Thursday, December 02, 2004
To Be Made Righteous
Have you heard of Murphy’s Law? It says that anything that can go wrong will. It seems that on many occasions this law proves to be accurate. Once while at a restaurant I saw a litany of events to which Murphy’s Law applied. Some of these cliches you may have heard: you cannot get a loan unless you do not need one. When a piece of bread falls it usually lands on the buttered side. When you are expecting a call the phone will ring when you leave the room. In my experience, I never seemed to drop food on my clothes unless I was dressed up. Of course, it always happened on the Sabbath during pot-luck lunch, so--the whole church could see the stain on my shirt or tie. To make matters worse there was no flour to absorb the oil stain. How do you remove grease from a silk tie? The dry cleaner offers no guarantees. Household detergents may or may not work, and you cannot just cut off the stained part of the fabric. Maybe you really like the tie, and replacing it is not an option. In a sense we are all stained ties. We are stained with Sin. Nothing we can come up with can take Sin away. Only the precious blood of Christ can cleanse us from Sin.
In Daniel 8:14 the Hebrew word for “cleansed”, (nisdaq) comes from a common Old Testament word meaning “to be set right” or “to be righteous.” So to be cleansed from the defilement of Sin is to be made righteous. This is in essence what is happening in the Heavenly Sanctuary’s Cosmic Age of Atonement. The Investigative Judgment of Daniel 7 and This Atonement process are one and the same. Sister White calls it a great day of judgement,
In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served "unto the
example and shadow of heavenly things," the holy of holies was opened only
upon the great day of atonement, the typical day of judgment, set apart
for the cleansing of the sanctuary. (E. G. White Notes 67-68)
Every being that has lived or lives on this earth is being investigated.
Any being with sins that have not been confessed and thus not repented
will be stricken from the Lamb's Book of Life. This is a solemn age we live in.
This is a very serious process. In the Words of Ellen White,
As the books of record are opened in the Judgment, the lives of all who
have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who
first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each
successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is
mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names
rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record,
unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book
of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book
of God's remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses, "Whosoever hath sinned
against Me, him will I blot out of My book" [Ex 32:33]. And says the
prophet Ezekiel, "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness,
and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done
shall not be mentioned" [Eze. 18:24].
All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of
Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their
names in the books of Heaven; as they have become partakers of the
righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony
with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves
will be accounted worthy of eternal life. The Lord declares, by the
prophet Isaiah, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for
Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins" [Isa. 43:25]. Said Jesus,
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I
will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his
name before My Father, and before His angels." "Whosoever therefore shall
confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is
in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny
before My Father which is in Heaven" [Rev. 3:5; Matt. 10:32, 33], (E.G.
White Notes, page 69-70).
Our sanctuary (minds) must be cleansed (made righteous) for us to
remain in the book of life. Christ, through His Spirit, must dwell in us
sanctifying us. The Holy Spirit purges us of all Sinful tendencies, ("both cultivated and inherited") making us more and more like Jesus. This word atonement can be rewritten at-onement. It is the process of making us one with God. For this process to occur we need to transfer our Sin to the Lamb that takes away the Sin of the World (John 1:29), which was slain form the beginning. He shed His blood to pay for our Sin (Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22). His blood cleanses us from all Sin (Col. 1:14). Christ in turn takes our Sin and gives us His Righteousness. This happens when we confess our Sins to Him (1 John 1:9). This process must happen while we are alive on this planet. Only If we submit to it by faith, will we live eternally.
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