The Berean Expositor
Volume 46 - Page 10 of 249
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us, but chooses not to do so. He is prepared to work through frail, imperfect humans such
as we all know ourselves basically to be, a fact that becomes evident from the number of
times we have to pick ourselves up from the dust, having failed Him again in some way
or other. What a God of grace we have our dealings with!
As a corrective to what has so far been said, it must not be imagined that failure can be
in any way condoned, or sin treated lightly. "Easily-surrounding sin" and temptation
may be part of the experience of man, whether believer or otherwise, but for the former
there exists a power to overcome even under the most extreme pressure:
"There hath no temptation (or trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God
is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the
temptation (trial) also make the issue, for you to be able to bear it" (I Cor. 10: 13).
A realization of what is involved in the believer's position "in Christ" is the answer to
all temptation and trial; the truth of Rom. 11: must become experimentally true for the
believer, if victory is to be his experience.
As with all subjects, balance must characterize our understanding of ourselves before
God.  Our old man was crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be made
ineffective, but to claim (as some alas do) that sinless perfection has been thereby
achieved, is to contradict experience in the Christian life. The lives of God's saints, in
both Old Testament and New give the lie to it, and an honest stocktaking of our own life
will leave us in no doubt.
But on the other hand we can rejoice in this, that He can still use us, and indeed wants
to use us, for all the fact that we fail him in thought, word and deed. May we be imbued
with the same desire, confident of this fact, that the God Who looks upon the heart knows
our inmost motives. Fail Him, we most certainly will, but never let us ever lose the
endeavour to serve Him to the end. The great men of Scripture did just this, and they
were men "of like passions as we".