Which Is It?

Steve Irons

Quoted below are two pamphlets published in 1990 by Torch and Testimony Publications. The pamphlets contradict each other.


In the first pamphlet, The Significance of the Blood of Christ, we hear the wonderful truth that Christ is our "substitute" and that we are "perfectly justified" and "perfectly sanctified" by the blood of Christ. We are in God's sight "perfectly righteous" and "perfectly sanctified" because we have been "imputed" with the perfect righteousness of Christ.  "Jesus not only released us from the consequences of our sin, but at the same time He presented to God His own righteousness as our righteousness."

In the second pamphlet, God's Provision for Continual Cleansing, we are told that only our past sins are forgiven. The sins that we commit after we are saved are forgiven only if we "avail" ourselves of "God's provision for continual cleansing". We must "be careful" every day to "maintain our cleanliness". We are told that "any defilement we have not bothered to seek cleansing for will follow us to the judgment seat of Christ". And that, "Calvary can become ineffective if we do not avail ourselves of its provision each day."

Is Christ's death on the cross ineffective for this one particular sin of a lack of carefulness in our walk with Christ? Is it even possible for Calvary to "become ineffective" in the believer's life? Was Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to us only to have it revoked at the judgment seat of Christ? Have all our sins -- past, present, and future -- been forgiven us because of Christ's death on our behalf or not? Are we perfectly justified and sanctified by the blood of Christ or not?

The second pamphlet reminds us that it is all by grace, but only if we "avail" ourselves of God's "great ocean of pardon". Woe be unto us if we don't "take advantage" of it. We will "not reign with Christ in glory" and our "unconfessed sin will be dealt with at the judgment seat of Christ."

Instead of being assured of "a certain title to everlasting life in glory" which Christ "guarantees...for eternity" we are now thrown back on our own resources. In the final analysis, it all depends upon our merit -- not Christ's merit. The second pamphlet makes it quite clear: "Our daily cleansing from sin depends entirely upon our consent to Christ's action."

What a scary place to be. Can we ever be completely certain that we have confessed all our sins? What if we forget to confess just one willful and disobedient act?

And besides, do we think we can fully know, remember and confess the depths of our own inner depravity? If so, then we have a very low view of sin indeed. All sin (that tendency to look out for our own interests first, that pride of thinking ourselves better than others, that recurring secret lust) is all grievous and heinous in God's sight.

Here are quotes from both pamphlets. Which are we supposed to believe?


From The Significance of the Blood of Christ by George Geftakys.

God provided our redemption by giving us a sponsor: one who agreed to stand as a substitute for sinners, one who by His obedience was qualified to meet all the legal demands of God's governmental justice and who endured the punishment for the sin of man. The Son of God, because He loved to do the will of His Father and had compassion for lost sinners, responded to God's call with, "Here I am, send Me."...

There is hope because God has made a provision; divine grace has provided a remedy, for God admits the principle of substitutional service in the court of justice. He allows a substitute to stand in the place of the lawless. Divine grace has appointed this substitute, not on the basis of merit, but on the basis of faith.

Grace has found a surety, one who makes himself responsible for another's debt. "By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament" (Heb. 7:22). All the law could do was demand, but the Lord Jesus met all those demands... We have one who undertakes for us; He substitutes for us. In our place He supplies a certain title to everlasting life in glory. We have a sponsor who is infinitely capable; He undertakes for us and guarantees it for eternity. His name is Jesus, the Son of God...

Men may fail, our circumstances may change, but Jesus never fails. This is our merit: He voluntarily assumed the responsibility for all those who have put their faith in Him. His sponsorship is founded on the justice of God, which demands no sin be unpunished. His sponsorship is founded on the love of God for those who deserve wrath and eternal separation from God. Jesus' sponsorship brings men into union and inseparable love with God.

The Lord Jesus undertook our double debt of obedience and punishment... Throughout His life, Jesus glorified God in obedience. He not only paid our debt of obedience by His perfect life, but He also paid our debt of punishment...

At the throne of divine grace, God's pardon is always accompanied by the imputation of righteousness. Human pardon is negative, for all it does is free the guilty; it imparts nothing. By bearing the appointed wrath of God, our Lord Jesus not only released us from the consequences of our sin, but at the same time He presented to God His own righteousness as our righteousness. The sacrifice of Christ not only cancels sin, but supplies His superhuman excellency. When we receive Christ, we receive the forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness of Christ.

By faith in Christ, sin is no longer imputed, and we are righteous...


By that once-offered blood on the cross we are perfectly justified -- "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Rom. 5:9) -- and perfectly sanctified -- "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:10, 14)...

The great day of atonement brought a cleansing into the lives of God's people so they could approach the tabernacle. In addition, God made provision for holiness all through the year by the ordinance of the red heifer, call the water of separation (Num. 19:9). The sacrifice of the heifer was to be burned to ashes outside the camp. That blood-stained ash was put in running water and applied to the children of Israel; thus it cleansed them from the defilement in the wilderness. Thereby they were made fit to walk in communion with God.










From God's Provision for Continual Cleansing by George Geftakys.

On one hand we rejoice in the truth that God has passed over our sins through the blood of Christ, but on the other hand a dilemma presents itself. Scripture is very precise: the Lord Jesus made reconciliation for the passing over of sins that are past. But what about sins that I commit after I'm saved? ...

Numbers 19:12 [ordinance of the red heifer] teaches us that the defiled one who availed himself of the water of separation on the third day, had hope that he would be clean on the seventh day. If I walk with my Savior day by day, and avail myself of that water of separation, I can be sanctified and my flesh purified. How do I appropriate the water of purification to my condition? God's provision for Christians is explained in I John 1:0: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" [emphasis added]. If we are careful to maintain our cleanliness before God by confessing our sins, then we can "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:22).

If we thus follow Him day by day, then when He returns on the "seventh day", we will also follow Him in resurrection glory. Otherwise, any defilement we have not bothered to seek cleansing for will follow us to the judgment seat of Christ. Do you hope to follow the Lord to glory? Then take advantage of the cleansing available to you, for "every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (I John 3:3)...

If we have been saved -- consecrated and surrendered to the Lord -- we only need to have our feet washed from daily defilement. whether it be before we are saved, or after, all sin needs to be pardoned. We will not reign with Christ in glory unless we allow Him to wash our feet. Our daily cleansing from sin depends entirely upon our consent to Christ's action. We dare not continue in willful disobedience, doing as we please. We must ask the Lord to daily cleanse us...

Unconfessed sin will be dealt with at the judgment seat of Christ, but carefulness will be rewarded...

Sin can and will be forgiven, if confessed and repented of. To repent means to acknowledge our sin and to do something about it; it means to confess and forsake it. Repentance is not mere confession, for unless we sorrow for our sin, God will not forgive us. He is not fooled by mere words; He is looking for true repentance that comes from the heart...

God cannot jeopardize His holiness by overlooking our sins; He must deal with them... We need to take this passage [Heb. 10:26-27] seriously, for if we sin willfully after we have been saved, the sacrifice of Christ does us no good. This is speaking not of ignorantly sinning, but of willingly sinning with our eyes wide opened. It is not falling into sin, but continuing in sin, knowing it is wrong...

Calvary covers all sins -- past and future -- but Calvary can become ineffective if we do not avail ourselves of its provision each day.

What about sin that is not repented of? It remains unpardoned and will follow us to the judgment seat of Christ. Hebrew 10 again warns us, "The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (verses 30-31). This should put a godly fear in our hearts, but at the same time it's a wonderful relief to know that all sin confessed and forsaken will never follow us to His judgment seat...

A great ocean of pardon is available to everyone who seeks it. We can enter heaven with "clean hands, and a pure heart" (Ps. 24:4), simply by taking advantage of the cleansing available to us in Jesus Christ.


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