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National Prayer Network


By Rev. Ted Pike
9 Apr 07

Passover arrives each year with the sunlit blossoms of spring, cleansed by rain. Jews in Israel mark out seven days, abstaining from work on the first and last. They eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs in memory of the hurried escape from Egypt. The Hebrews’ exodus from this land of slavery is a giant metaphor for a more personal flight: the liberation from sin that we each need more than anything else.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground is a classic description of the human problem: We want to rebel. Russian rationalists said humans act in their own best interest, but the great writer disagreed. His story portrays a man driven by the need to assert himself, even destructively, for the perverse sake of Ego. Dostoevsky understood people well. We were created in the image of God, the great “I am.” From childhood, we want to assert ourselves and say, “I come first.” From this basic drive come the wars of the world, the injustice, and the spiritual poverty of our lives. Sin is the decision to act on our primal, I-come-first impulse.

When they asked, “What is our sin?” God said to the Hebrews, “You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me.” (1)

This is how God defined sin. He didn’t cite human emotions, instincts, or personality faults. He condemned deliberate choices to rebel against His will, preferring our own way. Paul says we are slaves of sin when we obey its evil desires, not when we merely exist in a human body. (2) (See, Resurrection)

www.jewschool.com The distinction matters because many influential thinkers like John Calvin said our physical body, on its own, is corrupt and infected with sin. Calvin believed we can’t be truly holy as long as we exist in our physical bodies. But the Bible describes sin as a free, conscious decision made with our eternal wills. Scripture defines sin as rebellion against the known will of God. “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (3)

Would You Go to Heaven?

How can we be saved from this relentless drive of Ego, which causes us to hurt even those we love and sin against our Maker whose will is perfect? Christ!

When we put our whole trust (for the next life and this one) in Jesus, we are freed from sin. We trust His mercy to save us, not our good works; and we are filled with His Spirit that empowers us to stop willfully rebelling against Him. As God’s children, we daily die to desires that conflict with our Father’s will; we freely crucify the “flesh” when it tempts us to disobey. Through the gate of this private Calvary, we enter the greatest freedom a human can know: freedom from Ego and its relentless impulse to assert itself against God and others in pride. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law [of works] but under the grace [which accepts simple trust].” (4)

In fact, Christ recreates our desires by filling us with His Spirit. He enables us to “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God, has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”(5) As Zacharias prophesied, Christ granted us “that we might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.”(6) Scripture says Christ has “released us from our sins,” (7) and “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”(8) Jesus is described as coming to save us from, not in, our sin, as the “Lamb who takes away the sin of the world,”(9) and the “Son [who] cleanses us from all sin.”(10) Paul wrote that through Christ “God gives us the victory”(11) over sin.

Christ’s redemption makes it possible for us to be cleansed from the inside, from the fountainhead of human action: our will. Because of His death, we are no longer tethered to the imperfection of keeping an external law, “for Christ is the end of the law [of works] for righteousness to everyone who trusts.”(12)

Rather, we follow a law of obedient trust written on our hearts. “He takes away the first [the external law of works] to establish the second [the internal law of faith]. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . .”(13) We enter a new covenant with God, in which the spirits of righteous men are “made perfect.”(14) It is written, “God has not called us for uncleanness, but for sanctification.”(15) For “through Him, everyone who trusts is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the law of Moses.”(16)

There are No “Sinning Saints”

Calvinist doctrine denies Christ complete power to renew us, teaching that although we must struggle to be holy and Christ-like, we still can’t live a consistently sinless life. But this idea is contradicted by Scripture that celebrates our new victory in Christ. “For if [animal sacrifices] sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ . . . cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”(17) Paul wrote that Christ died, not to merely cover our sins, but so “we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”(18)


Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian /conservative watchdog organization.

TALK SHOW HOSTS: Although most national leaders are not warning against all three hate bills, radio audiences are fascinated. Call 503-631-3808 for an in-depth one-hour interview with Rev. Pike.

Go to video.google.com to watch Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians, Rev. Pike's expose of how the Anti-Defamation League has fomented Christian-persecuting hate laws worldwide.


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