Every Personís Biography
††††††††††† Do you ever read biographies?† Most are quite flattering, only occasionally we will find one that is starkly blunt and honest.† We, as we live in this life, are writing our biography every day; itís an autobiography, weíre creating every line, every word; every letter.† Itís being recorded in on a heavenly record in indelible ink that only God can erase, but more about that later.† Even as we sit in this shelter set aside for worship, as we sing, pray and yes, even when we listen to the lessons presented; God is recording the biography that we are writing.† The Apostle John tells us:
Revelation 20:12-13† ď12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.Ē
As we study the Word of God today I want us to consider what is being written in our autobiography.†† Writing it will be easy; it shouldnít take but four pages, or maybe even only four lines on the back of an attendance card.† It really depends upon each one of us, how we have lived our lives and our current spiritual condition as to how much space, how much writing, how much contemplation regarding our lives that it might take.
Page One is a white page which represents purity:
(1)† This tells the condition of person's soul at the time that they are born:
††† ††††††† Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:3 "...VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
††† ††††††† This thought is repeated in Matthew 19:14† "BUT JESUS SAID, SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN, AND FORBID THEM NOT, TO COME UNTO ME; FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
††† ††††††† It is reinforced in Mark † "VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A LITTLE CHILD, HE SHALL NOT ENTER THEREIN."
††† ††††††† It is so important to our spiritual well-being that the Holy Spirit repeats it again in Luke "VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A LITTLE CHILD SHALL IN NO WISE ENTER THEREIN."
We are indeed born without sin:
ďTHE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE.† THE SON SHALL NOT BEAR THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHER, NEITHER SHALL THE FATHER BEAR THE INIQUITY OF THE SON: THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE UPON HIM, AND THE WICKEDNESS OF THE WICKED SHALL BE UPON HIM."† Ezekiel 8:20
We do not bear the sins of our fathers; God will not punish us for the sins of our ancestors.† John Calvin, the teaching of whom many of the denominations follow, taught that we do inherit sin Ė all the way back to Adam; but the prophet of God, the record by the Holy Spirit of God, says we donít.† We are born pure, sinless, with a soul that is completely clean, white beyond our ability to describe.† What the prophet of God is reinforcing here is what God had commanded the Israelites:
Deuteronomy 24:16† "THE FATHERS SHALL NOT BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THE CHILDREN, NEITHER SHALL THE CHILDREN BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FATHERS: EVERY MAN SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS OWN SIN."
We have to be old enough; we have to be mentally aware enough to be accountable for our words and actions; when we say and do those things which are contrary to God's will in order to be held accountable.
"SAY YE TO THE RIGHTEOUS, THAT IT SHALL BE WELL WITH HIM: FOR THEY SHALL EAT THE FRUIT OF THEIR DOINGS.† WOE UNTO THE WICKED!† IT SHALL BE ILL WITH HIM: FOR THE REWARD OF HIS HANDS SHALL BE GIVEN HIM."† Isaiah. 3:10-11
In the new covenant that hasnít changed; Paul writes that we will be rewarded for our doing:
"BUT UNTO THEM THAT ARE CONTENTIOUS, AND DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH, BUT OBEY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, INDIGNATION AND WRATH, TRIBULATION AND ANGUISH, UPON EVERY SOUL OF MAN THAT DOETH EVIL; OF THE JEW FIRST, AND ALSO OF THE GENTILE."† Romans 2:8-9
(2)† But some die before they reach accountability, so page one of their biography tells the entire story of their lives just as it did the child of David and Bathsheba:
II Samuel † "BUT NOW HE IS DEAD, WHEREFORE SHOULD I FAST? CAN I BRING HIM BACK AGAIN? I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT RETURN TO ME."†
David knew that his son was with God and that he would "GO TO HIM" when he left this earth in death himself.
Page Two is a black page which represents sin.
(1)† This describes the condition of man's soul after he becomes accountable.
"FOR ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD" Romans
††††††††††† All, all the Scripture says.† Youíre not any different than I am.† Iím not any different that anyone else is.† Every person that grows up to the age where they can understand right from wrong, every person that has the mental capability to understand what God would have them do or not do, will be held accountable to God and those sins that they commit will be recorded by God in that heavenly† biography.† Again, it is an autobiography, weíre writing it as we live each day.
"BUT THE SCRIPTURE HATH CONCLUDED ALL UNDER SIN; THAT THE PROMISE BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST MIGHT BE GIVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE."† Galatians 3:22
In fact; the apostle of love, loved us so much that he gave us fair warning and his words are rather blunt in the minds of most people:
"IF WE SAY THAT WE HAVE NOT SINNED, WE MAKE HIM A LIAR, AND HIS WORD IS NOT IN US."† I John 1:10
(2)† Two major classes of sin:
††††††††††† Sin that we commit by doing something that we should not; sins of commission.† So what are those sins?† What is it that we do that is sin?† Again the apostle of love gives us the definition:
"WHOSOEVER COMMITTETH SIN TRANSGRESSETH ALSO THE LAW: FOR SIN IS THE TRANGRESSION OF THE LAW."† I John 3:4
††††††††††† Transgression of Godís law, breaking Godís law, this is Godís definition of sin.† Just two chapters further John gives us further insight into this definition.
"ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN: AND THERE IS A SIN NOT UNTO DEATH."† I John 5:17
All unrighteousness; anything that we do that is not right is sin.† Who sets the standards about what is right and what isnít right?† God did.† And where there is no law there cannot be sin.† We understand that donít we?
"BECAUSE THE LAW WORKETH WRATH: FOR WHERE NO LAW IS, THERE IS NO TRANSGRESSION."† Romans 4:15
Could this be why so many denominational preachers and doctrines deny that God provides us laws to live by?† Is this is why some of our likeminded brethren try to tell us that there is no law, no pattern, no absolute requirements within God's current covenant with man for us to live by?† No, they confuse the removal of the Mosaic Law with the law given by Christ.
"THEREFORE BY THE DEEDS OF THE LAW THERE SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED IN HIS SIGHT: FOR BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN."† Romans 3:20
And we have to pay attention to which law that the New Testament writers are writing about, we have to rightly divide Godís truth.† The Israelites of old where not, could not, be justified by the law that was given to them; that came only through the grace of God.† However, the law did provide for them the knowledge that there is sin; just as the law of Christ does for us today.
"FOR UNTIL THE LAW SIN WAS IN THE WORLD: BUT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW."† Romans 5:13
To be imputed means to lay the responsibility or blame for; if there was no law, there can be no transgression, there can be no sin.† Disobedience brings sin; Paul refers to Adamís disobedience which brought sin into the world for the first time:
"FOR AS BY ONE MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE MANY WERE MADE SINNERS, SO BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ONE SHALL MANY BE MADE RIGHTEOUS.† MOREOVER THE LAW ENTERED, THAT THE OFFENSE MIGHT ABOUND.† BUT WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE DID MUCH MORE ABOUND."† Romans 5:19-20
So the first classification of sin is the sins that commit in violation of Godís law.
The second class of sin are the sins that are guilty of because we have failed to do what God has commanded that we do; the sins of omission.
"THEREFORE TO HIM THAT KNOWETH TO DO GOOD, AND DOETH IT NOT, TO HIM IT IS SIN."† James 4:17
Jesus gives us some examples: speaking of the servant that was not watching for the return of his lord, was not prepared; was not doing his job as a faithful servant:
"AND THAT SERVANT, WHICH KNEW HIS LORD'S WILL, AND PREPARED NOT HIMSELF, NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, SHALL BE BEATEN WITH MANY STRIPES."† Luke 12:47
He would be beaten; he would be punished because he didnít do what he knew his master had required that he do.† In speaking to the Pharisees about those who could not see or could not comprehend Jesus and the meaning of his teaching he said
††† "...IF YE WERE BLIND, YE SHOULD HAVE NO SIN: BUT NOW YE SAY, WE SEE; THEREFORE YOUR SIN REMAINETH."† John 9:41
If they had been mentally blind, if they had not been mentally capable of understanding what Jesus was teaching then they could not be guilty of sin.† But they could and they were guilty.
(3) Most people die in this state, and they are like those described by Jesus:
John "...I GO MY WAY, AND YE SHALL SEEK ME, AND SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS: WHITHER I GO, YE CANNOT COME."
The biographies of so many people are only two pages long.† They are born free from sin, enter this world with a soul that is as dazzling white as new snow, become accountable to God and never go any further.† So the first two pages, the white page of purity and the black page of sin are their entire autobiography.
Page Three is a red page which represents blood:
(1)† The souls of mankind cannot be saved apart from the blood.
First we find that without the shedding of blood there can not be any remission of sins.
"AND ALMOST ALL THINGS ARE BY THE LAW (the old Law) PURGED WITH BLOOD; AND WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REDEMPTION."† Hebrews 9:22
Even in the days of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel; the shedding of blood was required in order to sacrifice to God:
Genesis 4:4 ď4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.Ē
But how are we to come into contact with blood that we might be redeemed; that the black stain of our sins might be removed?† Letís start with the Apostle Paul; speaking of Christ Jesus:
Ephesians 1:7 "IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE;"
There is a place were we have redemption; a place where we come in contact with blood, His blood and the forgiveness of sin.† Well, where is this grace, this redemption that Paul is writing about?† We only need to go back a couple of verses:
Ephesians 1:3 ď3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:Ē
This redemption is in Christ.† When he visited them Paul told the Ephesian elders that they, and we, were bought and paid for, and he tells us the price:
"TAKE HEED THEREFORE UNTO YOURSELVES, AND TO ALL THE FLOCK, OVER THE WHICH THE HOLY GHOST HATH MADE YOU OVERSEERS, TO FEED THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHICH HE HATH PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD."† Acts
That is the blood that cleanses us of our sins; the blood of
the only begotten Son of God.† He also
tells those at
Colossians "IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, EVEN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS:"
The Holy Spirit also tells us through the Hebrew writer that it is through the blood of Jesus that we are provided redemption:
"NEITHER BY THE BLOOD OF GOATS AND CALVES, BUT BY HIS
OWN BLOOD HE ENTERED IN ONCE INTO THE
And Peter tells us that we are redeemed with something that is not corruptible, that cannot be contaminated, that cannot fail to wash our souls as white and pure as the day we were born:
"FORASMUCH AS YE KNOW THAT YE WERE NOT REDEEMED WITH CORRUPTIBLE THINGS, AS SILVER AND GOLD, FROM YOUR VAIN CONVERSATION RECEIVED BY TRADITION FROM YOUR FATHERS; BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, AS OF A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT."† I Peter 1:18-19
(2) Sins are not too numerous or black to be washed away
††††††††††† Well, someone might say, my sins are just too great, just too many for God to remove.† And is your faith so weak that you do not understand that there is nothing that God cannot do, that God is all powerful, that His power is without limit?† If so then perhaps we could understand your fear.† But consider with me please the words of Isaiah:
"COME NOW, AND LET
Our sins could even be like those of David after his sin with Bathsheba, his murder of her husband, Uriah, but God forgave David.† And in his prayer for forgiveness he knew that God would forgive him:
"PURGE ME WITH HYSSOP, AND I SHALL BE CLEAN: WASH ME, AND I SHALL BE WHITER THAN SNOW."† Psalms 51:7
Are your sins greater than Davidís?† Paul; even after he had persecuted christians, putting them in prisons, causing them to be put to death was able to obtain mercy from God.
"THIS IS A FAITHFUL SAYING, AND WORTHY OF ALL
ACCEPTATION, THAT CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS; OF WHOM I
AM CHIEF.† HOWBEIT FOR THIS CAUSE I
OBTAINED MERCY, THAT IN ME FIRST JESUS CHRIST MIGHT SHEW
Paulís forgiveness was a pattern, showing us that God would
forgive even those who had fought against him.†
Paul reminds us further through his writing to the church at
"BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US."† Romans 5:8
Christ died for us, even when we were yet sinners, even knowing that we would sin and even knowing that some would sin greatly as David and Paul did Christ still came and He still died for us.† God sent Jesus that we might know forgiveness:
"AND YE KNOW THAT HE WAS MANIFESTED TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS; AND IN HIM IS NO SIN."† I John 3:5
Page Four: if you are a Christian this is another white page which again represents purity.
(1)† The person that has been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ; has been born into the family of God and their autobiography is again a white page.† That ugly black page that we studied as page two has been erased.† He/She has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; washed pure in his blood, through their obedience by baptism; however:
(2)† But the child of God may spot this page and die with the last page black again.
Read I Corinthians 10:1-12
The Hebrew writer admonishes us
"TAKE HEED, BRETHREN, LEST THERE BE IN ANY OF YOU AN EVIL HEART OF UNBELIEF, IN DEPARTING FROM THE LIVING GOD."† Hebrews 3:12
Jesus in his teaching gave us this parallel: Read John 15:1-11
Hence, the color of this fourth and last page depends upon the life that we lead as Christians.† It depends on how we conduct ourselves.† Our daily living, our faithfulness toward the Word of God or whether or not we follow the "OLD PATHS" as Jeremiah called them determines what is recorded on this page of our biography.
Have you once been a child of God and lost your way because you have abandoned the old paths of righteousness?
"THUS SAITH THE LORD, STAND YE IN THE WAYS, AND SEE,
AND ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS, WHERE IS THE
Though the prophet Hosea spoke to the listeners of his day; he describes God's attitude toward mankind of all time and circumstance.
"I WILL HEAL THEIR BACKSLIDING, I WILL LOVE THEM FREELY: FOR MINE ANGER HAS TURNED AWAY FROM HIM."† Hosea 14:4
5.† How does your autobiography read?
††††††††††† Is your page black with sin that God can erase because you have not come to him in humble obedience and sought forgiveness of your sins?† If so, then what you must do is:
Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God Ė Mark 16:15-16, Hebrews 11:6
Repent of those sins that are recorded† in your autobiography Ė Luke 13:3, 5
Confess our faith in Christ before God Ė Matthew 10;32, Romans 10:9-10
And be baptized in water, reborn so that your autobiography is again as it was when you were first born: Acts , Acts 22:16, John 3:1-13
If you are a child of his that has lost its way; if your biography is spotted, edged in black because of sin committed as a child of God then come to him in prayer and repentance as David did and as weíre told to do in James 5:16