The Sins of My Youth
In my morning devotion this Scripture caught my eye, "Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people." (Nehemiah 5:19 nasb.)
Nehemiah had a good heart. As we read how he went about to help Jerusalem rebuild her walls, all we see is goodness in him. Yet we hear this notable prayer about the Lord remembering the good things he had done. The fact is that the Jewish people believed God kept a book on every person. Good deeds and bad deeds were recorded.
When I read Nehemiah's prayer, another Scripture came to mind. David wrote, "Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness sake, O Lord." (Psalm 25:7 nasb.)
Point at hand --- If there is ever a place where Satan will attack a believer, it will be over the sins of their youth, that is, the sins of their past. Let's look at this area of our sins.
This is Bible StudyDU019 - The Sins of My Youth.
Here I am 66 years and the enemy will still try to do a flashback in my mind concerning sins from my past. If I dwell on any of these sins for a bit, I'll get depressed just a bit. But it is here where the Holy Spirit quickens my thought life. My life is now hidden in Jesus Christ. Once again the enemy has lost his case.
It is so important for God's people to have a firm foundation in the redemption work of the cross. The reason is that most all of our spiritual struggles will be played out in the mind.
This is why Peter said, "Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance." (1 Peter 13:14 nasb.)
Now, is it true that our lives are recorded in a book? Yes, that seems to be the case. David said, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." (Psalm 139:16 nasb.)
Then we hear, "You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?" (Psalm 56:8 nasb.)
There are other places that speak of God's book, or of other books that are written. Here is another one of great interest:
"Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name." (Malachi 3:16 nasb.)
That pretty much covers the question concerning our lives being written in a book.
Now for a second question -- Is it true that the sins of our lives are recorded in a book? The answer to this is, no. This is wonderful news with regard to God's redemption under the covenant of the Lamb. For all who believe in and trust in Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior, there is no record of their sins and never will be.
I can hear it now --- Buddy Martin has lost his senses! Well, let's see if I've lost my senses. Listen to what the prophet Jeremiah says, which is directly quoted in the book of Hebrews:
"'For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: 'I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen and everyone his brother, "Know the Lord," for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them."
'For I will be merciful to their iniquities, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.'" (Hebrews 8:10-12 nasb.)
I would love to speak to every statement made here. But this is what I want you to see.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to tell us that this new covenant was then in place, and that the former covenant is 'ready to disappear.' The disappearance will take place in 70 a.d. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. All vestiges of the covenant of Moses are to be destroyed.
Also keep in mind what Jesus said when He took the cup; "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." (Luke 22:20 nasb.) There is no question that we are now under the new covenant.
Here is the mystery of the new covenant. Jesus took our place on the cross. Of course we understand that. But do we really? Jesus took our entire life to the cross, not just our past life. This means that all our sins of our life, from beginning to end were placed on Him. And in the resurrection the Father decreed that His own righteousness would be given to every person who truly received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
This is why Satan cannot bring a charge against any believer with regard to sin. I realize this is puzzling to many of us. We wonder, 'What about all those times that I've failed the Lord since I became a believer?' They are not recorded.
Don't misunderstand any of what I am sharing. Sin always has its own consequences. There will even be times where the Lord will bring punitive judgments and special disciplines to our lives because of a sin we've committed that is unrepented of, or an attitude that we carry that is a sinful attitude.
The writer of Hebrews talks about the disciplines of a Father who loves us. So it is not a matter of us getting by with sin. What child of God would consciously wish to get by with sinning anyway? Do we not hate sin? Do we not hate it when we have a failure?
Then there is this consideration. When a person is born again, that person's heart has a seal placed upon it. And in the act of sealing, the Holy Spirit enters into the new believer's heart as a permanent abider. You can grieve the Holy Spirit, but you cannot run Him off.
So, yes, we can grieve the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can enter a season of fleshly or sinful activity. But can we remain in that state? Not according to the apostle John as he said, "No one who is born of God PRACTICES sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:9 nasb. Caps only for emphasis.)
The word 'practices' is key to this verse. [Poieo: poy-eh'-o] Poieo speaks to activities that are a matter of course, that is, something that people do by act of nature. It is a production term. Poieo is closely related to a Greek term that speaks of something we create out of our own hearts. (Such as a poet writing a poem.)
Think of it this way -- Peter said, "It has happened to them according to the true proverb, 'A dog returns to its own vomit,' and, 'A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.'" (2 Peter 2:22 nasb.)
Catch the point? These pretenders were never anything but dogs and hogs. A true child of God cannot by nature do what a dog or a sow will do by nature. Why is that? We are given a new nature, the nature of Christ. Yes, we can sin, but we do not sin by nature. Our sins are generally by temptation.
Another thing to keep in mind: Since God has forgiven us all our sins; we are never to bring them up again. What a lesson to be learned. How often do we fail to be this way with other brothers and sisters? When they sin and come to the Lord for cleansing, why do we think we have the right to call attention to their sin over and over?
No, the sins of our life are not recorded. Take God's word for it. And if anyone on the group is interested, I will share how the Lord revealed this truth to me in a dream.
As a final thought -- We all know how the United Pentecostal Church makes everything a sin from women snipping their hair, to women wearing pants, to women showing a bit of their ankles. Ever wonder why it is all about women? In the garden, the Lord told Eve that Satan's main attacks would be against her.
In every repressive religion, which includes the UPC, it is the women who have to obey all the rules. Yet there is another secret that the men would not like you to hear. However, it applies to both men and women. People, including the leadership in the UPC, generally live a double life.
Why is there a need for a double life? It is because no one can live by the repressive standards put out by a legalistic religion, that is, those religions that keep binding the people with Old Testament laws and further laws of their own religious making.
So when these folk go on vacation, and especially when they feel no one will know them, they tend to let their hair down. They watch all the television they wish in their hotel room. They do lots of things that they normally would not do in their normal Pentecostal setting.
How do I know all that? Take a guess.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This study was originally shared on January 18, 2007. It was written by Pastor Buddy Martin, a former United Pentecostal Church minister, who founded Christian Challenge International. Writings are the copyright of Buddy Martin and reprinted on this site by permission.
Page added January 18, 2007
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