By Andrew Murray
'Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins.' -- Matt. 1:21
'Ye know that He was manifested to take away sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.' -- 1 John 3:5,6
It is sin that is the cause of our misery. It is sin that provoked God, and brought His curse upon man. He hates sin with a perfect hatred, and will do everything to root it out. (Deut. 27:26; Isa. 59:1,2; Jer. 44:4; Rom. 1:18) It is to take away sin that God gave His Son, that Jesus gave Himself. (Gal. 2:4; Eph. 5:25,27; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 John 3:8) It belongs to God to set us free, not only from punishment and curse, from disquietude and terror, but from sin itself. (Jer. 27:9; 1 Pet. 1:2,15,16; 2:14; 1 John 3:8) You know that He was manifested that He might take away our sins. Let us receive the thought deep into our hearts: it is for God to take away our sins from us. The better we apprehend this, the more blessed shall our life be.
All do not receive this. They seek chiefly to be freed from the consequences of sin, from fear and darkness, and the punishment that sin brings. (Gen. 27:34; Isa. 58:5,6; John 6:26; Jas. 4:3) Just on this account they do not come to the true rest of salvation. They do not understand that to save is to free from sin. Let us hold it fast. Jesus saves through taking away sin. Then we shall learn two things.
The first is to come to Jesus with every sin. (Ps. 32:5; Luke 7:38; 19:7,8,10; John 8:11; 34:36) the sin that still attacks and overmasters you, after that you have given yourself over to the Lord, must not make you lose heart. There must also be no endeavour merely in your own strength to take away and overcome sin. Bring every sin to Jesus. He has been ordained by God to take away sin. He has already brought it to nought upon the cross, and broken its power. (Heb. 9:26) It is His work, it is His desire to set you free from it. O learn then always to come to Jesus with every sin. Sin is your deadly foe: if you confess it to Jesus, and surrender it to Him, you shall certainly overcome it. (Rom. 7:4,9; 8:2; 2 Cor. 7:9; 2 Thess 2:3)
Learn to believe this firmly: this is the second point. Understand that Jesus, Jesus Himself, is the Saviour from sin. It is not you that must overcome sin with the help of Jesus, but Jesus Himself: Jesus in you. (Deut. 8:17,18; Ps. 44:4,8; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4,5) If you would thus become free from sin, if you would enjoy full salvation, let it be the one endeavour of your life to stand always in full fellowship with Jesus. Wait not till you enter into temptation ere you have recourse to Jesus. But let your life beforehand be always through Jesus. Let His nearness be your one desire; Jesus saves from sin; to have Jesus is salvation from sin (1 Cor. 15:10; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13; Col 3:3-5) O that we could indeed rightly understand this! Jesus will not merely save from sin as a work that He will from time to time do in us, but He will give it as a blessing through Himself to us and in us. (Ex. 29:43; John 15:4,5; Rom. 8:10; Eph. 3:17,18) When Jesus fills me, when Jesus is all for me, sin has no hold on me: 'He that abideth in Him sinneth not.'
Yes: sin is driven out and kept out only through the presence of Jesus. It is Jesus, Jesus Himself, that, through His giving Himself to me and His living in me, is salvation from sin.
Precious Lord, let Thy light stream over me, and let it become still clearer to my soul, that Thou, Thou Thyself, art my salvation. To have Thee, Thee, with me, in me -- this keeps sin out. Teach me to bring every sin to Thee; let every sin drive me into a closer alliance with Thee. Then shall Thy Jesus-name become truly my salvation from sin. Amen.
1. See of what moment it is that the Christian should always grow in the knowledge of sin. The sin that I do not know, I cannot bring to Jesus. The sin that I do not bring to Him is not taken out of me.
2. To know sin better there are required:
The constant prayer, 'Examine me:' make known to me my transgression and my sin (Job 13:23; Ps. 139:23,24);
A tender conscience that is willing to be convinced of sin through the Spirit, as He also uses the conscience for this end;
The very humble surrender to the word, to think concerning sin only as God thinks.
3. The deeper knowledge of sin will be found in these results:
That we shall see to be sin things which previously we did not regard in this light;
That we shall perceive more the exceedingly sinful, the detestable character of sin (Rom. 7:13);
That with the overcoming of external sins we become all the more encouraged over the deep sinfulness of our nature, of the enmity of our flesh against God. Then we give up all hope of being or of doing anything good, and we are turned wholly to live in faith through the Spirit.
4. O let us thank God very heartily that Jesus is a Saviour from sin. The power that sin has had over us, Jesus now has. The place that sin has taken in the heart, Jesus will now take. 'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.'