“I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues’” (Rev. 18:4). Who are these people the voice from heaven is referring to? They are God’s people. Are you and I His people? Then, we heed His voice. The Lord God is calling us to come out of sin, because He considered us His people. He made us His people by making us righteous by faith. Now, He wants us to walk away from every form of sin, because His righteousness is not meant to dwell with lawlessness. The most pitiful thing would be to be made righteous and then end up receiving the plagues of sin. We are called for righteousness and were made righteous that we forsake every work of sin. This represents God’s holiness. God who is all-powerful retains it in us when we continue to heed Him.
What would it take to receive the plagues of sin? Ignoring God’s call is sufficient. The result would then involve participating in sins (deeds) of sin. On the contrary, walking away from sin would yield God’s blessings. The voice that said “Come out of her my people” speaks of God’s continual calling of His people. To have not walked away from sin after hearing God’s call would result in losing His precious and magnificent promises. His promises are the way for all good blessings. The purpose of God to make us righteous when we first believed is that we are armed to recognize sin and her deeds. Righteousness, the power of God, assists us to hear His call. When we value it, we indeed use it and escape the plagues that fall upon us. Furthermore, we please God for abundant blessings.
“But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?’” (John 7:31). Implementing God’s righteousness requires the continual acquaintance with His word. His word teaches us to exercise righteousness. As we do this, we please God to work on our behalf. God creates the appropriate time for us to obtain His blessings, because He sees that we heeded His word and made sacrifices to come out of sin. Our worry or anxiousness as to how and when God works for us will gently fade away. We fully understand that perfect timing lies with Him. And, we hear His word each time we seek Him. He counsels us for right direction. We walk away from or come out of sin. This is the result of the work God in His power has done in us when we first believed. Consider the crowd around Jesus. Why did they believe in Him? Because they knew Him as the Christ, being very certain that none else can perform any more works than Him. This was the certainty in us about God when we were made righteous in Christ. We came to know that there is none else present to make us any purer than He did. For this reason, we ought to walk away from sin and all her works when He calls. It is not as if God is asking us to do the impossible without providing us the power to come out of sin. To the world which has no righteousness it is impossible. But, we who possess certainty about God in our hearts must use the power to hear Him and walk away from sin. For He says, “‘I will completely remove all things from the face of the earth,’ declares the LORD” (Zeph. 1:2).
What we hear from Him regarding any matter is very true. And the truth for the above is that there will come a time when God will take away everything from the earth. He has reserved a day for it and therefore, we see Him instructing His people to come out of sin and all her deeds. If we have His righteousness, we identify sin. People that are amazed by what sin provides are foolish. They are blind to the magnificent riches of God. As His riches are heavenly, they are the reason for every good thing we have and will have on earth. We will not lack anything and whatever we have from God will be without sin. God’s righteousness will protect us and those that belong to us. Moreover, righteousness flows from us into those whom God has given us. And, though God removes everything from the earth, we know we will be with Him. The one that guarantees this is the Spirit. “For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16).
There is undoubtedly a deep significance for the Holy Spirit in our life. There are some who are more concerned about the appearance and the unintended matters of this Scripture. But, the reality is that without Him the righteousness that leads us to God’s word cannot perform its work. To put it in simple terms the Spirit must work in the believers if righteousness is to lead them to God’s counsel. Consider this: if sin uses her power to divert us by her deeds, should not God send His Spirit to keep us in righteousness? While sin continues to perform her deeds, God continues His work through the Spirit. This signifies the war we fight alongside God. When the Spirit comes into a person it is a defeat to sin. For everything that is of sin is removed from him. The Holy Spirit in a person is the advantage for his continual acquaintance with the word. It fulfills the purpose of the gospel.
Remember that God calls you to walk away from sin, because He added you to His people. So, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). Devoting to prayer is the only way for you to have an effectual relationship with God, His Spirit and His word. And as you do it with thanksgiving bearing in mind God’s justification of you, you please Him with your understanding. There is nothing present for you to render God other than thanking Him for all that He has done for you. It also paves the way for all that He desires to do for you as well as the fulfillment of all that you ask of Him. Furthermore, devoting to prayer and thanksgiving will strengthen you to walk away from sin often and more easily. You will learn more about praying to God, because of the righteousness that works with the Spirit. You will experience His working nature and will have many more reasons to thank Him. As you gain such intimacy with God, you will not be with misgivings, but joyously heed the word He speaks to you. As a Christian you reach to a point which was explained in the Scripture. “Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true” (3 John 1:12).
As a person with a good testimony for God, you are like a tree by the river whose leaves never withers nor does it fail to bear fruit in its season. You bring peace, comfort and happiness to all around you. You will be a sign of God for believers and unbelievers. By you God reveals righteousness and justice; you will be blessed. For through you God will tear down the fortress of sin and destroy all her deeds. You have unfailing joy knowing that you are called to deliver His purpose. Your works bear great significance to His Kingdom; He will be glorified. The truth of God testifies concerning you along with those that see your righteousness. Because you did not participate in the deeds of sin forsaking everything according to the will of God, you obtain confidence from Him to pass the anxiousness, which also once appeared in Peter. “Peter began to say to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You” (Mark 10:28). You are on your way to abundances.