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The Pearl Of Great Price #1
According to Matthew 13:45-46 Jesus said unto His disciples "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." In this parable, the man who was seeking goodly pearls is like any man seeking good things and the pearl of great price is like unto his finding the way to someday dwelling with God in His heavenly kingdom.
Now, since this pearl which represents salvation was expensive, yes, so expensive it cost the man all that he had, then it must needs follow that the pearl of salvation will cost us all of something which we have accumulated.
First, let us consider what the scriptures say it will not cost us. It will not necessarily cost us our wealth, family, friends, business or occupation (Acts 5:1-4; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16; 1 Corinthians 6:20).
No, it will not cost us these and other things. Yet, I believe the scriptures do teach it will cost us all the sin in which we are involved.
Revelation 21:27 says no one guilty of sin will be permitted to enter heaven. Romans 3:9 and Romans 3:23 declare all have sinned. So the only way for one to become free from sin is by receiving forgiveness. however, Acts 2:37-38 and Acts 3:19 beyond a doubt teach that one must repent in order to be forgiven.
In the process of becoming a child of God a person's sins are washed away by the blood of Christ (Revelation 1:5).
Yes, all of his or her past sins are forgiven never to be remembered again (Jeremiah 31:31-34). However, since one must repent in order to receive this forgiveness and inasmuch as Matthew 3:8 teaches that repentance is a change of mind which leads to a change in actions, then it necessarily follows that the person forgiven must turn away from all the sinful things he or she is involved in. Then, too, this is what many scriptures srongly declare.
We who have been forgiven af all our alien sins are to consider ourselves as those who are dead unto sin (Romans 6:11).
We are no longer to use the members of our body as instruments of unrighteousness but as instruments of righteousness unto God (Romans 6:13).
We are not to live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lust of men but to the will of God (1 Peter 4:1-3).
We are to lay aside all malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies and all evil speaking (1 Peter 2:1)
We are to abstain from fleshly lusts which wars against the soul (1 Peter 2:11).
We are no longer to walk as other Gentiles, who have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness (Ephesians 4:17-19).
We are to put off the old corrupt man and put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
We are told not to let sinful ungodly things be once named among us (Ephesians 5:3-4).
We are instructed to put away fornication, uncleaness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, blaspheny, filthy communication, and lying (Colossians 3:1-9) Ephesians 4:28 states: "Let him that stole steal no more" 1 John 1:6 says it would be a lie to say we have fellowship wiht God if we are walkling in darkness. In 1 Petrer 2:22, Peter affirms that Christ did no sin and John in 1 John 2:6 says if we say we abideth in Jesus, we ought also to walk as He walked.
Oh, yes, my friends, these scriptures do beyond a doubt prove that just as the material pearl cost the merchant man all the wealth he had accumulated. The spiritual pearl will cost us the giving up of all sinful things.
Now, of course, experience and many scriptures such as Acts 8:1; 1 John 1:8; and 1 John 1:9 say it is impossible to put away sin to a state of perfection; but this is what we must strive for. There are scriptures which teach that when we are overcome and falter the blood of Christ is available to cleanse us from such sin, if we will repent, confess and pray unto God but it is not available for us if we turn back to a willful life of sin.
Oh, yes, Jesus died that we might receive forgiveness of sin but He did not die for the purpose of granting us license to sin.
In next week's article we will consider how great and wonderful and valuable this spiritual pearl is.
By Tommy Hodge
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