The Present Destruction of Inbred Sin A Great Advantage to the Christian
1) God wants Holy people on earth. It has doubtless occurred to the thoughtful reader to ask the question: What has become of those who have died so triumphantly in the faith of Christ, who never knew it was their privilege to be freed from inbred sin? We reply that every honest soul, living up to all the light he has, will be saved. If he is a heathen in Africa, rejecting no light, living as well as he knows how, he will be saved. If he be a Christian, living up to a greater light, he will be saved. No man is responsible for any more light than he has; but all have some light, and are responsible for that. “This is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Paul tells us how all are judged. “For as many as have sinned without law, shall be judged without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law” (Rom. ii. 12). They who have been true to their light will be saved. If they have not heard of their privilege to be cleansed from inbred sin, they did not reject it. If they had seen their privilege, felt it a duty, and then refused, they would have gone into condemnation, and lost their standing with God. We believe that the wonderful experiences of the death-bed of God’s saints who never understood it to be their privilege to be cleansed from inbred sin, are experiences in purification of heart, to make them “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” God purified their hearts in the dying hour. But God wants holy people on this earth as well as in heaven. He wants His children to reflect Him here. “Let your light so shine that men may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.” We cannot reflect Him unless we are holy. And He therefore says: “Be ye holy”: a command that can no more be modified or weakened, or made to refer to the next world, than, “Thou shalt not steal,” or the command to repentance.
2) This experience is religion made easy. Candid people have asked the question: “Why do I need it? I commit no wilful sin now.” Thank God for that. We wish the whole Church were living in that experience. But even if we are not consciously breaking any of God’s commands, we find it difficult, at times, to keep some of them; for instance, to love our enemies, because of tendencies or tempers that rise in our souls. If they were not there, it would be easier doing God’s will, and we should not be in so much danger of backsliding and final apostasy. If the enemy inside were cast out, we should have more time to wage aggressive warfare against the devil. We may be able to contend against tramps, but it takes too much time and strength; better send for the police. When inbred sin troubles, send for the Sin-destroyer, Jesus. We are called to a nobler warfare than to be simply holding the fort and fighting internal enemies. “The weapons of our warfare,” Paul tells us, are “mighty, through God, to the pulling dow n of strongholds.” And one great reason why the Church is so powerless today as a factor in the great contest with Ruin, Romanism, and the tides of Anarchy is, that so much time is spent in contest with inbred sin. It is hard to carry on a civil and a foreign war at the same time. It is time that we were less conservative, and pulled down more strongholds. Christ says, “His yoke is easy and His burden light, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” And yet because of inbred sin many find it hard work to keep the commandments of God. Let morality, and culture, and moral reform (which work through the unaided will of man), repress the passions of the soul, as they often do; but let the Church of the living God, by His power be inside what they want to appear to be on the outside, Let us “be holy,” for it is the great safeguard and help in acting holy.
3) The destruction of inbred sin is the great help to growth in grace. It removes from the heart those things that hinder growth in grace. A corn-field will grow with weeds, but better without. Inbred sin is the weed of the heart; it tempts to doubt, and then comes wavering; it tempts to proud thoughts, when there ought to be humility; and then comes struggle. Now you have had planted in your hearts the life of the Spirit, let God uproot all things that sap the energy of the soul, or distract its thought or attention.
4) The destruction of inbred sin demonstrates the power of God to save from hell. Hell is the result of sin. If a physician could not save from the disease, it would not be expected that he could save from the results. If a physician should say to a patient in Spain, suffering from cholera, “I have a sure cure; but shall have to take you to America where people do not have the disease,” the patient might well hesitate and say: “If you cannot cure me where I am sick, I am afraid to take the voyage, lest I die on the passage, or lest you cannot cure me in America.” If Christ cannot cure from the disease of sin in this life, how do we know He can in the life to come save us from the results of the disease? If He cannot save from sin, are we sure He can from hell? We may well fear in that case; but when He saves now from sin, we are sure He can from hell, and we are relieved from uncertainty as regards the future. It is time that we recommended Christ in a higher degree than as an advocate who gets us free fro m the consequences of sin. He is a perfect physician. Yet many look at the atonement as simply an easy way of escape from hell, while we may go on not saved from sin. Christ died to destroy the works of the devil, chief of which is sin. The objection has been raised: “If inbred sin is destroyed, how can it spring up again? Would not the springing up show that it was repressed?” The answer: not at all. No state of grace is invulnerable if we do not propose to be true to God. But we will ask the objector one question. We believe Adam was created free from inbred sin. How did inbred sin find a being in him? Certainly it was not there before. Hence it is possible for tendencies to sin to spring up in a heart where once they did not exist. But let us be careful and not make “figures go on all fours,” but keep to the facts.