Coming Short Experimentally

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
There are two great classes of believers who have had to say to the question of freedom from sin, and yet have come short of that which might be theirs experimentally.
The first class are those who have really reached the necessary point of moral exercise, but have not yet grasped by faith the truth of how they are judicially free; that is, how they are free by God's judicial act from what, as a matter of fact, still exists within them.
The second class, and by far the less enviable one, are those who, though clear enough about the judicial side, have never been in the moral condition to profit by it. Thus their knowledge is only a dead letter to them, or worse. To talk to such people about freedom from sin is time wasted. “Wherefore,” said Solomon, “is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?” (Prov. 17:1616Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? (Proverbs 17:16)).
In not a few cases the practical condition of souls belonging to this class is most deplorable. They know all about the doctrine, but they have never learned themselves. They are hard and self-satisfied, and seem to have little thirst for a life of holy, secret separation to God, though often peculiarly jealous that exteriors should be critically correct. They can coldly pity the doctrinal ignorance of many in the first class, though, in point of fact, those they criticize are spiritually a thousand times better off than themselves. If one such soul should read these pages, our earnest prayer is, that he may speedily be brought to see himself as God sees him, and thus be made conscious of his true state before Him. See to it that your knowledge of mere doctrine is not your heaviest condemnation in the end. Better, far better, be ignorant and honest, than well instructed and heartless.
We shall now endeavor to help thirsty seeking souls of the first class to see the ground of holy liberty, and then make a few remarks on holy living.