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  1. In Every Sin We See Self at Work

    In Every Sin We See Self at Work

    In every sin we can see self at work. Although people today classify sins into an untold number of categories, yet inductively speaking there is but one basic sin: all the thoughts and deeds which are sins are related to “self” In other words, though the number of sins in the world is indeed astronomical, the principle behind every sin is simply one—whatever is for self. All sins are committed for the sake of the self. If the element of self is missing, there will be no sin. Let us examine this point a little more closely.

    What is pride? Is it not an exalting of self? What is jealousy? Is not jealousy a fear of being supplanted? What is emulation? Nothing less than a striving to excel others. What is anger? Anger is reacting against the loss the self suffers. What is adultery? It is following self’s passions and lusts. What is cowardice? Is it not a caring for self’s weakness? Now it is impossible to mention every sin, but if we were to examine all of them one by one, we would discover that the principle within each one is always the same: it is something that in some way is related to self. Wherever sin is, there is the activity of the self. And wherever self is active, there will be sin before God.

    On the other hand, in examining the fruit of the Holy Spirit—which expresses Christian witness—we shall readily see the opposite: that they are none other than selfless acts. What is love? Love is loving others without thinking of self. What is joy? It is looking at God in spite of self. Patience is despising one’s own hardship. Peace is disregarding one’s loss. Gentleness is overlooking one’s rights. Humility is forgetting one’s merits. Temperance is the self under control. And faithfulness is self-restraint. As we examine every Christian virtue, we will discern that other than being delivered from self or being forgetful of self, a believer has no other virtue. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is determined by one principle alone: the losing of self totally. . . .

    The Lord looks not at the good or evil of a thing. He looks instead to its source. He takes note by what power the thing is done. Apart from His own will, God is not satisfied with anything else. Apart from His own power, He is not interested in any other. Were it possible for a believer to do something better than the will of God, the latter would still condemn the action and consider the believer as having sinned. ...
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    The Fall of Man
  2. Authority and Submission

    Authority and Submission

    God’s Throne Established on Authority


    The acts of God issue from His throne, and His throne is established on His authority. All things are created through God’s authority and all physical laws of the universe are maintained by His authority. Hence the Bible expresses it as “upholding all things by the word of His power, which means upholding all things by the word of the power of His authority. For God’s authority represents God himself whereas His power stands only for His act. Sin against power is more easily forgiven than sin against authority, because the latter is a sin against God himself. God alone is authority in all things; all the authorities of the earth are instituted by God. Authority is a tremendous thing in the universe—nothing overshadows it. It is therefore imperative for us who desire to serve God to know the authority of God. . . .

    Authority, the Controversy of the Universe

    The controversy of the universe is centered on who shall have the authority, and our conflict with Satan is the direct result of our attributing authority to God. To maintain God’s authority we must be subject to it with all our hearts. It is absolutely necessary for us to meet God’s authority and to possess a basic knowledge of what it is.

    Before he knew authority Paul tried to wipe out the church; after he had met the Lord on the Damascus road he saw that it was hard for the feet (human power) to kick against the goads (God’s authority). He immediately fell to the ground and acknowledged Jesus as Lord. After that, he was able to submit to the directions given him by Ananias in the city of Damascus, for Paul had met God’s authority. At the moment he was saved he knew God’s authority as well as God’s salvation.

    How could Paul, being a clever and capable person, listen to the words of Ananias—an unknown little brother mentioned only once in the Bible—if he had not met the authority of God? Had he not encountered authority on the road to Damascus he could never have been subject to that obscure little brother in the city. This shows us that whoever has met authority deals purely with authority and not with man. Let us not see the man but only the authority vested in him. We do not obey man but God’s authority in that man. Otherwise, how can we ever learn what authority is? We are on the wrong road if we meet man first before we obey authority. The opposite is the ...