reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto
God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your
mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Christianity is a life change—a continual life change. In the example
of Christ, we have been given a goal at which to aim, and as Charles
Finney explains, it is that aim which distinguishes a true follower of
Aim at being perfect. Every young convert should be taught that if it is not his purpose to live without sin, he has not yet begun to be a Christian. What is Christianity, but supreme love to God and a supreme purpose of heart or disposition to obey God? If there is not this, there is no Christianity at all.
It should be our constant purpose (aim) to live wholly to God and obey all His commandments. We should live so that if we were to sin, it would be an inconsistency, an exception, an individual case, in which we act contrary to the fixed and general purpose of our lives.
That is the essence of the true Christian walk, not to see what we can get away with, but instead, to see what we can stay away from. In following that course, it is easier to live a holy life, focused on our example—Jesus.
I heard it said once that “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” That saying would apply well to Finney’s teaching. If you do not plan to aim high, toward the example you’ve been given, then your aim will fail. Jesus is the only target. Aim to be like Him, knowing that even if you miss the mark from time to time, He will help you steady your aim in order to succeed in the future.
Deuteronomy 12; Psalms 97-98
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