than the feeling of self-pity when you’ve been abused and terribly treated, greater than the deep, deep hurts that seemed will never heal humanly. He is greater than the fear of what’s going to happen tomorrow. He is greater than the situation in which you work where people pick on you and you don’t seem to be appreciated or anything. He is greater than the family situations where there are difficulties that are seemingly built in and they won’t budge. Jesus our blessed Lord is greater than all of these and a million things more when you give up to Him.

Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, yield your members, slaves to Christ said He and the result will be holiness. If you give up to yourself, it’s just more sin. You give up to Jesus, it’s holiness. Isn’t that great? Praise the Lord.

Dear Father today, O, may we surrender to Thee to be strong within. In Jesus’ name, I ask this. Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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