Hello! In your letter you asked: “We are familiar with the Bible and work hard to practice the Lord’s word, but why are we still unable to break away from the bondage of sin?”
I want to share a bit of my understanding of this issue. We all know that, at the end of the Age of Law, man had been corrupted by Satan deeper and deeper and they no longer upheld the law. They lived in the midst of sin every day, facing the danger of being lawfully executed because their offerings were not adequate to atone for their sins. God couldn’t bear to see mankind become depraved and die under the law, so He was incarnated in the image of the Lord Jesus and was crucified for man as the sin offering and thereby He bore the sins of all mankind forever. From then on, people were delivered from the bondage of the law and were no longer executed for not being able to keep the law. Because of the Lord Jesus’ atonement, as long as we confess and repent to the Lord Jesus, our sins will be forgiven. But our corrupt disposition is deeply rooted and our sinful nature hasn’t been taken away, so we still live in a sin-and-confess state. Just as God’s words say: “The sins of man were forgiven through the agency of the incarnate God, but this does not mean that man no longer has sin within him. … Within man still exist filth, opposition, and rebelliousness; man has only returned to God through His redemption, but he has not the slightest knowledge of God and still resists and rebels against Him. Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God.”
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From God’s words we understand: In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus only did the redemptive work but not the work of purifying man’s corrupt disposition. Due to the stature of the people at that time, the Lord Jesus only gave them the way of repentance, and asked them to understand a few rudimentary truths and paths to practice. For example: He asked people to confess their sins and repent and bear the cross. He taught them to be patient and humble, to love others as they love themselves, etc. These are limited truths that people of that time could attain. The Lord Jesus never expressed other truths that have to do with changing life disposition, being saved, becoming cleansed, being made perfect, etc. Therefore, even if we work hard to practice the Lord’s words, often pray to Him and even strive to constrain our behavior to not sin, corrupt thoughts still often come into our minds and we can’t control them. We always involuntarily commit sins, living in the cycle of sinning in the day and confessing at night.
Then, how can we break free from the bondage of sin and be cleansed? The Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Peter 4:17). “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). We can see from this that, when God returns in the last days, He will do His work of judging and cleansing mankind. Only the words and work of Christ of the last days can change and cleanse us and release us completely from the bondage of sin.
In regard to how God does His work of judgment in the last days, let’s read two passages of God’s words: “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.”
“The work done by God during this age is chiefly the provision of the words for the life of man, the disclosure of the substance of the nature of man and the corrupt disposition of man, the elimination of religious conceptions, feudal thinking, outdated thinking, as well as the knowledge and culture of man. This must all be laid bare and cleansed away through the words of God. In the last days, God uses words, and not signs and wonders, to make man perfect. He uses His words to expose man, to judge man, to chastise man, and to make man perfect, so that in the words of God, man comes to see the wisdom and loveliness of God, and comes to understand the disposition of God, so that through the words of God, man beholds the deeds of God.”
From God’s words we see that, during His judgment work in the last days, the words expressed by God reveal all the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan. They clearly reveal the aim of God’s three stages of work of salvation and the purpose and significance of every stage of work, especially the path by which we believers can change our disposition and be cleansed, such as how to be an honest person, how to obey God, how to love God, how to follow God’s will, and so forth. Through His words, we also know God’s authority and holiness, and experience His love and salvation. Moreover, God’s words also expose our disobedient and God-resisting satanic nature. As a result, we clearly see the truth that we’ve been so profoundly corrupted by Satan, that our nature is arrogant, deceitful, selfish and despicable. Although we believe in God we cannot respect God as great, and we don’t have a heart that fears God. For the sake of our own interests we often lie and deceive God, deceive people. We believe in God but worship and follow man. Once we have status, we even show ourselves off and build ourselves up, so that people will listen to and obey us. If we do some work and sacrifice something, we will presume upon and flaunt our seniority, demanding grace and blessings from God. As soon as our desires are not satisfied, we will become negative and slow down, misunderstand and complain to God, etc. We can see that our corruption by Satan runs too deep. We have not lived out the likeness of real human beings at all. Facing the truth of our corruption by Satan, we feel ashamed and extremely remorseful, and we have appreciated that God’s holiness cannot be defiled and that His righteous disposition does not tolerate offense. Thus, we cannot help but prostrate ourselves before God, regretting our evil deeds, despising our satanic nature, and repenting to God. At the same time, we are willing to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, fulfill our duties as created beings, pursue the truth and a change in disposition under the guidance of God’s words, and obey everything God orchestrates and arranges. This is the result of the judgment of God’s words on His chosen people! In addition, the root of our sinful nature can also be resolved.
Lingyun, above is some of my shallow understanding and knowledge. I hope they can bring some help to you. I also hope that you can read more of God’s words and I believe that you can find the answers to all your difficulties and confusions about believing in God in God’s words.
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