Brethren Archive

Unclean

by Arthur Cutting


How can he be clean that is born of a woman?” (Job 25:4)

This includes all classes, high and low, religious and irreligious, heathen and civilised alike. It therefore includes you.

Our first parents were created in innocence, but by one act of disobedience to God’s command they allowed sin to enter in. Satan was not long in corrupting their whole being, and turning them against God, insomuch that the first child born to them became a murderer!

For six thousand years Satan has been at his terrible work of corrupting mankind, and he has done his work so thoroughly that the testimony of God to the state of mankind is, “They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Ps. 14:3). “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

All those evil passions, which you fain would have removed from your life, are but the manifestation of the evil within, for it is out of the heart proceed the things which defile the man (see Mark 7:14-23).

 

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” (Job 14:4).

In the face of such questions from God’s Word why do you cherish the delusion that you can cover up your sinful state by a life of “good works,” and that someday it will be all right? What delusion this is! How impossible it is to bring a clean action out of corruption. “Who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Prov. 20:9). Reform never yet saved a man, nor religion either, for even Nicodemus, who was a teacher of religion, was told that he must be born again before he could see the kingdom of God.

Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that THOU art righteous?” (Job 22:3). No: because He sees that any attempt to work out our own salvation is an attempt to cover an unclean thing with still more unclean rags, for “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6).

May the Lord open your eyes to see this terrible condition of your soul. No works have yet brought you the peace of mind you are seeking after, have they? And they never will, for “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20).

 

How should man be just before God?” (Job 9:2).

Job saw the huge gulf which sin had made between man and God, and also his inability to bridge it, and cried out, “Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (9:33), and “O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour” (16:21).

Blessed be God, Job’s day is not our day, for we need not to look forward and long for someone to come between us and God as he did, for “NOW is the day of salvation.” The gulf has been spanned, and we are invited to draw near “into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way” (Heb. 10:19-20).

But, you may ask, how is this? God has said, “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). That placed you, as it were, in a condemned cell awaiting the execution of the just sentence. God loved the world, and sent His own Son from heaven to take the sinner’s place on Calvary’s cross. God executed the sentence on Him instead of on you. Now the sentence having been carried out, it is finished with, the prison door is thrown open, and you are free to go out if you choose to do so. The choice rests with you of accepting pardon and liberty through the finished work of Christ (see John 3:16).

All that is necessary on your part is to believe that Christ did this, to accept it as having been done for you, and to trust in His word that He will give eternal life to “whosoever will.” Will you not accept this? “Now is the accepted time.” Salvation is “without money and without price.” “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1). “Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke; then a great ransom cannot deliver thee” (Job 36:18).

A.Cutting

The Gospel Messenger 1913, p. 47






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