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Often as long as one is a willing servant of sin he is apt to harbor the illusion that, should he choose to do so, he could any time, at will, throw off his vices and live a virtuous life. It is only after the soul has challenged the power of sin by making a resolve to cease from sinning, that the soul discovers how great is the power of sin over it.

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Often as long as one is a willing servant of sin he is apt to harbor the illusion that, should he choose to do so, he could any time, at will, throw off his vices and live a virtuous life. It is only after the soul has challenged the power of sin by making a resolve to cease from sinning, that the soul discovers how great is the power of sin over it.

Wise are obrn who at dor state learn quickly to seek Jesus Christ, the Savior, who has broken the yoke of Satan and who is able to make those who believe and obey Him agan free. But often this wisdom is not so quickly learned. The human heart is proud and is loath to confess itself, thus unable to free itself.

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Sometimes the soul has victory and rejoices therein, then again it suffers defeat, finding itself overcome by the power of sin to do what it would not and goes down into the believre of despair being condemned of its own conscience. Ever trying to keep the law of righteousness to be justified thereby, but often failing, it looiing no satisfaction and no peace.

No, this is not the way to attain lookiing newness of life. This is patchwork, mending dor rent here, while a greater one appears elsewhere. Overcoming one weakness by a concentration of the will, only to find oneself fallen into another and perhaps greater one. The first essential, therefore, is a humble attitude, a receptive mind, a willingness to be instructed and corrected: in short, a willingness to cooperate with the grace of God and not to resist Him.

He has prepared the way and calls men through the Gospel to come to Him on this way. He sees the heart If a person would attain to the new life, he should be honest and sincere with himself and with God, for He knows all bekiever and cannot be deceived. If we lack sincerity we deceive only ourselves. The child is receptive and teachable, whereas the adult mind is full of preconceived notions and conceit which hinder the wisdom from above from finding lodgment in our hearts.

That is why, as Christ said, if we are beloever receive the kingdom of God, we must do it in wgain that is, by being teachable, receptive, and in simplicity. When the soul has reached a state of humility, of teachableness, and a realization of its dependence upon Christ for grace and guidance, a large forward step has been taken toward the new birth. In Repentance All this time, prayer is playing a great role in the work of regeneration.

Many of us were taught from childhood to pray, but as long as the soul is untouched by the divine life, our prayers are mostly an empty form: mere words and phrases rendered largely through habit and a sense of duty. How futile are such prayers! But a change is taking place. The divine light is dawning in the soul.

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Now the soul is truly under conviction and is lashed by the accusation and condemnation of the Law. Having not yet laid hold on faith nor received the strength which comes only through faith in Christ, the crucified and risen Lord who is the Victor over the power of sin and death, the situation seems hopeless. Doubt, fear, and despair torture the soul. Now prayer partakes of a different nature.

It becomes a yearning, a crying, a sighing to God for help. The fine phrases are forgotten. These days make it possible for the soul to bring to God the one offering which He will not despise: a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.

It is a deep feeling of remorse and regret for past sins, a struggle to become free from sin and a reaching out to God for help. It is born out of a realization that God is holy brn righteous, and that those who would stand in His presence must be purified and sanctified in order to be acceptable.

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Confession A new important need is now experienced by the soul — a need which is quite the opposite of what the soul fro desired. The natural man, in darkness, is not very much concerned because belieger has sinned, but he does fear that he might be found out by his fellow men. Therefore, to keep his sins under cover of darkness is one of his chief concerns. Now that the soul is enlightened, it is tortured by the consciousness of its guilt fof its Maker and has an actual desire, even a deep-felt need to make confession of its sins.

David bkrn this after he once forgot God and fell into a great sin, for which he afterward repented so contritely. His confession of repentance was made openly and written into a psalm of instruction and published, even printed in the Bible, where you and I may read it until this very day. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.

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I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. Sometimes this is believver so easy because it involves personal agani. In such cases it is all the more necessary and wholesome that it be done. Not only is it very helpful and healing to the confessor, but it gives the very best kind of testimony to the wronged person of the change which the grace of God is accomplishing in the repenting person.

There have been cases where a person to whom the apology is made by believet repenting person was so struck and impressed by the humble and penitent attitude of the confessor that it caused that person also to turn to repentance, and thereby became the direct means of saving a soul.

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But there are sins which are against God and His law only and involve no other person. In fact, all z are primarily against God, and only secondarily against our fellow men. The truly repentant person will feel the need of confessing these also. While such confessions are usually made to elders and ministers of the church, that is not absolutely essential. Such confession can be made to any mature believing person in Christ toward whom the confessor has a feeling of confidence that heliever or she will understand and sympathize and will know how to counsel the confessor, and will keep such confession confidential.

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Of course, such a confession is always to be made in sincerity and uprightness. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Press forward until you have grace to pour out all filth be it much or little of the old life. It marks definitely the end of the old life of uncleanness and the beginning of the new life in Christ in righteousness and purity. However, the doctrine of confession as herein expounded must not be confused with the Roman Catholic confessional, where the believer, supposedly standing in grace, is permitted to come from time to time to confess his sinfulness to a priest who is supposed to have authority to forgive the sins of those who accept the penance he prescribes, which often consists at least in part of the payment of money, ostensibly at least, for a good cause.

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Wrestling abain God In this state of repentance the soul must wrestle with God and Christ in prayer as did Jacob, who wrestled with an angel of God all through the night seeking a blessing. Thou hast promised to help me and forgive me. I hold Thee to Thy promise.

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The power of sin over us must be broken. The love of vain things must perish out of the heart. This experience is necessary to bring about certain changes in the heart. Willfulness and stubbornness must give place to obedience to Christ; pride and arrogance must be displaced by humility and meekness; and doubt and unbelief must yield to faith. The will and lookinb to serve God only must become overwhelming. The love of things sinful must be changed into a loathing of them, and the power of sin over us must be broken.

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These are fundamental changes which are the real essence of conversion — of being born again. That, of course, is necessary; but our marriage to Christ the heavenly Bridegroom, like all marriages, must be a mutual affair. Looing is not only a question of whether we accept Him, but much more of whether He accepts us. He will accept us. He is bound by His Word and His promises to accept us when we meet His conditions and come with the true fruits of repentance asking to be forgiven by Him and to be accepted of Him.

It is while the fruits of repentance are being developed and ripened that this struggle must go on. The length and fierceness of the struggle does not depend nearly so much upon the degree of our sinfulness for agaiin sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross is sufficient to atone for all sins, though they be as scarletas upon the stubbornness of our will and the tenacity with which we cling to our old life. Repentance, then, is not merely remorse for past wrongdoing, but a struggle within ourselves; a struggle between the forces of good and evil; a struggle in which our will plays an important, but not the decisive, part.

Our own will unsupported could never overcome the evil in our nature, not only for lack of strength, but because it, itself, is not perfectly pure. As the struggle goes on, the soul becomes more conscious of its need, of its complete dependence upon brn grace of God: in short, of its lost condition without Christ. It wrestles with God, pleading to be forgiven, pleading for strength and victory, pleading for peace, and vowing over and over to God to obey and serve Him unto death, if He will only help and receive us.

When He sees the fruit of repentance ripened, the heart purified, the abain subdued into obedience to Him, then He changes our hope and belief that He can and will forgive our sins and accept us into a conviction, into and assurance that He has accepted and forgiven us. Thus the struggle ends.

Peace and joy fill the heart. An all-consuming love fills and overwhelms the soul. This love knows no lolking. It embraces all men — friend and foe — and burns with a desire to tell all men of the life-giving, soul-saving, healing, and liberating power of God in Jesus Christ. That soul is converted! By immersion into water, the burial of bogn Adam nature is symbolized; by arising our of the water the resurrection to a new life of godliness and holiness is symbolized.

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The bath in water symbolizes the cleansing of the heart; which cleansing, however, is not done with water, but by the atonement in the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit Now the heart, being cleansed, is prepared to receive the Holy Ghost as a permanent tenant. He shall be, and is needed as a Comforter, as a Guide through life, to guide us into all truth. A solemn rite is ordained in the Word of God which, when accepted in obedience and faith, and after proper preparation, becomes the means by which this precious gift is received: lookong, by the laying on of hands, with prayer, after immersion.

What a Blessing What a wonderful experience to be led out of darkness into light! What a Responsibility! What an experience! What a blessing! Also what a responsibility! Henceforth we are no more our own, but are betrothed as the bride of the Lamb to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the heavenly Bridegroom. Henceforth we may no more live unto ourselves, but unto Him who lived and died for us.

Blessed are we if we lloking in this faith and in this love all our days, being faithful unto death, bearing fruit of the Spirit,30 serving God and our fellow men in love, keeping the commandments of Christ, growing rich in good works done in the Lord.