Then shall ye remember your own evil ways - Ye shall never forget that ye were once slaves of sin, and sold under sin; children of the wicked one; heirs to all God's curses, with no hope beyond hell. Such cleansed people never forget the horrible pit and the miry clay out of which they have been brought. And can they then be proud? No; they loathe themselves in their own sight. They never forgive themselves for having sinned against so good a God, and so loving a Savior. And can they undervalue Him by whose blood they were bought, and by whose blood they were cleansed? No! That is impossible: they now see Jesus as they ought to see him; they see him in his splendor, because they feel him in his victory and triumph over sin. To them that thus believe he is precious, and he was never so precious as now. As to their not needing him when thus saved from their sins, we may as well say, as soon may the creation not need the sustaining hand of God, because the works are finished! Learn this, that as it requires the same power to sustain creation as to produce it, so it requires the same Jesus who cleansed to keep clean. They feel that it is only through his continued indwelling, that they are kept holy, and happy, and useful. Were he to leave them the original darkness and kingdom of death would soon be restored.
The nearer we come to Jesus and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly we shall discern the exceeding sinfulness of sin and the less we shall feel like exalting ourselves. Those whom heaven recognizes as holy ones are the last to parade their own goodness. The apostle Peter became a faithful minister of Christ, and he was greatly honored with divine light and power; he had an active part in the upbuilding of Christ's church; but Peter never forgot the fearful experience of his humiliation; his sin was forgiven; yet well he knew that for the weakness of character which had caused his fall only the grace of Christ could avail. He found in himself nothing in which to glory. COL 160.1
None of the apostles or prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God had honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their own nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ. So will it be with all who behold Christ. COL 160.2
At every advance step in Christian experience our repentance will deepen. It is to those whom the Lord has forgiven, to those whom He acknowledges as His people, that He says, “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight.” Ezekiel 36:31. Again He says, “I will establish My covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; that thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:62, 63. Then our lips will not be opened in self-glorification. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone. We shall make the apostle's confession our own. “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” Romans 7:18. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14. COL 160.3Read in context »