This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings. Jeremiah 26:3, NKJV.
[The apostle Paul writes that] “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” … The law which promised life to the obedient pronounced death upon the transgressor. “Wherefore,” he says, “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
How wide the contrast between these words of Paul and those that come from many of the pulpits of today. The people are taught that obedience to God’s law is not necessary to salvation; that they have only to believe in Jesus, and they are safe. Without the law, human beings have no conviction of sin, and feel no need of repentance. Not seeing their lost condition as violators of God’s law, they do not feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ as their only hope of salvation.
The law of God is an agent in every genuine conversion. There can be no true repentance without conviction of sin. The Scriptures declare that “sin is the transgression of the law,” and that “by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
In order to see their guilt, sinners must test their character by God’s great standard of righteousness. To discover their defects, they must look into the mirror of the divine statutes. But while the law reveals their sins, it provides no remedy. The gospel of Christ alone can offer pardon. In order to stand forgiven, sinners must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed, and faith in Christ, their atoning sacrifice.
Without true repentance, there can be no true conversion. Many are deceived here, and too often their entire experience proves to be a deception. This is why so many who are joined to the church have never been joined to Christ.
“The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” In the new birth, the heart is renewed by divine grace, and brought into harmony with God as it is brought into subjection to His law. When this mighty change has taken place, the sinner has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old life of alienation from God has ended; the new life of reconciliation, of faith and love, has begun. Then will “the righteousness of the law” “be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”–The Spirit of Prophecy 4:297, 298.