The Bible is very plain in identifying all human beings as being sinners that fell in Adam. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life,” Romans 5:10. Paul also said in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Paul also records in Ephesians 2:1-3:
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
However, when a person receives the New Birth, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Paul is explaining here and in many other places that once a person is regenerated by the Spirit of God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; Romans 7:15-25; Ephesians 2:1-10), his will to sin is changed to a new will to honor and serve God in his body, soul, and spirit. After the New Birth is created in him, he no longer desires to serve sin in his flesh, but he desires to yield his members unto Righteousness daily (Romans 6:1-14). He has a desire to separate himself from the “old man” (Ephesians 4:22, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”) and put on the “new man” (Ephesians 4:24, “…which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness).
Of course the process of Sanctification (or the process of separating from daily sin in the flesh) is a life long process.
The text shows a man named Samuel that had given himself to the Will of God and to a life of Sanctification, wherein he had reached a level of maturity and holiness that is to be admired and followed.
Samuel said, “Whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded?” The definition of “defraud” is to deprive of something by trickery; deception; a synonym is “to cheat.” Samuel said, “I have never tricked you or cheated you.” Can you say that of yourself? Can you say that you never used your position to cheat your customer, your neighbor, your government or even your God in tithes and offerings? Have you never misrepresented anything to others to make gain off them or from them?
Samuel said, “whom have I oppressed?” The definition of “oppressed” is to crush or burden by harsh rule. Samuel was the Judge of Israel in those days. He never burdened them by a harsh rule. He never was unjust or cruel in the exercise of his God-given authority, or power, over Israel. Those of you that are in charge of people; or that supervise people; or carry out the laws of the land; or even as a father or a husband in the home; can you say that you have not been oppressive in you authority?
Samuel said, “or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.” The definition of “bribe” is “money or favor given or promised to influence improperly the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust” (Webster’s Dictionary). Samuel said, “I have treated you fairly; I have judged you righteously; your money or your gifts have I not taken to maintain justice.” Can those of you that are in a position to give judgment say as Samuel said?
It was very important to Samuel at the end of his Judgeship of Israel to have witness that before God and him, “…that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they (Israel) answered, He is witness” (that the Lord is witness and His anointed is witness this day) (1 Samuel 12:5).
Are you a child of God? If so, you have been born again and revealed that you are a new creation. You now have the Spirit of God teaching you His Ways of Righteousness and giving you the power to perform Righteousness in all of your dealings with God and man.
But you must make a daily choice of following Christ or your flesh (Romans 6:1-22; 7:15-25; Deuteronomy 30:14-20). Therefore, what is your witness? What is your testimony before your peers, even your neighbors? If you were to ask them today, would the answer be what Israel said of Samuel? 1 Samuel 12:4 records, “And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.”
What a great testimony at the end of Samuel’s service unto God and to Israel.
Will this be said of you? It can be, and it should be, because you are an Ambassador for Christ and of His Righteousness. Child of God, it is a Command of God, “Be ye holy, for I am Holy,” Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.”
Are you an imposter? Or are you a hypocrite? Or are you a true disciple of Christ? Which is it? Your words and your deeds will tell the story.
(This devotional was previously posted on December 30, 2010)
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