“If You will keep iniquities, O Jehovah, O Lord, who shall stand? But forgiveness is with You that You may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).
On January 25, 2007 Marc D. Carpenter wrote these relevant and edifying words that encourage true Christians to be militant and diligent when killing sin by the Holy Spirit of God (cf. Romans 8:13):
“It is absolutely true that believers still view themselves as sinners in constant need of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. We constantly fall short of the standard of perfect righteousness and realize that if God would mark our sin, we would not stand. We are constantly beset and harassed by indwelling sin so we do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we do want to do. Whenever we would do good, sin is right there with us. We are not made right with God by any kind of infused righteousness, and our own good works form absolutely no part of the ground of our gaining or maintaining salvation or acceptance before God or entitlement to heaven. We fall into sin, repent, and fall into sin again. We are not even close to being perfectly righteous in our own character and conduct. And we fall down in shame and regret at our own sinfulness. None of us here can say that we’re better than anyone else. We constantly strive to obey, and when we sin, we repent in the dust. Sometimes we even become so overwhelmed that we become depressed. We hate our sin. It is disgusting to us. It makes us ashamed. It makes us cry out to God.
But that’s not the end of the story, praise God. God does not judge us based on our character and conduct. He judges us based on the righteousness of Christ that has been charged to us! Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus! If God be for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies! Who can condemn us? It is Christ who has died and was raised for our justification, who intercedes for us! So even though we are wretched because of this indwelling sin, we have deliverance from the body of this death through Jesus Christ our Lord! Thank God!
So, as we walk this road of life, we strive to obey, falling way short of perfect obedience because of the indwelling sin that is constantly present with us, and we are ashamed and repent, and all the while we are assured that we are God’s children because in the eyes of God’s law and justice we are perfectly righteous because we are clothed with the white robe of Jesus Christ’s perfect righteousness! Praise God!”
A reasonable response from those who have been delivered by Jesus Christ from the coming wrath (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:10):
“Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
“Then having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilements of flesh and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
“So, then, my beloved, even as you always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, cultivate your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is working in you both to will and to work for the sake of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless, children of God, without fault in the midst of a crooked generation, even having been perverted, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world, holding up the Word of Life, for a boast to me in the day of Christ, that I ran not in vain, nor labored in vain. But if indeed I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice; yea, I rejoice with you all. And you also rejoice in the same and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:12-18).