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Acknowledge sin before achieving salvation

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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2015 10:18 am

Terrible indeed was the condition and action of this criminal. On the very brink of eternity he unites with the enemy of Christ in the awful sin of mocking Him.

This was unparalleled turpitude. Think of it a man in His dying hour deriding the suffering Savior! O what a demonstration of human depravity and of the native enmity of the carnal mind against God! And reader by nature there is the same depravity inhering within us and unless a miracle of Devine grace has been wrought upon us there is the same enmity against God and His Christ present in our hearts.

We may not think so, we may not feel so, we may not believe so. But that does not alter the fact. The Word of Him who cannot lie declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jer. 17:9)

That is a statement of universal application. It describes what every human heart is by natural birth. And again the same Scripture of Truth declares, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (ROM. 8:7).

This, too, diagnoses the state of every descendant of Adam. For there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:22-23).

Unspeakably solemn is this, yet it needs to be pressed. It is not until our desperate condition is realized that we discover our need for a Divine Savior. It is not until we are brought to see our total corruption and unsoundness that we shall hasten to the great Physician. It is not until we find in this dying criminal a portrayal of ourselves that we shall join in saying, Lord remember me.

We have to be abased before we can be exalted. We have to be stripped of the filthy rags of our self-righteousness before we are ready for the garment of salvation. We have to come to God as beggars, empty-handed, before we can receive the gift of eternal life. We have to take the place of lost sinners before Him if we would be saved.

Yes, we have to acknowledge ourselves as criminals, before we can have a place in the family of God. However excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell — deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to find forgiveness.

Willie Hebacker