Why do men believe that God has saved us from our sins, but cannot remove that which made us sinners? Continuing in sin brings forth death (James 1:15). This is spiritual death, not natural death. When Adam disobeyed God, it brought both spiritual and physical death, just as God had told him it would, but physical death did not come immediately when he sinned. So why do so many of God's people today think sin brings physical death, but will not acknowledge that sin brings spiritual death?
One reason is that they have been taught to live with sin. The teachings of men take them around all the warnings of God's Word, and make them feel safe with sin and in sin. You can see that the natural mind can make you believe anything. Spiritually blind men have told spiritually blind men that there are two natures--a sin nature and a new nature--and they have believed the story because it sounds good, but all the time they are being taught to live with sin. The blind are leading the blind, and both will fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14).
God hates sin, and God's children will have the same attitude. God's design is not to leave us in sin, but to work in us to set us free from sin and from the power of sin. Many will not believe this; thus they remain in darkness. Our ignorance will not be excused. I am afraid this type of teaching will cause many to miss the mark, because they continue to live in sin as they have been taught to. Their consciences have been seared by sin, and their minds say, "Amen."
Following the teachings of men will not excuse us. Each one is responsible for his own actions. Eve said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." This did not relieve her of her obligation to obey what God had said. The devil is still working in the same way, telling men lies. And because they do not have the truth, they will believe a lie and be damned.
God's redemption is perfect. All man has to do is receive it by faith. There is no other plan of salvation. God did not make a place for sin in His eternal plan. Sin came, but God had a plan from the foundation of the world--one which deals with sin in such a way that God looks at us as if we had never sinned. His perfect plan is being brought to a glorious climax in those who believe and belong to Christ. God's plan is only possible in and through Christ Jesus. "...He who does the will of God abides forever" (I John 2:17).
God does not want us to be ignorant of His ways or how He has made us. We need to understand how God has made us to function, and what His purpose is in creation. Ignorance will never allow us to walk in faith. The proper understanding of what Christ did for us at the cross will set us free, and God has given us His Spirit to teach us all things.
God also does not work "in spite of our ignorance." Obedience has no meaning if we are ignorant of God's ways and cannot understand what He has done and what He is doing. God's Word speaks of maturity, fullness, being entirely sanctified, and of holiness, which speaks to us of the end result of God's working--which can be nothing short of the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). The Lord is not doing a halfway job. The church, made up of believers, is being brought to a completeness in Christ by the power of God. His plan is perfect and is bringing each member to fullness.
We cannot hope to understand God's ways with our natural minds. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2:13, "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit." When God uses the words "holy," "mature," "perfect," "fullness," and many other words, what does He mean? If we put our own meanings on God's word, we will miss what He is saying to us in His Son.
When God says that those who are in Christ Jesus are a new creation, is this only figurative, or does God make His word a reality in each of our lives? Is anything too hard for God? This great salvation is greater than most will admit and allow to work in their lives. Much of today's teaching says, "Christ did a perfect work of redemption, but it cannot be our experience while we are in this body." But Jesus came that we might have life, and that life is in Him. I am afraid man wants a salvation that will allow him to continue in sin. But again we say that God's salvation does not allow sin to continue. Our life is no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. We must come to understand what God is saying to us in Christ.
We must live by every word that proceeds from God. God's words must have God's meaning. The Word of God, the Bible, is seen through the whole of the Word. No scripture is of any private interpretation (II Peter 1:20). Every part of the Word relates to the whole. When we remove any part and try to examine it totally apart from the whole, our evaluation will be distorted. We must have spiritual eyes to see the things of God, and we must approach His Word as learners.