Hannah Whitall Smith wrote about living with deep joy regardless of circumstances. Over the next six weeks, I will post part of her most famous book, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, but in a modernized and highly condensed version. Each chapter is based on these truths:
- God loves us.
- Our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ.
- God gives us eternal life through his Son.
- The Bible is God’s word, every bit of it true and reliable.
And here is Chapter 1: You don’t have to sin.
A keen observer once said to me, “You can’t expect outsiders to want anything as uncomfortable as the Christian life appears to be.” Sadly, the Christian life, as it is often lived, looks rather miserable. Following Christ ought to be something that makes people happy!
Can you remember the exquisite joy you experienced when you first came to know the Lord and his mighty saving power? Has your day to day experience been something altogether different? Perhaps you have rejoiced in your knowledge of the truth without having let those truths impact your daily life. This is not what Jesus had in mind when he died for you! He did not mean for you to live a life of discouragement, forever bound up in a variety of sins. Consider these verses:
- “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12).
- “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:4).
- “We should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).
Jesus came to save you, now, in this life, from the power and dominion of sin. If you doubt this, search your Bible, and study every verse concerning the purpose and object of his death on the cross. Far more mention is made of a present salvation from sin than of a future salvation in heaven beyond. His death and resurrection deliver us from our sins, from our bondage, from our defilement. Not a hint is given, anywhere, that this deliverance is to be limited or partial or delayed until after our death.
Would God arrange a plan of salvation that makes it impossible for those who are saved from the guilt of sin to find deliverance from its power? Surely not. Rather, the redemption accomplished for us by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary is a complete redemption from the power of sin as well as from its guilt.We must throw away the Bible if we say that it is impossible for God to deliver man out of sin. Prayerfully search the scriptures to see this truth for yourself.
I do not believe Hannah was saying that she, or anyone else except Christ, was sinless. She was, however, challenging the thought that we must live life controlled by sin. These are controversial words. I welcome your comments!
 “…be pure and blameless until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:11b),
“God did not call us to be impure, but to life a holy life” (I Thessalonians 4:7).
“No one who is born of God will continue to sin” (I John 3:9a),